The Final Act of Juliette Willoughby

Harper. Jun. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780063323001. $29.99. THRILLER
This fascinating novel from married couple Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos writing as Lloyd (People Like Her; The Club) contains enough twists and turns to keep it fresh and entertaining. The duo use several points of view to offer different perspectives, plus dual timelines to illustrate the unfolding of events dynamically. In the present, Caroline Cooper and Patrick Lambert, students at Cambridge working on their dissertations, discover a mystery surrounding a painting from the 1930s that was made by Juliette Willoughby, a rebel with a portentous secret. Around the time she made the painting, Juliette ran away to Paris with a married middle-aged painter. She spent months working on another masterpiece to show at the International Surrealist Exhibition of 1938, only to remove it from the show after one night. Then she died tragically in a fire, and the painting was destroyed. Fifty years later, Patrick and Caroline investigate the circumstances of the fire and how it might tie in to a murder.
VERDICT Will appeal to those who enjoyed The Girls in Navy Blue by Alix Rickloff, which also uses alternating perspectives and dual timelines. Both novels deal with an apparent death and an investigation into the event.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing