Sticks And Stones By Jo Jakeman
‘Sticks And Stones’ is Jo Jakeman’s debut novel.
Imogen’s husband is a bad man. His ex-wife and his new mistress might have different perspectives but Imogen thinks she knows the truth. And now he’s given her an ultimatum: get out of the family home in the next fortnight or I’ll fight you for custody of our son. In a moment of madness, Imogen does something unthinkable: she locks her husband in the cellar. Now she’s in control. But how far will she go to protect her son and punish her husband? And what will happen when his ex and his girlfriend get tangled up in her plans?
I started reading this book late one evening and from page one, I was completely absorbed in this tense thriller about revenge.
The story is seen solely through the narrative of Imogen, the second wife of Phillip Rochester, to the outside world, he’s a highly regard policeman but behind closed doors, he’s a cruel and callous man who treats all the women for fall for his charms like crap. The story starts at the Phillip’s funeral and then flashes back to past leading up his death.
Phillip has left Imogen for a younger model called Naomi, although she’s upset that her little boy will grow up in a broken home, Imogen is glad to be away from Phillip’s wicked ways and is almost sympathetic Naomi, who will take her place. But as both Imogen and Phillip come to loggerheads over the terms and conditions of the divorce, Imogen sees red when Philip threatens to take their son Alistair away from Imogen and claim that she is an unfit mother. Enraged at this accusation, Imogen’s maternal instinct kicks in and she manages to imprison Phillip in the cellar when he fell down the stairs. But, when things can’t get any worse Naomi and Phillip’s first wife called Ruby turn up and end up being involved in Imogen’s crazy plans.
This has got to be one of my favourite debuts of 2018, it’s edgy, fast paced with a great narrative. The chapters are quite short in parts, so it was easy to get consumed and most ended on a twist that left me bursting for more. Imogen is a great character. At the start of the story, she’s quite a timid and meek character, who never quite got over the death of her father. She’s the subject of abuse from not only Phillip but also her mother, who’s quite a harsh woman who regularly likes to remind Imogen of her failures in life. But as the story progresses, we see her develop in a strong and determined woman who will stop at nothing to keep her little boy safe, even if that involves the unlikely help of her ex-husbands ex lovers. Phillip is absolutely horrendous, vile and callous, I hated him and was gleeful when the women got their revenge on him, for all the abuse he had caused them through the years.
Cleverly written with amazing characters, ‘Sticks And Stones’ is a compelling story, riddled with tension throughout and fascinating characters, this simple story of revenge was impossible to put down.
You can pre-orderSticks and Stones from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 12th July 2018.