The Favour by Nicci French

Thank you to ‘Tandem Collective’ for the gifted copy of Nicci French’s latest novel. I had not read any books by Nicci French before, so I was very excited to start, especially as I am a fan of a thrilling read.

This thriller is definitely more of a character-driven story than plot-driven. The plot is engaging – after all, what exactly is ‘the favour’? But it is the characters that keep the story going and keep the reader reading.

Jude has her life together – and always has. She is young, she is successful and she does not appear to let the events of the past haunt her or hold her back. However, Liam, her first love, reappears one random morning and asks her for a favour, which she appears to agree to, with hesitation. Little does Jude know that this may well change her life beyond recognition and drag her into a world that she would be better off leaving alone.

I did find this book a page-turner, as I just had to know what was going to happen and who was involved with what throughout the narrative. And, the phrase ‘the favour’ takes on so many different meanings as you work your way through the story – some having much more significance than the other. Occasionally, Jude’s actions seem a bit bizzare for an educated woman, but as the story unfolds you begin to understand why some things are like they are (although it still makes some of her actions a little questionable – I mean, she really does not seem to spot a warning sign…).

The revelation at the end was not quite what I was expecting. I had seen some of the secrets worked out before they were revealed, but not the final revelation. There are plenty of red herrings as we meet different characters – and some of them do seem a little wasted, as they do not bring much to the plot other than a little bit of distraction.

If you enjoy a pacy thriller with a complex plot, then this may not be the book for you – but if you enjoy a well-crafted character-led story full of secrets, then this definitely is the book for you.

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