20 Books For Christmas Book 14 Review – The Perfect Life

Title: The Perfect Life

Author: Nuala Ellwood

Genre: Thriller

Goodreads Rating: 3.86

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Source: ARC



Vanessa has always found it easy to pretend to be somebody different, somebody better. When things get tough in her real life, all she has to do is throw on some nicer clothes, adopt a new accent and she can escape.

That’s how it started: looking round houses she couldn’t possibly afford. Harmless fun really. Until it wasn’t.

Because a man who lived in one of those houses is dead.

And everyone thinks Vanessa killed him…

My Review:

I don’t even know where to begin. I have loved all of Nuala Ellwood’s books but I think this could possibly be my favourite. Thank you so much to Penguin UK and NetGalley for sending me this ARC in exchange for my honest review.

Everything about this book was perfect, from the characters to the plot, it was all I had hoped for. Once I started reading that first page I was carrying my kindle everywhere trying to squeeze as much reading time in as possible because I had to know what happened. I had the book finished in just over a day!

I loved Vanessa’s story and how it was told, flicking from present to past events. From the moment Connor walked into her life I knew he was trouble, something about him set me on edge but I never imagined certain events taking place. There were many times when I wanted to scoop Vanessa up and get her as far away from her mistakes as possible. She spiralled so drastically and couldn’t see where she’d gone wrong but I guess it’s easier to spot the wrong choices when you’re on the outside looking in?

We all like to play detective when there is a mystery in front of us and I knew that there would be red herrings and lots of misdirection thrown my way. I also knew all the different storylines were connected in some way and was eager to find out how. About half way through I thought I had an incline as to what had happened and was feeling pretty chuffed that for once I had outwitted the author and solved the mystery early. Imagine my dismay when the final revelation came and I was miles off. Whilst I was disappointed at my detective skills the final revelations made me love the book even more.

Mystery aside there was plenty of drama and tough topics. Grief, rape, abortion and abuse can all be found in this story but Nuala Ellwood dealt with them with sensitivity and grace. She captured the emotion without the gory details and whilst the topics are unpleasant it didn’t make the read difficult or unenjoyable.

This story was gripping, engaging, fast paced and intense! I could go on but I honestly don’t think I would do it justice. Thank you for another great addition to the collection Nuala.

5 thoughts on “20 Books For Christmas Book 14 Review – The Perfect Life

Add yours

      1. I’ve been reading, but for the challenge I selected some Christmas books that have been on my TBR for several years, and I am reading new releases instread. That is one reason I don’t make TBRs regularly.

        Liked by 1 person

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