Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of what really happened the day her daughter died.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents would devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue to love her.
Prior to reading “Verity”, a romantic thriller by the bestselling author Colleen Hoover, I devoured her most recent book, “Regretting You”: a domestic and romance fiction narrative that I ultimately rated five stars. Transitioning from a heart-wrenching romance story to a thriller, both from the same author, catapulted me into a series of emotions that transfixed my heart into danger mode.
“Verity” is hands down unputdownable. Colleen Hoover is known for her romance novels and for her to shift into different genres was a breath of fresh air and a sea change well worth the wait. It is one of those few mystery novels that will keep you on your toes and will leave you up all night. The Gothic elements infused within her novel is enough to haunt its readers. But “Verity” is all these things and more. It is first and foremost a romance thriller although some would argue that the romantic element falls underneath the mystery and suspense Hoover’s narrative explores. The disturbing imagery, gory details, and a somewhat allusion to E.L James’: “Fifty Shades of Grey” were all suspensefully built around Hoover’s compelling narrative.
A word of caution though: thread this novel lightly as trigger warnings abound. Unwanted pregnancy (abortion), child abuse, and murder are all vividly detailed and many times throughout the novel I wished I never had read parts of it. It was that disturbing.
The book held me spellbound on how the truth will unravel. I swore this narrative kept me guessing right till its finale. Though a riveting plot twist is highly expected of a suspense thriller, any prediction could go several ways. The open-ended ending may baffle and unnerve most readers but I’d wager it’s what made the novel utterly controversial and haunting.
Overall, Colleen Hoover’s “Verity” did not just appease my love for thrillers but it enkindled an insight into the enigma of womanhood and how desire and greed work concurrently leading to bad choices. A gripping tale of one strong female protagonist against another, “Verity” made me question if reality is indeed stranger than fiction.