The Confession by Jo Spain | Blogtour Review @SpainJoanne @QuercusBooks #TheConfession


Published by Quercus

available in ebook (11 January 2018)   |   Hardcover (25 January 2018) |  Paperback (9 August 2018)

General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers

400 pages

Source: ARC Review Copy


|   About the Book  |







Late one night a man walks into the luxurious home of disgraced banker Harry McNamara and his wife Julie. The man launches an unspeakably brutal attack on Harry as a horror-struck Julie watches, frozen by fear. It looks like Harry’s many sins – corruption, greed, betrayal – have finally caught up with him.

An hour later the intruder, JP Carney, hands himself in, confessing to the assault. The police have a victim, a suspect in custody and an eye-witness account, but Julie remains troubled.

Has Carney’s surrender really been driven by a guilty conscience or is this confession the first calculated move in a deadly game?


|   My Review   |


I’m beyond excited to be joining the blog tour for The Confession and my thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invitation.  This is the first book I’ve actually read by Jo Spain although I have been collecting her DI Tom Reynold’s series and I shall be making even more effort to get to those sooner rather than later.

“It’s the first spray of my husband’s blood hitting the television screen that will haunt me in the weeks to come – a perfect diagonal splash, each droplet descending like a vivid red tear.

That, and the sound of his skull cracking as the blows from the golf club rain down”

With an opening first line like this, who could resist being reeled in.

The Confession is not so much a ‘who-dunnit’ as a ‘why-did-it-happen’.  We find out in the first few pages who both the victim and the attacker are but the question is why.  Why did JP Carney enter into the McNamara house and beat Harry senseless and why did Harry’s wife Julie just sit and watch. And the most perplexing question of all, why did Carney hand himself in to the police and confess a short time after.

Without a doubt, this will be one of my favourite books of 2018.  I was reeled in from the very first page and I was just so totally engrossed throughout.  With alternating chapters told by JP, Julie (Harry’s wife) and Alice (the detective), a picture builds up of the lives of those involved and the circumstances that led to this carnage.

Harry was not a blameless victim, he was an extremely rich and well connected banker who had been facing a fraud investigation.  His dodgy business dealings and loose morals aside, he wasn’t without charm and it was easy to see why people were taken in by him.  Through Julie’s eyes, we see their relationship from their first meeting, and then are privy to the tribulations of their marriage – which perhaps could be described as ‘lovingly toxic’. The old cliche of money not always bringing happiness was certainly true here.

JP was the biggest enigma of all.  He had had a difficult background but came across as mostly a basically decent man so why…..? It’s quite rare that I actually feel sorry for the perpetrator in crime stories, but here I did have a lot of sympathy for JP.

Alice Moody is one of the police officers investigating and she was a great character.  Certain things didn’t add up for her; she was like a terrier and relentless in trying to get to the truth. It felt at times that she was completely on her own as even some of her colleagues thought we have our man, just let it go.

The Confession is a perfectly crafted thriller with such detailed and realistic characterisation. People have their secrets and loyalties are tested to the extreme. Jo Spain’s talent is in making you care about the characters; using their flaws together with clever plotting to achieve this.  Just when you think you have it all worked out, along comes another little curve ball which throws doubt into your mind. I loved it and The Confession thoroughly deserves all the success I’m sure is coming its way.

My thanks to the publisher for the ARC to review.



|   About the Author   |


Jo Spain’s first novel, top ten bestseller With our Blessing, was one of seven finalists in the Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller Competition 2015. It was named as an Irish Times crime fiction book of the year by Declan Burke. Beneath the Surface (2016) and Sleeping Beauties (2017), the second and third in the DI Tom Reynolds series followed, to further critical acclaim. Her standalone thriller, The Confession, will be released January 2018.

Jo is currently writing for TV.

A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and their four young children. Jo previously worked as a policy advisor in the Irish parliament and as vice-chair of the business body InterTrade Ireland.

Jo’s debut novel is set against a background of the infamous Irish Magdalene Laundries and Mother and Baby homes. The author’s own father was born in one such home in Dublin and the novel’s backdrop was constructed based on the in-depth research she undertook while attempting to trace her family roots.

Her favourite writers include Pierre LeMaitre, Fred Vargas, Louise Penny, Jo Nesbo, Ann Cleeves, B.A. Paris, Elizabeth Haynes and Agatha Christie.


Author Links:    Twitter   |   Facebook   |   Amazon UK   |   |   Goodreads


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