Kesterly-on-Sea is full of secrets.
Some are darker than others; many are shameful. One is even deadly.
Andee is an ex-detective whose marriage is breaking up. So when a young female student disappears without trace, she throws herself into the search.
Meanwhile, the town’s beloved Rowzee Cayne has just discovered that she is terminally ill, and doesn’t want to burden her family and friends with the news.
Andee and Rowzee don’t know it yet, but their journeys are going to help them uncover a secret. One that is going to affect them more than they could ever imagine.
For Susan Lewis’ latest gripping drama we are in Kesterly-on-Sea where we meet private investigator Andee Lawrence. After the collapse of ex-police detective Andee’s marriage, she is asked for help by the father of a girl who went missing in London two years ago after the police investigation failed to reach a conclusion.
We also meet Rowzee Cayne. Rowzee has a connection to Andee in that she taught her two children when they were at school, but she is also hiding a terrifying secret that she absolutely refuses to share with her family. Despite the consequences.
Susan Lewis cleverly intertwines these two women’s stories and makes us ask ourselves whether some secrets really are best kept hidden?
Confession time. This is actually the first ever Susan Lewis book I have read. She is one of those authors whose books have been on my radar for absolutely ages, but for whatever reason I have just never got round to giving them a go. I am utterly delighted that I have no discovered her work and I’m really looking forward to leisurely working my way through her back catalogue…
This story gripped me right from the off. Susan has presented her characters in such a fascinating and compelling way that you quickly become submerged in their lives and eager to discover how their stories are going to progress. I was also really keen to see how Andee’s and Rowzee’s stories would be linked together and the intrigue kept me flying through the pages until I reached the end. Each character in the story plays a significant part and when all the loose threads were tied up I was certainly not disappointed. Everything was explained and the story reached a satisfying conclusion.
I love how many different themes are explored in this story, but I especially like the way in which Susan examines the destruction of keeping secrets from loved ones. Can it sometimes do more harm than good to reveal a secret? Or is honesty always the best policy? I could feel the tension running through this story and loved the psychological drama side to the novel. It is one that will completely grab your attention and have you reading well into the night – and who doesn’t love a novel like that!?
There’s plenty of mystery and drama in this well-crafted, page-turner from Susan Lewis. I can’t wait to discover more of her books…
A huge thank you to Louise from Louise Page PR for the opportunity to review The Moment She Left.
To be in with the chance of winning one of two copies of The Moment She Left click here to be taken to the Rafflecopter entry page and follow the on screen instructions. Closes 12/08. UK only. Good Luck!
I was born in 1956, in Bristol. My father was a Welsh miner, a poet, an engineer and a thinker. My mother was one of 13 children who, at 20, persuaded my father to spend his bonus on an engagement ring instead of a motorbike. We were a normal, happy, nuclear family, living in a spanking new council house on the outskirts of town – my mother’s pride and joy. But we were going to do better, my mother had made up her mind about that. My father, an unabashed communist, was writing a book, I was signed up for ballet, elocution, piano and eventually a private boarding school, and my brother, (the real great love of my mother’s life) was going to succeed at everything he set his mind to.
I was 9 and my brother 5 when my mother died of cancer. She was 33, my father was 37, and he never married again.
I went to the boarding school, a rogue little pupil in amongst all the posh girls, with their plummy voices, rich parents and exotic tales of faraway places. I yearned for my mother and father, but it was for the best, I was told. My father couldn’t bring me up on his own. However, I believed he could, and because no one would listen to my pleas for freedom, I took it upon myself to get expelled. It took a while, and I had rather a fabulous time achieving it, and by the time I was thirteen I was back in our little council house with my father and brother.
The teenage years are too painful to go into.
When I was 18 I got a job at HTV in Bristol, and at 22 I moved to London to work for Thames. I began as a secretary in news and current affairs, then trained as a production assistant and moved on to light entertainment and drama. It was a love of drama, combined with a fierce ambition, that got me knocking on the Controller’s door to ask what steps to take to become a producer. “Oh, go away and write something,” came the reply. So I did.
Over 30 books later, my only regret is that none of them have yet made it to the screen. I left TV eighteen years ago to do the “novelist thing” of buying a house with a swimming pool in the South of France. Bliss! For the first summer! After that came a disastrous love affair with one of the FBI’s most wanted, the plunge of the pound, and the dawning realization that life full-time in France was very, very different to a two week holiday frolicking around on millionaire’s yachts on the sunny Riviera. Sure it was glamorous, and the yachts – along with the interesting people – all came back in the summer, but the endless months in between were not far short of hell.
So, off to sunny California and Hollywood. After equipping myself with a Mercedes estate for my beloved dogs Casanova and Floozie, a home in the hills complete with pool and perfect sunsets every night, I set about completing the obstacle course of cowboy agents, big-talking producers and wannabe directors. Once I realised that Hollywood was NOT waiting for me, I put the struggle behind me and from thereon life in Tinsel Town became just plain thrilling. From star-studded screenings and glitzy parties, to moonlit dinners on the beach and edgy nightclubs, it was the perfect town to be single. George Clooney was my neighbour, Jennifer Anniston, Charlize Theron and Julianne Moore shopped in the same places, Nick Cage was a guest at my house, and Steve Martin was a regular on our dog walks. Romances flourished and faded, some dreams came true and others were crushed.
After seven happy years of taking the best from Hollywood and avoiding the rest, I had to face up to the fact that I was losing touch with being English. I needed a fix of my own country, so once again my dogs and I were on the move. We returned to Wiltshire for two years where making the adjustment from Manolo Blahniks to Wellies, cocktails at sunset to nights in by the fire, and no more glittery invites to liven up the mail proved too crushing for a still young and lively spirit.
So, we returned to the South of France, not to the same village, but to an even prettier one than before, perched high above the Riviera with glorious views of the sea. It was wonderful to be back amongst old friends, and to make so many new ones – the stress of living in a language that wasn’t mine was still an issue, but seemed slightly easier to deal with second time around. Alas Casanova and Floozie both died aged 13 and 15 during our first few years there, but Coco and Lulabelle are doing a valiant job of taking over their places – and my bed!
Everything changed again three months after my 50th birthday when, having given up hope of ever finding the right man, I met James my now husband, who lived and worked in Bristol. For a couple of years we had a very romantic and enjoyable time of it flying back and forth to see one another at weekends, but at the end of 2010 I finally sold my house on the Riviera and we are now living on the edge of the Cotswolds in a delightful old barn with Coco and Lulabelle. James’s sons Michael and Luke are regular visitors; it’s been quite exhilarating and educational having a young musician and dedicated sportsman in my life!
Should you be interested to know a little more about my early life why not try Just One More Day, which is a memoir about me and my mother. The follow up book One Day at a Time continues the story with my father.