“The act of keeping the secret a secret has almost become bigger than the secret itself.”
As soon as I saw the cover and blurb of this novel written by Renée Knight last year, I was sold. It’s easy to say I was really looking forward to this read, and that might be part of the reason I ended up feeling disappointed after finishing Disclaimer. I can’t deny it’s a fast read and I finished it in no time at all, but that doesn’t mean I actually enjoyed it. I had a hard time connecting to the main characters and I felt the whole mystery around Catherine’s ‘secret’ was dragged out way too much. No offense, but I really don’t see why she would keep what happened to her a secret for that long, especially after finding the book… I don’t say it isn’t horrible what happened to her, but I’m sure her husband would have understood in the end. I guess the whole plot in general just didn’t seem believable at all. I felt the story was all over the place without a proper guideline, and for me the unreliable narrator technique didn’t reach its full potential. I know a lot of people seem to have enjoyed this novel, but unfortunately I wasn’t one of them…
Catherine Ravenscroft seems to have the perfect life as a successful documentary filmmaker with a loving husband and their son. What nobody knows is that she has been hiding a terrible secret for the last twenty years… She never told anyone, especially not her husband, what happened during that 1993 vacation in Spain, but it looks like the truth might finally come out. Catherine finds a mysterious novel at her bedside, the story sounding way too similar to those memories of that terrible day at the Spanish coast. She thought the only other person who knew about her secret was dead, but it looks like the past is finally catching up with her anyway. Soon her world is starting to fall apart, and Catherine is forced to confront what really happened that day even if it destroys her.
Even as I’m writing my summary of Disclaimer, I can’t deny this story has a lot of potential. I was really looking forward to this novel, but unfortunately I wasn’t convinced by either the characters or the chaotic plot. I understand why Catherine would find it difficult to talk about what really happened that day, but still: keeping it a secret for that long? I’m not sure that’s exactly credible. In fact, I found most of the plot on the border of unbelievable… Such a shame, because I had high hopes for this story.