The Couple in the Photo by Helen Cooper – Review

The Couple in the Photo by Helen Cooper book review logo

By Sandra Callard

Derby author Helen Cooper’s third literary offering, The Couple in the Photo, invites readers into a labyrinthine narrative that deftly toys with their sense of intrigue. It’s a tale that unwaveringly hooks those seeking a perplexing and compulsively engaging literary escapade.

Within an intricate plot, Lucy, a contented matron with two cherubic daughters, shares an inseparable bond with her confidante Cora. Both families are seemingly fused in an idyllic camaraderie, their spouses amiably intertwining lives and offspring. This tableau of amity is shattered by a moment of stark revelation that hurls Lucy into an abyss.

The riddle at hand is a photograph: does it show infidelity or an enigma concealed beneath the glossy veneer? A dawning sleuth, Lucy’s determined inquiry commences. A distinctive narrative quirk finds intermittent interludes, vignettes penned by unidentified characters, their perceptions mirroring the tale’s unfolding currents. A parlour game of perspective, readers left to discern the unmarked hand behind each narrative stroke.

The Couple in the Photo by Helen Cooper book review cover“Brimming with surprise”

With tension, Cooper follows Lucy’s dogged pursuit, her forays into the unknown. An unconventional gambit arises — Lucy’s interventions stand stark, revealed in plain sight. The camaraderie’s fabric frays, the intricacies of personas are laid bare.

A swift paradigm shift disrupts, jarring as new personas emerge, almost as if familiarity has donned an unfamiliar cloak. This oscillation might unsettle, demanding a reader’s patient recalibration, a reckoning with newfound dimensions of the once-familiar cast. The narrative’s momentum wavers midway, the allure momentarily dimmed, a hiccup on its otherwise magnetic course.

But Cooper rallies, hurtling towards a denouement that leaves mouths agape. A crescendo brimming with surprise. Yet, even as the ending reverberates, a note of disappointment lingers. A twist that could have thrilled, instead lands with a thud, its resonance diluted.

The Couple in the Photo presents an initial dazzle, a veneer of promise that threatens to spiral into the extraordinary. Regrettably, it veers into the realm of the ordinary. A tale of potential grandeur ultimately finding its crescendo, yet fading into a diminuendo, an unexpected and subdued resolution.

‘The Couple in the Photo’ by Helen Cooper is published by Hodder & Stoughton


Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.