Review: “Blame” by Patricia Dixon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A compelling exploration of the human psyche in regards to guilt and blame, “Blame” by Patricia Dixon stands out as an excellent piece of psychological fiction.

About the book

“Blame” by Patricia Dixon

What if the past came knocking?

Frankie is running away from her past, and the repercussions of a night that changed her life forever. Hoping for a fresh start she unexpectedly falls in love. 

Unbeknown to Frankie, the wheels of fate are set in motion when Herbert Dunne, a convicted murderer, is released from prison.

When he moves in with Margaret, a woman who he has formed an unlikely relationship with, their dark sides gradually emerge allowing their inner demons to blossom. 

News of Herbert’s release once again rocks the small village of Elkdale and as they remember the young woman he murdered. 

But what is Herbert hoping to achieve by stirring up the past? And who is behind the new spate of murders?

One thing is clear – someone is out for revenge. Someone who thinks Frankie and her friends are to blame. 

My Review

After witnessing the murder of young mother Abby Mills when she was a teen, then managing to escape an abusive relationship years later, Frankie Hooper lives her life in seclusion — for good reason. The townspeople where the killing took place blame her for not trying to save Abby. On top of that, her psycho ex-boyfriend will be released from prison soon and might look for her. She looks forward to moving and starting a new life in the French countryside where she can live anonymously and not have to hide anymore.

Spinster Margaret Tibbs is in love with Herbert Dunne, the man who killed Abby. She stood by him through his arrest, trial, and incarceration, becoming a social pariah for it. When he becomes a free man, she imagines their happy life together. The only problem is Herbert Dunne is keeping a secret from her. When she discovers what he’s been hiding, she’ll turn from a mouse of a woman to an avenging madwoman, seeking to punish those she blames for ruining her life, including Frankie. But she’s not the only one who wants revenge. Howard Dunne and Abby’s father do too. The question is who will get it? And who will ultimately take the blame for everything?

A compelling exploration of the human psyche in regards to guilt and blame, “Blame” by Patricia Dixon stands out as an excellent piece of psychological fiction. Dixon takes time to create characters that come alive on the page through their thoughts and actions. Each of the major characters is saddled with blame for Abby Mills’ murder and what happened because of it. Some feel guilt even though they’re innocent, such as Frankie. Some blame others for the consequences caused by their own actions, such as Margaret and Herbert.

With a smooth writing style that makes for fast reading, Dixon makes getting to know each character enjoyable and fascinating. You know it’s going to come down to good versus evil. But with so many characters hell bent on revenge, you’ll have a time trying to figure out who’s going to get it — and on whom. Will it be the “bad guys” or one of the “good”? I read a lot of psychological fiction, and I pride myself on being able to figure out some of the twists in advance. With “Blame”, I couldn’t. Dixon is sneaky and threw me off track. Although it wasn’t obvious while I was reading, I can see it clearly now. And I’m impressed.

Full of suspense with a light undercurrent of tension, “Blame” is the book to read for anyone who enjoys well written and suspenseful psychological fiction.

About the Author

Patricia Dixon lives in Manchester and is an international best selling author of eleven novels.

She writes across genres, including psychological fiction, historical suspense, family sagas and contemporary romance. Her stories are often set in her home city of Manchester and the Loire, a place to close to her heart and from where she gathers inspiration for her characters and tales.

In May 2017 she signed with Bloodhound Books, leading crime and thriller publishers.

Patricia has twice been long-listed for The Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize and has been nominated in the Crime Fiction Addict Readers Choice Awards. Her books regularly appear in the top slots for readers and bloggers book of the year.

She has a busy year ahead with three new titles due to be released throughout 2021.