Published by Grand Central Publishing on October 5, 2021
Genres: Suspense, Thriller
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia
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Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity's notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn't expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity's recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen's feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife's words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
It’s been 24 hours since I finished this book and I’m still completely shaken up by it – Verity has certainly left a lasting impression! This is definitely not a book for the faint hearted, it’s twisted, featuring fucked up characters and situations that are just completely messed up.
Unlike Colleen Hoover’s other books, Verity is definitely not a romance. It’s a dark and disturbing, twisted book featuring graphic depictions of abuse, so definitely pay heed to the trigger warnings before picking it up.
Verity follows Lowen, a writer who has been hired to take over the series of a famous author of thrillers, Verity Crawford. As she’s moved into Verity’s home to conduct research for the bestselling series, she stumbles upon what appears to be Verity’s autobiography.
Not only is the autobiography completely captivating – as it features many sex scenes about Jeremy, Verity’s handsome and charming husband, but it also gets more and more twisted as it goes along. We are given chapter extracts of the autobiography ourselves – and we learn of a sickening, twisted mind of a psychopath – who despises some of her children and who is sex-crazed and obsessed with her husband.
Lowen is absolutely creeped out by Verity, who is currently in care of a nurse due to her comatose condition. Things start happening which doesn’t match up to what she’s told and believes, but is it just her anxious mind playing tricks on her?
Reading Verity was a rollercoaster ride, especially told from the perspective of Lowen. We don’t know whether what she’s experiencing is the truth, or whether things are just in her imagination. Lowen isn’t the smartest heroine, despite being a writer and successor of Verity’s series. She’s naive, instantly falls in love with Jeremy, and doesn’t question things as much as she does. Her character was believable though, as a young, struggling writer who is suddenly offered a great job and a place to stay from a handsome man.
Speaking of the handsome man, Jeremy is depicted as an attractive, kind and caring father and loving husband. Verity is absolutely obsessed with him, and soon Lowen starts falling for him as well. I’m not completely convinced of his perfection and there were a few hinky things that I was left wondering about at the end. But a lot of it is left open to interpretation.
Then there’s Verity, the compelling, sickening woman who has written a manuscript so shocking, that you can’t help but despise her. The Verity that we get to know in the manuscript is a horrifying psychopath. We don’t know whether this matches up with the Verity who is in a coma – she can’t move or talk.
However, that’s a big element of what makes Verity a captivating experience – as she reads from Verity’s autobiography, we don’t know what to believe.
As you can tell, I really enjoyed this dark and disturbing journey tale, despite every single character here being messed up.
Verity is a captivating psychological thriller that will have you questioning everything you’ve believed when you read the very last page. There’s just enough clues to leave reasonable doubt in our minds about what really happened in the book – whether Verity’s dark manuscript is fact or fiction. We’re left with an open ending that shakes everything up, leaving us thinking about these characters long after it ends.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Trigger warnings: child abuse, attempted murder/murder, self-harm, grief
Verity is available from Australian bookstores for RRP$22.99 or from The Book Depository.