‘Rebecca‘ by Daphne du Maurier is my favourite book. One of the things that intrigues me about it is that I always find myself rooting for the bad guy. Maxim has committed a terrible crime, but I want him to get away with it. And so it was with Petra in Deborah Moggach’s latest offering, ‘Something to Hide‘.
Petra is having an affair with a married man; the man married to Bev, her best friend. Everyone thinks that Jeremy and Bev have the perfect marriage, despite not being blessed with children. But Petra knows differently, because Jeremy is going to leave his wife to move into Petra’s Pimlico pad. At least, that is the plan. Of course things don’t go to plan, this is a novel, for heaven’s sake! When Jeremy is taken ill, it is Petra whom Bev calls upon for support, flying her out to the African home she shared with her husband. Dramatic irony is used to great effect as Petra tries to hide Jeremy’s adulterous love affair from his wife.
Wang-Lei, a successful Chinese businessman, hires a surrogate mother when he and his wife are unable to have children. The surrogate, Lorrie, needs the money from the surrogacy to replace the life savings she lost in an internet scam. And what exactly is the nature of Wang-Lei and Jeremy’s business in Africa – there are rumours of poaching? So, everyone has something to hide.
Moggach creates charismatic people; such was my empathy for her characters that I was quietly willing them on to succeed in their respective deceptions. Set in England, Africa, China and the US, ‘Something to Hide‘ has a cleverly constructed plot, with several unforseen twists. Like a good jigsaw, this book will keep you quiet for a couple of hours and you won’t be happy until you have slotted together all the pieces. Definitely one for your holiday suitcase.
Thanks to NetGalley for the copy of this book.