Cover Image: The Choice

The Choice

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Member Reviews

The premise for this book drew me I immediately. It certainly has a different plot to to the many other books I've read. My thinking throughout was will she won't she . It's actually a thought provoking book as you wonder what you yourself  would do . It stalled midway for me but then it picked up brilliantly
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Interesting premise, but I didn't feel the book delivered unfortunately. 
Far too long and repetitive and although I liked that the chapters were from the pov of different characters, I felt some of them were pointless. 
I didn't feel the chapters by the juror, journalist or husband added much and although the police officer's take was Interesting, I found his back story detracted from the plot. 
Overall I feel the story could have been half as long as it was, I felt like it dragged and was a chore to get through and the ending felt rushed and not very satisfactory. 
My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for my eARC in return for my honest review.
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I devoured this book. It was thriller and was really well written, I enjoyed the different characters in this novel and thought Jane was brilliantly written and so easy to empathize with. I would definitely recommend this book and cannot recommend it enough.
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I loved the idea of this book as soon as I read the blurb!  There’s nothing like a good moral and legal dilemma to get you thinking!  This book focuses on the case of Jane Bell who is arrested for murder after she runs over and kills her next-door neighbour.  Sounds simple enough so far, but the plot thickens when Jane had found out that her neighbour was a terrorist who was planning to blow up the local primary school, and despite her best efforts to report him to the authorities, she found herself having to deal with the situation.  

Now, I do love a book which gets you asking yourself “what would I have done?”, and this book gets you asking that question from many different viewpoints!  Jane Bell’s story is particularly sad, she had obviously tried everything to report her neighbour, James Foster, but her pleas for him to be investigated fell on deaf ears.  Was she wrong to do what she did?  Should she have taken the law into her own hands?  Should she be tried for murder, even though she prevented the death of hundreds of innocent children?  There are so many ways to look at what she did, and I’m sure all that read this will have their own differing opinions as to what was right and wrong!  My favourite character must be Bill, the Detective Inspector who arrests her.  Bill is obviously horrified to find that the police service let Jane down by not taking her concerns seriously, and this gives him decisions to make over his own future.  

The storyline alternates with chapters from the perspectives of several of the characters – Jane, Jane’s husband, Bill, the local journalist, Aneesa and the defence barrister, Simon.  Whilst there are a lot of character’s viewpoints to consider, the switching between them is done effortlessly and easily.  I liked hearing their different views, and the storyline takes us through the months preceding James Foster being killed, after Jane’s arrest and the subsequent court case.  It was an emotional and sometimes disturbing read, but certainly got me thinking whether Jane was the hero that society deemed her to be, or the criminal that the law determines.  It is a suspense and tension filled read with an expected twist that I didn’t see coming and will leave you thinking about it after the book has finished.  Would definitely recommend.
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Being a primary school teacher, the premise of this book instantly had me hooked. The twist at the end - so unpredictable, I could never have seen it coming! It kept me reading and turning the pages, I read it in approx 3 hours. Will be recommending it to everyone and also looking out for more by this author!
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This was everything you need for a thriller and crime story. It is not as black and white as you first think and like most typical thrillers, is full of twists. This is a first for me by the author and one I enjoyed and would read more of their work. The book cover is eye-catching and appealing and would spark my interest if in a bookshop. Thank you very much to the author, publisher and Netgalley for this ARC.

3.5/5.
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found this one interesting and really makes u think about what is right and wrong and what would you do in this situation
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An excellent read. I was gripped from the beginning. A book of dilemmas and morals, i was constantly challenged as the case unravelled, discovering the perspectives of the different characters, their thoughts and feelings. An excellent read, cannot recommend it enough.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this deceptively straightforward story. She deliberately drove straight at him and killed him, so it’s murder right?

If only it were that simple. 

I was completely gripped by “The Choice” - it’s provocative, thought provoking and insightful. The Epilogue is a stunner. 

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC. Highly recommended.
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I liked the premise of the plot, which constantly made you think, "what would you have done if it were you?" Would you too have been willing to commit murder in order to save your children? It comes down to those natural parental instincts and whether you are willing to listen to your gut or go against all your morals and values.

I wasn't a fan of the writing, I felt like it was too choppy. However, it was a good thriller.
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Jane Bell notices her quiet neighbor next door, James Foster, acting strangely. He destroys his garden, and builds a six-foot wall on top of the already-existing fence, essentially cordoning himself off from the rest of the neighborhood. On the day that Jane’s daughter, Molly, finds a receipt for “fertilizer, nails, electrical wiring,”  Jane feels deep down beyond a doubt this man is planning something evil, and given the close proximity of Foster to her home, fears for her children. She calls the police with what she found, only to be dismissed with a “we’ll check it out,” and to her dismay, nothing is done.  She goes into the police station to beg for help. Again, she is dismissed by the police. She notices him at the school dressed in black, drawing in a notepad. She looks into James’s window while he is out, and sees there are three bombs set to be placed and a strategic map to the grammar school which her children attend, three circles indicating the three places in the building the bombs will be set. After exhausting all possibilities, she sees him taking in his garbage pail one evening, and in a spur-of-the-moment decision, takes matters into her own hands.

I am currently sitting in stunned silence after finishing the book “The Choice,” by S.J. Ford. I am in awe of the myriad of emotions it made me feel, the inability as a mother to separate myself from feeling every word in it. The story is told from all the different viewpoints, characters alternating between chapters. It is compulsively readable, gripping, suspenseful, and well-written, giving the reader a much to consider. It is provocative, and will inspire gut-wrenching emotion.

I’d like to thank NetGalley, S.J. Ford, and Head of Zeus Books for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Good concept, poorly executed. Long-winded, repetitive and one-dimensional. The changing character POVs would have been interesting if the characters didn’t all sound the same. I wanted to like it, the most jarring part for me was the writing, lots of awkward turns of phrase and far too many similes jammed in where they just weren’t needed.
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I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an Honest review. The synopsis attracted my attention being a new direction for a mystery novel.

The story is told through the eyes of it's protaganists
The perpetrator, The solicitor, the journalist, the husband and the neighbour. The premise of a suburban housewife taking the law into her own hands as the actual law seems incapable of providing the required help and support. The whole should have been a page turner.

Instead I found it strangely one dimensional and very difficult to plow through. I never really found myself asking what would i have done? Is what Jane did right or wrong? I just never really got hooked by the storyline. In fact for me the most interesting aspect revolved around the journalist and bias in reporting.

The final twist was seriously underwhelming and far from a surprise.

This book will, I am sure, attract many fans. Unfortunately I am not one
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S J Ford’s The Choice is an explosive, jaw-dropping and edge of your seat crime thriller readers will not forget in a hurry.

Jane Bell has just killed a man. On 15th January at 4:55 pm, Jane hit a man with her car who had died on the spot. With witnesses, CCTV footage and a signed confession, even the best lawyer in the land would not be able to convince a jury that Jane is innocent. Having taken another person’s life, Jane should be wracked with grief, anguish and remorse yet this ordinary mother feels triumphant and vindicated because James Foster was not an innocent citizen, but a dangerous man who needed to be stopped once and for all.

James Foster had a nefarious plan. He was about to blow up a primary school and kill hundreds of children – including Jane’s kids. It is absolutely unthinkable to ponder what would’ve happened had James not been stopped in time. Murder can never been justified, but was Jane right in killing James? What would anyone have done in such an awful situation? Did Jane do the right thing in eliminating James? Or is she as bad as he was?

In The Choice, S. J Ford has written a complex, multi-layered and thought-provoking thriller that lingered in my mind weeks after I had finished reading it. S. J Ford has penned a nerve-jangling and heart-twisting page-turner where nothing is what it initially seems as readers will be asking themselves what would they have done had they been in Jane’s shoes.

Dark, disturbing and packed with twists and turns that will leave readers reeling, S. J. Ford’s The Choice is a compulsively readable thriller that is simply superb.
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What would I have done? For me that’s an easy question and I would have done the same as Jane in her situation. She had already exhausted the option of going to the police who didn’t seem to take her worry seriously and instead were shutting the stable door after the horse had already bolted.

I really liked that the story gives multiple perspectives from Jane herself, her husband Neil, Bill the Detective Inspector, Aneesa the reporter and Simon her defence barrister. They all have an important role to play in both the story and how the public will perceive Jane.

I love a good moral dilemma and this is a cracking one. I found it incredibly easy as a mum to put myself in Jane’s shoes. She’s a very real character who could easily be found in any community. Was she selfish knowing her actions could take her away from her own children? Or is the law wrong punishing someone for doing the right thing and saving innocent lives? Would this book have had the same impact if the threat wasn’t a local primary school? Would Jane have reacted in the same way if her own children weren’t connected? Honestly this book pushed so many thoughts inside my brain it was in danger of overloading.

Like most things in life this is not a black and white case with things coming out that turn it very much a murky grey. The twists and turns were unexpected but I have a feeling the ending will divide opinion. I personally think the author played it perfectly and this would make such a good book club read. I can already imagine the discussions, especially after the epilogue.
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Good plot to this book with a strong storyline early on once you know there are two potential perpetrators of a crime. Brisk style with each chapter taking the perspective of a different player which adds to the reader's conflict over who really is the bad guy.
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A competent but overlong courtroom thriller. Jane, a loving wife and mother kills her neighbour after discovering he was about to perform a terrible atrocity on her children's school. I feel there were too many points of view, the mother, the husband, the defence barrister, the crusading journalist and even one of the jurors for me to emotionally engage with the narrative. Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc.
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The plot was intriguing and on the whole I thought the multi POV thing worked very well. However a few things jarred with me right from the very early chapters. I don’t want to give any of the story away so the only annoying thing I can safely mention is the way Jane spoke about James. He was described as a real odd ball type & practically a recluse   From how I understood it she only knew his name because she happened to see it on an envelope. Yet he was James to her as if they were buddies.  Maybe a small thing but added to other issues I cannot mention the book was spoiled for me.
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Totally hooked straightaway. The kind of book you do not want to put down. I can see this being made into a film. Highly recommended.
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The Choice was a compulsive read, offering a moral dilemma that everyone who reads it will have an opinion on.
Our story focuses on Jane Bell, a mother of two. She could probably have gone throughout her life without anyone knowing her name, were it not for her actions on the day our story opens. Jane drove her car into a neighbour, killing him. She admitted her actions, but said she had to do it in order to prevent him from carrying out something truly awful.
Jane and her husband contacted the police and helplines, doing whatever they could to alert them to the perceived threat. Nothing was done. Turning detective, Jane found evidence of three bombs in her neighbour’s home. Bombs she believed he was going to detonate at the local primary school. So, yes, she killed a man…but in so doing, she potentially saved the lives of hundreds of children.
From this very dramatic opening we focus on the different perspectives of people involved in Jane’s trial. A decision has to be made. Did she intend to kill him? Does the perceived threat allow us to label her actions as selfless, protecting others?
This is a decision nobody would like to have to hold in their hands. It challenges your own beliefs and what you hold dear. It is a challenge that could truly impact on future behaviour if it were real.
The varying perspectives offer a fascinating exploration of the scenario. We learn more about the key players, and nothing is quite as straightforward as it might appear. While it seems the jury verdict is obvious, this is never announced and with Jane’s shocking final revelation I really felt the ambiguity of the ending was given a strength that might have otherwise been lacking.
Thanks to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read and review this prior to publication.
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