Wednesday, November 09, 2022


Title: The Boyfriend

Author: Daniel Hurst

Publisher: Inkubator Books
Pages: 207
My GoodReads Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


The pace picks up from the Prologue when the authorial voice stokes up our interest. The Prologue interested me. I wanted to see which way this would go.


Adele Davies is engaged to be married to Tom Barton, her sixth and final boyfriend. Busy with her wedding planning, she learns that her first boyfriend, Shaun Gibson, has hanged himself.

Two days later, she learns that her second boyfriend, Calum Jenkins, has died in a car crash. And then it is the turn of Ryan Harris, her third boyfriend, who also dies suddenly.

Any suspicion that her past boyfriends are being targeted and eliminated is confirmed when she gets a text message saying, Three down, three to go.

But the police dismiss her allegations. And her best friend and her fiancé don’t believe her either. And when she tries to warn potential victims off, it doesn’t work either. Will she be able to keep Tom safe? And who is responsible for all these deaths?


The book is written in the first person present tense PoV of Adele. It’s only in Chapter 10 that we become aware of another PoV character, an unknown person known simply as The Boyfriend.


I struggled to like Adele. I’m always impatient with characters whose fondness for liquor impairs their judgement. Here, Adele’s crazy social drinking is clearly setting her up for trouble. She keeps downing booze, despite repeated hangovers. She doesn’t seem to understand that she couldn’t live a functional life if she kept drinking that way. Plus, she’s had a mysterious head injury at the age of 16, the details of which she has never been able to remember. All these factors make her an unreliable narrator.


Adele is not one of those characters, whose problems keep adding up. Things get worse, but not for her. Here she has one problem. She’s the character who nobody believes.


I found Tom too controlling and jealous, not at all the epitome of perfection that Adele believed he was. It was also odd that Adele’s family shows up at the very last minute. She doesn’t have any relationship with them for most of the book.


Some of the stuff that Adele tells us is strange. For instance, she says that Shaun’s parents welcomed her into their family, even though they must have known that at our age, there was a good chance the romance wasn’t going to last forever. Why would Shaun’s parents think that way? Shaun is 36, and his parents are in their mid-50s, we are told, so of course theirs was a teenage romance too, and they’re still going strong 36 years later.


The tone of the narrative was a mix between thinking aloud and sharing confidences with us readers, and I liked that. The chapters ended on a thought-provoking note.

The manner in which each boyfriend was introduced was interesting. The back stories were sufficiently diverse and well written.

I’ve read two other books by this author, and I can say that he has improved greatly. This book didn’t have any of the issues that I had with his previous books.

(I read this book on NetGalley. Thank you to the author, the publisher and NetGalley.) 

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