Title: Exhibit Alexandra
Author: Natasha Bell
Publisher: Michael Joseph UK
Alexandra Southwood: a devoted mother, a talented artist and now a missing wife.
Marc’s world is seemingly perfect, complete with two daughters and a loving wife. Until the day she vanishes.
Police, friends and family pull together to find Alex but their hopes quickly turn into a nightmare as the missing person case becomes a murder investigation.
But Marc refuses to accept his wife is dead and embarks on his own frantic search which leads him into the heart of the New York art world that so gripped his wife.
Meanwhile, in a locked room, news clips of the police investigation and the family’s grief are played out in front of a terrified woman. It is Alex. As the weeks pass all she can do is torment herself with images of her family’s life without her.
As Marc begins to piece together hidden parts of Alex’s life, he begins to question whether he really knew her at all…
But this is Alex’s story.
This wasn’t quite what I expected; I feel like the synopsis reads more as a thriller/ mystery (and did really make me excited to read this, to be fair) but in reality is more of a slow burning analysis of Alexandra and her family/ relationships from when she met her husband Marc in college to the present day. I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll keep this brief, but we find out a lot more about Alexandra and the book is sort of a psychological evaluation of her at times. We see how her family is coping and there is always that mystery of what has actually happened to her; this is what kept me reading on, as I found a lot of the chapters about their past a little long and uninteresting.
This is definitely not your average psychological thriller, and if you’re a little bored of the same kind of book in this genre over and over again then this will definitely provide a different kind of read. I unfortunately struggled to keep attention until the end part, which I really enjoyed! Once I’d got to the end, I flicked back and looked over the parts which I hadn’t picked up on at the time but which now made more sense, and I love it when a book makes me want to do that. It’s definitely clever and I liked some of the themes and theories it puts forward, particularly around how art and life mix – it made me really think.
Overall, this is something a little different which I appreciate, but the first 2/3 of the book just didn’t hold my attention properly. I would, however, recommend if you like your thrillers a little slower but still rather clever.
Many thanks to Michael Joseph for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
Pre-order/ buy Exhibit Alexandra on Amazon.co.uk here (out 8 March)