Thursday, 15 August 2019

Book Review: THE DOUBLE by Helena Newbury

About the Book

He’s not a criminal, he’s the criminal. Ruthless and gorgeous, he rules half of New York. Everyone knows his name: Konstantin. I’m the exact opposite. As an FBI surveillance specialist, my job is to be invisible and that suits me just fine. I spend my life watching Konstantin, and he’s never once seen the shy girl taking photos from across the street.

But when Konstantin’s beautiful but evil “companion,” Christina, is injured in a car crash, we get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Plastic surgery can make me look just like her: I can take her place at Konstantin’s side and learn every secret he’s got. I must learn to mimic her exactly, from the way she walks to the sounds she makes in bed. Because if he suspects for one instant that I’m not her...he’ll kill me.

I soon discover that there’s more to Konstantin than anyone knows. That cold exterior hides a lifetime of pain and a deep, scorching need that takes my breath away. As our feelings spin out of control and my loyalties are tested, I need to know: is he falling for me...or the woman I’m impersonating? I was sent to destroy him but I might be the only one who can save him. And the love I was told to fake might just be real.

My Thoughts

Here’s the thing. THE DOUBLE by Helena Newbury has one of the most improbable plots I have read in a book ages. There are plenty of twists and turns, secrets and manipulations. It certainly is one rollicking adventure of a book and I could easily see this book play out in a big screen action film.  As long as you are happy to suspend belief, there is plenty of substance to this book that makes it worth reading.

The other caution I will add is that there is an element of BDSM to this book. I was not aware of this before I started reading as this is not a genre I gravitate towards. When I first came across it in the book I did consider stopping. I am glad I continued. The kinky sex is more alluded to than it is explicit and when we do get a full scene, I thought it was quite tame.

So what did I enjoy? Let’s start with Hailey. She’s an FBI surveillance specialist, a role that suits her solitary life. She and has spent the last 2 years closely observing Konstantin Gulyev, a top criminal who controls large swathes of New York City. The observation has come from a distance, yet Hailey has become obsessed with him.  I really enjoyed Newbury’s writing as she describes Hailey’s fascination. Nothing is off limits; his clothes, his body, his speech, his behaviour. I could feel what Hailey was feeling – the strong attraction warring with knowledge this man was dangerous.

The plan to infiltrate Konstantin’s inner circle by having Hailey play to role of his girlfriend Christina also made me curious. Getting the physical aspects correct would be relatively easy, but it’s the intimate moments, the conversations, the secrets (if any) they share that would be harder to emulate. I liked the moments between Hailey/Christina and Konstantin. The physical attraction between them was obvious but the attraction went beyond this, to a helplessness that neither could resist. It certainly kept me turning the pages.

And finally, I liked the turn-paging suspense of wondering what will happen next. It’s a romance, so the couple ends up together. But how? Hailey’s deception, the FBI, Konstantin’s competitors, both Hailey’s and Konstantin’s jobs, are all factors that work against them.

What can I say? The story has more holes than the proverbial Swiss cheese but I liked it. 

About the Author

I’m a romantic suspense author with a love of baking hot summer days, strawberry gelato, good coffee and interesting people. My first book was published in June 2013 and hit various bestseller charts across the US, UK and Canada. In September, just before the sequel came out, I became a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, at which point I fainted.

I sometimes write in a very noisy, very busy coffee shop which means I end up mainlining caffeine to keep my seat. You’ll know when this happens because I’ll still be on Twitter that night at 4am.

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