**** - Counterfeit
Meet Ava: rule-abiding lawyer who has ticked all of life’s boxes. She’s married to a successful surgeon and has just taken an indefinite career break to raise her adorable toddler. A picture-perfect life.
Meet Winnie: Ava’s old college roommate. Once awkward, quiet and apparently academically challenged, she left Stanford in a shroud of scandal. But now, she is charismatic, wealthy and has returned to town dripping in designer accessories. An actual perfect life.
When the two women bump into one another at a local coffee shop, it seems like fate has intervened: Winnie’s new-found success is courtesy of a shady business and she needs a favour; Ava is realising she is not built for the stay-at-home life. But what starts as one favour turns into two, then three, and soon Ava is in far deeper than she ever imagined.
Now Ava has to make the ultimate decision: cut and run, or risk it all?
I wasn’t too sure about Counterfeit at first, thinking that the story might not be very relatable to someone who doesn’t care much about fashion. However, at under 300 pages it’s a fast paced read and most of it is a monologue of main character Ava describing her involvement in a handbag counterfeit ring to a nameless Detective which makes it light and engaging to dive into. There is quite a lot of detail that’s a bit unnecessary – lots of relationship issues with Ava’s husband and stories about her child with behavioural issues which could have been edited down in places. This does help you empathise with Ava though, and you certainly do find yourself rooting for her even though you can see she’s talking to a Detective so it can’t have gone too well!
At around 70% there’s a great twist that I honestly did not see coming and really turned the narrative on its head. Another point of view is introduced here but the characters are written very similarly which was a shame. None of the characters in the book are particularly likeable either, you only feel a connection to Ava because you spend so long in her head. Some of the decisions that she makes also seem unrealistic and a little silly but these do help to solidify the story and build to the ending.
Overall Counterfeit is a quick and engaging read with a nice twist ending. Thank you to NetGalley & Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction & The Borough Press for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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