#Blogtour One Last Secret by Adele Parks

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour One Last Secret by Adele Parks.

About the Author

Adele Parks MBE was born in North Yorkshire. She is the author of 21 bestselling novels including most recently the Sunday Times and eBook Number One bestseller Both Of You. Over four million UK editions of her work have been sold and her books have been translated into 31 different languages. Adele’s recent Sunday Times Number One bestsellers Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck were shortlisted for the British Book Awards and have been optioned for development for TV.

She is an ambassador of the National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency: two charities that promote literacy in the UK. Adele has lived in Botswana, Italy and London and is now settled in Guildford, Surrey. In 2022 she was awarded an MBE for services to literature. Follow @adeleparks on Twitter, Visit adeleparks.com

About the book

One Last Client – A week at a beautiful chateau in the south of France – it should be a straightforward final job for Dora. She’s a smart, stunning and discreet escort and Daniel has paid for her services before. This time, all she has to do is convince the assembled guests that she is his girlfriend. Dora is used to playing roles and being whatever men want her to be. It’s all about putting on a front.

One Last Chance – It will be a last luxurious look at how the other half lives, before Dora turns her back on the escort world and all its dangers. She has found someone she loves and trusts. With him, she can escape the life she’s trapped in. But when Dora arrives at the chateau, it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems.

One Last Secret – Dora finds herself face to face with a man she has never forgotten, the one man who really knows her. And as old secrets surface, it becomes terrifyingly apparent that one last secret could cost Dora her life…

Review

I’m a sucker for a woman who says it like it is, sees the world the way it really is, and isn’t afraid to take what she wants – regardless of what society says about her.

Dora has no illusions about how she makes her money. It’s just a job, right? The risks are kept to a minimal, but of course there is only so much you can control. It also means it’s harder to move from one tier of the social structure to another – there are plenty of negative connotations when it comes to her chosen career path.

It has shades of Diary of a Call Girl with Gone Girl, and of course the trademark intense scrutiny and dissection of interpersonal relationships. This author knows exactly how to pour salt into an open wound, get readers to experience a smorgasbord of emotional ping-pong, and create a bond between even the most controversial of characters. 

The first few chapters are spectacular – brutally frank, often gross, and they give readers access to a hidden abyss. 

As far as I am concerned this is her best book yet, and it should be added to her growing list of titles being optioned for television. Like a fine wine gets better with age, Parks pushes her boundaries and creativity with each new book.

Buy One Last Secret at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comBuy via Harper Collins.

#BlogTour A Kingswater Summer by Jo Lambert

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour A Kingswater Summer by Jo Lambert.

About the Author

Jo Lambert lives on the eastern edge of the city of Bath. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors.  She has been writing since 2008. Her first five books, a set of linked romantic sagas following the lives of several families in rural West Somerset, were followed in 2015 by Summer Moved On, a contemporary romance set in South Devon. A sequel, Watercolours in the Rain was published 2017, 

 In June 2018 Jo signed to Choc Lit and her debut A Cornish Affair, set in North Cornwall was published in 2019 under their Ruby Fiction imprint. 

Her latest novel A Kingswater Summer is the second of a three-book series. The first, Shadows on the Water, was published in 2020. Both books can be read as standalone stories.

When she isn’t writing she reads and reviews. She also has an active blog.  Jo loves travel, red wine and music and long as it has a great melody and lyrics. Oh, and she often takes the odd photograph or two…

Follow @Jolambertwriter on Twitter, Visit jolambertwriter.blo

About the book

Kiera – Newly returned from backpacking around Europe, Kiera Merrick has landed a dream job – working for actress Stella Wynter, helping set up a memory room at Penmarra, her beautiful riverside home just outside Kingswater.

Jake – Jake Paterson is currently staying with Stella after filming the final series of his popular TV drama. He is trying to work out how to get his co-star and long-term girlfriend Rachel Tyler back after she walked out on him. But Jake soon finds himself drawn to Kiera, developing feelings for her that have no place in his life. He realises painful choices will eventually have to be made. And someone is going to get hurt.

Tom – Stella’s godson, hapless Tom Armytage is also staying at Penmarra along with girlfriend Chantal. He dreams of becoming a successful property developer and hopes Chantal’s dynamic presence will boost his ambitions. To impress her he boasts that he is heir to all of Stella’s wealth.

Chantal –  Chantal Porter is a woman used to getting her own way. Tom is her ideal partner; weak and easily manipulated. Listening to him talk about his inheritance, she likes the idea of being Penmarra’s next mistress. But Stella and Jake’s close relationship gives her cause for concern. Who is he? And could he be a threat to her future ambitions?

As Jake comes to a difficult decision and sets off for London to sort things out with Rachel, a heart broken Kiera is left to watch helplessly as Chantal puts in place a plan to secure Tom’s inheritance. One that will change Stella’s life for ever.

Set on the south coast of Cornwall, A Kingswater Summer is a story of love, deception, and family secrets…

Review

Returning from her backpacking year leaves Keira feeling both wistful for the experiences she has left behind and looking forward to the people and things she has missed, including her job. Turns out her absence didn’t leave a gaping hole, which gives her the opportunity to move on to other things.

She enters the isolated world of Stella Wynter, to help her set up a room that will be an homage to her life – a memory room. A fascinating job with a lonely woman turns into something that makes Keira worry. She finds herself in the midst of insincerity, lies and greed with Stella in the middle – someone needs to be in her corner.

Although this is set-up as a multiple character experience according to the blurb – in fact Keira is the character who takes centre stage throughout. It’s interesting how Lambert brings a two-tone concept to the table, because it is very much a story about self-discovery, love and yet also a dark domestic thriller type of story. The reader gets relatable family dynamic and a twisted mystery to boot.

Buy A Kingswater Summer at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher ‏: ‎Drama Driven Publishing pub date 9 Aug. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Murder of Graham Catton by Katie Lowe

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Murder of Graham Catton by Katie Lowe.

About the Author

Katie is a graduate of the University of Birmingham with a BA(Hons) in English and an MPhil in Literature and Modernity, and in 2012 started her blog, Fat Girl PhD – writing about body image, feminism and health. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Independent, and the BBC, as well as a number of media outlets in the US, Canada and Australia. Katie is currently working on a PhD in Female Rage in Literary Modernism and the #MeToo Era. THE FURIES is her first novel. Follow @fatgirlphd on Twitter, Visit katie-lowe.co.uk

About the book

Everyone says Graham Catton was the perfect husband, professor and father. Why would someone murder him?

His wife, Hannah Catton, tells the police she remembers nothing from the night of the murder. Why would she lie to them? Evidence against the accused, Mike Philips, is minimal and he protests his innocence throughout the trial. Why would they convict him?

Journalist Anna Byers has overturned numerous prison sentences with her popular podcast Conviction and she believes the wrong man is behind bars. What will she do to help him? Someone knows more about the murder than they’re telling. It may have been Hannah’s husband who was killed, but listeners are about to become judge, jury and executioner on this season of Conviction.

Review

If Hannah’s professionalism is anything to go by then she is in a deep well of trouble. She dithers, dathers and doubts herself. Wonders whether she might or might not have crossed boundaries or helped to accelerate the decline of a patients mental health. Hmm, when you take that into consideration is it that far of a stretch to think she might have a lapse of sanity and kill her husband. Or maybe there was no lapse.

The Conviction true crime podcast not only puts her name back in the minds of everyone, it also makes her start to doubt the narrative she has believed for so many years. The death of Hannah’s husband is about to be reviewed and dissected by millions of listeners.

Lowe writes comfortable chaos and equally chaotic characters, but with a nice little psycho twist to it. Do we know if she did it, because thinks she did it – then she realises someone else did it, but hey they changed their mind too. Got that?

At times it feels as if there are too many threads trying to compete for the finish line, but then that leads nicely into the instability of the main character. It’s a very specific type of domestic psychological thriller. 

Buy The Murder of Graham Catton at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Harper Collins pub date 10th June 2021 | Hardback | Audio | Ebook | £12.99. 

#BlogTour How to Survive Everything by Ewan Morrison

It’s my turn on the BlogTour How to Survive Everything by Ewan Morrison. Saraband are bringing forward publication of Saltire prize-winner Ewan Morrison’s new novel, How To Survive Everything, in response to the latest lockdown.

About the Author

Ewan Morrison is a multi-award-winning novelist, screenwriter and essayist. His 2019 novel, Nina X, won the Saltire Society Scottish Fiction Book of the Year and is currently being developed as a feature film with a multi-award-winning director. He has previously won the Scottish Book of the Year Fiction Prize (2013) and the Glenfiddich Scottish Writer of the Year (2012). 

His first feature film, an adaptation, was released in five territories in 2016, and was a finalist for four international film awards. American Blackout, a feature length docudrama co-written by Morrison, reached an estimated audience of 30 million viewers. Morrison has also been nominated for three Scottish BAFTAs. 

Follow @MrEwanMorrison on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazon, Visit ewanmorrisonBuy How to Survive Everything

About the book

The novel, in the face of a terrifying near-future pandemic, is the story of 15-year-old Haley and her 8-year-old brother Ben, kidnapped by their father to his secret lockdown hideaway.  Imprisoned in their new ‘prepper’ environment, designed to deter intruders and equipped with rations of food, medicine and water to ensure their survival when civilisation collapses, they not only have to cope with their parents’ bitter divorce, but choose between deeply conflicting views of reality. 

How to Survive Everything is one teenage girl’s guide to navigating the collapse of everything she knows – including her family and their sanity.

Review

The last person you expect to kidnap you is your loving parent right? Or to isolate you from the world and teach you how to survive the kind of catastrophe that leaves only the toughest survivalists in its wake. How do you deal with that as a teenage girl? You write your own survival guide and a warning of sorts.

I think the author makes an interesting point about preppers, who is to say that what they are prepping for isn’t going to eventually come to pass. Given the past year it’s fair to say none of us know what is behind the corner or how bad a potential catastrophe or pandemic could potentially get.

How does a family deal with a conspiracy theorist, a movement that has grown considerably in the last few years. With what appears to be outlandish ideas and alternate realities, and what if those ideas are grounded in reality?

What starts out as preparing for a premise and a fear, could become the preparation for the real scenario. I loved the way it was a dystopian come domestic thriller. A real dysfunctional family and their problems combined with the serious element of a changing world. A parent convinced his children need to be prepped for the end of world and at the same time shutting his ex-partner down by taking what she cares about most. Is it revenge or genuine concern?

I also adored the snarky teenage voice as the narrator. A how to guide as only a teenage girl can view and describe it. It puts an element of wit, desperation and comedy to the story at times.

Buy How to Survive Everything at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Contraband pub date 1 Mar. 2021. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Wife Who knew Too much by Michele Campbell.

About the Author

Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School. She worked at a prestigious Manhattan law firm before spending eight years fighting crime in NYC as a federal prosecutor. Her debut novel It’s Always the Husband was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller.

Follow @MCampbellBks on Twitter, on Goodreadson Amazon, Visit MicheleCampbellBooks.comBuy The Wife Who Knew Too Much

About the book

Tabitha Girard had her heart broken years ago by Connor Ford. He was preppy and handsome. She was a pool girl at his country club. Their affair should have been a summer fling. But it meant everything to Tabitha.

Years later, Connor comes back into Tabitha’s life—older, richer, and desperately unhappy. He married for money, a wealthy, neurotic, controlling woman whom he never loved. He has always loved Tabitha.

When Connor’s wife Nina takes her own life, he’s free. He can finally be with Tabitha. Nina’s home, Windswept, can be theirs. It seems to be a perfect ending to a fairy tale romance that began so many years ago. But then, Tabitha finds a diary. “I’m writing this to raise an alarm in the event of my untimely death,” it begins. “If I die unexpectedly, it was foul play, and Connor was behind it. Connor—and her.”

Who is Connor Ford? Why did he marry Nina? Is Tabitha his true love, or a convenient affair? As the police investigate Nina’s death, is she a convenient suspect?

As Tabitha is drawn deeper into the dark glamour of a life she is ill-prepared for, it becomes clear to her that what a wife knows can kill her. 

Review

Nina was once called a gold-digger. Now she is the one holding the purse strings she has been accused of being brainwashed by one. Connor is young, handsome, smart and ambitious. He is easy on the eye and a pleasure in bed. Why would anyone think he has ulterior motives just because she is much older and worth a fortune? Why would anyone think marrying him is a mistake?

Tabitha never really got over her first love – her rich boy from the other side of the tracks. He made her believe she was special, was enough for him and more than just a physical distraction. The rude awakening she experienced has always remained with her, as has the passion and attraction she felt for Connor at the time.

When Nina meets an untimely end, which she predicts, suspicion falls on those closest to her and of course those with a motive. Sometimes things are just too convenient to be true though or are they?

Although this lacks the clarity and precise plotting of the previous books by Campbell it is still a driven and engaging read. It’s a domestic thriller with plenty of paths leading in the wrong direction. What victim and suspect have in common is the belief that there is something like pure passion, devotion and love is out there for everyone, whereas the truth is a wee bit more cynical than that.

Buy The Wife Who Knew Too Much at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon comHiveBookshop orgWaterstones.

Read my reviews of A Stranger on the Beach and It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell.

#Review The Last Thing to Burn by Will Dean

Review

Jane is an unwilling participant in her marriage. She is a captive. She stays only to keep someone else safe, although her husband has made it impossible to escape his clutches. Hope seems to be a thing of the past until something changes her determination to break free of the chains that bind her so tightly.

Dean certainly is full of surprises, which isn’t a bad thing when it comes to writing or creating captivating stories. Just when you think you have the measure of the flair, spectrum and ability, and then he goes and writes a complete curveball. A brilliantly engaging, intense and incredibly important one.

Aside from the immaculate plotting and on point characters there is another element of the story that absolutely deserves a kudos. The way Dean was able to immerse himself into the world of coercive, mental, physical abuse and the psychological abuse that goes hand-in-hand with trafficking and modern day slavery. You’ll often hear or read cries of indignation ‘why didn’t he/she leave or ask for help, which of course is one of the many reasons abusive relationships are incomprehensible to someone who hasn’t experienced them – the inability to comprehend the dynamics of control, power and abuse.

Whilst it is absolutely true that the young, vulnerable and inexperienced are statistically more likely to become victims, abuse does not halt before the intelligent, educated mind or person. It is far more complex than that. Anyway I digress.

My point is that Dean writes this with such an in-depth perception it made me wonder about the ability of certain storytellers to write beyond the construct and patriarchal dogma or bias of their gender, which is important depending on the topic and the gender of their characters. This story would have been ruined by tropes, instead it is a hard-hitting piece of fiction set in realism.

It is also written in an almost minimalistic style and mindset, which captures the isolation of the main character and the surroundings. An element I found extremely intriguing given where the story takes place. It serves as a stark reminder as to how disconnected the majority of us are from each other. Easier to look away and ignore the obvious signs than to become involved and help.

Above all Dean shines a spotlight on one of the most prevalent crimes of our modern era, although one could argue that slavery and human trafficking has merely evolved with the times and the demand. Unfortunately it’s a very profitable, albeit completely despicable business and crime.

This is a cracking read. Oh and kudos to the author for the name and identity part of the story, especially in relation to Mary. Subtle, and yet simultaneously gut-wrenching and visceral. 

Buy/Pre-order The Last Thing to Burn at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; pub date 7 Jan. 2021. Buy at Amazon comHiveBookshop orgWaterstones.

Follow @willrdean on Twitter, on Amazonon Goodreadson YoutubeBuy The Last Thing to Burn

#BlogTour The Silent Daughter by Kirsty Ferguson

It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Silent Daughter by Kirsty Ferguson.

About the Author

Kirsty Ferguson is a born and bred Australian. She writes crimes and mystery novels. Her stories center around strong women and dark themes that are topical and relevant to today. Kirsty chooses to deconstruct and enthrall her readers with the secrets of any everyday person behind closed doors. She has long been a lover or writing and reading, creating stories from a young age.

Follow @kfergusonauthor on Twitter,on Facebookon Instagram, Visit www.kirstyferguson.comBuy The Silent Daughter

About the book

Secrets can kill and Danni Brooks knows that better than anyone.

When her husband and two of her three children perish in a devastating house fire, Danni is sure it is arson. She’s even more sure that her and her eldest daughter Mia were meant to die in the fire too. But they are just a normal family. Who would want them dead? 

Mia doesn’t talk. She can’t. She is locked in her own world where no one, not even her mother can reach her. 

Desperate for answers, and convinced the truth might help her to reach her daughter, Danni tries to piece together the events leading up to that murderous night and uncover the arsonist. But with so many lies to untangle, what is the truth?

Prepare to have your breath taken away by an unforgettable twist that will leave you reeling…

Review

It’s one of those stupid accidents, everyone does it. A mistake, but one with devastating consequences. Now the only person Danni has left is treating her with utter disdain. Is it grief or is there more to the story?

It’s a very dark domestic thriller and perhaps one that will make people uncomfortable about a few home truths there are in it. The first being that sisterly love is a concept romanticised by the media, society and most definitely social media. Why? Because it sounds so much better, the cotton candy fluffy supportive love between sisters, as opposed to the destructive, violent, jealous and often hidden hatred that lurks just beneath the surface. Then again sometimes it doesn’t even bother lurking.

Kudos to Ferguson for that, even if the storyline is merely in the fictional context of this story- it is still refreshing to read the reality of what a sisterly relationship can look like when it doesn’t conform to the norm. When movies, books and people tell you that the person closest to you in the family unit should be your biggest supporter and confidante, and instead is your most vicious enemy intent on harming you. It happens – it’s very real.

This is a dark, sinister read with graphic scenes at times and characters who are quite unforgiving when it comes to emotional distress and harming each other. It’s not escapism and it doesn’t try to be. Ferguson wants you to wonder about the the stories and gossip you hear, perhaps this will make you look at someone from a different perspective.

Buy The Silent Daughter at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : Boldwood Books; pub date 10 Nov. 2020. Buy at Amazon comBuy at HiveBuy at Bookshop.org. Buy at Boldwood Books

#BlogTour The Good Samaritan by C.J. Parsons

Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour The Good Samaritan by C.J. Parsons.

About the Author

C J Parsons was born in Britain and grew up in Canada. She graduated from Montreal’s McGill University with a degree in psychology and went on to earn a graduate degree in journalism. She worked as a newspaper reporter at Canada’s Globe and Mail before moving to Hong Kong, where she became a columnist at The South China Morning Post. 

She also spent two years covering crime, seeing first-hand the disturbing forces that drive people to kill, something that has informed her writing to this day. After returning to Britain, she moved into television news, working as a broadcast journalist for both the BBC and CNN International. C J is now a senior producer at CGTN. She lives in north London with her twelve-year-old daughter.

Follow @charlopar on Twitteron Goodreadson Amazon, Visit cjparsonswriter.comBuy The Good Samaritan

About the book

When five-year-old Sofia is taken from the park, her mother, Carrie, is beside herself with worry. Carrie has a condition which means she struggles to read facial expressions, so she is terrified she missed something that put her daughter in danger.

But just days later, Sofia is found unharmed. The police immediately suspect Josh, the man who found Sofia, but with no evidence against him they are forced to let him go without charges.

Josh is keen to make sure Sofia is safe and well and Carrie is charmed by his kindness. Carrie also befriends Tara, a mother from the park who helped with the initial search party. But with the identity of Sofia’s abductor still unknown, how much should Carrie trust those who have offered their help?

Are they good Samaritans or has Carrie missed the warning signs?

Review

When Sofia is enticed away from her mother and disappears it is fair to say that a nightmare begins for Carrie. Could it be the child’s own father, who struggles with mental health issues, was Sofia targeted or was she just a child in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Luckily the child is returned by a friendly stranger who just happens to find her. Instead of calling the police or calling for help, he just carries the child home. Slightly odd or just in shock from finding a young child who has been abducted? Carrie finds herself enamoured with more than just one good Samaritan on the day her daughter goes missing and is returned.

I think the automatic reaction for many will be the lack of understanding when it comes to the reactions of the mother, regardless of her diagnosis. It makes it seem, at least from her outward responses, as if she is missing any normal maternal instincts. Saying that, there are plenty of women without any difficulty with their social interaction skills and emotional responses, who also lack the ability to listen to a gut instinct, simply lacked maternal instincts or just don’t care.

It’s a dark domestic thriller, a worrying tale of trust and betrayal. How easy it is to lose what it is you love the most, despite your best efforts to keep everyone safe. Parsons writes the story from the perspective of a main character who doesn’t interact with the world in the way society expects, and questions whether our lack of comprehension in that regard enables a lack of safeguarding for those on the spectrum. When it comes to both adults and children. It’s an interesting take on the regular crime scenario.

Buy The Good Samaritan at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Headline ; pub date 26th November 2020 Paperback | £8.99. Also available in Ebook & Audio. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Perfect Couple by Lisa Hall

Today it’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Perfect Couple by Lisa Hall.

About the Author

Lisa loves words, reading and everything there is to love about books. She has dreamed of being a writer since she was a little girl – either that or a librarian – and after years of talking about it, was finally brave enough to put pen to paper (and let people actually read it). Lisa lives in a small village in Kent, surrounded by her towering TBR pile, a rather large brood of children, dogs, chickens and ponies and her long-suffering husband. She is also rather partial to eating cheese and drinking wine.

Follow @LisaHallAuthor on Twitteron Goodreads, on Amazon, Visit lisahallauthor.co.ukBuy The Perfect Couple

About the book

When Anna applies to a job as a housekeeper for wealthy widow Nick, it’s a chance to start over – steady job, regular money means she can work towards her own place, not sharing a grimy flatshare with old mate, Mel.

As Anna gets to know more about Nick’s world – how likes his supper when he comes in from work, who his friends are – she can make sure everything is just as he wants it. And soon there’s a spark of chemistry between them. Nick likes having Anna around, and one evening invites her to stay…

There’s just the small issue of what actually happened to his first wife…

Review

Rupert is distraught by the death of his beloved wife Caro. He lets his life fall into chaos and isn’t sure whether he should be happy or annoyed by the good intentions of his wife’s best friends. Enter Emily stage left.

More or less hiding from her previous life and an abusive ex, Emily sees an advertisement for a housekeeper and thinks it is the perfect way to rebuild her life. It seems as if the fates have spoken. A lonely widower and a frightened woman looking for safety. The two of them are drawn to each other, although Emily is possibly more attracted to the kind of life Rupert can offer her.

Bob’s your uncle and they are man and wife, perhaps with a little too much haste. Emily becomes the target of harassment and that’s without the bookend witches that guard Rupert and his virtue – they make mean girls look nice. Rupert is disappointed that his new bride appears a wee bit on the paranoid and oversensitive side. The sweet boat of matrimony sails upon rocky waters.

I like the way Hall thinks. This kind of twisted no man’s land of guilt and innocence. Do two wrongs make a right, does the end justify the means? 

It’s a fast-paced intriguing domestic thriller, and Hall doesn’t disappoint when she delivers the kind of ending that tends to make me smile. I do so love a bit of wickedness.

Buy The Perfect Couple at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HQ; pub date 22 Jun. 2020. Buy at Amazon com.

Read my review of Have You Seen her by Lisa Hall.

#BlogTour Blurred Lines by Hannah Begbie

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Blurred Lines by Hannah Begbie.

About the Author

Hannah Begbie studied Art History at Cambridge University. She went on to become a talent agent, representing BAFTA and Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning writers and comedians for fifteen years. She also enrolled in The Novel Studio course at City University, winning that year’s new writing prize.

The book she developed there became her debut novel, MOTHER, which later went on to win the Joan Hessayon Award for New Writers from the RNA. The TV rights were snapped up by Clerkenwell Films (Lovesick, Misfits) after a heated auction, with screenwriter Tom Edge (The Crown, Judy) attached. She lives in north London with her husband and their two sons.

Follow @hannahbegbie on Twitteron Amazonon Goodreads, Visit hannahbegbie.comBuy Blurred Lines

About the book

A compulsive, literary domestic suspense set to spark debate. When Becky accidentally sees her boss with a woman who isn’t his wife, she’s horrified but keeps her counsel – she owes Matthew so much for all he’s done for her career. But when the same woman accuses him of rape and asks for the witness to come forward, Becky doesn’t know what to do.

Was what she saw rape? Or is this a young actress looking to get ahead? And can Becky separate her own traumatic past from the present? As Becky attempts to untangle these blurred lines, she must risk everything to find the truth…

Review

Becky is a woman trying to get her foot further than the first rung on the ladder of success in the world of film making. To do so she has to have her boss Matthew on side – so when she walks in on him, and a woman who isn’t his wife, getting hot and heavy on the floor in his house – she walks straight back out and pretends it all never happened.

Until the unknown woman starts making uncomfortable waves about what Matthew did or didn’t do. Then Becky has to make choices, which are muddied by her own past and difficult experiences as a young girl.

Just going to throw this out there too – that Becky’s reaction of denial, disbelief and talking herself into the more positive and convenient narrative of what she saw, is a direct result and response due to her own experiences.

It’s a dark domestic thriller that couldn’t be more timely given the #MeToo movement and the Weinstein scandal in particular. Begbie really captures the rock and the hard place women get caught between.

If you go against the system, the systemic sexual abuse and harassment of women by powerful men in this patriarchal society, then chances are you will detonate a grenade right underneath you. If you stay quiet and support the abusive system you become part of the problem and you betray women or victims. Career or clear conscience. Submission or fight?

I would love to go into the finer details of what happened to Becky, but it would give too much of the plot away. Needless to say Begbie delivers the kind of read that will be the subject of discussion and perhaps even controversy. I think that is absolutely a good thing.

We need to question the way society, especially women and girls, are taught and groomed to accept a status quo of transgressions against them. To believe them when they have the courage to speak out instead of judging them, disparaging victims and ultimately destroying or almost destroying anyone who speaks out.

How many of us remain silent even now? Would you speak out?

Buy Blurred Lines at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by HarperFiction / 20th August /PB £7.99. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at Waterstones.