THE SURROGATE: BY LOUISE JENSEN. (2017)
BOOK REVIEW BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
This lady has a few domestic thrillers to her name by now (THE GIFT, THE SISTER, THE DATE, THE SURROGATE), and all with the most gorgeous, eye-catching covers you’ve ever seen.
THE SURROGATE, as you can probably guess, involves a woman having a baby for another woman, one who can’t have her own for whatever reason. Katherine White, known as Kat, seems to have it all, but only on the surface.
Sure, she’s got her handsome hubby Nick, her lovely house and her fulfilling job at her husband’s best friend’s charity, but her hubby is being distant towards her and Kat suspects he may be having an affair, may even have fathered another woman’s child, and she’s convinced that someone is watching her lovely house, might even have broken into it at one point, but for what reason?
Kat is a woman with a lot of secrets from her past life. Tied up inextricably with this past life is her best friend from her childhood and teenage years, Lisa. Lisa has turned up again in Kat’s life, just when Kat is trying to cope with the crushing disappointment of her and Nick’s second attempted foreign adoption having fallen through.
‘Why don’t I have a baby for you and Nick?’ Lisa eagerly offers. Kat is shocked. After everything she and Lisa have been through together in their past, stuff which we as readers are not yet privy to, why would Lisa offer to do such a monumental, selfless thing for her? But Kat’s longing to one day hold her own baby in her arms over-rides her doubts and she finds herself agreeing to Lisa’s bizarre proposal.
Lisa gets pregnant with Nick’s sperm (enter Mr. Turkey Baster!) almost immediately. Kat is in the seventh heaven of delight. But little things keep niggling at her. For example, who is the man with the salt-and-pepper beard who is watching their house from the road and, sometimes, from even closer than that?
Why has Nick left his blue scarf in Clare’s house, and why does Clare’s daughter Ada look so much like Nick? Who is the man from Kat’s past whom she loved, and maybe still loves, even more than she loves Nick, and what does he have to do with Lisa?
And, speaking of Lisa, why does she seem reluctant to let Kat accompany her to her baby scan? After all, Kat and Nick have shelled out thousands of pounds to Lisa so far, for agreeing to have their child for them. They’re out of pocket because of it at this stage. Is there a chance that Lisa could be scamming them, perhaps with the help of another man from Lisa and Kat’s joint past…?
The twists come thick and fast in this one. In fact, it’s so twisty-turny that I had trouble keeping up with it, and I found one or two of the twists a trifle hard to believe as well.
Still, fair play to Louise Jensen; she’s worked out a good, complicated little plot that gradually (or for the most part, anyway) knits together and presents the reader with a neat little parcel tied up in a bow.
There was one red herring, as it turns out to be, that I thought could have been gifted to the reader as yet another startling plot twist but, alas, it wasn’t to be. The writer also has an obsession with her characters’ physical skin, I mean their actual epidermis, that I found made me feel a bit squeamish, especially when she was putting it on nearly every page: ‘My skin prickles; my skin is tingling; my skin is slick with sweat.’ Hmmm. Methinks someone has an itty-bitty little fetish…!
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline.You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
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