No-one has ever had to bend my arm up my back to get me to read a book by Lynda Renham: today I’m delighted to join the blog tour for Watching You, her latest psychological thriller, available from Amazon in the UK and US (my thanks to the author for my advance reading e-copy). Published for kindle on 5th April by Raucous Publishing, the paperback will be available from 20th April. I’ve loved so many of Lynda’s romantic comedies – you’ll find all the reviews here on Being Anne – but I was also extremely impressed by her first thriller Remember Me (you’ll find my review here). And I’m delighted to report I was really rather impressed by this one too…
Already hooked? Go on, let’s take a look at an extract from the prologue before I share my review…
1st January 2000, 1 A.M.
Her bare feet pounded the gravel, the sharp stones cutting mercilessly into her skin. The wind whipped cruelly at her hair and played with her new chiffon dress until her legs became entangled within it. She pulled herself free from the material without once slowing her pace, her heart drumming in her chest. She could hear the blood pulsating in her ears like a wild war dance. Her scalp tingled. Something had touched her. She fought back a scream. It was a branch, just a tree in the blackness of the night. Keep going. She couldn’t stop. A firework boomed and lit up the night sky. She tripped, scattering the detestable gravel. A small sob escaped her lips before she dragged herself up and continued on. He’d seen her. He’d seen her. That’s all she knew. Keep running. Don’t look back. An orchestra of colours exploded in the sky and lit up the tall iron gates of Greystone Hall ahead of her. She thought back to the house and nausea rose up in her gut. Soon she would smell the pungent odour of seaweed. Her heart beat a steady rhythm now. She knew the beach wasn’t far away. Excited voices and the sound of drunken laughter broke through her pulsating eardrums. People were partying on the beach. It was the beginning of something new, something exciting, a new start.
‘Happy Millennium,’ someone shouted.
She tripped in her haste to reach them. Her mouth connected with cold sand, it scratched her skin.
‘Help me,’ she choked. ‘Please.’
‘Had too much?’ said a voice.
There was laughter from a small group huddled around a camp fire.
‘Hold on,’ said another. The voice concerned.
She felt someone touch her.
‘Fuck, she’s bleeding.’
‘Call the police,’ yelled another.
There was scuffling and someone wrapped a coat around her. It was warm and comforting.
‘Christ, what happened?’ he said.
‘Someone shot my Aunt and Uncle,’ she moaned, trying to get up. She couldn’t. She was exhausted.
‘I think they’re dead.’
If you enjoy a book that has you checking repeatedly that you’ve locked the doors and looking under the bed for someone lying in wait, you’re going to just love this one! It’s a great story, and the pacing is absolutely perfect. The book alternates between present day – after Ewan Galbraith’s release from prison, focusing on his promise that he will take revenge on everyone involved in his murder conviction – and the build up to the carnage of Millennium Eve, and the structure works really well. The writing is taut and just wonderfully edgy, and the characterisation is excellent: as well as the main characters, I particularly liked the police team – involved in the investigation of the earlier events, again handling Libby’s protection – and the light focus on their personal lives as the main story twists and turns around them.
Doubts that you’re getting the full story start to creep in as the pages turn faster, the threat increasing and getting ever closer with every new text message and photo. But the “stunning twist” of the Amazon description took me totally by surprise – convincing, credible and a suitably shocking climax to a book that had me on the edge of my seat from its opening pages.
With thanks to Lynda and tour organiser Brook Cottage Books, I’m delighted to offer the chance to win a copy of Watching You (a paperback for a UK winner, an e-copy for an international winner). Here’s the rafflecopter for entry:
About the author
Lynda Renham’s writing will appeal to readers of Susan Lewis’ books but with more of a thriller edge. She is famous for her romantic comedy novels having written over twelve popular titles. Lynda lives in Oxford, is a prolific writer, blogger and when not writing can usually be found wasting her time on Facebook. Her web page is here, and you can follow her on Twitter and through her Facebook author page.