editor's choice



There’s something extremely unsettling about Harriet Tyce’s Blood Orangeunsettling, unnerving, compelling. As I read it, I could feel myself getting more and more tense and then angry at the characters and the situations they put themselves in, yes, but then at myself. So many of the things that the protagonist experiences are familiar. A lot of people, at a guess many women, will have a similar response. Focusing on London lawyer Alison, her marriage, her affair and the high-profile murder trial she’s involved in, it’s a difficult novel – well-written, well-paced, of course, yet, without giving away further detail, as pretty much any discussion of the plot will spoil it, Blood Orange makes one question oneself and the society in which we live.

None of the main characters are particularly likeable; yet they and the landscape in which they exist are recognisable. And the blurring between the lines of the love–power–coercion–abuse dynamic will resonate with many. Certainly, one of the reasons I find this book so disturbing is that far too many of the things that the protagonist does or experiences at the hands of those who profess to love her resonate.

Tyce’s book is, without doubt, extremely readable, but it isn’t comfortable.

When a writer holds up a mirror to the world, there are consequences. This book leaves an imprint.

Be prepared.






Blood Orange | Harriet Tyce | Wildfire | 21 February 2019 | hardback | £12.99

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Music suggestions:One way or another’, Blondie; ‘The Passenger’, Iggy Pop; ‘Creep’, Radiohead recorded by Macy Gray







Acknowledgements:  This review is published as part of the virtual book tour organised by Anne Cater, of Random Things Tours, to whom we extend our thanks. Many thanks also to the publisher for kindly supplying a proof of the book and the jacket image. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.

Also of interest: Beton Rouge’;The Lost Man‘; ‘Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdad’s Sing’; ‘The Story Keeper, Anna Mazzola’s Gothic novel‘; ‘Midland‘; ‘A Greater God‘; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Dialogue’s brilliant debut; ‘We should all be feminists’; The not-so-invisible woman: 150 greats in their own words’;RW Kwon’s The Incendiaries’; ‘Beautiful words – The Language of Secrets’; ‘Beauty in translation – Roxanne Bouchard’s French Canadian noir‘; ‘How Penguin learned to fly – Allen Lane and the Original “Penguin Ten”’; Dorothy L. Sayer’s Busman’s Holiday – Romek Marber for Penguin Crime (book covers we love).

This review is © 2019 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. All opinions are our own. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do contact us to request permission. Thank you so much.