Oliver Ryan has it all, nice house, devoted wife and a glittering career as an author. With Alice his wife as the illustrator, he has created a series of children’s books that have captivated the world. He has had film deals, awards, and accolades galore as well as a comfortable life. After Alice is found on her dining room floor beaten into a coma, that way of life is about to come to an abrupt end because Oliver has a secret that no one knows, a secret that he will go to almost any length to protect.
As Alice remains in intensive care, people look for the motives behind Oliver’s actions. Shocked friends and family begin to untangle his past life, the extramarital affairs, the deceptions behind his school days and his writing profession. They realise that the Oliver they thought they knew is utterly different to the one that they find before themselves now.
This is quite a short, sharp ‘why done it’ that is as unsettling as it is shocking at the beginning. I liked the way Nugent used the different people’s perspectives as Oliver’s past was unravelled before our eyes. There were no surprising twists, just the moment where a chance holiday brought the plot full circle, and you had that Ah! moment. Neatly done.