As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Orenda Books, 31 August 2018. ISBN: 978-1-912374-21-2(PB)
The secret of a good psychological thriller is misdirection, and plenty
of it. L V Hay's second foray into the genre has it in spades, from the back-cover
blurb right through to the tense, unexpected ending.
Primary school teacher Lily
has grasped the opportunity of second-time-around happiness after a disastrous
first marriage to a self-centred control freak Maxwell. Head teacher Sebastian
is his opposite in every possible way – gentle, generous and caring. But
Maxwell simply won't go away and seems to delight in undermining Lily and
making her life uncomfortable whenever and however he can, usually making use
of their son Denny, who is too young to see through him.
Lily suspects he is
responsible for various things that go wrong, but Maxwell is clever, and she
can't prove anything. Her relationship with Sebastian, and with her best friend
Triss starts to suffer – but it isn't until Sebastian's mother Fran falls ill
that things begin to spiral out of control.
Hay knows how to create
strong female characters; both Lily and Triss are independent and feisty, at
least until Maxwell's wiles get to work on them; and Fran knows how to get her
own way. The men are well drawn too: Maxwell is a good-looking charmer, and
Sebastian's strength of character is marred by a distinctly vulnerable
She is also skilled at
bringing locations to life: the quirky maisonette in which Lily and Sebastian
set up home together; Fran's far more spacious and luxurious house; even the
school in which Lily, Triss and Sebastian work.
The dual viewpoint style adds
to the rising tension. The reader sees Lily and Sebastian played off against
each other, though they have no idea what's happening; and though suspicion is
pointed in several wrong directions, all the clues are there waiting to be
Definitely one for fans of
the psychological thriller.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Lucy V. Hay is a
novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write
consultancy. She is the associate producer of Brit Thrillers Deviation (2012) and Assassin (2015), both starring Danny
Dyer. Lucy is also head reader for The London Screenwriters' Festival. She
lives in Devon with her husband, and three children.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.