It’s a real pleasure today to be joining the blog tour for The Runaway by Linda Huber, published today (24th March) for kindle, with the paperback to follow in the summer. My thanks to Sarah at Book on the Bright Side for the invitation and support, and to Linda for my advance reading e-copy.
I’ve been aware of Linda Huber’s books for quite a long time now (this is her ninth psychological thriller) – I think I’ve downloaded everything she’s ever written, totally convinced that I’d love her books. But I didn’t actually get round to reading one (I know, I know…!) until I tried The Cold Cold Sea back in August 2018. It was just wonderful, totally gripping, so well written – you’ll find my review here, together with a guest post about the book’s Cornish location. I immediately declared a new addition to my favourite authors list – so I was very much looking forward to this one…
Keep your secrets close to home…
Bad things happen in threes – or so it seems to Nicola. The death of her mother-in-law coincides with husband Ed losing his job and daughter Kelly getting into trouble with the police. Time to abandon their London lifestyle and start again by the sea in far-away Cornwall.
It should be the answer to everything – a new home, a new job for Ed and a smaller, more personal school for fifteen-year-old Kelly. But the teenager hates her new life, and it doesn’t take long before events spiral out of control and the second set of bad things starts for Nicola.
Some secrets can’t be buried.
Or… can they?
It was 2am when I turned my light off the other night. “A gripping family drama” they said – could I also add “beware of sleep deprivation”, because there was absolutely no way I was putting this one down until I’d read the very last page.
But it’s also incredibly difficult to write a review without any spoilers – that “second set of bad things” is much of the substance of the story, and to even hint at the way events spiral would be entirely unforgivable. I will tell you something though – it was all entirely unexpected, and an incredibly gripping read. This is a book that certainly won’t disappoint anyone, even those people who read thrillers (psychological or otherwise) far more often than I do.
The writing is taut and entirely engaging, the whole story quite perfectly paced and absolutely compelling: there are surprises, some you might just begin to guess at, but the uncertainty and achy tension really doesn’t let up until the very end, when you get to be able to breathe again because… no, not telling you!
I remember commenting on the author’s wonderful characterisation in my review of the earlier book, and she’s certainly done it again with this one: the legacy of the past, the complex emotional responses, people’s feelings and reactions, the impacts of events on individuals are all totally real, something you really feel. It’s dark – really dark – but then at other times it isn’t, because it’s set against that backdrop of people’s mundane daily lives. And it takes place in Cornwall, in a perfectly drawn location – and bad things really don’t happen there, do they?
And I’m going to stop there, before I say something I shouldn’t – but, if by chance I’ve left you in any doubt, I thought this book was quite wonderful. Highly, highly recommended – and who needs sleep, eh?
About the author
Linda Huber grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, but went to work in Switzerland for a year aged twenty-two, and has lived there ever since. Her day jobs have included working as a physiotherapist in hospitals and schools for handicapped children, and teaching English in a medieval castle. Currently she teaches one day a week, and writes psychological suspense novels and feel-good novellas with (most of) the rest of her time.
Her writing career began in the nineties, when she had over fifty short stories published in women’s magazines before turning to psychological suspense fiction. The Runaway is her ninth book, and is set mostly in Cornwall, where she spent several happy holidays as a child.
Linda’s other project is a series of feel-good novellas written under the pen name Melinda Huber and set on the banks of Lake Constance, just minutes from her home in north-east Switzerland. She really appreciates having the views enjoyed by her characters right on her own doorstep!