Monday, 29 May 2017

5* review: The Man in the Needlecord Jacket by Linda Macdonald

Genre: Adult contemporary fiction; Domestic Noir
Release Date: 28th May 2017
Publisher: Matador – An imprint of Troubador Publishing

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket follows the story of two women who are each struggling to let go of a long-term destructive partnership. Felicity is reluctant to detach from her estranged archaeologist husband and, after being banished from the family home, she sets out to test the stability of his relationship with his new love, Marianne.

When Felicity meets Coll, a charismatic artist, she has high hopes of being distracted from her failed marriage. What she doesn’t know is that he has a partner, Sarah, with whom he has planned a future. Sarah is deeply in love with Coll, but his controlling behaviour and associations with other women have always made her life difficult. When he becomes obsessed with Felicity, Sarah’s world collapses and a series of events is set in motion that will challenge the integrity of all the characters involved.

The Man in the Needlecord Jacket is a thought-provoking book, written from the perspectives of Sarah and Felicity. The reader is in the privileged position of knowing what’s going on for both of the women, while each of them is being kept in the dark about a very important issue.

Inspired by the work of Margaret Atwood and Fay Weldon, Linda explores the issue of mental abuse in partnerships and the grey area of an infidelity that is emotional, not physical. The book will appeal to readers interested in the psychology of relationships, as well as fans of Linda’s ‘Lydia’ series.


I am a huge fan of Linda Macdonald's 'Lydia' series, they are a thought provoking 'grown up' womens fiction series (none of the fluff!). I find them a page turning relaxing read. The Man in the Needlecord Jacket is no less than its predecessors, I loved the introduction of the new characters, Sarah and Coll, and enjoyed reading about the lives of the usual lives of the Harvey family.

This book is told from Sarah and Felicity's points of view. In the past I have shared no love for Felicity, and in this book I find I liked her even less until near to the end when I really softened to her character and saw her vulnerable side.

Sarah I felt extremely sorry for, yet frustrated with for constantly excusing what I felt was deplorable love-rat behaviours from Coll, the man who had been her long term love for ten years, yet had many OWs (other women) who Sarah knew existed but felt she could do little about. 

Coll, an artist and on many levels a really interesting character (and loose man in my opinion) turned up in Felicity's life when hawking his paintings to hang in her recently opened restaurant. He felt an attraction to her which turned into something close to obsession/addiction, though he was no stalker. Felicity, after being hurt deeply by younger man, Gianni, in Italy was interested by his advances, yet knew nothing of the woman who loved him and strived constantly to make him love her in return.

I was quite satisfied by the ending, yet was - as always - disappointed to have reached the conclusion and I feel so absorbed in the story!

I would urge readers to consider these books, all could be read as standalones but I feel it would be more enjoyable to know the backstory.

Many thanks to Linda and Brook Cottage Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.


Linda MacDonald is the author of three independently published novels: Meeting Lydia and the stand-alone sequels, A Meeting of a Different Kind and The Alone Alternative. They are all contemporary adult fiction, multi-themed, but with a focus on relationship issues.

After studying psychology at Goldsmiths', Linda trained as a secondary science and biology teacher. She taught these subjects for several years before moving to a sixth-form college to teach psychology. In 2012, she gave up teaching to focus fully on writing.
Linda was born and brought up in Cockermouth, Cumbria and now lives in Beckenham, Kent.
Twitter: @LindaMac1

No comments:

Post a Comment