Verity by Colleen Hoover
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
A standalone romantic thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover.
Colleen Hoover’s new release Verity is described as a romantic thriller, however I think a more accurate description would be romantic creepy. Romantic Creepy… can we make that be a new genre? The beginning line may be the eeriest first line ever written “I hear the crack of his skull before the spattering of blood reaches me. I gasp and take a step back onto the sidewalk.”
Hoover tackles the Mystery/Suspense genre as if she’s written a series of books in this genre; she masters the ability of keeping the characters relatable, yet mysterious. The story begins with the unfortunate plight of Lowen Ashleigh, an author who is as financially broke as she is emotionally broke. Against her intuition to turn down the offer, Lowen accepts the job of finishing a series of books that bestselling author Verity Crawford wasn’t able to complete due to an injury that has left her impaired. Lowen’s job is to read all of Verity’s notes and outlines to gain enough material to complete the series. As Lowen begins tackling the job, she comes across a journal/manuscript written by Verity over years and years, and what Lowen reads is more disturbing than any of the books that Verity Crawford has written. Once perceived as a tragic victim, Verity becomes the villain in her own life’s story, but also how Lowen decides to handle the information that was unintended for her eyes could make Lowen the antihero. Lowen has to decide whether to share Verity’s words, to further risk injuring a family that has been torn apart by tragedy. Will her decision be based upon what’s best for the family or what’s best for Lowen? Ay-yi-yi, this is the burning question, who is the selfish one, who is the hero?
In Verity, the reader is able to connect to each character, yet harbors the angst that the characters may not be who she/he was conveyed in the previous chapter. Author Hoover expertly builds up suspense, and at times I was second guessing my own theories; at some point every character is perceived as the victim and at other times each one is the villain. Towards the end, I was basically the character in a horror movie with the flashlight shining it everywhere and saying “I bet it was you here, no, I bet it was you over there.”
As easy as it is to talk about the suspense side of Verity, the love stories shouldn’t be overlooked. Yes, I said “love stories” and not “love story.” Hoover weaved two love stories into the plot, and both are relatable and justified, and the sex isn’t bad eitherJ. When the story ended, my super sleuth side for the first time sat back and pondered how the hell was Hoover able to weave each of the characters into a victim and a villain, likeable and loathing at times? And once again, my super sleuth side kicked in and questioned whether J.R. Ward was her muse for Verity, sure I can’t be the only person who thought of J.R. Ward?
Verity isn’t just suspenseful, it’s full of angst, sex, fear, loathing, rage, love, and 20 other emotions. Verity doesn’t disappoint, from the first line to the ending, I was enthralled with the story. Buy this book!