‘Disclaimer’ was a brilliant novel. One thing that Renee Knight did really well in her novel was create such amazing suspense, and kept it going for the entire novel. You were never sure of who to believe, which Knight helped to create through the use of various points of view. When you start reading Catherine and Stephen’s two contrasting stories, you don’t know who to believe. Was Catherine really capable of the horrific things she was accused of? Why did Stephen feel so strongly about acting upon the information long after the events had occurred?
The characters were really engaging – as much as Knight painted both of the main characters as not being entirely truthful with the reader, you wanted to know what exactly they were hiding. Knight managed to hide the inciting incident for so long, that at points it was a little frustrating that you didn’t know what the characters were alluding to. Both characters vied for the reader’s sympathy, and it was hard to settle on one side as both characters did things that weren’t admirable.
The plot twist was phenomenal – definitely worth hanging in there for! Everything becomes so much clearer in the final chapters and you can’t wait to find out how Knight will end the characters’ narrative. You can’t help but feel sorry for all the characters in the novel. She paints such a vivid picture of them as individuals that I found it hard to dislike them when they didn’t entirely stick to the moral high ground. You could see what each event did to them as people and how they all had to suffer through adversary, and when the final truth is revealed they don’t just slither off into the woodwork – they feel genuine remorse for what they’ve done and this is displayed by their following actions.
The pacing was good most of the time – Knight drip fed you little plot points through out the narrative to understand the overall story better, and about half way through before you get to read the inciting incident in the novel within the novel, the suspense does get a little annoying – the characters are all referring to this horrific event that you know absolutely nothing about, and as a reader you really want to understand why what happened on that holiday in Spain was so horrific. It might just have been me being really impatient, but I really a wanted to understand why the characters were so horrified!
Overall I would give it a 5/5. The narrative was so gripping, and the plot so well thought out that you followed all of it despite the change in perspectives. The characters were so intriguing, you wanted to understand why they did what they did, as well as the mysteries of is Stephen just a mad old man? Is Catherine the horrible person he says she is? How on earth are they connected? This is definitely one to read if you love psychological thrillers.