It’s such a pleasure today to be joining the blog tour for Nearest Thing to Crazy by Elizabeth Forbes, independently republished on 10th February and available both for kindle and in paperback – with thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation.
It may come as a surprise to many, but women’s fiction and romance hasn’t always been my staple diet – that came rather later. Back in 2013, the blog was still fairly new, and you would have been far more likely to see reviews of historical fiction, or perhaps the latest literary sensation… or my then favourite kind of read, a gripping psychological thriller. I do remember it was Anne who first told me about this wonderful book, and it’s one I’ve never forgotten – and I was so thrilled to add a signed copy (and one of her equally wonderful second book, Who Are You?) to my “special books” shelf after a successful bid in the 2015 Authors for Nepal auction.
Nothing could make me more delighted than to know that a whole new generation of readers will now have the opportunity to read and enjoy it as much as I did….
Cassandra and a group of her friends enjoy Sunday lunch together on a perfect summer’s day. They’re pleased to welcome their glamorous new neighbour and novelist, Ellie, who has rented a house in the village to work on her book. She likes to place herself in the centre of her plots, she says, although it’s hard to see what she’ll find to write about in this quiet country backwater.
As Ellie slots effortlessly into the village social scene, Cass begins to feel increasingly alienated from her friends and isolated from her family but, for the life of her, she can’t fathom out why…
So, my 2013 review – very different from the full reviews I write today, but I do hope you’ll be able to tell how much I loved it…
I love a good psychological thriller. Tina Seskis’ One Step Too Far, Into The Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes, Before I Go To Sleep by SJ Watson, Lottie Moggach’s Kiss Me First… and now I have a new favourite, a quite wonderful read that I found thoroughly gripping and so wonderfully written that you really have no idea at all where the story is going.
Ex-journalist Ellie turns up at a gathering in her open topped sports car – but with the roof in place in case the wind spoils her perfect appearance – having recently moved into a house in the village to write her novel. Cassie – married to Dan, daughter Laura away at university, passionate about her garden and her comfortable life – doesn’t take to her as quickly as everyone else, but despite her discomfort makes every effort to befriend her, even sharing some of her secrets. Through it all, we see the story from Ellie’s point of view too – leaving you unable to decide who to believe.
This is such a cleverly written book – Cassie is a very likeable character, easy to identify with, but you can’t help doubting her view of the world at times. The story twists and turns, unbearably tense at times, and keeps you turning the pages: and I have to say that I never saw the ending coming, although it was totally appropriate and satisfying. Difficult to believe that this is a first novel, it’s so very accomplished – very highly recommended.
If you enjoy a psychological thriller, this really is one of the very best, and far too wonderful to miss – do add it to your reading list…
‘A wonderfully observed tale. Clever, compelling and utterly captivating.’ Caroline Smailes, author of The Drowning of Arthur Braxton
‘…filled with a cast of intriguing characters who live and breathe on the page. I loved it.’ – Amanda Jennings, author of Sworn Secret
‘A clever, unputdownable study of madness and manipulation.’ – Hereford Times
About the author
Elizabeth Forbes was born and raised on the Isle of Wight and now lives in Herefordshire with her husband, two dogs and two hens. She published three romantic thrillers under the name Elizabeth Harrington: The Corporate Wife, Making Up and Daddy Darling. She then took a break from writing and enrolled with the Open University to study for a degree in Literature. She completed her BA with First Class Honours, and also achieved the OU’s Diploma in Creative Writing.
Her first psychological suspense novel, Nearest Thing to Crazy, was published by Cutting Edge Press in 2013. BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and the Mail Online featured the novel because of its gaslighting subject matter. It was a bestseller in Amazon UK’s psychological thriller charts. Her second novel published by Cutting Edge Press in 2014 was Who Are You? which is a dark and twisty tale focussing on the stormy marriage of two people affected by PTSD and childhood trauma. Elizabeth has recently re-published these novels independently with Amazon KDP: her new novel, Shame, will be published on 1st June 2021, and the kindle version is now available for pre-order.