‘Fair is foul and foul is fair,’ a famous line from the opening scene of Macbeth, itself the inspiration for this steamroller of a revenge novel. This is Jade’s story. Beautiful, fierce Jade, who gatecrashes a glittering LA party with her ‘coven’ of best friends. When her drink is spiked and she is seriously sexually assaulted, Jade swears bloody vengeance on the ‘golden boy’ perpetrator Duncan, and his band of sidekicks. Steel yourself for Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin.
This book left me open-mouthed and feeling like I’d just been through a force nine gale. Jade, a modern incarnation of Lady Macbeth, is utterly ruthless in her quest to bring down her abusers. Prepare for some wonderfully preposterous plot developments as she identifies the boys’ prep school and persuades her wealthy father to grease the wheels and almost instantaneously transfer her there. Completely changing her physical appearance, incognito Jade hatches a plan to seduce and manipulate Mack, the least culpable member of the group. Clean-cut Mack was not party to the drink-spiking episode.
‘He’s weak…not a wolf like the rest of them…still kind, or close enough that it’s dulled his teeth.’
But Mack does possess Shakespearean ‘ vaulting ambition.’ He desires Duncan’s alpha male crown and Jade knows just how to help him seize it before she ruins ‘…every last one of them.’
Those familiar with Macbeth will recognise various lines and plot twists as Jade’s machinations come to fruition. Cleverly however, Hannah Capin spins the tale to her own 21st century purposes. Strong on female friendship, Jade’s coven are central to the plot, ‘we’re magic…so firework-bright no one can look away.’ Making rage their greatest gift, they will do anything for her.
Considering the themes of violence, murder and allusion to rape, Foul is Fair is suitable for older teens only. Visceral, melodramatic and utterly gripping, it’s the perfect weekend sofa read.
Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin is published by Penguin, 336 pages.