REVIEW: A Fool’s Circle by Suzanne Seddon

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Read this book for: domestic thriller, psychological thriller, twists and turns, abuse warning, shifting loyalties, satisfying premise

Quick Review: Decent premise, unpolished execution — worth a read if you love the genre.


Kate Sanders has suffered many years of physical and mental abuse at the hands of her abusive husband Alan, and convinces herself that she is only holding the family together for the sake of her eight-year-old daughter. If it wasn’t for her best friend Jill Reynolds, she would have taken the suicide option a long time ago.

As she desperately seeks a way to escape, she is contacted by a solicitor. Kate’s old aunt has died and she has been left a small fortune.

For the first time, she sees the light at the end of the tunnel. She dreams of a fresh start, a new home, a new life. What Kate doesn’t know is that Jill and Alan have their own secrets, and are both desperate to get their hands on her money.

Kate soon finds herself falling for the charms of Jonathon Jacobs in what she believes to be fate finally intervening and offering her a second chance, unaware that each move he makes has been directed, orchestrated and well-rehearsed as he begs her to leave her husband Alan.

But is it all too late, as she finds herself in the frame for murder…

A FOOL’S CIRCLE is a debut novel by Suzanne Seddon, a domestic psychological thriller that follows a woman as she attempts to leave her abusive husband. Trouble follows in the form of a new, attractive man, an unexpected inheritance from an aunt, and a twisting set of circumstances that put her in danger.

The premise — which is hard to describe in much detail without spoiling the plot — is by far the strongest part of this novel. It is immensely satisfying to watch a character that has endured so much mistreatment turn around and fight back in her own way, on her own terms. You do genuinely end up rooting for the main character, given that she is in such a terrible situation.

And Kate’s situation with her abusive husband is pretty dire; this novel contains some fairly graphic depictions of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Even the writing style is raw and unpolished, which does add to the authenticity of the novel and Kate’s emotional state. It also makes the novel quite a quick read; despite the several twists in the plot, the actual layout of the narrative is simple and straightforward.

Even the characterizations are simplistic. The novel is not without its problematic stereotypes when it comes to its characters, particularly when it comes to some of the characters of particular ethnic backgrounds. The fact that all of the characters ascribe to a stereotype, however, means that — in the cases of the non-problematic renderings — it is easy to imagine these situations in your own life.

This novel is not without its problems, but the premise and ending are quite satisfying. If you are interested in dark domestic psychological thrillers, A FOOL’S CIRCLE could be worth picking up for a quick read!

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