My Husband’s Son – Deborah O’Connor
Published by Twenty7
Ebook 16 June 2016 – Paperback 6 October 2016
HOW TO FREAK OUT YOUR HUSBAND
by Deborah O’Connor
It’s one of the basic rules of being a novelist: people assume the stuff you write about is actually a thinly veiled portrait of you and your life. This is the case whether you write books about little green aliens living it up on the planet Zog or whether you write crime novels narrated from the point of view of a street-savvy police alsatian named Bruiser.
Now then imagine that the core subject of your novel is something far more common-place and pedestrian, something people could easily draw parallels with, like say, a marriage. And then let’s just say you decided to call that novel MY HUSBAND’S SON.
Heidi and Jason’s marriage in MY HUSBAND’S SON couldn’t be any more different to my own (honest!) but writing a novel is a long and sometimes arduous process and so, while I was writing this novel, every now and again I’d do the odd thing to amuse myself. Things that would leave my husband more than a little discombobulated.
So if you too want to toy with other half while putting together your first book then here are my five tried and tested ways to freak out your husband.
1. Name your book something worrying that they can easily identify with. I totally nailed this with the title of my book MY HUSBAND’S SON.
2. Whenever you finish having sex with your partner, reach for the notebook on your bedside table and start scribbling. When he or she asks you what you’re doing, just say ‘nothing’. If this starts to bother them too much then, when necessary, retreat to the bathroom with said notebook and make sure not to emerge for a good twenty minutes.
3. Do all your research on your shared home computer and leave your internet search history about ‘women who have affairs and how they hide them’ there for all to see. The next time your partner goes online to order more bin-bags from amazon and they see the drop down browser bar history, they’ll get more than they bargained for.
4. Order a paternity testing kit online and have it delivered to the house so you can study the packaging in detail and then accidentally leave said kit on the kitchen table.
5. Spend hours talking to another man on the phone, sometimes in the middle of the night (in my case this was the detective who kindly leant me his expertise on the more technical parts of my book) and when your partner asks you who you were talking to just shrug and say ‘No-one’.
So there you have it, the tips and tricks I used to entertain myself while writing my debut novel. It definitely made the word count fly by just that little bit faster. Meanwhile, I can confirm that I am still happily married, just.
About the book:
A gripping psychological thriller with a devastating twist, perfect for fans of Apple Tree Yard, While My Eyes Were Closed and Between You and Me
Heidi and Jason aren’t like other couples.
Six years ago, Heidi’s daughter was murdered. A year later, Jason’s son Barney disappeared. Their shared loss brought them together.
By chance, Heidi meets a boy she’s certain is Barney.
But Jason is equally convinced it’s not him.
Is Heidi mad? Or is Jason hiding something? And can their fragile marriage survive Heidi’s newfound quest for the truth . . .
Heidi and Jason have one thing in common. They have both lost a child. Heidi’s daughter was found murdered but Jason’s young son Barney disappeared one day whilst out with his mother and has never been found. This shared understanding of their loss is the glue between them but when Heidi pushes their relationship to the brink, she risks her marriage and all they have between them, all because she thinks she is right and Jason is wrong.
It all starts when Heidi spots a young boy in a shop that she believes is Barney. She wastes no time in getting Jason to take a look but after doing so, he is adamant that the boy is not his son. However Heidi is so sure that she is right and she will go to any lengths to prove it.
There were times when Heidi’s obsession with this boy drove her to make the most bizarre and unwise decisions. So much so that I was shaking my head in frustration and shouting at her, “NO, DON’T DO THAT”. Unfortunately she didn’t listen to me and I spent most of the book watching her lurch from one bad decision to another.
I did wonder whether there was some sinister undercurrent going on, especially with Jason. Whilst Heidi went all out to prove that this boy was Barney, Jason didn’t seem that bothered although we are told that he had never stopped looking for him. Was Heidi being completely delusional or was there a reason for Jason’s insistence that the boy wasn’t his son. Thanks to what I saw as the author sowing seeds of doubt every now and then, I was never completely sure of Jason’s role in his sons disappearance – was he truly innocent? In fact as the story progresses, little pieces of information are released which throw a different slant on things.
Despite my issues with Heidi (which are purely personal and if I’m being honest, her behaviour I found to be the most unbelievable), I can’t fault the story for its pace and well-executed plotting together with the careful drip feed of information. As for the characters, they cover all spectrums; from the likeable to the downright creepy and repulsive. Heidi and Jason are both damaged people and I had to wonder if they would ever have got together at all if it hadn’t been for their shared tragedies. As a psychological thriller, My Husband’s Son did its job extremely well, it kept me guessing all the way through and that ending – I didn’t see that coming!
My thanks to the publisher for the Netgalley copy to review.
My Husband’s Son (eBook) by Deborah O’Connor is published by Twenty7 on 16th June 2016 at £4.99
About the author:
Deborah O’Connor read English at Newnham College, Cambridge, before going on to become a television producer. Having worked on everything from The Big Breakfast to Big Brother, she produced the BAFTA award-winning poetry documentary Off My Heart and is currently the head of factual development at TV production company, CPL.
Born and bred in the North-East of England, she now lives in East London with her husband and daughter.