Lioness, by Emily Perkins Bloomsbury July 2023)

Neil's picture

I was surprised to find that it's been over 10 years since Emily Perkins' last novel The Forrests, which I loved. Lioness is set amongst the comfortable upper middle classes of Wellington, and their self-satisfaction is brilliantly portrayed. The narrator, Therese, has married into an established wealthy family, and is much younger than her husband, and not fully accepted by his four adult children. Therese learns that her husband Trevor, a property developer, is under investigation for possible fraud, and that all of his children and his ex-wife seem to know more about it than she does. This triggers some unravelling of their superficially perfect life, which is convincingly described, although some of the behaviours I wasn't entirely convinced by. It's a very good read, a psychological thriller set amongst not massively likeable characters. Wellington is beautifully portrayed in this perhaps not quite as good a book as its predecessor.