It is my great pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Till The Dust Settles by Pat Young. My thanks to Sarah Hardy from Bloodhound Books for inviting me to be a part of the tour. The story is set in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 World Trade Centre bombings in New York. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this story in just a moment, but first up here is what it is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
Two women will never meet, but their lives are about to collide.
Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent. Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.
As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.
On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity to start again.
She thought the grass would be greener but starting again is never that simple. And sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.
I don’t think that there is anybody who was at an age of conscious thought in 2001 who will ever forget that fateful day, September 11th, which changed the world forever. I was a generational equivalent of the falling of the Berlin Wall. You will always remember where you were on the day, the moment, the Towers fell. I was travelling back from Milton Keynes with one of my drivers when the first place struck. We thought it was some kind of joke. I was listening in horror with the rest of my team back at the RDC in Leicester as the first tower fell.
It is this event which acts as the back drop to the novel, Till The Dust Settles, the catalyst for a series of choices which will change lives forever. As the book opens we find ourselves with Lucie who is caught up in the debris of the first tower collapse. Late to an interview at the North Tower, all Lucie can do is watch in terror as all around her ‘ghosts’ and ‘living snowmen’ appear, the figures walking and running from the dust clouds, so covered in the fine ash as to render them unidentifiable, the image so synonymous with the television reports of that day. Young captures this perfectly and her description of the terrifying race to safety that Lucie faces is all the more believable because of it. What happens to her, the tragedy she is faced with presents Lucie with an opportunity which will be both the best and worst chance in her thus far volatile life.
I don’t want to discuss the plot too much but I don’t think I’m giving anything away if I say that Lucie both wants and needs to flee her old life. Stuck in an abusive marriage, she is thankful to be presented with the opportunity to reinvent herself. Now I did have to suspend disbelief a little bit as some of the coincidences which occur are a little too convenient, but if you can look beyond the one in a million chance event which occurs and try and believe it to be fate, or perhaps even serendipity, then this is a very absorbing read, one which I finished in just one evening.
I liked the character of Lucie. She has had a tragic couple of years but as the story developed, far from the victim she is first portrayed as, Young allowed us to see a little of the woman she could have been. Her husband is an idiot pure and simple – driven by greed and as self-serving as they come, while he never felt quite threatening to me, circumstances preventing it, he quickly became someone I could hate. There was not one redeeming quality to him – everything was an act. And as for Richard … This is a man Lucie meets ‘by chance’ but as the reader finds out early on, he has a hidden agenda. WE know he is a bad character and Young has created a heady mix of charm and deceit in writing him, but I don’t think anyone can predict quite how vile this man is in his quest for riches.
This wasn’t a fast-paced thriller, many of the sections seeming quite pedestrian in terms of content. However, there was always this sense of jeopardy for Lucie, in that there was a constant threat of discovery, and this drove the story onward making it flow deftly. It is not until the end that the real tension occurs in a final showdown to Lucie and Richard, but the story doesn’t need it. After all, there is nothing that could happen that could possibly trump the events of that day. If would be foolish to even try.
My thanks to publishers Bloodhound Books for the advance copy of Till The Dust Settles for review. It was released on 27th July and is available from the following retailers.
About The Author
Pat Young grew up in the south west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often goes to the other extreme, the south west of France, in search of sunlight.
Pat never expected to be a writer. Then she found a discarded book with a wad of cash tucked in the flyleaf. ‘What if something awful happened to the person who lost this book?’ she thought, and she was off.
Pat knew nothing of writing, but she knew a thing or two about books, having studied English, French and German at Glasgow University. A passion for languages led to a career she loved and then a successful part-time business that allowed her some free-time, at last.
Pat had plans, none of which included sitting at her desk from daybreak till dusk. But some days she has to. Because there’s a story to be told. And when it’s done, she can go out to play. On zip-wires and abseil ropes, or just the tennis court.
Pat writes psychological thrillers. Till the Dust Settles is her debut, from Bloodhound Books
Do make sure to check out some of the other blogs who have been taking part in the tour.