Sometimes the perfect pregnancy is less than skin deep…
A young man watches as a heavily pregnant doctor is stabbed in the street. He sees the knife, swinging down into that rounded belly, again and again, deep to the hilt.
A few minutes later, the doctor has gone. Nobody believes what the man has seen. For Ana, the doctor, the incident is problematic. Back home, she peels off the damaged pretence of her pregnancy, a beautifully crafted garment, padded and slung across her abdomen. And she begins to realise that a story she has crafted with even greater care, is about to unravel.
(Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book from Blackthorn Book Tours for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own and are honest and unbiased.)
Looking for a story that'll keep you on the edge of your seat? BirthRights by Carly Rheilan fits the bill. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Carly Rheilan kept me hovering between distress, sorrow, frustration, and anger throughout BirthRights. This book certainly didn't restore my faith in humanity (nor did I expect it to), but I respected its gritty realism and the bittersweet shreds of hope that were mixed in. Carly Rheilan's experience as a psychiatric nurse provided much authenticity. I especially appreciated how she explored trauma and problems in the treatment of mental illness.
BirthRights was a much darker read than even I expected. I was torn between sympathizing with certain characters and being horrified by them. All the characters fell within varying shades of gray, which I thought made for a more entertaining read, though it was difficult to find anyone to consistently root for. The prose, dialogue, and plot were excellent. Hard as I tried to guess what happened next in this story, I was usually proven wrong. I recommend BirthRights to fans of well-written adult psychological thrillers with compelling characters, spine-tingling scenes, and gut-wrenching twists.
Trigger Warning: Mental illness, suicide, homicide, profanity, some sexual scenes
Carly Rheilan was born in Malta and lives in the UK. She was educated at Oxford University (which she hated and left) and then at Brunel (a fine small-town university where she stayed for a PhD). She is a psychiatric nurse and has worked many years in the NHS. She has done research in criminal justice and taught in universities. She has grown-up children of her own and has also fostered children with mental health problems. Her novels address issues at the edges of psychiatry, crime and personal trauma. When not working or writing, she spends time with her family, rages against the politics of her unequal country, campaigns for criminal justice reform, boxes very badly, and battles against acres of nettles in a community garden.