A wickedly dark debut thriller about three women who've all been involved with the same man and realize the one thing they have in common is that they all want revenge against him...
Divorces are often messy, and Imogen's is no exception. Phillip Rochester is controlling, abusive, and determined to make things as difficult as possible. When he shows up without warning demanding that Imogen move out of their house by the end of the month or he'll sue for sole custody of their young son, Imogen is ready to snap.
In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkablesomething that puts her in control for the first time in years. She's desperate to protect her son and to claim authority over her own life.
But she wasn't expecting both Phillip's ex-wife and new girlfriend to get tangled up in her plans. These three very different womenand unlikely alliesreluctantly team up to take revenge against a man who has wronged them all.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Jo Jakeman was the winner of the Friday Night Live competition at the York Festival of Writing in 2016. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in London before moving to the countryside with her husband and twin boys. Sticks and Stones is her debut thriller.
Read an Excerpt
The day of Phillip's funeral
I expected to feel free, unburdened, but when the curtains close around Phillip Rochester's satin-lined coffin all I feel is indigestion.
Naomi perches in the front row, shifting uncomfortably as the congregation whispers at her back. There are creases under her eyes where cried-out mascara threads its way through the cracked veneer. I wonder what she's crying for because, after all he's done, I am certain that it is not for him.
The vicar talked of a man who bore so little resemblance to the Phillip that I knew that I almost shed a tear. It is a time for lies and cover-ups, not truthful observations.
I twist my wedding band with my left thumb. No engagement ring. Too flashy, Immie. You're not that kind of girl. Five hundred and forty-eight days have passed since Phillip left me. I know I should take the ring off, but no amount of soap can free me from the snare. Years of marital misuse have thickened my hands, my waist, and my heart.
I am sitting five rows back, in the seat closest to the wall, as befits the ex-wife. Though, in reality, am I his widow? We didn't finalize the divorce. The paperwork is still on the sideboard along with the unpaid bills and the condolence cards. Fancy that. Me. A widow.
Some might say I shouldn't be here at all. Friends from my old life try not to stare at me, but they can't help themselves. When our eyes bump into each other, there is a timid acknowledgment, an apology of sorts, before a gosh-look-at-the-time glance at wrists and a scurrying for the chapel door. Nobody called when Phillip traded me in. They went with him into his new life along with the Bruce Springsteen CDs and the coffee machine.
Mother sits by my side alternately tutting and sighing, unsure whether to be angry or sad. She promised not to speak during the service, and though the effort is nearly crippling her, she has kept her word. Her eyes burn holes into my temples. I know that her nostrils will be flaring like they always do when she is displeased. Mother tends to convey more through her eyes than her mouth, and I regret not telling her to keep those shut too.
We disagreed on whether Alistair should attend his father's funeral. She says that, at six years old, he is too young. I say that he should be here to say good-bye, to keep up the pretense that Phillip will be missed. Mother won. Some battles aren't worth fighting. We wrote notes attached to helium balloons instead. Up, up, and away. Bye-bye, Daddy. Rot in hell, Phillip.
There are simple flowers at the front of the crematorium and Pachelbel's Canon is piped in from an invisible source. Everything has been carefully orchestrated to whitewash the darkness of death and to disinfect the walls against the smell of decay. A palate cleanser, if you like, between death and the wake. Naomi has booked the function room at the Old Bell, but I won't go in case the sherry loosens my lips and I smile a smile that shouldn't be seen at a funeral.
As the mournful parade passes us by, we file out of our rows with the order of service in hand. Phillip's photograph on the front is a grotesque, grinning specter. It was taken before he was promoted to CID. A decade ago at least. I used to think he looked so handsome in that uniform.
Mother stands in line to pay her respects to Naomi. It will be a brief conversation as high opinion is in short supply. My best friend, Rachel, is talking to DC Chris Miller with a red shawl fastened about her shoulders. She refused to wear black. As she rightly pointed out, black is a sign of respect. Both she and Chris held Phillip in the same regard. I'd hoped it would be Chris leading the inquest into Phillip's death, but they've brought in someone from further afield. Neutral.
I'm aware of Ruby behind me, though I am careful not to make eye contact with her. She is wearing a diaphanous frock of fresh-bruise purple, the most somber outfit she owns. It's the first time I've seen her wearing shoes. Usually barefoot, sometimes in flimsy flip-flops. It's anyone's guess whether this is a nod to conformity or she has simply come equipped to dance on Phillip's grave. She sits at the back row, as far away from the coffin as she can get, and commensurate with her ex-ex-wife status. The first Mrs. Rochester, the woman that Naomi and I have been measured against, holds an icy-white tissue under her nose, a pomander against the contagion of grief.
I stand and edge my way past the eye-dabbers and the head-shakers until I feel the sun on my face and smell the freshly mown grass. I squint against the sudden glare and a treacherous tear escapes my eye.
A stranger touches his cold hand to my elbow in a shared moment of I-know-how-it-feels, but how could he? There are only three of us here-Naomi, Ruby, and I-who know how satisfying it feels to know that Phillip Rochester got the death he deserved.
22 days before the funeral
The Barn was one of those new-old houses. Only one story, but never to be referred to as a bungalow. Large sand-colored bricks and small dark windows with their frames painted National Trust green show history has been given the once-over with a bleach wipe. Everything is reclaimed, sourced with the utmost integrity from salvage yards and auction houses. Old made to look new and new made to look old.
I'd never set foot inside of The Barn. It was laughable that barns were desirable residences rather than shacks for animals. Farmers made a fortune selling dilapidated sheds with planning permission, and I could think of no better habitat for Phillip and his heifer.
I rang the doorbell and waited as the echo of the bell chime ran off down the hallway. I adjusted my armor: handbag across my chest, leather gloves pulled tightly over my wrists, scarf wound about my neck like ribbons on a maypole.
It wasn't easy for me to see Phillip in his new life, in his new house, with his new girlfriend, but this wasn't about me. This was about Alistair.
We had agreed to be grown-up about the whole situation. Civil. For the sake of our son. But there was still the small matter of finalizing the divorce, and it wasn't bringing out the best in either of us.
On paper, we would split everything amicably down the middle.
For better, for worse.
For richer, for poorer.
In sickness and in health.
If it were left up to Phillip, I would be awarded worse, poorer, and sickness while he got the rest. My solicitor said no one won by going through the courts. I told her, where Phillip was concerned, I couldn't win anyway.
Alistair hadn't suffered when his father left us. In fact, he might have felt life was considerably better. I know I did. Alternate weekends were conducted through clenched teeth and false smiles. Lately, however, Phillip wanted more than I was willing to give. More family time with Alistair and a woman who wasn't family, more sleepovers where sleep was never had. The more he wanted to take, the less I wanted to give.
With calls going unanswered and solicitor's letters ignored, I'd agreed to have "a word" with Phillip, but, standing in front of The Barn as day tipped into night, I still hadn't made up my mind which word it would be.
I'd stretched out a gloved finger to press the bell again when I heard a door open. Footsteps getting louder.
The girlfriend answered the door wearing next to nothing. She was attempting to pass off a sash of denim across her hips as a skirt, and I wondered how high their heating bills must be. She folded her thin arms under her chest and leaned against the doorframe with a faint smirk tickling the corners of her mouth.
Her long red hair was out of a bottle, but I suppose it suited her pale skin and brown eyes. I was transfixed by her eyelashes, so thick and long. Real? False? Questions that could as easily have been about the woman. And the breasts.
"Imogen. What a nice surprise," she said.
She should've given her face fair warning before she spoke, because it betrayed her in her lie.
"Hello, Naomi. Is he in?" I asked.
"Not back yet."
"Can I come in and wait?"
"Does he know you're comin'?"
We looked at each other expectantly, she expecting me to go away and I expecting her to find some manners, though my manners stopped me from saying so.
"Come on in, then, but you'll have to tek off yer shoes."
She spoke with an unfamiliar, difficult-to-place twang that suggested north of Derbyshire and sheep farming. Perhaps that's why she felt at home in The Barn.
Out of politeness, I told her she had a lovely home and I wasn't even lying. The house smelled white-of vanilla, and lilies, and bedsheets drying in the sun. Everything was cream or soft gray, giving the impression of moving through low-lying clouds. Beware of turbulence, I thought. Her head snapped to look at me and I wondered whether I'd spoken out loud and out of turn.
"It's beautiful," I said. "Just beautiful."
She waited while I unzipped my boots. I saw her take in my odd socks and she seemed to grow two inches taller at the sight. I bristled, feeling shabby and unkempt beside her painted nails and stenciled eyebrows.
"Renovations have been a chuffing nightmare. The beams"-she pointed above our heads to the exposed rafters-"are the original beams of the local abbey. They reckon they used them to build the farm after the abbey burned down. There's a conservation order on 'em. We had to get special permission to open all this up, and even then we had to be dead careful what we did."
She'd adopted an air of false irritation that belied her pride in her home.
"Really?" I said. "Fancy all that fuss for secondhand wood."
I took off my gloves and scarf, folding and pushing them into my Mary Poppins bag to get lost among the used tissues, old receipts, and Pokmon cards.
Even without her being a weekend stepmum to my son, and only half my age, and weight, I still wouldn't have liked Naomi. People who didn't know what Phillip was like assumed I was jealous. If I complained about him, they thought I was bitter at being thrown over for a younger woman, and if the tables were turned, I might have thought the same. I didn't know Naomi, nor did I care to spend the time getting to know her. She'd be gone before long. From where I stood, she was shallow and self-obsessed. She was far too pretty to be a nice person, because the universe just didn't work that way.
Naomi made Phillip look good. She was the lover, the coconspirator, the neon sign that proclaimed his dick still worked. To the outside world, Phillip had found love again after the breakdown of our marriage. Or slightly before, if you read his text messages when he left the room. I was a single mother gripping onto the final years of her thirties. Left behind. A solitary battered suitcase, doing another lap on the airport carousel.
"Coffee or tea?" she asked.
"Is it filter coffee?"
"I'll have tea, thanks."
She held my gaze and blinked rapidly, eyelids tapping out Morse code for cow, then disappeared into the kitchen. I simply couldn't help myself. I found it impossible to make life easy for her.
The only drink I wanted was clear and served over ice, but how else would we survive awkward situations if we didn't make tea to fill our time, hold tea to busy our hands, and drink tea to stop our mouths from running away?
I looked around the sparsely decorated room, my hands playing with the strap on my handbag. Phillip hated clutter. He was too embarrassed to bring people to our home, because I could never elevate it to his standards. I wondered whether he had made me fearful of mess or whether I'd always had the tendency. Of course, he was Phil nowadays. A reinvention. I wondered who he was trying to convince.
On the beech table beneath the window were thirteen mismatched photo frames. Thirteen. I tensed. Good God, why were there thirteen? I picked up the picture of Phillip wearing a snorkeling mask and slid it into my bag between the folds of my scarf. Twelve. Far better. A curved, round, gentle number. My shoulders loosened and the flow of anxiety in my chest reduced to a mere trickle.
I smiled to myself, pleased I had defused a potentially difficult situation. The therapist had taught me some breathing exercises, but sometimes it was easier to remove the problem entirely. The last thing I needed was to have a panic attack in front of The Girlfriend.
I looked at the remaining, even-numbered photos. Phillip and Naomi on a beach, at a wedding, kissing dolphins. Naomi as Catwoman and Phillip as a plump Batman. It had been his standard party outfit through the years. His crime-fighting persona had always been important to him. Phillip had what I liked to call a hero complex. He failed the tests to become a firefighter and his poor attendance at school, and even poorer grades, barred him from the RAF, and though the uniform wasn't as seductive, the police force was good enough.
His job had even brought the lovely Naomi to his door. He told me about the woman who laughed uncontrollably when he caught her speeding. He'd implied that she was a dotty old dear who shouldn't be driving rather than an attractive adolescent who shouldn't be making sheep's eyes at another woman's husband.
Traffic violations usually went one of two ways. Either the drivers came up with excuses: being late, not seeing the signs, wife in labor, dying parent. Or they accused him of being a jobsworth; of conning innocent people out of their hard-earned money, asking why he wasn't out arresting real criminals.
But the woman at the wheel simply threw her head back and laughed.
"Do you know why I stopped you?" Phillip had asked.
"Because I'm an idiot?"
"This is a thirty-mile-an-hour zone."
"I weren't doing thirty," she said.
"What's so funny?"
"There's no point denying it, is there? That's the end of me license too. I've been collecting points like there's no tomorrow. If I don't laugh I'd cry."
Excerpted from "The Exes' Revenge"
Copyright © 2018 Jo Jakeman.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Reading Group Guide
THE EXES’ REVENGE
Questions for Discussion
1. Although frustrated with the status of their divorce, Imogen is shown to be a nonviolent and nonimpulsive person. If Phillip hadn’t demanded that she and their son move out, do you think Imogen would have reacted the way she did?
2. Initially, Imogen, Ruby, and Naomi have different feelings about Phillip and somewhat negative feelings about one another. Despite these differences they ultimately decide to unite against him. Have you ever had to work with someone you disagreed with for the greater good? What were the challenges? Was the outcome worth it?
3. The story explores different kinds of relationships, including those between parents and children, friendships, and love between romantic partners. Do you think that each of the characters’ relationships with their parental figures influences the events of the story? How significant is it that the women had few people to turn to?
4. Although the story is mostly told through Imogen’s perspective, there are also glimpses into Ruby’s, Naomi’s, and even Phillip’s pasts. Why do you think the author chose to include these moments of alternate perspectives? Did it change the way you felt about any of the characters and their relationships?
5. Discuss Imogen’s relationship with her son. How do you think she reconciled Alistair’s desire for his father’s love with the knowledge of Phillip’s abusive behavior?
6. Do you understand why Naomi and Imogen were both reluctant to go to the police during their relationships with Phillip despite the abuse they endured?
7. Ruby doesn’t believe the truth about Phillip right away, despite what she is told by Imogen and Naomi. Why do you think she is so determined to see the best in him?
8. It’s clear from the beginning of the novel that Phillip dies during the events of the book. Are the circumstances of his death satisfying? Would you have preferred that he had lived to be prosecuted for his crimes?
9. Do you think it’s inevitable for friendships or bonds to form between people who experience a shared trauma, such as what Imogen, Naomi, and Ruby share? Why or why not?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This thriller is about three women who all have something in common: they have all been involved with the same man. The ex-wife, the soon to be ex-wife and the new girlfriend. The story is told from Imogen's view point, she is the soon to be ex-wife and the only one who has a child with Phillip. I don't know why so many women were in relationships with Phillip. He is a self-centered jerk and abusive. And he has multiple affairs. I liked Imogen, she just wants what's best for her child, she is not a bad person. The newest girlfriend just seems naive. And I wanted to like the original ex-wife, but she seems to still be in love with Phillip and waiting for him to come back to her. Eventually, the women come together for a common goal, which you would not expect them to end up teaming up and working together. It wasn't the best book I've read, but it was a decent story.
This was a dark, suspenseful thriller. The premise behind the story reminded me of the movie The Other Woman. In that movie, three women join together to get back at a man. The women are his wife, his mistress, and his new young girlfriend. In this story, Phillip’s ex-wife, current wife, and new girlfriend try to get revenge against him together. Most of the story was narrated by Phillip’s current wife, Imogen. The only parts that were not narrated by her were flashbacks into the other women’s lives. I found her frustrating most of the time. I kept wanting to yell at her to do something different. For example, she didn’t want to go to the police for help. Her husband is a police officer, so they were likely to side with him like they had done in the past. But I still think she should have reported what was happening. Even though I found Imogen frustrating at times, I still liked this fast paced thriller. I received a copy of this book from the publisher.
This is a book about one man and his relationship with three women. Phillip Rochester is truly one of the most despicable characters in modern fiction. This sadistic abusive man is a cop and his brothers in blue have turned the other way and ignored his behavior. I wanted to jump in the bok and kil him myself. The woman are Ruby, the ex-wife who still loves him, Imogen the current but soon to be ex-wife who bore his son, and Naomi, the hot young thing and current girlfriend who thinks she will be the next wife. These women who have nothing in common except Philip band together to seek revenge. The book starts with Philip's funeral but we are left to find out the who and how. We know the why. The chapters move among the characters and from present to past. In this way the characters are well developed. It should be noted that there is explicit dometic abuse in this book. This book kept me reading into the night and I wish to thank Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read and review it.
This is the debut novel for this author and, I think, a pretty accomplished one at that; a little unbelievable at times I admit but quite a satisfying read. Dealing with the difficult subject matter of domestic violence, this book is more about the subtleties of this abhorrent crime rather than the "in your face" violence although there is some violence. The books starts with the funeral of a decorated Police Officer but thoroughly unpleasant man - Phillip - and "mourning" his death are 3 women; Ruby, Imogen and Naomi. Ruby is the first wife who has never moved on and remains under Phillip's spell. Imogen is the current but estranged wife and mother of their son. Naomi is the girlfriend and soon to be third wife. Phillip is an absolute a**hole; a master at manipulation and control, a bully and downright despicable person however, the tables are turned when Imogen manages to lock him in the cellar and so begins the story of the developing relationship between the three women, their growing strength and confidence and their common goal of getting revenge on the man that has caused them so much pain and heartache ... but, how did he die? Well written with a good pace and well developed characters, this is a great debut psychological thriller and Jo Jakeman is certainly an author I will watch out for. My thanks go to the publisher, Random House UK Vintage, via NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest review.
Thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel by Jo Jakeman! The book opens at Phillip's funeral and throughout the book the reader is introduced to Phillip's three "Exes" and the type of life each of them lived with Phillip ... The book has mystery, intrigue, darkness, good versus evil, some humor and definitely checks the box on revenge by an ex! If this book is any indication of the type of author Jo Jakeman is, I can't wait to read her future books!
This was certainly different. Unless you have lived with domestic abuse, there is no way to judge how you'd react to it. This was my disconnect with this book because I have not experienced physical abuse. Therefore, I found myself frustrated with the exes because they didn't do this or didn't do that. The ex-wife, the wife, and the girlfriend are all from different worlds and different times of their husband/boyfriend's life. Each woman has such different personalities, yet they have so much in common now. The end comes first, and the book leads up to the end again. The real mystery and thrill is waiting to see how!!
I was into this book from the very beginning. I know this man that these three women had feelings for and had been wronged by. Or some version of him. What intrigued me about this book was that the man they had in common could be so charismatic and believable, while being such a liar. The three women have nearly nothing in common other than him when they first get together due to circumstance. I won't give away the circumstance, but let's say it does draw them together. But can they really trust each other? This theory will be tested during their time together. Is he really as bad as one of them thinks, or worse? These are all questions that come up. This book has some dark material. This man is not a nice guy. It is a good read. You are drawn in, you like the females. You feel for them. Unexpected things happen. Good reading. This book was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.
Thank you to the publishers for letting me read this ARC in exchange for an honest review. I was pleasantly surprised with where this story ended up. At first it seems like the typical novel of jealousy...or is it? Without giving too much away, I really enjoyed how the ladies come together and pieces of the past are put together to make sense of everything.
Wow, this book was a cliff hanger. From start to finish, I wasn’t sure where this story was heading. A thriller set in Britain with an abusive husband, his two ex wives and a current girl friend, his complicit coworkers and various other characters, that made this a genuine page turner. It contains the violence of domestic abuse, the sisterhood of battered woman and the innocent child that is caught in the middle. This is a debut novel by Jo Jakeman and she has a winner Thanks to Penguin Random House and Berkeley for my ARC. Don’t miss this one. A great read!
This book begins with the ex-wife, current wife he was divorcing, and the girlfriend he was with now attending the funeral of Phillip. Phillip, a CID with the local police department, is physically, verbally and emotionally abusive. Because of his occupation, it is next to impossible to get the justice they deserve. The women, although all different and actively disliking each other, band together to take that revenge into their own hands. I have mixed feelings about this book. I liked the premise, but the execution of the story was very unrealistic. The storyline was at times unsettling and other times amusing. Overall I enjoyed the book and think it is worth a read.
Excellent psychological thriller. Well developed characters, world building and situational descriptions. The lay out of the chapters and titles make you want to keep reading, with a what will happen next thrown in. Imogene and Phillip are divorcing, or are they? Only Phillip knows how that will go and from the moment he tells her to move out of the house or he'll take their son, Imogene gets desperate, she'll do anything for her son to keep him safe and happy. Being in the right place at the right time lends Imogene help, with a can you trust an exwife or girlfriend thrown in. It is violent, nonstop action at times, and pure psychological suspense in others. Who's really good or evil in this, can a person be both? If you have triggers from domestic violence, have a care with this. You'll be cheering Imogene to get a satisfying ending. I would like to thank the author/publisher/NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review
Fast paced domestic thriller with plenty of twists and turns. You know who to hate, but do you know who to trust?
My Review of "The Exes' Revenge" by Jo Jakeman, Berkley Books, Sept. 11, 2018 Jo Jakeman, Author of "The Exes' Revenge" has written a twisted, intense, riveting, captivating and predictable novel. Have you ever cheered when you feel the "villain" in the story got what is coming to him/her, and then some?? That is exactly how I felt reading this. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense. The timeline for this story is in the present and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in the story The author describes her characters as complicated , complex and dysfunctional. Be warned , this is a novel of domestic emotional and physical abuse. Phillip Rochester works in law enforcement and is less than an idea husband or boyfriend. He is domineering, threatening, and abusive. He is still married to Imogen, and has a new girlfriend, and an ex-wife he is too friendly with. Phillip threatens Imogen to leave their house by a certain time, or he will legally show she is an unfit mother and take his son. This time, Imogen is not going to take anymore from the bully of a husband. As things tend to escalate, somehow the three women become frenemies, and are eager to dish out some revenge of their own. Beware of betrayals, and misplaced loyalties. This in an entertaining read, and I recommend it for those readers who enjoy suspense and thrillers. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.
The Exes' Revenge is Jo Jakeman's debut novel. Imogen, Ruby and Naomi all have one thing in common - Phillip. Current wife Imogen desperately wants a divorce and full custody of their son. Ex wife Ruby still believes she has a connection with Pip. And girlfriend Naomi has discovered the kind of man Phillip really is....abusive, manipulating and sadistic. And he's a cop. I loved the timeline of Jakeman's storytelling. The book opens with Phillip's funeral. So we know the ending.... "There are only three of us here - Naomi, Ruby and I - who know how satisfying it feels to know that Phillip Rochester got the death he deserved." ....but it is the how that makes the book. That how unfolds in chapters starting twenty two days before Phillip's death and moves forward to the day of the funeral. We get to know the background of each woman with a few flashback chapters to set the tone for the present. The Exes' Revenge is not a character driven novel, but is instead driven by action. Jakeman keeps the reader on their toes with many shifts of power between the women and Phillip. And between themselves as well - can they really trust each other? For pragmatic readers, some of the plot devices will need to be taken with a grain of salt. But go with it as they absolutely work for the tale Jakeman has imagined. The Exes' Revenge was a good debut and an entertaining page turner. I can absolutely see this one as a movie.
The book begins with the funeral of Philip Rochester, decorated police officer. But that is only a façade. Philip is cruel, manipulative, cheater and all around jerk. Philips’s death is investigated and his police buddies treat this as a murder of a great guy. His wife Imogen who he was in the process of divorcing was facing the loss of custody of her only child. Also involved with Philip is his ex-wife Ruby, who can’t seem to accept that they are divorced. Waiting in the wings is Naomi, young and beautiful and ready to become wife #3. When the women get together and compare notes they become bonded over getting revenge on Philip. I enjoyed all the twists and turns in this book and delighted in their revenge of this man with no redeeming qualities as far as I can tell. Will also be reviewed on Kobo & B&N under the name IrishEyes430 as well as the links provided.
This is an emotional, psychological thriller. Three women, 2 wives, and a girlfriend, are forced to show an abuse husband/boyfriend exactly how fed up they are with him. The first wife has her blinders on, the second has a son with the abuser, and the third wants to marry him. From the very beginning, I wasn’t sure who I could trust. While there is never any excuse for abuse I felt like there should be more to the story. There had to be another side to Phillip and the three woman’s story. Boy, did I learn that story. The Exe’s Revenge is unique in that you know from the very beginning that Phillip dies, that is how the book starts. Now, you have to read the rest of the story to find out the why, when, and how of his death. It is not quite as you would expect. There were the hard parts, the physical abuse parts, but there was also a little bit of dark humor, friendships formed, trust gained or lost, and twists that I didn’t see coming. I have no doubt that this will not be a book that everyone will enjoy. I personally really liked it. I was pulled in, had to keep reading, and actually just recommending it to a book club group.
Phillip Rochester is dead. Attending his funeral are his first wife, Ruby, his current wife, Imogen, and his girlfriend, Naomi. His young son, Alistair, is at home. Phillip was a police officer and a hard, selfish, mean, domineering man. He had abused all of the three women in his life and now they are so happy he is dead. Philip was living with Naomi in a nice home but he had yet to finalize his divorce from Imogen because, of course, he wanted to cheat her out of everything he could before signing on the bottom line. Imogene had thought she truly loved him, but his abuse over the years has proven that divorcing him and getting him out of her life is her goal. Naomi is realizing that she has made a mistake hooking up with Phillip. He treats her the same as every other woman. Naomi had been brought up in foster homes after her mother dumped her on her grandparents and took off. Shortly after, her grandparents died and Naomi is lost in the foster care system. Ruby is a vet and loves her dogs. She always thought that with lots of love she could change Phillip. But, by now, we know Phillip. When Imogen refuses to roll over and cave into his demands for a divorce that leaves him with everything, things get really nasty. That’s when all three women decide to take matters into their own hands to show him who really has the upper hand…or do they? This is a really good story. There are some funny parts, some sad parts, and some violent parts that made me cringe. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but it’s one you don’t want to miss. Ah, but revenge is sweet. This is an all-around well-written book. I would even like to see it made into a movie. Enjoy! Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Phillip Rochester is a horrible man who loves to physically and mentally abuse the women in his life. The trouble is, he is a decorated policeman and whenever someone reports his abusive behavior, his friends at the police department will not do anything about it. The story opens at his funeral where his ex-wife Ruby, his estranged wife Imogen and his current girlfriend, Naomi are in attendance. The story is flashbacks of the women and the treatment they received from Phillip, their coming together and developing a friendship and then their revenge on him. This was a fantastic story and I really enjoyed it. I received an ARC of this fantastic book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Exes' Revenge is an excellent who-done-it, and an awesome debut novel. Jo Jakeman brings us solid, strong women, who share the acrimony of the same man, a controlling, angry policeman who knows just what buttons to push to keep his ladies in line. Or does he? This was an all-nighter. I served sandwiches for supper tonight so I wouldn't have to stop and cook. It's been years since I fed my family sandwiches for our evening meal. They are still in shock.... Jo Jakeman is an excellent author. She is one I will want to follow. I received a free electronic copy of this novel from Netgalley, Jo Jakeman, and Berkley Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.
Ominous, relentless, and intense! The Exes’ Revenge is a character-driven, domestic thriller that delves into how much relationships define us and reminds us that hell hath no fury as a woman scorned. The prose is gritty and taut. The characters, including the sinister, despicable villain are consumed, ruthless, complex, and vulnerable. And the plot, using a back-and-forth, past/present style does a nice job of building tension and unease as it subtly intertwines and unravels an intricate web of lies, secrets, abuse, control, desperation, vengeance, violence, and manipulation. Overall, The Exes’ Revenge is an unnerving, relentless, satisfying read and even though I felt the plot was slightly unrealistic at times it is still a compelling, entertaining debut for Jakeman, and I can’t wait to read what she comes up with next.
A bit of a mess but I still kinda liked it. This is one of those books where you find out the ending right at the beginning of the story and the rest of the book is the details of what happened, in this case how the ex wound up dead and if the ex -wife, soon-to-be ex-wife, and current girlfriend had something to do with Phillip's death. The book had a bit of a soap opera quality to it in which I was entertained but it will drive you nuts if you spend time questioning if it is believable or not. One of the reasons this held my interest was Philip very early on shows he's a horrible person so I actually enjoyed finding out what led to his death. The story line can be messy at times so I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend this particular book because there are much better ones of this genre out on the market. Thank you First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy! I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.