Book Review: Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce


From the back of the book: “Alison has it all. A loving family and a career on the rise – she’s just been given her first murder case to defend. But all is never as it seems…”

**TRIGGER WARNINGS: Expect Spoilers Ahead**

I think it’s important to place a few trigger warnings regarding some of the topics covered in this book, as some of you might choose not to carry on reading:

This book contains the following themes:

  • Infidelity
  • Substance Abuse (Alcoholism)
  • Domestic Violence
  • Graphic Scenes (involving Violence, Sexual Content, and other disturbing scenes that some readers may find distressing)
  • Mental Health issues.

My Thoughts on Blood Orange

Where to even begin with this book. The synopsis declares that “Alison has it all” and then does nothing to set this setting up for the character. Straight away, we can see that Alison is unhappy in her marriage, she is estranged from her husband and in an affair. Within the first 50 pages, it is already clear that this book is not going to be what is portrayed on its cover.

In a time when crime thrillers with strong powerful characters are big business, “Blood Orange” could have been so much. It had the promise of being a compelling narrative centred around a highly intelligent woman confronting the toxic behaviour of men in her life. However, this was overpowered by a boring plot that meandered through predictable events, with a main character whose decisions made absolutely no sense.

For example:

  1. Alison is a barrister and the breadwinner of her household; yet SHE is the one who moves out of the property she is clearly paying for?
  2.  Noting how much money she must be earning, she moves into a Travelodge of all places
  3. She agrees to cook a meal for the man she is having an affair with, at her home. Anyone could see that wasn’t going to end well.

One of the book’s glaring flaws is its failure to capitalise on the potential for a resonant portrayal of women standing up against mistreatment. Instead, readers are presented with a narrative that feels uninspired and devoid of depth. 

While a degree of moral ambiguity can add intrigue to a story, “Blood Orange” misses the mark by making every character detestable without offering redeeming qualities.

That being said, it was an easy read, and considering I am a slow reader, I did get through this book fairly quickly…however, I was definitely hate-reading towards the end.

Leanne's Thoughts on Blood Orange

I thought Blood Orange was quite a fast-paced story that was easy to read and follow. It would be a great book to take on holiday. The story itself was OK, and I thought that it was interesting to think about issues like coercive control and domestic abuse.


Have you read Blood Orange? Leave your thoughts about the book below in the comment section...

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