The Other Half by Charlotte Vassell

EXCERPT: The McDonald’s in Kentish Town had seen some sights, but this was something different. At 6 p.m. an elegant man strode through the automatic doors. Wing-collar shirt, cummerbund, and silk bow tie. Expensive shoes: Italian. They made a clipped noise when he walked, much like his vowels when he spoke. He strolled up to the counter and asked to speak to the manager. The server peered around him nervously, looking for a non-existent camera. The manager was dutifully found and propositioned like a comely whore. The gentleman, and there really couldn’t be another word for a man dressed in such a manner, was going to use the upstairs area – usually reserved for children’s parties on Saturday mornings – for a private gathering that evening. His guests were arriving at 7.30 p.m. and the staff were to bring food upstairs (the order had already been courteously written out in fastidious copper-plate) at 8 p.m. for them. They were not to be disturbed after that. The gentleman made it very clear that they were to be handsomely recompensed for their efforts, and their silence. No one who worked there was to mention it again and CCTV was to be turned off. The gentleman paid in cash – crisp £50 notes – and gave all the staff, including the poor, poor cleaner, who would have to deal with the true horrors tomorrow morning, a nice little tip for all the trouble he was about to cause.

ABOUT ‘THE OTHER HALF’: The night before
Rupert’s 30th is a black tie dinner at the Kentish Town McDonald’s – catered with cocaine and Veuve Clicquot.

The morning after
His girlfriend Clemmie is found murdered on Hampstead Heath. All the party-goers have alibis. Naturally.

This investigation is going to be about Classics degrees and aristocrats, Instagram influencers and who knows who. Or is it whom? Detective Caius Beauchamp isn’t sure. He’s sharply dressed, smart, and as into self-improvement as Clemmie – but as he searches for the dark truth beneath the luxury, a wall of staggering wealth threatens to shut down his investigation before it’s begun.

Can he see through the tangled set of relationships in which the other half live, and die, before the case is taken out of his hands?

MY THOUGHTS: Clever, complex, and witty, there’s nothing not to love about The Other Half, including the characters. Some I loved, some I vacillated about, and others I intensely disliked.

Rupert is at the centre of this story; titled and entitled, he is obscenely wealthy, misogynistic, and manipulative. His girlfriend (I use this word loosely, perhaps limpet might be a more apt description) Clemmie, has a token job at an art gallery, and is an ‘influencer’. She desperately wants to marry Rupert for the title and the country pile he will inherit when his grandfather dies. Rupert is enamoured with Nell, who is considered ‘unsuitable’. Alex also loves Nell, who has just parted ways with Caspar. There are various other double and triple-barreled surnamed characters, and women named Minty and . . . well, you get the picture. Everyone is connected to everyone through schools, blood and godparents. There’s no six degrees of separation here.

On other side, Detective Caius Beauchamp, who shares a surname, albeit pronounced differently, with Rupert, regrets his lack of classical education and has set about rectifying this deficit. He’s also cleansing his body and pining for Heloise, who recently unceremoniously dumped him. He is ably assisted in his investigations by Matt Cheung, intent on sabotaging Caius’s clean eating regime, and Amy Noakes, a computer whiz.

Throughout this read I was rooting for Nell, whom I quite liked except for her abysmal taste in men. Alex. And of course for Caius, who is extremely likeable.

But who killed Clemmie (dubbed Plegm by Nell)? I wanted it to be Rupert. I was scared it was Nell.

This was a fun read. I honestly hope that this is going to be developed into a series. I want more of Caius – his team and his personal life. He’s a refreshing gem. And I am sure Charlotte Vassell can dream up plenty more aristocratic prats to write about and entertain us with.


#TheOtherHalf #NetGalley

I: @vassellcharlotte @faberbooks

T: @CharlotteVas17 @FaberBooks

#contemporaryfiction #crime #detectivefiction #murdermystery #romance

MEET THE AUTHOR: Charlotte Vassell studied History at the University of Liverpool and completed a Masters in Art History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, before training as an actor at Drama Studio London. Other than treading the boards Charlotte has also worked in advertising, as a head-hunter, and as a purveyor of silk top hats.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Faber and Faber via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of The Other Half by Charlotte Vassell for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and


Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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