The Bookvent Calendar 2019: Day 11 – Part 2

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2019

My second #bookvent selection for today is also from the Orenda Books stable, a book which has garnered a lot of critical acclaim. I’ll admit I had mixed feelings about this one when I first read it, but as I tried to review it, I came to understand why. Although billed as the author’s first psychological thriller, I think that it actually goes beyond that. It is a combination of drama, psychological insight, domestic noir and literary styling which is very, very hard to define. My second day eleven bookvent choice is:

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Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech

Stirring up secrets can be deadly … especially if they’re yours…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after fourteen years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

With echoes of the Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
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This is a book which is very hard to really define or to talk about in any depth without giving too much away. At the centre of the story is a Stella McKeever, a radio talk show host who is working her final shift. Whilst the majority of the action takes place on that final, fateful night, we are taken back to parts of Stella’s history and that of her mother in a bid to understand how what happens in the story comes to pass. The story is very complex, with many threads that the author keeps spinning throughout, carefully weaving them together without the reader actually realising it. There were things in the story which were obvious to me from early on, others which came as a complete surprise, held until just the right moment before the author laid them out, front and centre. The book moves beyond your typical psychological thriller into a tense and atmospheric suspense novel of sorts, moulded by a dark family secret that has yet to be uncovered. Wrapped up in the author’s trademark literary styling, this book will draw you in without you even knowing it. It is very different to her previous books which were more obviously emotionally manipulative (and I mean that in a good way) although the theme of family and . the complexities of those relationships remains at its heart, as it does all of Louise Beech’s previous novels. Stella wasn’t a character I always liked, but I suppose, in many ways, I understood her because of the author’s skill in developing character. The ending … well I think that readers may be divided depending on your feelings towards the characters throughout, but it is still shocking nonetheless. Definitely a book that is deserving of all of its praise.

You can read my full review of Call Me Star Girl right here..

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Happy #bookvent reading all

Jen

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