Today it is my stop on the blog tour for Picture of Innocence by TJ Stimson and published by Avon Books. I do love a good twisty book that keeps you guessing!
I received a copy of Picture of Innocence by TJ Stimson from the publisher, I was under no obligation to review the book and all thoughts are my own.
I do love a good psychological thriller, especially when it involves families and children. Picture of Innocence by TJ Stimson isn’t always an easy read as the family the story focuses on suffer the loss of their little baby.
The question is, how did baby Noah die?
It really isn’t all that simple, Mother Maddie is distraught and sure she didn’t hurt her son, but is it possible that she did? The husband wasn’t home when it happened and it seems he is the only one in the family that escapes being questioned and blamed.
And then there is Lydia, a young girl who did something terrible, but how does she fit into the story? And who did Lydia grow up to be?
I didn’t really like Maddie as a character, although I felt sorry for her she just didn’t seem to be that nice. Although then sometimes she was. I don’t know, but perhaps that is the point, given that this book makes us questions everyone and everything as we try and work out what is really going on.
Lydia is an interesting character, the abuse she suffered is not easy to read, but was that why she did what she did? Is evil born or is it made?
Picture of Innocence was nearly a brilliant book, it just didn’t quite get there somehow, which is a real shame. But I enjoyed reading it and I wanted to know what happened and how things were going to work out. Did I guess the ending? Well, kinda. I got some of it right but not all, it was clever and gave me something to think about and I love a book that does that. What would I do in that situation?
This book is well written, has well formed characters who are surprising and unpredictable. And I love how it made me think, are we born evil or does something make us that way?
My name is Lydia. I’m 12 years old. I’m not an evil person, but I did something bad.
My name is Maddie. I’d never hurt my son. But can I be sure if I don’t remember?
With three children under ten, Maddie is struggling. On the outside, she’s a happy young mother, running a charity as well as a household. But inside, she’s exhausted. She knows she’s lucky to have to have a support network around her. Not just her loving husband, but her family and friends too.
But is Maddie putting her trust in the right people? Because when tragedy strikes, she is certain someone has hurt her child – and everyone is a suspect, including Maddie herself…
The women in this book are about to discover that looks can be deceiving… because anyone is capable of terrible things. Even the most innocent, even you.
This is the story of every mother’s worst fear. But it’s not a story you know… and nothing is what it seems.
About The Author:
T J Stimson is the pen-name of British author Tess Stimson, who has previously published ten novels, including top-ten bestseller The Adultery Club, and two non-fiction books, which between them have been translated into dozens of languages.
Her first “proper” job after graduating from St Hilda’s College, Oxford (where she read English) was as a news trainee with ITN (Independent Television News).
She reported and produced regional and world stories, travelling to hotspots and war-zones all over the globe.
In 2002, she was appointed Professor of Creative Writing at the University of South Florida and moved to the US. She now teaches Screenwriting and Journalism in Vermont, and lives with her husband, Erik, their three children, and (at the last count) two cats, three fish, one gerbil and a large number of bats in the attic.