In the opening chapters of ‘The Blow-Up Man’ by Nina Blakeman, we meet Annette Dolce, the apparently wronged ex-lover of Todd, and her current man discussing the list of complaints she had against Todd, the father of her twin girls Ella and Emma. The reader hears from Annette of the things that have been done to her, sympathises with her, empathises with her hurt feelings – and then throughout the rest of the story learns how wrong they were!
Annette is a user; a manipulative, impulsive and psychologically disturbed woman who uses whatever it takes to have her own way – people, family, items – apparently at times not even sure she actually knows what she really wants. She is an abusive wife and partner, and a neglectful and abusive mother, particularly of one of the twins, Ella. Dr Todd Davis, a gentleman, respectful and respected is in a new relationship with a gentle, sheltered and consequently a naïve woman called Faye. When Todd announces to Annette that he is to marry Faye her jealousy knows no bounds, and fuelled by rage she sets out to exact her revenge on the people who have wronged her!
A compelling and deeply psychological read, demonstrating that women can be abusive too, and men are just as likely to be the abused. Cleverly, Nina Blakeman has caught us up at the beginning with Annette as the victim; however, as the story unravels we realise how deceptive people can be as the truth about the complicated relationships between the characters is revealed.