Disclaimer Review
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Books and movies often show how the past rarely stays in the past—and characters often find that old flames and old mistakes have a way of rearing their ugly heads decades down the road. But in author Renée Knight’s thriller debut, Disclaimer, it’s more the idea of a character’s troubled past that tears her comfortable life apart.

Disclaimer follows a successful wife and mother as secrets from her past come back to haunt her. Documentary filmmaker Catherine Ravenscroft is settling into a new home with her husband, Robert, when a novel somehow finds its way to her nightstand. She has no idea where the book came from, but when she begins reading it, she realizes that the story bears an all-too-obvious resemblance to events that took place two decades ago—events that she’s tried to forget.

  
 
As Catherine searches for the merciless author of this cutting work of fiction, her carefully controlled world begins to crumble around her.

Disclaimer is a slow but suspenseful thriller that shows how our perspective can drastically change our perception of reality. The novel that shows up in Catherine’s home was written by someone who didn’t actually witness the events that inspired it. But her perception of what transpired caused her to lash out at the woman whom she believes is to blame—and to write a book to expose Catherine’s guilt and make her suffer for her transgressions. The author’s perception of the truth is so convincing that her obsession with Catherine is passed on to her grieving husband years after her death—and it’s his obsession that sets the story into motion.

But Disclaimer isn’t just a revenge story. It’s also a story about relationships—about parents and children, of husbands and wives. It’s about who (and what) we choose to believe—and why. After all, as the story comes out, it isn’t just Catherine who suffers; it’s also her husband and her grown son—and the consequences affect their relationships forever.

Meanwhile, underneath it all, there’s also a bit of mystery. The novel that shows up in Catherine’s home is really just an assumption of the facts. As she struggles to protect herself, she keeps the truth hidden—reliving just a few small parts of the real story at a time. And when the truth finally comes out, it’s sure to leave readers shocked and even a little bit shaken.

With its secretive story and slowly-building suspense, Disclaimer is a dark and haunting novel—one that will make you stop and think about your own perspectives and perceptions.


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