Today it is my great pleasure to join the blog tour for the latest thriller from Mark Tilbury, You Belong To Me. My thanks go to publishers Bloodhound Books for providing an advance copy of the book for review. Here is what the book is about:
The Book Bits
Can two wrongs ever make a right?
The police never found fifteen-year-old Ellie Hutton. She vanished ten years ago after walking home from school along a disused railway track. But Danny Sheppard knows exactly what happened to her. She is dead and buried in a field near Lassiter’s Brook.
Now Cassie Rafferty has gone missing. Same age. Similar circumstances. And Danny also knows what has happened to her.
Can Danny fight his demons and tell the truth this time?
Or will history repeat itself and leave another innocent girl dead?
If you pick up a book by Mark Tilbury you are pretty well guaranteed that it is going to be thrilling, entertaining and that it will have a certain edginess to it, and that’s certainly true of this latest offering, You Belong to Me. From the very beginning I was drawn into this dual timeline story, feeling the tension, and even apprehension, slowly build as an intriguing and slightly disturbing story began to unfurl.
This is the story of a group of childhood friends who were driven apart by a traumatic event in their final year of school, one which sent them scattering across the country and which changed the course of their future. Each of them is damaged, each trying to find a way to either forget what happened, or to atone for their past. But it seems the past is set to be repeated and they may be the only people who can prevent it.
There are elements of the story that may set some readers on edge, or will, at the very least, force a level of sympathy for the main characters and especially the two young girls, Ellie and Cassie. There is nothing necessarily gratuitous about it, but part of the story will make the skin crawl a little, and Mark Tilbury is a master at manipulating your emotions so that as a reader you are deliciously uncomfortable – just tense enough to be nervous, yet not so much so that you want to stop reading.
There is a dark edge to this story, with themes of bullying and obsession, as well as the emotional and physical effects that the events of the past have on those involved. The way in which Mark Tilbury depicts the boys older selves is believable and left me, as a reader, with a strange mix of both sympathy and uncertainty about the group. There are so many secrets being kept, so many threads of the story which take time to uncover, that you never really know who to trust. It becomes a compulsion to read onward and find out what is happening, and it was with a kind of morbid curiosity that I kept going late into the night to devour as much of the book as I could before sleep took hold.
There is a kind of Chalk Man/Stand By Me vibe to this book, and if you have read either of those stories then you’ll probably know what I mean. You have the key characters of Danny, Rob, Kieran and Josh with their seemingly carefree friendship which turns sour one fateful summer, the difficult older sibling and his strained relationship with his brother, and the traumatic event which is a catalyst for all that happens in the present.
I loved the way in which the story moved between the past and the present and the author has managed to blend the two timelines perfectly, maintaining both the mystery and the tension. And the characters are all unique – fully fleshed out and believable – even down to the portrayal of young Cassie with all the woes of the world on her shoulders thanks to her boyfriend, woes which are small fry compared to what is to come. It all adds up to a fast paced and compelling story which kept me focused until the end.
About the Author
Mark lives in a small village in the lovely county of Cumbria, although his books are set in Oxfordshire where he was born and raised.
After serving in the Royal Navy and raising his two daughters after being widowed, Mark finally took the plunge and self-published two books on Amazon, The Revelation Room and The Eyes of the Accused.
He’s always had a keen interest in writing, and is extremely proud to have had six novels published by Bloodhound Books, including his most recent release, You Belong To Me.
When he’s not writing, Mark can be found trying and failing to master blues guitar, and taking walks around the beautiful county of Cumbria.
Author Links: Twitter | Website | Facebook | Instagram
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