Title: The Devil’s Picture Book by Arabella Seymour
Publisher: Peach Publishing
Page count: 308 pages
Publication Date: January 12, 2016
Rating – 4/5!!
Four women, friends from their school days, have grown apart with distance and time, until one of them puts in motion an ambitious plan for a reunion – at a country house health spa which – unknown to any of them – has a history of murder, intrigue and bad luck all it’s own.
There is Rhiannon, determined to find out who her real parents were; Alexa, desperate for time to herself away from her controlling husband; Alice, whose husband treats her with contempt; and tragic Sunny, whose promising new life has suddenly come crashing down in ruins when she discovers she has a terminal illness.
Across their path comes Andrea, the unhappy and neglected wife of ex SAS officer Roddy DeVille, tipped for New Year Honours glory, desperate to regain her fading beauty and his love along with it.
The women meet without realising that this reunion will change each of their lives in ways none of them could possibly have imagined.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review!
The Devil’s Picture Book was an interesting book with a super ambitious plot. It is about a group of women, most of whom have known each other since they were young girls, reuniting after twenty years apart. For all of them, this comes at a really critical time in their lives when they really need to reconnect with themselves and other women.
I enjoyed quite a bit about this book. I loved that the story is delivered through multiple perspectives. I am definitely a fan of stories that have multiple perspectives and a lot of different characters and this is a book that has a lot of characters that we encounter and get the story from. If you’re not used to books like this, it may get a bit confusing but I find most often that I really enjoy when a story unfolds this way. Even though I thought this book was entertaining, I also felt like it had me thinking about a few serious things like marriage, individuality and friendships.
It had been awhile since I had read the description and I am glad because I got to go into this book rather blindly and ended up really enjoying it. It did take me a little bit to get into it but once I did, I became engrossed, especially when the girls get together I feel like everything up til then is alot of “story building” leading up to the reunion and all that happens there and comes out of it. I really enjoyed piecing together all the story lines from all the different characters, one I particularly enjoyed was Rhiannon but in general I found the look at the different women’s lives and relationships fascinating. Friendship reunions and family reunions are always fun especially when coupled with a mystery and suspense story line!
I appreciated the blending of the women’s fiction genre with that of mystery/suspense and even a bit of thriller. I am giving this book a four star review!
About the Author
Arabella Seymour was born and educated in London, England. She had her first novel published in her teens and later worked in London libraries before moving to Canterbury, Kent and turning to writing full time.
After having three novels published, Arabella went to work in Glenarm Castle in Northern Ireland and followed this by joining a housekeeping agency that took her to many fascinating assignments all over the country.
She later returned to Canterbury where, between 2008 and 2012, she was a member of a local re-enactment society. Arabella has a particular passion for family history and has contributed a short biography of her great-grandfather, Liberal Politian John Henry Bethell, to a local history project.
Arabella still lives in Canterbury, whose cathedral saw the marriage of her Huguenot ancestors during the reign of Charles II.