Latest Reads: Exhibit Alexandra Natasha Bell

Publication Date: 8th March 2018 from Penguin (Michael Joseph)

Source: Netgalley

Alexandra Southwood: a devoted mother, a talented artist and now a missing wife.

Marc’s world is seemingly perfect, complete with two daughters and a loving wife. Until the day she vanishes.

Police, friends and family pull together to find Alex but their hopes quickly turn into a nightmare as the missing person case becomes a murder investigation.

But Marc refuses to accept his wife is dead and embarks on his own frantic search which leads him into the heart of the New York art world that so gripped his wife.

Meanwhile, in a locked room, news clips of the police investigation and the family’s grief are played out in front of a terrified woman. It is Alex. As the weeks pass all she can do is torment herself with images of her family’s life without her.

As Marc begins to piece together hidden parts of Alex’s life, he begins to question whether he really knew her at all . . .

But this is Alex’s story.

“Exhibit Alexandra” is a different take on a psychological thriller – very clever and somewhat insightful and highly likely to divide opinion. The central theme, if you like, is a little niche and will appeal wildly to some readers and leave others scratching their heads. Life imitating art imitating life – although I saw very early on where the author was going with this, the journey was all the more fascinating for that.

I’m not an art critic and literally know nothing about it. I see paintings I like sometimes that appeal to me but it can just as easily be kid’s random splash of colour as it can be a Rembrandt or whatever, however in this novel I learned a good deal about art as an idea both in the concept and in the storytelling.

The main thing though is if you like a good character study with a twist, a mystery within a mystery you’ll probably love this novel, it has a strange way of drawing you in to the seemingly cliched tale of a wife gone missing and a husband’s search. That search though is only as imagined by the one who is lost. It is a multi-layered twisted tale which in it’s final resolution asks of the reader a question. One that I shall ponder my answer to.

Very difficult to review without spoilers so I’ll leave it there. I loved this for it’s differences, for the intuitive writing that takes you on a journey through the mind of one wife, mother, artist and explores the depths of the human condition.


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Happy Reading!

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