I’ve only read one book by Colleen Hoover – It Ends With Us – and I very much enjoyed it. Hoover has had a bit of a cult-following for years but seemingly found a new audience thanks to TikTok (BookTok) over the past year or so. Her 2018 novel Verity is a departure from her usual work but very much in my suspense and thriller-loving wheelhouse.
I’d heard good things about this book since its re-release earlier this year but hadn’t been able to find my copy until this past weekend when I finally removed an array of debris from the back seat of my car!
So I finally dove in. I would have easily read this in a sitting as it’s not long but I’d embarked on something new in the slow cooker, so put it aside at about 3/4 of the way through, though it had gotten very exciting….Verity
by Colleen Hoover
Published by Sphere
Source: Hachette Australia
Genres: Thriller / Suspense
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.
Verity’s husband has sought out Lowen through his wife’s publisher, telling Lowen that Verity herself thought Lowen’s writing to be similar to her own. My spidey senses tingled at several coincidences surrounding their meeting, but Jeremy certainly seems very likeable. As does Lowen. There’s early reference to some traumas in Lowen’s past and we learn she was / is a sleepwalker – something that caused problems in her childhood and continues to impact her even in her early 30s.
After discovering Verity’s autobiographical manuscript Lowen finds herself becoming enmeshed in the author’s life – her obsessive love for Jeremy and jealousy of his love for their children.
Hoover easily draws us in to this twisty thriller with likeable leads who we do not want to think ill of. They’re flawed certainly – at least Lowen is by her own admission – but engaging and earnest. And we find ourselves sympathising with Jeremy – both the one we meet in the present and the version in Verity’s manuscript. Hoover however, creates a simmering sense of suspicion and it’s as if we’re waiting for the other shoe to drop… (Or I am just naturally suspicious or distrustful!?)
Hoover builds the suspense to a well-timed crescendo and then offers several twists; wrapping things up, but also leaving it open to interpretation – if preferred.
This is another great book by Hoover who deserves her cult-like following and seems to keep mixing things up, writing across genres and delivering the goods. I’d certainly like to see more twisty novels of suspense from her.
Verity by Colleen Hoover was published in Australia by Hachette and is currently available.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.