Normally I don´t rate or review a book that I did not finish, but this book totally deserves both of it. I absolutely hate this book. It´s just awful. The plot, the narration, the characters - I don´t like a single thing about it.
So what happens in the Prologue and the first four chapters which makes me dislike this book so much:
The main character, Yvonne, is on trial at the Old Bailey. She must have done something horrible and it doesn´t look good for her, but the reader doesn´t get to know what she has done. But she alone isn´t to blame for the thing that has happened. A mysterious man, who is called you by Yvonne throughout the chapters and has been her lover in the past, is a codefendant. What exactly has happened in the Apple Tree Yard?
I have to admit that I really liked the Prologue and I was intrigued by the mystery behind it.
4 years prior to the Prologue: Yvonne is a successful scientist, spezialised in the human genome, and while attending a hearing at the parliament, she meets a brooding, goodlooking stranger. After some smalltalk these two have a one-night-stand in a broom closet of the crypt chapel in the House of Parliament.
A 52-year old woman, who has a one-night-stand in a broom closet. That is classy and it´s even more classy since it happens in the House of Parliament. I´m already questioning the intelligence of the MC.
In this chapter I stumbled for the first time over the narration. The story is told through the first person perspective of Yvonne, but all of sudden she adresses her lover, referring to him as you. Something like this: "And suddenly I see a man standing beside the trashcan. And this man is you." This annoyed me like hell.
Yvonne doesn´t have qualms about her one-night-stand. We see her interacting with her husband in the morning and as soon as he is gone, she makes an appointment with a doctor, because she might have gotten a venereal disease (yeah, they didn´t use protection). At the same time she is a hundred percent sure that she isn´t going to this appointment anyway, because the odds are good that nothing has happened (1. This is so wrong and 2. why tell the reader about the doctors appointment, if it is dismissed in the next sentence). However, she is lusting for that brooding stranger. So she goes back to the House of Parliament and starts a weird stalking attack, which in the end is kind of successful. So as of now these two people are having an affair.
It´s official. Yvonne is an idiot. And the brooding stranger a.k.a. you is a creep (because secretly he is stalking her).
Yvonne is justifying her affair by telling the reader that she had the opportunity to have an affair with a 25-year-old student and she is a good person, because she has taken the high road by gracefully declining said offer. But now, now is her turn to be wild and adventurous.
I have already mentioned that I absolutely despise this book, right?
First sentence in chapter 4: "The next time you and I have sex, as you may or may not remember, is in a disabled toilet down a corrider at the back of House of Commons staff canteen."
... and I´m out. I´m so not going to read anymore of this crap.