The book starts off with our narrator in the box being cross-examined for murder. It then sets out to narrate what led to that moment in time in which a married scientist, wife and mother ends up on trial for murder. A very compelling read built up around not particularly likeable characters. There is infidelity, the one-off and the serial variety, a “bunny boiler”, a pornography addicted rapist and a character with some undisclosed mental health issues. All these characters weave together to form a complex set of relationships and reactions.
The protagonist is a woman who is definitely hard to like. She is a scientist and a mother and seems to blame her mediocrity at science on motherhood and her mediocrity at motherhood on science. Swimming in an ocean of denial about her husband, she meets a man who will change the course of her life.
This is the second Louise Doughty book I have read and both of them have been more along the lines of asking how and why, rather than who “dunnit”. Very well written, with an ease in transitions between time and place, that kept the story flowing. A compelling and quick read that drives you to finish.