How to Play Dead by Jacqueline Ward @JacquiAnnC @CorvusBooks @AtlanticBooks #HowToPlayDead #domesticviolence #superwoman #NetGalley #BookReview

How to Play Dead: The new pulse-raising thriller for fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian McAllister by [Ward, Jacqueline]


He knows your every move…

She’s watching over them. And he’s watching her…

Ria Taylor is everything to everyone. Wife and mother, the centre of her family. And the manager of a refuge for women whose partners have driven them out of their own homes.

But one night, with her husband away, Ria receives a terrifyingly sinister message. Someone is watching her. Someone who seems to know everything about her. She knows what she should do – seek help, just like she tells her clients to. But Ria is the help. As events escalate, and terror takes hold, Ria must decide whether to run or hide…


How to Play Dead: The new pulse-raising thriller for fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian McAllister


This is a story of abusive relationships, the shelter they can seek safety in and the effect that it has on the whole family. It is graphic, hard-hitting bottom line reading with no holds barred so some readers may find it too upsetting. The story is told by two characters, Ria is the manager of ‘Be Safe’, a refuge for families that have escaped an abusive home and Tanya who is living in an extremely abusive relationship.

Ria’s husband is working away from home when she is sent a cheap mobile and the first of many disturbing messages and images. This sets her on the hunt for whoever is doing this. Is it the revenge of someone’s partner, a stalker or another reason? But the centre is always brimming with new women and families while their estranged partners sit intimidatingly across the road watching from the pub. There is a constant battle for funding and court hearings so Ria really has her work cut out, her days full and her mind in turmoil.

There are so many families and abused women here but it follows the life of Sheila who is quite a character and her abusive wealthy, money buys anything and anyone, husband.

When the story switches to Tanya I must admit that it was really hard-hitting reading and I thought how can this happen, but it does because it isn’t done overnight, it is done over time and that is how these women are conditioned by their partner.

I loved the story that the author wound around the main characters, which explained a lot of particular behaviours and choice of partners. A gripping, frightening and unfortunately, believable story. Compelling reading.

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Jacqueline Ward

Jacqueline Ward’s debut psychological thriller, Perfect Ten, was published by Corvus Atlantic Books in September 2018. Jacqueline writes stories about strong women and their lives and loves, exploring the real-life emotions of revenge, obsession, rage, trust, guilt and joy.

She is represented by Judith Murray at Greene & Heaton. For more information about Jacqueline and her work go to

Jacqueline is also the author of the DS Jan Pearce crime fiction series Random Acts of Unkindness, Playlist for a Paper Angel and What I Left Behind, and SmartYellowTM, in the pen name of J A Christy.


Twitter: @JacquiAnnC

How to Play Dead: The new pulse-raising thriller for fans of Ruth Ware and Gillian McAllister by [Ward, Jacqueline]



2 thoughts on “How to Play Dead by Jacqueline Ward @JacquiAnnC @CorvusBooks @AtlanticBooks #HowToPlayDead #domesticviolence #superwoman #NetGalley #BookReview

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