“The world was her manuscript. No surface was safe.”
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. (Goodreads)
This was deliciously creepy and exactly what I’m looking for in a thriller. The only other book of CoHo that I read before this was Without Merit and I honestly wasn’t super impressed with it. On the other hand, Verity was just begging to be read and I’m so glad I gave this one a chance.
“I think the idea of me is better than the reality of me.”
The novel starts with an explosive opening, and the reader feels the underlying creepiness right off the bat. The disturbing tone is consistent all throughout the book, and the tension is applied in all the right places. The twisted nature of it is heightened by the book-within-a-book format. It has CoHo’s familiar brand of steamy scenes as well.
It is an interesting take on how writers think, and exposed so much of the creator’s psyche that most of the horror comes from it. That, and from the eternal dread of motherhood.
“For me, there are three steps to completing each of my books. 1) Start the book and hate everything I write. 2) Keep writing the book despite hating everything I write. 3) Finish the book and pretend I’m happy with it.”
Some chapters are straight on f•ck•d up nightmares and dark thoughts only pregnant women and tired mothers could have–and for others who haven’t been in this situation, well, I say prepare to be shocked. CoHo forces readers to face the reality that only a thin line separates love and hate when it comes to being a mother. Verity is one of the very few books I’ve read that bravely explores the concept of maternal jealousy with this degree of candor and complexity without losing its entertainment value.
“Was this what it felt like to be a mother? To love something so much, the thought of it being ripped away from you causes physical pain?”
I felt so much respect for CoHo especially when I read from her acknowledgments that she went indie for this story. It makes so much more sense now how this body of work feels so raw and deeply connected to the author. The range of emotions it triggered within me is truly exceptional. It is clearly a work of passion and pure creativity.
“I can’t explain the mind of a writer […] We’re able to separate our reality from fiction in such a way that it feels as if we live in both worlds, but never both worlds at once.”
I won’t say anything further about the characters or the plot, since it’s best to enjoy this kind of book without any expectations. Most of what impressed me is the atmospheric narrative and the discomfort it made me feel. The surprises along the way are just bonuses. I love it so much and I hope CoHo will write more of this genre. I am now a fan! 💕
Overall Rating: 4/5
About the Author
International and #1 New York Times bestselling author of romance, YA, thriller and Women’s Fiction. And maybe a ghost story soon.
I don’t like to be confined to one genre. If you put me in a box, I’ll claw my way out.
My social media username is @colleenhoover pretty much everywhere except my email, which is firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder of www.thebookwormbox.com charity and Book Bonanza.