"The Blow Up" By James Barry: Review/Giveaway

Review by Claire A. Murray

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Defense attorney Caron Mooney is prepping a definitely guilty client, Jefrey with one f, for trial when she learns her husband Jason has been killed. The story then unfolds like a jigsaw puzzle with 1,000 pieces that hide the one piece you need to complete a portion of the picture.

A gas explosion … Jason in someone else’s house … naked in front of the fireplace … with another woman … Emma Shipman … and the gas line was cut.

➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for more articles ⬅

Image Source Brash Books
We follow Caron’s steps of grieving, remembering, and continuing embezzler Jefrey‘s trial preparation. Unexpectedly, Emma Shipman’s husband Neil, the prime suspect who’s on video at the house minutes before the explosion, asks her to defend him. She agrees.

Stories within a story follow, small pictures that only together complete the puzzle. We’re in the Hamptons where wealth and privilege play with rules. We’re in Caron’s past and her attempts to quash the memories of her younger brother Daniel’s suicide at an early age. Caron’s Catholic upbringing haunts her throughout, as she sorts through the wreckage of a marriage where she missed the clues about her husband’s affair.

Caron might be able to convince a jury that the embezzler had planned to return the money he stole, but can she convince a different jury that Emma’s jealous, violent, ex-husband Neil did not cut that gas line? We hang on, wondering where the investigation and her defense will go next.

The Blow Up is like a carousel ride peppered with references and images that clash between the privilege of the Hamptons’ crowd against Caron’s guilt-ridden Catholic upbringing and memories. Barry deftly brings it to a conclusion, but only after the images blur our vision before slowing to an end.

Disclaimer: I received an advance reader copy (ARC) from the publisher to review the book. My review was not influenced by receiving the ARC.

To enter to win a copy of The Blow Up, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "blow up,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 28, 2023. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use this link to purchase the book or click here. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Claire A. Murray writes crime, mystery, fantasy, and sci-fi short stories and novels. She has more than a dozen published short stories, writes reviews, hosts Zoom write-ins for authors, and is completing a suspense fantasy novel so she can return to her trilogy and two other novels awaiting revision. Find her at cam-writes.com.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


Post a Comment