The Temp by Michelle Frances

Carrie’s relishing this perfect moment – her husband has just won a BAFTA for best screenplay, happiness surges through them both, but when Carrie whispers two crucial words to her husband that same night, the bliss surrounding them comes crashing down.

She’s pregnant.

They’d never wanted kids, it was a complete accident and yet, when she found out she was nearly three months pregnant, Carrie realises how much she wants to keep her baby.

Adrian doesn’t want to lose his wife, she’s his rock at home and in work, without her, his writing ideas just don’t seem to flourish. Surely they can make it work?

As a successful producer, Carrie is in need of someone who can fill her shoes whilst she goes on maternity. In comes Emma – young, bright and very capable, but there’s something about her that Carrie can’t quite put her finger on, that worries her. The team seem to love Emma, so Carrie has to reluctantly go along with the hiring.

The dialogue flicks back and forth between Emma and Carrie, and it’s early on that you sense Carrie isn’t just being paranoid, she’s right, Emma is up to something. But what? Steal her job? Steal her husband? What does she want!!

Now I’m not going to give away any spoilers, all I’m going to say is – this book is NOT PREDICTABLE, whatever you’re thinking right now about this plot, I can almost guarantee you won’t be able to guess where this story travels to. I was absolutely blown away by the twists and the ending – just WOW. Never saw it coming.

I absolutely adored the gripping suspense that Frances had already accomplished in her debut – The Girlfriend, so was keen to see if her second would have the same effect… TOPPED it. Frances’ writing just seems to be growing and maturing, making me very excited to see what the future brings. The tension grips you on every page of this book and has you doubting what will happen next.

The plot homes in on the anxiety and pressure women put on themselves when they feel threatened by another, which we see in Carrie; whilst also exploring the obsessive and dedicated nature of someone who is after something – very skilfully portrayed through Emma. What’s so lovely about the way these characters are revealed to us, is the fact you see parts in their personalities that you relate to, allowing the reader to create strong bonds with both key ladies.

It’s the perfect book if you just want to get drawn into a psychological mind game, not have to deal with the gore that sometimes comes with a thriller and be left gasping a few times!

I was a big fan of this plot, with the short chapter magic, this is a cracking page turner and I’m shocked it’s not getting the recognition it deserves. The Temp should be hovering in the Top 10 for a few weeks – it’s worthy of that!

Did you enjoy The Rival by Charlotte Duckworth or The Last Mrs Parrish by Liv Constantine – if you did – I really think The Temp will be a refreshing addition to your book collection!

The Temp is out now in paperback and eBook versions from Pan Macmillan.

Until next time, Chloé x



    1. I’m becoming such a big fan of Frances work! Her plots seem to just work magic over me. I know it won’t be for everyone but it’s like Darren O’Sullivan’s work colliding with Lesley Kara’s The Rumour – very strong writing with tension oozing from the page

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