Saturday, 9 February 2019

Book Review: Four by Andy Jones

The Blurb
Two couples. One reckless night.
In the time they've known each other, Sally, Al and Mike have shared - well, almost everything.
Sally and Al have been married for seven years, though now their relationship is hanging by a thread.
Sally and Mike have been best friends since university. And on many occasions something more.
Mike and Al have been friends and colleagues for many years. Yet with Al poised to become Mike's boss, their friendship comes under threat.
And now there's Mike and Faye. They haven't been together long, but Mike's pretty sure that, this time, it's the real deal.
As the three old friends sit on a train heading towards Brighton to meet Faye, little do they know that after this weekend, the four of them will have shared . . . everything. 
They all know they have made a mistake.
But they could never have imagined the consequences.
My Review

I was drawn to this book because a) it's by Andy Jones. I love his books (even though The Two of Us rendered me a snotty, snivelling mess), and b) cos it sounded a bit kinky (guess I'm a bit of a perve, eh?).

Jones always writes his characters with care and consideration, and Four doesn't disappoint. Well, apart from the Four not being the kinky foursome I 'might' have imagined... but that's just me.

Sally, Alistair, and Mike have been close friends for years. Sally and Mike met at university, and Sally met Alistair through Mike, and for some reason that I don't understand, ended up marrying Alistair.

The characters are complex, as we all are in real-life. Sally is a GP, and her professional relationship with a patient's family shows a more human side to her than her marital relationship with her husband does. Soured by a lack of children, her marriage is on the slide anyway, but she and Alistair are attending counselling in an attempt to save it. 

Alistair is a thoroughly unlikable character. There is a brief glimpse of the resentment and degeneration of their marriage during the scene of the train journey to Brighton, when we see Sally cringing at a comment her husband makes, and that was it for me. He does nothing in the book to show himself in any better light.

Mike... I like Mike. Yes he has his faults, but don't we all? Father to the gorgeous Jojo, who lives on another continent, he is sensitive, kind... and under the influence of drugs and alcohol, is drawn into something along with his old friends when they all spend an evening with his new(ish) younger girlfriend, Faye.

I wasn't quite sure what to make of Faye, throughout the entirety of the book. The seeming instigator of the initial event, I found it hard to warm to her to start with. I mellowed as the story went on, but still, she seems quite a self-contained character, the only real person she really appears to connect with is Jojo.

It's a complex affair, in more ways than one. Love, lies, regret and consequences, Four is a tale that gets under your skin.

Four is published by Hodder & Stoughton and can be bought here (other retailers are available).

About the Author

Andy Jones lives in London with his wife and two little girls. During the day he works in an advertising agency; at weekends and horribly early in the mornings, he writes fiction.

He is the bestselling author of three novels: The Two of Us, The Trouble With Henry and Zoe, and Girl 99. His books have been translated into twelve languages.

Andy's new novel 'FOUR' will be published by Hodder & Stoughton in summer 2018. 

Follow Andy on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram where he posts as @andyjonesauthor