The characters are nuanced. Clues are well planted. Conflict arises steadily. The action through lines are deftly woven as they churn up a toxic brew of passion, jealousy, betrayal, manipulation, hatred, and love ... Blood Orange is dark and twisted, and will keep readers awake well into the wee hours as the plot hurls toward its surprising conclusion.
... [the book contains a] predictable narrative formula to which this clearly talented writer has yoked herself. After all, she’s got a chart-topper to write, not a literary lodestar. Even so, author Harriet Tyce deserves credit for telling Alison’s story with admirable attention to atmosphere, characterization, and suspense. She vividly depicts the English court system, which may be new in its intricacies for American readers — as well she should, having herself spent nearly a decade as a criminal barrister. Tyce also orchestrates Alison’s Sisyphean exertions to recover with a skillful command of narrative suspense, never teasing us with the temptation to give up on her as misfortune keeps snapping at her heels ... despite the bitter circumstances arrayed against her heroine, Tyce pulls off a gob-smacker of a reversal in Blood Orange’s final moments. It elevates this book from seamy law-office melodrama to respectable thriller.
... [a] smart debut ... Tyce has impish fun with [Carl]; I snorted at the moment when Carl earnestly steers Alison away from their sitting room because a member of his men’s group is having a 'breakthrough' ... Tyce brings her fictional world to dark, unsettling life. An arguably off-key bit of plotting towards the end threw me slightly, but fans of Apple Tree Yard and The Girl on the Train will love the atmosphere of clenched ambiguity Tyce sustains so well.
... a riveting thriller ... In her debut, Tyce has told her story in a fashion similar to John Grisham, who knows how to write courtroom fiction ... The courtroom scenes are certainly well-written and legally sound, but they are only a subpart of the plot. This is not meant to be a criticism; many legal-themed novels do not focus on the courtroom ... The final confrontation between Alison and Charles becomes a roller coaster ride of plot twists and emotional highs and lows that will have readers wondering how exactly the story will end.
Riveting ... Though there are small inconsistencies and a few issues worth pointing out ... Tyce’s story is strong. Additionally, the plot is unique and moves along at a brisk clip, never providing a down moment for readers to comfortably set the book down ... scores extra points for its originality ... Incredibly well-written and hopelessly addictive, Blood Orange is a top contender for best debut novel of the year, and Harriet Tyce is someone to keep an eye on moving forward.
Some late-breaking revelations almost make Alison slightly sympathetic, but not in time to overcome how dislikable she is. The rushed ending isn't entirely credible or satisfying, as Alison's unethical choices enable her to easily resolve all her problems ... Readers who enjoy wallowing in other people's misery will relish this disturbing story.