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Monday, 29 July 2019

‘Someone You Know’ by Olivia Isaac-Henry

Published by Avon,
18 April 2019.
ISBN: 978-0-00831778-2 (PB)

Tess Piper is wasting her life in an unfulfilling job, an unhappy relationship and too much booze. There is a reason, however: twenty years ago her twin sister Edie disappeared without trace. Is she dead or is she, as Tess still hopes, alive and enjoying a new life?

Suddenly Tess is forced to focus on something: the news that remains have been found that the police believe to be her sister’s. Still in denial, Tess heads back to the Midlands and her father’s home. From then on flashbacks alternate with present action as Tess tries to work out what happened to her family and to her sister in particular. As each layer is peeled back, the irony of the title is shown more richly: the basis of what everyone assumes is a happy family life with supportive friends and relatives is in fact deeply flawed.  When Tess’s father pleads with her not to put herself at risk with any more enquiries, he is doing it for quite a different reason from the obvious one. To reveal more would do the author a disservice.

This is a taut, tense debut novel from a very talented writer, with a second book coming out in October.  Read it, and order the new one now.
Reviewer: Judith Cutler

Olivia Isaac-Henry is a crime writer and crime drama lover, occasional keyboard player, and backing vocalist in the band The Protaganist. She grew up in Worcestershire but now lives in London, where she loves the theatres, food markets and festivals.

Twitter @oisaachenry

Judith Cutler was born in the Black Country, just outside Birmingham, later moving to the Birmingham suburb of Harborne. Judith started writing while she was at the then Oldbury Grammar School, winning the Critical Quarterly Short Story prize with the second story she wrote. She subsequently read English at university. It was an attack of chickenpox caught from her son that kick-started her writing career. One way of dealing with the itch was to hold a pencil in one hand, a block of paper in the other - and so she wrote her first novel. This eventually appeared in a much revised version as Coming Alive, published by Severn House. Judith has seven series. The first two featured amateur sleuth Sophie Rivers (10 books) and Detective Sergeant Kate Power (6 Books). Then came Josie Wells, a middle-aged woman with a quick tongue, and a love of good food, there are two books, The Food Detective and The Chinese Takeout. The Lina Townsend books are set in the world of antiques and there are five books in this series. There are two books featuring Tobias Campion set in the Regency period, and her series featuring Chief Superintendent Fran Harman (6 books), and Jodie Welsh, Rector’s wife and amateur sleuth. Her most recent series features a head teacher. The first book is Head Start. Judith has also written two standalone’s Scar Tissue and Staging Death.

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