Believe Me by J.P. Delaney

Well, guys… For once I’m speechless. Almost. If you don’t want spoilers, don’t read anything after the blurb, but without getting into some specifics, this review would make even less sense than the book did.

Believe Me by J.P. Delaney

Genres: Suspense, Psychological Thriller
Published: 24th July, 2018
Goodreads 
Series: N/A
Rating: 2

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?


“Believe me,” said Claire.
“Nope. Not happening.” I replied.

Actors are a weird bunch (apparently), but our Claire is a whole new level of weirdo entirely. A Brit, who ran to America to escape her turbulent past, heart aches and a scandal. But no matter how many times her background came up, I couldn’t help but think, something’s really fishy there. Somehow there was always someone out there to get her, take her down, ruin her life. Now, living in America on a student visa, Claire is working for some law firm, pretending to seduce cheating husbands and record it all for evidence. As she’s not allowed to work on a student visa, this is of course all illegal, but nobody seems to think that this is a problem.

One of the obvious rules of the job is, that she’s not supposed to actually hit on the client’s husband. But on her last assignment she ends up reading some Baudelaire poem with the mark for like ten minutes, and instantly her panties are melting and she’s pretty much in love with the dude who in turn couldn’t care less. So when the dude’s wife ends up murdered, and the police first accuses Claire of killing the woman, then a bit later recruits her to seduce the husband because surely he’s the killer, in fact might be also a serial killer, and work for them undercover, or else they will deport her back to the UK, she’s like “Oh, hell yeah, I kinda liked the dude anyway, he’s really hot with that french poetry of his!

If I said Claire is an unreliable narrator, that’d be the understatement of the year. You see, there’s unreliable, and there’s utterly insane. At times I was wondering if she’s actually able to tell fantasy apart from reality, or is it just me missing something. Anything she said happened to her just sounded dodgy, and all the twists and turns the story took just made the whole mess even more confusing and crazy sounding. She viewed her life like it was a Hollywood movie, and the formatting in places resembled a movie script. It was never quite clear whether some of those scenes actually happened or just played out in her head. The lovely Claire was certainly a bit unhinged, and all that waffling about her being such a great actress that she just turns into her role so much that she believes she’s someone else sounded way too far fetched, exactly because of all the cray-cray stuff that seemed to happen to her. Nah, this bitch is insane

First of all, let me just say, the whole story smelled like bullshit to me. Considering the genre, I expected something at least remotely realistic, so when I found myself doubting the whole set up, I actually did a few hours of research to see if this kind of shit where the police uses untrained civilians for undercover operations really happens. The answer? The fact that nothing supporting the theory actually turned up suggests that the answer is most likely no. After hours worth of search on Google, in my police procedures reference book (US version) and half a weekend spent watching some true crime documentaries I’d say it’s not something that would ever happen in real life, more like in a Mexican soap opera.

Or did she just imagine this whole thing? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions are my own.

31 comments

  1. Alex

    Maybe the title of the book has more to do with the author trying to persaude people, that this pile of crap is, in fact, believable. I just did a 2-star review as well, this week. 😳

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I missed your reviews Norris during my month away. 😍👌 Loved your take on this one, Claire sounds like someone I don’t know how I would feel about. Given how my mood has been recently , I would currently probably just want to scream at her… 😂😂😂 Great review. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can see this working better on film or series. Given some parts were already written like script. Maybe that way it would be more obvi what’s real and what’s in her head (if anything… at this point i don’t even know).

      Like

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  4. Ova

    Fantastic review Norrie- exactly my thoughts. Can’t remember I gave one or 2 but the biggest mystery for me was who was paying Claire’s hospital bills! As she is broke and the healthcare in US ain’t free!

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. Hahahaha this sounds so off. I grow tired of psychological thrillers too fast because of how easy it can sometimes get to detect where the author plays with your mind (especially that unreliable narrator). But when it’s that obvious that it’s insane? LOL Hopefully you’re next read won’t be this bad! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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