Published by Diamond Crime,
17 March 2022.
ISBN: 978-1-7397448-1-7 (PB)
After a brief foray into the far reaches of the solar system in her last novel, Thorne Moore has returned to more familiar ground for her latest work. The beautiful Pembrokeshire coast is the setting, mainly in two very different houses; the story is sometimes tense, sometimes heart-wrenching, always page-turning and absorbing.
After artist Nicki’s husband Adam is killed by a drunk driver, she and her daughter Willow, both felled by grief, escape to a cottage in the seaside village of Tregelli to avoid a stalker determined to make their lives even more wretched. Pembrokeshire works its magic on Willow, who begins to climb out of the pit of heartache helped by gruff but kind-hearted fishing boat owner Harry Roberts, and Alex, the charming and attractive son of the local millionaire, Oliver Wyatt.
For Nicki it takes longer – especially when she crosses swords with Alex’s eccentric grandmother Fabia, and forges an uneasy friendship with Harry’s sister Siân, who has a family tragedy of her own to contend with. Nicki’s recovery begins when she finds she is able to start painting again; and as is often the case in real life, it’s helped along when other people’s troubles give her something to focus on – such as the twin mysteries behind the disappearance of Alex Wyatt’s mother and Siân’s daughter.
In this as in all Thorne Moore’s previous novels, it’s all about the characters: not only Nicki and Willow (and Adam, a very real presence for Nicki even though he’s dead), Harry’s extended family and the Wyatts’ dysfunctional one, but also those in supporting roles, like Carla, Nicki’s outgoing, big-hearted agent, Yvonne the flamboyant gallery owner, Bryony, the drunk driver’s forlorn daughter and many more who all spring off the page fully formed. There’s a strong sense of ‘everyone has their own story’ behind every one of them, even when they only appear briefly and hardly impact on the main narrative line. Moore’s great skill lies in weaving those stories into an entire world which seems to live and breathe and continue to exist beyond the confines of the page. They are made all the more real by the background they are set against, which is as atmospheric and vivid as any painting by the great landscape artists.
When the story begins to
gallop forward towards the end, I guarantee you won’t be able to put the book
down until all the secrets are revealed and justice has prevailed for everyone.
But long before then you’ll be engrossed. Thorne Moore is a force to be
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Thorne Moore grew up in Luton, near London, but has lived in Pembrokeshire in West Wales for the last 35 years. She writes psychological crime, or domestic noir, with an historical twist, focusing on the cause and consequences of crimes rather than on the details of the crimes themselves. A Time For Silence, set in Pembrokeshire, was published by Honno in 2012. It was followed by Motherlove and The Unravelling, set partly in a fictional version of Luton. Shadows, published by Endeavour in 2017, is set in an old house in Pembrokeshire, and is paired with Long Shadows, which explained the history and mysteries of the same house from Medieval times to the late Victorian period.
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 in Oxfordshire in a house groaning with books, about half of them crime fiction.
Terrific review. I completely agree with 'Moore’s great skill lies in weaving those stories into an entire world which seems to live and breathe and continue to exist beyond the confines of the page.' I wish I'd put it so eloquently!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Alex!Delete