Claire has a problem. Well, several problems, actually. She's a Brit in America and she needs a green card. She's behind on her rent and she needs to get caught up. And she has to convince the police that she didn't kill a woman brutally in her hotel room.
To make enough money for her rent and acting classes, Claire sometimes works under the table for a former cop, testing married men on their faithfulness. As a beautiful young woman and a talented actress, she is very successful. But when she tries to get incriminating tape on Patrick, he smiles and walks away, leaving her with nothing more than a book of poetry by Baudelaire and a lingering memory of a genuine moment of connection.
It was Patrick's wife who was brutally murdered, and in order to prove her innocence, Claire goes to work with the police and a forensics psychologist to try to bring him down. But as a dedicated actress, as a former foster child, as an outsider in America, can Claire find the strength she needs to find the truth, or will the experience of trying to catch a killer finally break her fragile ego?
JP Delaney, author of last year's popular The Girl Before, is back with a new take on a twisty tale. Believe Me is a fast-moving story of trust and vulnerability, of strength and fragility. It goes deep into the dark side of humanity to find out what's true and what's real.
Believe Me is a quick read but not an easy one. It is a deep dive into some of the seedier edges of love and sexuality. Based on some of the more disturbing poems of Baudelaire, the crimes described in this novel are difficult to read about. There is some mild BDSM and talk of images on the darknet, a suicide attempt and some time in a psychiatric institution, and none of that is easy to take. But if you can make it to the end, the payoff is well worth it. This story twists and turns, back and forth, until you can no longer tell for sure what is real. It's a crazy ride, but one I thoroughly enjoyed!
Galleys for Believe Me were provided by Random House's Ballentine Books through NetGalley, with many thanks.