‘Disclaimer’ is Renée Knight’s debut novel. It was published on the 9th April 2015 by Doubleday. When I first heard about this book I was intrigued and I really wanted to read and review it. I am one of a number of book bloggers taking part in the blog tour for ‘Disclaimer’ and today it is my turn.
Catherine and Robert Ravenscroft have recently moved home, downsizing as their son is now flat sharing with some students. They both have successful careers and what seems like the perfect marriage.
When an intriguing looking novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table she can’t recall ever seeing it before. Naturally interested she opens the book and starts to read, failing to notice that the disclaimer at the front has been crossed out with a red pen. As Catherine reads on she is horrified to discover that someone has actually written a book about her. It could just be a coincidence of course but she recognises an account of a day from twenty years ago, one which she had blocked out. Who would do such a malicious thing like this? Desperate for answers, Catherine somehow manages to get through the rest of the novel.
Stephen Brigstocke, a retired teacher, knows all about Catherine including her past, but she has never met him. He is determined to tear her life apart and he will stop at absolutely nothing to get his revenge.
This story has mostly been told by Catherine and Stephen. It starts off from Spring 2013 onwards and goes back and forth so as to give the reader a good insight into events from the past. Each chapter is headed up with the relevant period in which the story is taking place. I personally felt that it would have been a better idea to have the name of the character who was narrating that particular chapter as the heading instead so as not to confuse.
I really enjoyed reading ‘Disclaimer’ and couldn’t wait to get back to it. I didn’t know what to think of Stephen. On the one hand I could understand how he was feeling, but I thought what he did was right over the top and just so wrong. With his devious and twisted mind he did his best to wreck lives without knowing all the facts.
As I got towards the end of the story and things became clear regarding Catherine’s secret from the past, I realised that there were in fact a number of subtle clues throughout the book which hinted at what really happened. Very clever the way the author has done this.
I really didn’t anticipate what the ending would be and was quite shocked.
‘Disclaimer’ is a thrilling and fast-paced read.
I give this book 4 out of 5.
About Renée Knight
Renée Knight worked for the BBC directing arts documentaries before turning to writing. She has had TV and film scripts commissioned by the BBC, Channel Four and Capital Films. In April 2013 she graduated from Faber Academy ‘Writing A Novel’. ‘Disclaimer’ is her first novel arising from that course. She lives in London with her husband and two children.