When I picked up Fatal Inheritance by Rachel Rhys (pen name for Tammy Cohen, master of psychological thrillers), I was expecting nothing much beyond a short chick-lit style novel with perhaps a mysterious love story and a glamourized view of life post-war in the French Riviera… I was so wrong.
We are taken on a complex journey, both physically and mentally, with Eve Forrester as she exits the mundane life as the wife of Sutton, journeying to the French Riviera after a mysterious bequest is left in her name. As the tale unfolds and life becomes so much more alive for Mrs Forrester, we are given a taste of the complexity of being a small-town girl in a big, rich playground.
Rhys’ writing style is tasteful and enjoyably descriptive, writing as though she is baking a multi-layered cake with her words. Whilst the book would be considered ‘light’ by many, Rhys draws the reader in deep with characterisations so rich and complex, you applaud their successes and curse their losses. It can be lacking in action at times, but that is lost to the detailed scenes she lays before you as the story progresses. Perhaps my biggest problem with the book, is that the big events seem a tad too big for the story. They are conceivable, but the shock factor comes from there being no indication that such an occurrence could be going on as the story progresses.
If you are looking for a once-off, light story that ends satisfactorily, then this book is for you. It’s ideal for holiday reading, especially if said holiday involves sunshine and leisure time. However, if you can’t abide stories that end unexpectedly, this one should be given a miss.
Rhys is a pleasure and a delight to read.
Reviewed by Zoe Butler
Rating out of 10: 7
Distributed by: Penguin Random House Australia
Released: July 2018
RRP: $32.99 trade paperback, $12.99 eBook