Unraveling Oliver

In this “compelling, clever, and dark” (Heat magazine) thriller, a man’s shocking act of savagery stuns a local community—and the revelations that follow will keep you gripped until the very last page. This work of psychological suspense, a #1 bestseller in Ireland, is perfect for fans of Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Ware.

“I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.”

So begins Liz Nugent’s astonishing debut novel—a chilling, elegantly crafted, and psychologically astute exploration of the nature of evil.

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease—until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma.

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbors, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

With its alternating points of view and deft prose, Unraveling Oliver is “a page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense” (Sunday Independent) that details how an ordinary man can transform into a sociopath.

If psychopathic tendencies and outright violence is an issue for you then this may not be the book for you. If you want to read one of the easiest most compelling and chilling books to be released this Fall then oh wow yes pick this up!

When you have this in hand turn off your phone, shut down the computer, tell everyone you are going to be unavailable for a while and have your snacks/drinks at the ready because to get the full scope and emotional gut punch that is this book it MUST be read in one sitting with as few distractions as possible. It’s relatively short so don’t freak out too bad at that idea.

You do have the alternating POV which I know can be a sore subject for some readers but this book not only requires that style it sets the very definition for how to use it properly to get the maximum benefit out of the story that needs to be told in the fullest context possible. I felt like I was watching a documentary with different people being interviewed because of how seamlessly the author strung the voices together and because the intrinsic diversity that is felt between characters so there is a very palpable shift.

This book relies on its characters more than exposition, scene set-ups, location details, etc. The people are what make the story and the psychological ruminations therein made me feel like I was back in Abnormal Psych listening to my prof.

The first chapter can feel emotionally jarring, a little rough at best, but she’s not telling a tale about rainbows and unicorns so just push through and get ready for the good stuff……..

Thank you to Netgalley and Gallery/Scout Press for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and image from Netgalley

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