Book Talk: J.P. Delaney, ‘Believe Me’
J.P. Delaney, a pseudonym for Tony Strong, is a seasoned writer of mystery fiction whose “The Girl Before” has been made into a major TV series by Ron Howard. “Believe Me” was written prior to his bestseller, but it didn’t do well on the market. So, Delaney rewrote it and published it 2018 (354 pages in paperback). In my opinion, the current “Believe Me” is the better of the two novels.
In this story, Delaney uses a literary device known as an “unreliable narrator” in the person of Claire Wright. Claire was a British actress whose career tanked in her homeland, so she came to the United States with hopes of getting a new start. However, she lacks a green card, so she’s ineligible for legitimate stage work.
Desperate for employment in a field that is at least somewhat related to her acting career, she takes a job working for a divorce attorney. Her job is to act like a prostitute and lure unfaithful husbands into a potentially lurid relationship. However, the lawyer only needs to establish the intention of the husband, and Claire doesn’t actually perform any untoward services.