Review of Disclaimer by Renee Knight

Published: 31st December 2015


When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up and begins to read. But as she turns the pages she is horrified to realize she is a key character, a main player. This story will reveal her darkest secret. A secret she thought no one else knew…


The thriller begins with Catherine in a bathroom, in complete shock about a novel she is reading. It’s about her. Nobody know any of the details, not her husband or her son. As the plot (the one we’re reading) crosses over into the past, we met a teacher who was removed from the school, but why? I was instantly intrigued and as any reader would do, I slotted Catherine and this former teacher into a jigsaw together.

“I suppose the book was like a terrier, my Jack Russell of a novel which would sniff her from her hiding place and chase her out into the open.”

I found it quite interesting that the author of the book (the one about Catherine) is a mystery until around the 90th set of pages. It allowed me to fear him more, not knowing his name or how he knew Catherine. He was particularly creepy… When Catherine’s husband is brought into the plot more, it is kicked up a notch as you can feel his heart breaking because of what she did in the past. It is with Robert that we hear parts of the book as he reads it, hidden away in a London cafe at six thirty in the morning. The truth about what happened to Catherine slowly comes out as we, the reader, are shown Robert reading the events which his wife failed to confide in him about. I hoped that this wasn’t it, that there was most to come..

“And then Robert begins to cry and it breaks her heart.”

When social media comes into play late on, that is when the narrative turned dark for me. The author of the book had turned the creepiness up a notch and that is what I had been wanting from the book from the first page but bearing with it was definitely worth it. Towards the end, Catherine’s son becomes quite a big part in the plot – after her meltdown, her son is the only person who can keep her sane until he discovers the truth. Well, that reaction didn’t go very well..

“I would have flicked a switch, pulled out a tube, and left. All over. Finished.”

Right towards the end of the book, the twist hits you from out of nowhere. It’s disgusting, realistic and very shocking. Everything you have thought about Catherine is now different and I felt sick to my stomach because I judged her. It is quite a unsettling reveal, one which completely changed the narrative. I’m not sure how I feel about the ending: the events which happened in the final chapter made me question the author (not Renee, the one who wrote Catherine’s book).

Nevertheless, it was a really good thriller which I enjoyed beginning the year with.

Amazon UK Link



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