The Push - Claire McGowan

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

The party should have been perfect: six couples from the same baby group, six newborns, a luxurious house. But not everything has gone to plan, and while some are here to celebrate, others have sorrows to drown. When someone falls from the balcony of the house, the secrets and conflicts within the group begin to spill out …
DS Alison Hegarty, herself struggling with infertility, is called in to investigate. She’s convinced the fall was not an accident, and finds the new parents have a lot to hide. Wealthy Ed and Monica show off their newborn while their teenage daughter is kept under virtual house arrest. Hazel and Cathy conceived their longed-for baby via an anonymous sperm donor—or so Hazel thinks. Anita and Jeremy planned to adopt from America, but there’s no sign of the child. Kelly, whose violent boyfriend disrupted previous group sessions, came to the party even though she lost her baby. And then there’s Jax, who’s been experiencing strange incidents for months—almost like someone’s out to get her. Is it just a difficult pregnancy? Or could it be payback for something she did in the past?
It’s a nightmare of a case, and as events get even darker it begins to look impossible. Only one thing is clear: they all have something to hide. And for one of them, it’s murder.

My Thoughts:

This reminded me a lot of 'Big Little Lies' by Liane Moriarty. We start off with someone dead, but we don't know who and we don't know what happened.
There is a very complicated timeline to keep track of. We have Jax counting down the weeks until the incident. There is DS Alison Hegarty in the present-day investigating, and we have the day of the incident seen from multiple points of view. Interspersed with the Jax sections and the day of the incident sections, we have flashbacks to events that happened years ago. So, it is a complex storyline. The author, however, has done an excellent job of portraying everything so that it is quite easy to keep up. Just remember to check the chapter heading before you delve in.
The story itself was quite slow going. We don't find out much about the person murdered until about 50% of the way in. We don't even know the gender up until then. The different points of view are what give this book momentum and the relatively short chapters. Even though not a lot is being discovered, you can still get through it at a good pace. There are little hooks at the end of some chapters, but you don't return to that perspective for some time, another good way to keep the drive of the book going.
I did guess who had been murdered and the big twist. However, it was still enjoyable to see it all unfolding and to fill in the gaps that had been created throughout.
There are a lot of characters, so the tying up of everything at the end was quite longwinded as you needed to have everyone's story tied up in a bow and nothing left unfinished.
Overall, it was a good read, and I read it quite quickly too. I didn't think it was as impressive as the other books I have read by this author, but I'd still recommend it to friends and family!

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The Push
by Claire McGowan
Date Started
28th October 2020
Date Finished
29th October 2020
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