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Unravelling Oliver [Kindle Edition]

Liz Nugent
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £6.99
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Book Description

WINNER - IBA Crime Fiction Book of the Year 2014



'Truly excellent, beautifully written ... strongly recommended' Sophie Hannah



'Compelling, clever and dark, unlike any other psychological thriller you will have read before ... you'll gobble it up in one go.'
Heat Magazine



'Gone Girl meets The Spinning Heart ... a great cracking read ... I couldn't put it down' Ryan Tubridy, RTÉ



'The compulsion to continue reading never wanes and most impressively the ending doesn't buckle under the weight of expectation ... a persistently satisfying read' Sunday Times



'A page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense' Sunday Independent



'An ambitiously structured and compelling "whydunnit"' Daily Mail



'Formidable' Irish Times



'Reminiscent of The Book of Evidence' RTE Guide



'We read this in one sitting ... satisfyingly unnerving.' Woman's Way



'All I know is I stayed awake until 3am to finish it, which I haven't done with a new novel for longer than I can remember.' Irish Independent



'The best opening line you'll read all year ... and you'll keep reading' Sinead Crowley, RTE Arts Correspondent



'Her writing is stylish, the characters are vivid and the line of the story is all too real and plausible. Can't recommend it highly enough.' Rick O'Shea, 2FM



'A superb and compelling terrifying book' Sinead Desmond, TV3



'Just read a book in one sitting. Last time I managed that was about twenty years ago. The book was Liz Nugent's Unravelling Oliver' Declan Burke, CrimeAlwaysPays.ie



'A kind of Irish Mr Ripley ... Gripping, thought-provoking' Darragh McManus, arts journalist



'I read this book over a 24 hour period. I seriously could not put it down.' Writing.ie



'Magnificent ... compulsively readable ... stunning, shock and superb' Frank McGuinness



'I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.'



Liz Nugent's gripping novel of psychological suspense, Unravelling Oliver, is a complex and elegant study of the making of a sociopath in the tradition of Barbara Vine and Patricia Highsmith.



Oliver Ryan is a handsome and charismatic success story. He lives in the suburbs with his wife, Alice, who illustrates his award-winning children's books and gives him her unstinting devotion. Their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease - enviable until, one evening after supper, Oliver attacks Alice and beats her into a coma.



In the aftermath, as everyone tries to make sense of his astonishing act of savagery, Oliver tells his story. So do those whose paths he has crossed over five decades. What unfolds is a story of shame, envy, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation.



Only Oliver knows the lengths to which he has had to go to get the life to which he felt entitled. But even he is in for a shock when the past catches up with him.



Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theatre and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written short stories for children and adults. Unravelling Oliver is her first novel.


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Product Description

Review

The compulsion to continue reading never wanes ... a persistently satisfying read. (Sunday Times)

A page-turning, one-sitting read from a brand new master of psychological suspense (Sunday Independent)

Formidable (Irish Times)

About the Author

Liz Nugent has worked in Irish film, theatre and television for most of her adult life. She is an award-winning writer of radio and television drama and has written short stories for children and adults. Unravelling Oliver is her first novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 963 KB
  • Print Length: 235 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1844883094
  • Publisher: Penguin Ireland (6 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844883094
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844883097
  • ASIN: B00F10Z4HI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (201 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,805 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificently constructed. 6 Mar. 2014
By Liz Wilkins TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Thank you to the publisher for the advance copy.

Oliver Ryan is a handsome and charismatic success story. He lives in the leafy suburbs with his wife, Alice, who illustrates his award-winning children’s books and gives him her unstinting devotion. Their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease – enviable until, one evening after supper, Oliver attacks Alice and puts her into a coma.
In the aftermath, as everyone tries to make sense of his astonishing act of savagery, Oliver tells his story. So do those whose paths he has crossed over five decades. What unfolds is a story of shame, envy, breath-taking deception and masterful manipulation.

To say this book was gripping would be to put it mildly. And I don’t think I have seen a book so aptly titled in a long time. Unravelling Oliver is exactly right. Oliver and Alice seem to have the perfect marriage – he writes childrens books, she illustrates them, and a fair few people are envious of what they have together. Then one night for no apparent reason, Oliver beats Alice, severely and without mercy. But why? What exactly made him crack?

What follows is a compelling and comprehensive “unravelling” of the man behind the mask – told from various points of view, including Oliver’s, we begin to build a picture of the true nature of both the marriage and the people. As those that crossed Oliver’s path over the years tell their story you will be fascinated, sometimes horrified but always urged onwards, unable to look away.

This is terrific writing because there are many strands to this one – Oliver’s childhood, his formative relationships, background filled in by those who knew him.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A man unravelled! 6 Mar. 2014
By C. Bannister TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
Unravelling Oliver is one of those books that I knew I would love as soon as I started reading it.
‘I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.’
These words written by Oliver about what he did to his wife on 12 November 2011 in Dublin. After I had read his words I was chilled, here appears to be a man with no remorse and no motive so what made Oliver batter his wife Alice so badly that she was left in a coma.

The publishers, Penguin Ireland, tell us; ‘Unravelling Oliver, is a complex and elegant study of the making of a sociopath in the tradition of Barbara Vine and Patricia Highsmith,’ and I can’t disagree.

In this tradition Liz Nugent has employed some of the characters that Oliver Ryan came into contact with during the five decades of his life to reveal small but telling details. Told as if they are giving interviews to the media as monologues, each character gives us a little more insight into Oliver’s character and the events that shaped his life. Barney who was Alice’s boyfriend before Oliver and met him the night he attacked Alice is the first to have his say but there are plenty of others who have encountered Oliver during his life. Throughout the book Oliver, and others who have met him, unwrap the things he thought he had kept hidden and unravel his life, so that as readers we get an insight into the why of this charismatic, but deeply flawed character.
The originality, cleverness and fantastic characters which peel back the layers of Oliver over the years along with evidence of previous events presented in one way by Oliver and another by alternative narrators was a sheer delight to read.

I am delighted that the publishers gave me a copy of this book in return for my honest review as I wouldn’t have wanted to miss meeting Oliver Ryan!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unravelling Oliver- perfect man, perfect monster 12 Feb. 2014
Format:Paperback
Unravelling Oliver is a perfectly handmade title for this intriguing story.
Liz Nugent took me straight to the kitchen on South Dublin avenue where I first met Oliver. He had just committed the worst crime a man can do to his wife, or any woman.
Oliver was more surprised by his actions than Alice, his wife. The sweet Alice had a completely different character to Oliver. She preferred to be in the background both in their marriage and their joint success while Oliver with his look and charisma was the one in the spotlight.
'She just lay on the floor holding her jaw. Staring at me. Silent.'
Oliver went to get his coat from its peg in the hall and left...

There is a suspense all the way through out the book and all the characters are equally interesting. If someone buys the book by its cover they will have a lovely surprise. I did! :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
"I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her."

The first sentence of Unravelling Oliver is the shocking introduction to Oliver Ryan, one of the most disturbing, dangerous and manipulative characters that I've ever read about.

From that very first sentence, the reader knows just what Oliver is capable of, but we don't really know why he has attacked his faithful and loyal wife Alice. Why would successful author Oliver (writing as Vincent Dax) brutally attack the woman who has been a perfect wife to him? The woman who has lovingly illustrated his books for children, only adding to their success? Why?

Liz Nugent has expertly crafted this short, but stunning novel by weaving together the first-hand stories of the people who know Oliver best. Told in separate chapters, these characters are as fully formed as Oliver himself and each one of them has a story to tell. Each one of them appears shocked by what Oliver has done, but it soon becomes clear as they recount their memories that Oliver was never quite the person he wanted to appear to be.

Unravelling Oliver could be renamed 'The Sins of the Fathers', for ultimately Oliver's character has been formed by his dysfunctional relationship with his father. In fact, there was no relationship. Sent off to boarding school at a very early age and then ignored for the rest of his life, Oliver was a sad and lonely child who struggled to interact with anyone. Being able to see his father's home from the school window was torture for him, especially as he witnessed his father's loving relationship with his new wife and new son.

Oliver as a man was enigmatic and charismatic, and successful. He had many admirers, people who loved him, who wanted to be like him.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I so enjoyed the story and the characters and the writing style ...
I so enjoyed the story and the characters and the writing style of this book I look forward to reading more from this author an excellent read a real page turner
Published 10 days ago by Gertrude
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing tale of the impact of neglect on a child
Amazing tale of the impact of neglect on a child. Loved the different perspectives in the story-telling - appeals to the reader's need to understand the motives. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Rachel
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Very interesting read seeing his character unfold...
Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Really good book, couldn't put it down.
Published 15 days ago by Mrs P M Pinches
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A real page-turner
Published 15 days ago by Brian Hunter
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read !
This was a really interesting book. Oliver was an intriguing character who seemed to have everything he wanted but was immersed in sadness and tragedy. Couldn't put it down.
Published 18 days ago by Breda
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed Liz Nugent's novel
Really enjoyed Liz Nugent's novel. Unravelling Oliver has a tense, tight and very interesting tale of one man told mostly through the eyes of others who knew him. Read more
Published 22 days ago by SusanPPola
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I could not put this book down. The characters are wonderfully intertwined and the story is intriguing... Brilliant read but be warned once started you will be addicted!!
Published 25 days ago by Aoife hannon
2.0 out of 5 stars Unfortuately, was underwhelmed by this book
Eek, okay, here goes. I've been looking forward to reading this book for a while and was kindly sent an ARC by the publishers, which I'm very thankful for. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Jennyinneverland
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly written
Best book I've read in a long time. A must read
Published 28 days ago by Deirdre Berry
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