REVIEW: BELIEVE ME, BY J.P. DELANEY

 

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions.

The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap?

But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

 

My Thoughts: I loved the twisty elements of Believe Me that always kept me a little off-balance. Claire’s first person narrative made me care about her and about her perspective. I felt myself rooting for her all along, especially when she found herself in many precarious situations, when those who were supposed to be on her side didn’t believe her version of events.

Claire’s immigration status intrigued me, as it especially resonates in this day and age. One’s life can be upended at a moment’s notice, so treading carefully is what one must do, and persons in authority can use that fear as leverage.

Trust games are part of the interactions for these characters, and we are thrown into the quandary of not knowing who to believe or what to believe.

Who killed Stella? Was it Patrick, or Claire, or someone else? And how does the dark website Necropolis play into the drama? When Patrick writes a play based on the Baudelaire book he loves, Claire is cast and sees the opportunity to finally get her green card. But is the play just an opportunity or another trap that will thrust her into more danger?

As we switch back and forth, asking ourselves what is truly real and what is Claire performing “in character,” we are still stunned by how everything plays out. An incredibly brilliant 5 star read.

***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

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8 thoughts on “REVIEW: BELIEVE ME, BY J.P. DELANEY

    • I am really glad that I loved it, since it was a NetGalley review, and I always worry that I won’t enjoy one of those. I do try to always select books from authors I’ve read before, though.

      Thanks for stopping by, Kathryn.

      Like

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