Monday 3 September 2018

#BlogTour Perfect Ten by Jacqueline Ward

Let's kick off this BlogTour for Perfect Ten by Jacqueline Ward. It's a tense, realistic and emotionally charged read. It will make you question who the real villain is in this situation.

About the Author
Jacqueline Ward is a Chartered Psychologist and scientist working in high hazard safety. She holds a PhD which explored the stories we use in everyday life to construct our identities, and in 2013 received an MBE for services to vulnerable people. She lives in Oldham with her partner and their dog.

Follow @JacquiAnnC  @CorvusBooks on Twitter
Buy Perfect Ten

About the book
An explosive debut thriller about one woman's search for revenge - and the dangerous chain of events she sets in motion...

Caroline Atkinson is powerless and angry. She has lost more than most - her marriage, her reputation, her children.  Then one day, she receives an unusual delivery: lost luggage belonging to the very man who is responsible, her estranged husband Jack.

In a leather holdall, Caroline unearths a dark secret, one that finally confirms her worst suspicions. Jack has kept a detailed diary of all his affairs; every name, every meeting, every lie is recorded. He even marks the women out of ten.

Caroline decides it's time to even the score. She will make this man pay, even if it means risking everything...

Caroline is a compulsive hoarder, has a drinking problem and has lost her children to her ex due to her mental instability. At least that's what he would like you to believe, but then again Caroline is willing to go to really crazy lengths to get revenge on Jack and his perfect partners.

Throughout the story the reader is never quite sure whether Caroline is a complete fruitcase and fits the criteria for her own psychopathy test or whether her ex is the actual threat. That in itself is the actual dilemma, especially in real life scenarios. In a he said, she said situation the more convincing liar is the one who is believed.

At a certain point in the story there is no clear distinction between Caroline and Jack, which is the whole point of or rather the moral of the story. Neither of them are doing what is best for their children, while they are consumed with hate and revenge for each other. Regardless of who started what and who was at fault first, they have both become right-fighters and fight to be right instead of fighting for what is right for their two children. A tale as old as time when it comes to divorce and separation.

From personal experience I can tell you that if the intelligent well-educated Caroline plays nice then she has no hope of keeping her children, because when you are dealing with a manipulative abuser with psychopathic tendencies, playing nice and being therapeutically correct just doesn't cut it. If your ex is a two-faced individual, who has a charming side for the outside world and a ruthless abusive one for you, then the majority of people will want to believe he is mister nice guy, as opposed to the nightmare he really is.

Friends don't want to be involved, and yet take sides anyway. People who know the truth brush it aside for a more convenient and pleasant narrative. Family members protect and enable the abuser. The only way to win against a person like that is to play dirty too. You have to leave your morals and good intentions at the front door.

You know what the best and most ironic thing about this book is? The title. Perfect Ten is the Holy Grail of imaginary perfection, and just so we are clear the grass isn't greener on the other side - it's still just plain old green.

Ward is an expert at keeping her readers on their toes in this potent tale of revenge, obsession, control and abuse. She makes it easy to comprehend how an abuse victim is unable to recognise the abuse and to fall into the trap of a self-fulfilling prophecy, especially when the victim is subjected to repeated messages about her supposed mental ill-health, her inability to be a good mother and her lack of self-worth.

It's a tense and frustrating reminder of the injustice many victims experience in situations like this, and how many abusers can convince everyone around them that they are the victims instead. You have to be your own army, because trust me when the going gets tough you'll find your so-called friends were never friends in the first place. I think the author wants us to think about that the next time we pass judgement too quickly or decide sitting on the bench is better than supporting someone in genuine need of a helping hand.

I enjoyed the read, because it rang a lot of bells for me and despite it seeming far-fetched, dramatic and wee bit like a television drama, I can assure you this is the unfortunate reality for many in abusive relationships. Kudos to Ward for highlighting the more manipulative, controlling and psychological side of abuse.

Buy Perfect Ten at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Publisher: Corvus Books

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for this fabulous Blog Tour support cheryl x