‘Break the rules and face the consequences‘
– The Forfeit
[ About The Forfeit ]
After enduring a turbulent childhood, Bree O Hagan has managed to build a good life for herself and her daughter, Amy. The arrival of a letter threatens to derail everything she has created. Suddenly her world is invaded by a malignant voice from the past, a past she had kept hidden.
Keeping secrets involves deception, and now the secrets threaten to destroy her. She is forced into continuing a game which started in her childhood in Sligo and is now about to destroy all she holds dear. Bree has no choice but to be a puppet on a string once again. Terrified of facing the consequences of refusing to play for herself, but especially for her daughter. Who will win the game this time?
[ My Review ]
The Forfeit by Florence Gillan published September 1st with Poolbeg Crimson and is described as ‘a must-read if you enjoy B.A. Paris and Tana French‘.
Bree lives alone in Dundalk but is quite content with the life that she now has. Her childhood years were spent in Sligo and growing up in a rural environment had suited Bree. As an only child she enjoyed the solitude. A big reader she loved to escape between the pages of a book and, when she wished for company, she had a friend nearby to call on. Her parents were both very upstanding members of their community and their lives were tranquil until the summer of 1960 when a visitor came to stay. Bree’s childhood was slowly ripped away from under her in the most insidious manner, damaging Bree in the most unimaginable way.
Now, over 30 years later, a letter has arrived in her post box and Bree immediately knows that things will never be the same again. This new life she has created is about to be shattered. Bree’s mother lives nearby, having moved from Sligo years back and Bree’s daughter Amy is in college in Dublin. When Amy left for college, Bree was initially devastated. It had always been the two of them together facing the world. They were mother and daughter, but also best friends. Amy’s move took time for Bree to adjust to. But with her solid job, her exercise and her mother’s occasional company, Bree had been managing ok. Until now…
Bree, like any mother, is very protective of her family and now she has genuine fear and concern for their safety. As events spiral out of her control and very real danger lands on her doorstep, Bree uses all her strength, both emotionally and physically, to safeguard her own life and that of her mother and Amy. Someone wants to be the puppet master. Someone wants to control and play games with Bree. But Bree is no longer a naïve child living an idyllic life. Bree is a mother and Bree is angry. How far though is she prepared to go?
The Forfeit is not a book to over-analyse. There are moments when you are frustrated by Bree’s actions and there are definitely a few implausible scenarios. Yet I was willing to accept and continue reading as Florence Gillan has created such a ruthless and sinister individual, I was compelled to see how things would play out.
With quite an intriguing premise, The Forfeit is an engaging read with a wonderfully dark controlling character who really adds a nasty edge to this novel. An enjoyable and twisty tale!
[ Bio ]
Florence Gillan is a retired teacher who lives outside Newry in the rolling hills of County Down with her husband Eugene, two dogs Honey and Rua and a cat with no name. She spends much of her time in her native Sligo in the foothills of Benbulben. She has had a lifelong passion for writing since penning her first novel, Trageties in France, at the age of nine. This is all the more impressive, given her lack of knowledge of France and her inability to spell the word tragedies. Let Them Lie was her debut novel, followed on by The Forfeit which was published September 1st 2023 with Poolbeg Crimson.
X – @Florence_Gillan