Source: Review copy
Publication: 15th May 2018 from Orenda Books
Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…
Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than lost keys and missing words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble. But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?
Oh! what a tangled web we weave : when first we practice to deceive. Sir Walter Scott, Marmion.
Wow! This is a book that takes domestic noir to a new level. Tense, propulsive, compelling, Louise Voss has created a spellbinding tale of deceit, lies and betrayal that had my brain whirling and my attention focussed throughout.
Lynn and Ed Naismith have a happy marriage. They met through an amateur dramatics company, fell in love, and have been happy ever since, despite Lynn having suffered a miscarriage early on in their marriage. Lynn has a new part time job as a student concert promoter and she is looking forward to a new start to her working life.
Now Ed has been diagnosed with Pick’s disease; an illness that his father suffered from and which is a form of progressive dementia. Dementia is a terrible disease and more so for friends and relatives who see the changes in their loved ones and can do nothing to help them.
As Lynn struggles to cope with Ed’s increasingly erratic behaviour, she feels her world is spinning out of control. Yet she is also troubled by a few small things that happen during the early stages of Ed’s diagnosis.
It isn’t very long after Ed’s diagnosis until he starts to become forgetful and Lynn sees their relationship begin to slip through her fingers like grains of sand in an hourglass. Her whole life is slowly fading to black and she begins to doubt herself as she struggles to imagine how she can keep a life of her own and a loving relationship with Ed.
It’s sometimes quite unsettling as you realise that the dynamic of their relationship is changing for ever, and the narrative takes us back in time to the circumstances of their first meeting as you learn more about both characters’ histories.
The more you learn, the more you need to understand about what is really happening here and Voss takes the reader on a journey that is going to lead to everything they already know being undermined and turned on its head.
Unsettling, full of twists and chock full of shocking revelations, this is a story like no other I have read. Voss’s writing is superb and her characters spring to life from the page, but the reader will find that as her subtle narrative unfolds, it is difficult to tell where the deception begins and ends.
Highly original, inventive and very creepy, this is a book that ends with a bang and I certainly didn’t see the finale coming.
Perhaps a little hyperbolic, it didn’t matter to me; I was hooked from the beginning and it never let me go.
About Louise Voss
Over her eighteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had eleven novels published – five solo and six co-written with Mark Edwards: a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction – and sold over 350,000 books. Louise has an MA (Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at http://www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.
Follow Louise on Twitter @LouiseVoss1
Don’t just take my word for it, see what others are saying here: