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Review of Casual Cruelties by Alison Irving

A domestic suspense novel for fans of B. A. Paris and Caroline England. Laura lives in Northern Ireland with her husband, James, the perfect man, or so she thought. He’s sweet and thoughtful in public, but behind closed doors his manipulative ways make Laura question her love for him, and her safety. 

This book draws on the realities of women living in toxic relationships and abusive marriages through the subtle ways men belittle and control their wives. Through hypocrisy, double standards and insults, James shreds Laura’s self esteem and her freedom. 

When Laura bumps into her childhood boyfriend, Sam, she hides their rekindled friendship from James, fearful of his reaction. As they grow closer once again, Laura struggles to convince herself that she’s not plummeting head first into a full-on affair. 

It was heart-breaking to witness such a confident woman be broken into a fearful shell of a woman, contained within the torment and obsession of her husband’s mood swings and unpredictability. From casual cruelties to violent attacks, this debut is a powerful voice expressing the dangers women face at the hands of abuse. 

Reviewed by Victoria.

Casual Cruelties was published on 3/11/23 by Bloodhound Books.

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