People would kill to have Faye von Essen’s life. She lives in an ultra-swanky apartment in the most exclusive area of Stockholm, she has a gorgeous husband who gives her everything she’s ever wanted, and she has an adorable daughter who lights up her world. Faye’s life is perfect.

So how is it, then, that she now finds herself in a police station?

The truth is that Faye’s life is far from what it seems. The truth is that Faye isn’t even her real name. And now she’s been caught out. There’s no way she’s going to go down without a fight. The only question is – who will escape with their life?

Gilded Cage

For once in my life I don’t really know what to say. What a difficult book to read. On the one hand it is well written and tells us a lot about a Swedish life-style I didn’t know existed, though I expect it’s the same in any Western country. Faye is one of a gaggle of rich and spoilt housewives whose lives are fuelled by greed and drink (I would be under the table after a tenth of what these women pour down their skinny necks), except she isn’t skinny and believes that is why her husband no longer fancies her. But he is a ruthless pig and has also locked her in a ‘Gilded Cage’ where nothing matters apart from what others in his world can see. And she doesn’t fit in. Academically smart but inherently stupid, it takes a wake-up call to finally catapult her into her final revenge.

Now all this would be fine if it wasn’t for a couple of things. Faye commits one crime that can never be forgotten and in my mind really spoils the whole story. Why the author included it I can never understand. Any sympathy we may have for Faye is now gone for good. Secondly, her rise to success in her own business is a little too predictable and unlikely. But then this is fiction so a bit of artistic licence is allowed.

Finally there’s the ghastly sex scenes. Even Fifty Shades of Grey managed to be more erotic and exciting. These scenes are all vile and horrible but maybe for someone of my generation I am expecting the sex to be at least a little romantic, even when it’s frantic. Unintended rhyme. I know many of us felt the same. Or maybe the author’s intention is to shock and disgust in which case it certainly succeeded.

Anyway, it’s still a good story and I would have given it 4 stars if it wasn’t for Viktor. Many thanks to The Pigeonhole and my fellow Pigeons for making it an enjoyable read.

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