The Sham by Nicole Barrell
Published September 2023 by Woodhall Press
The Plot (Goodreads):
After the harrowing deaths of her parents on Cape Cod, reclusive 20-something Margo Sharpe lives alone in a crap apartment in South Boston. One problem: she can’t afford it. So she rents her spare bedroom to Lucy Somers, a shy, allergic-to-everything schoolteacher. At first, they peacefully coexist; Margo keeps Lucy at arm’s length. But Lucy starts to ask questions about Margo’s past. Too many questions.
Then, money goes missing. Relationships are hijacked. Dead rats appear all over the house. And it becomes clear, far too late, that Margo chose…poorly.
The Sham is a darkly funny, head-spinning game of cat and mouse, a nightmare union based on obsession and revenge–a sham. Because neither woman is who she seems. Who is Lucy Somers, and what exactly does she want?
And who, for that matter, is Margo Sharpe?
How Did The Sham End?
Thanks to Nicole Barrell for the free, advanced copy of The Sham – and the book is signed and came with a personal note! This hasn’t affected my review at all.
This book has likely secured a place among my top 10 reads of the year! It was an engaging read and one of the fastest I’ve devoured in recent months. Initially the first few chapters appeared somewhat predictable: the main character carried a mysterious secret, and the supporting characters seemed to be harboring their own hidden truths. However, it was the unexpected explanations and the intriguing journey to those resolutions that hooked me.
As the story unfolded, it took me on a twisty path, shattering my early assumptions. The narrative was filled with surprising revelations, and interesting characters who were well established. While there were moments that ventured too far from believability, they didn’t overshadow the overall narrative.
In conclusion, “The Sham” by Nicole Barrell is a fascinating read that made it hard to put this book down. My only hesitation was the depiction and use of mental health – the ending made the approach acceptable, but I think it could have been addressed a bit better. If you’re seeking a fast-paced, riveting narrative with complex characters, “The Sham” is a must-read.
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