Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour for the Audiobook The Estate by Liza Costello. Narrated by Denise Gough.
About the Author
Liza Costello was born in County Westmeath, where she lives with her husband and two children. A copy editor and poet, her writing has been broadcast on RTE Radio 1 and published in outlets including The Stinging Fly, The Saturday Independent (Ireland), The Manchester Review and Mslexia. Costello won the Dromineer Literary Festival Poetry Award (2011), came joint second for the Patrick Kavanagh Award for an unpublished collection of poetry (2015), and has been shortlisted for the Sean O’Faolain International Short Story Competition and the Francis McManus Short Story Competition. She is currently completing a PhD on the work of the Irish writer Dermot Healy.
In her gripping debut, Liza Costello takes listeners on a journey into the world of ‘ghost estates’, sprawling housing complexes left almost abandoned. The Estate follows Beth Sheehan, a young Irish woman staying in a Buddhist retreat in Sri Lanka, where she writes down everything that happened to her back in Ireland in an attempt to believe what she has been told; that she is not guilty of murder.
The Estate transports listeners between the remote Sri Lankan retreat where Beth recovers from her trauma and recession-era Ireland, exploring how her life began to unravel. Isolated from her friends and family, she falls for the intense and charismatic Jason, who persuades her to go with him to housesit in an upmarket ‘ghost estate’ in the rural Irish midlands. When Jason’s arrival is postponed, Beth finds herself alone, with only the inhabitants of the estate for company, including friendly Clara, the strange Mr and Mrs Doran, and Michael, a squatter with substance issues and a medical problem.
As Beth begins to settle into life in her new home, it becomes clear that something dark is happening on the estate. She hears gossip about the house she’s living in alone – rumours about a suicide. And when a child goes missing, the house takes on deadly connotations. There’s no place like home…and Beth hopes there never will be again.
Narrated by Denise Gough (People, Places and Things; Angels in America), The Estate is a shocking story in which motives are thrown into doubt, ties are tested, and truths are questioned. An edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Cass Green.
The story wanders from Beth in a silent Buddhist retreat in Sri Lanka and Beth in Ireland. Life after and life before. Almost like scales of guilt and justice balanced precariously in her mind and as part of her daily reality.
You know what they say nothing comes for free. It’s something that Beth should have considered before accepting a strange offer to move into an elegant high-end rent free house on an isolated housing estate with her boyfriend.
Her friends are fed up with her constant drinking and partying, which is why the roommates all go their separate ways. The relationship with her mother and sister is often strained – they go months without communicating. It puts her in a position of vulnerability, because she is isolated. There is no one to share any fears or concerns with, perhaps to bounce any worries off of.
There is also this element to Beth, a part of her personality that she seems unwilling to acknowledge. She becomes aggressive when she drinks and she drinks a lot. Is she capable of hurting someone? Does she really have herself under control?
It’s not long until the peace in the small community or rather the crushing isolation of the area is disturbed by odd events that lead Beth into something she never expected at all. I’m going to leave it at that, because listeners should hear the story develop for themselves, including the insidious plot that creeps into the life of unsuspecting Beth.
It’s a psychological thriller, an insidious plot with multiple layers. All the story-lines are pulled together to create a fascinating read.
I have to give a nod to Denise Gough for the excellent narration. She absolutely manages to embody the character of Beth, set the stage and execute the plot with authenticity and precision, which of course is a testament to her talents.
This is a cracking debut novel. Costello infuses the story with elements of a domestic, psychological and urban thriller.
Listening Length – 6 hours 57 minutes, Author – Liza Costello, Narrator – Denise Gough, Audible.co.uk Release Date – 06 February 2020, Publisher – Audible Studios, Program Type – Audiobook, Version – Original recording, Language – English, ASIN – B081VSNX8F,