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Thursday, 20 August 2020

‘And So It Begins’ by Rachel Abbott

Published by Wildfire,
18 November 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-4722-5489-4 (HB)

When Sergeant Stephanie King responds to a 999 call of a woman screaming for help, she approaches the house with trepidation, and hopes that it won’t be like the last time she was called to this house.  Despite its beauty it gave her the chills, and the sight that greets her in the bedroom does nothing to dispel them.

The story then takes us back to three months earlier and we meet Evie, Mark and Mark’s sister Cleo.  The first-person narrative is by Evie as she relates meeting Mark and their subsequent romance. Although Evie has been Mark’s salvation since pulling him out of the darkness that had overwhelmed him following the death of his wife, she senses Cleo doesn’t like her. But then Cleo didn’t like Mia, Mark’s first wife, either. Then Evie starts having accidents and those around her grow concerned that Mark might be hurting her. 

The story is spread over many months and the main core of the book is the relationship between the three main characters.  We switch intermittently to Cloe’s story in which she resolves to try harder to get along with Evie, mainly as her love for Evie’s child Lulu grows. 

Part of the narration is also from Stephanie King whose thoughts are often invaded by DI Angus Brodie.  Clearly, there is much to be revealed regarding their relationship, but the focus is on Evie, Mark and Cleo.

Cleverly plotted and intriguing, I couldn’t work out the end game.  Although all three main characters are well defined and well-fleshed out I couldn't quite put my finger on what was out of step. It is only when you reach the dramatic ending that things fall into place.   An utterly compelling read and a truly unputdownable book.  And no, I just didn't guess it! Highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett

Rachel Abbott was born just outside Manchester, England.   She became a systems analyst at the age of 21 in the early 1970s, and formed her own software company in the mid 1980s designing computer programmes for education.   The company expanded into all forms of interactive media and became extremely successful. The sale of the company in 2000 enabled her to take early retirement and fulfil one of her lifelong ambitions - to buy and restore a property in Italy.  Once there she completely restored a ruined monastery and started a second successful business renting it out for weddings and conferences. In 2010 she embarked on her third career and wrote her first book Only the Innocent.

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