Today I am delighted to share my thoughts on All For You the brand new thriller from Louise Jensen. I’ve long been a fan of Louise’s work and so was excited to see what nightmare she had cooked up for her characters this time. My thanks to the author for the advance copy of the book. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
MEET THE WALSH FAMILY
Lucy: Loving mother. Devoted wife. And falling to pieces.
Aidan: Dedicated father. Faithful husband. And in too deep.
Connor:Hardworking son. Loyal friend. But can never tell the truth.
Everyone in this family is hiding something, but one secret will turn out to be the deadliest of all . . .
Can this family ever recover when the truth finally comes out?
If you are looking for a story that is full of misdirection, tension and surprises, then look no further. Louise Jensen has once again managed to bring us a book that is full of brilliant characters, those you can root for and those you may wish to hold at arms length, and woven them into a story which starts as it means to go on – jam packed with suspense. From the very beginning of the book we know something is very, very, wrong, and what follows is the carefully plotted, tension building exploration of all that leads to that crucial moment in time. It’s well paced, its enthralling and it is totally not what I was expecting.
This is the story of the Walsh family. Mom, dad, two kids. A very typical, very average, family dynamic. Or so you’d think. There is nothing at all typical about the Walsh family. The youngest son, Kieron, is ill, a terrible disease that is slowly taking him from the heart of his family. And the strain of managing his illness is breaking them apart. I love the way in which the author has explored this particular dynamic, the impact of long term illness on the extended family, but especially Lucy who feels the need to act as protector for reasons which go far beyond the obvious. The way it eats into Lucy’s every conscious moment, and perhaps the not so conscious ones too is very skillfully drawn. It’s a careful exploration of the psychology of managing long term illnesses, but one tinged with a kind of underlying sense of threat and the feeling that nothing is quite as straightforward as it might first appear.
I found Connor to be a very intriguing character. Beyond the strain of being older brother to someone who idolises him, there is something more about him, something just out of reach of my awareness. The picture becomes progressively clearer the more we read, and I found myself feeling a mix of sympathy and suspicion the more I learned of things that had happened in past. Secrets and lies are definitely the name of the game in this story and, to be honest, it is hard to know who to trust. Just when I thought I knew what the craic was, Louise Jensen lobbed in another curveball to throw me a little off balance. It worked to perfection, keeping my attention fully on the story and making me more determined to find out what was going on.
There are elements to this story that made me wince. I’m not squeamish, but one scene in particular really did become a touch unsettling. But then there is that constant sense of threat, that pulsing sense of something more that keeps the tension high from the very beginning. This is a kind of dual timeline story in that we learn much of what motivates at least one of the characters and drives a pivotal moment in the book, through a series of memories, and even the main story is really focused upon the days leading up to the shocking prologue, slowly carrying readers back to the present. The more I learned, the more I questioned what I thought I knew about the opening scenes, and the moer invested I became. I had my suspicions, but I was still ready to be floored by the ending. And to many extents I was – see earlier comment about the wincing. Still makes me grimace now thinking about it.
Once again, Louise Jensen has served up a nerve jangling, pulse pounding and suspenseful read that kept me guessing, and second guessing myself, throughout. If you love a mysterious, twisted, family noir, this could well be the book for you.
About the Author
Louise Jensen is a global No.1 bestselling author of psychological thrillers. Louise has sold over a million copies of her books and her novels have been sold for translation in twenty-five countries, as well as being featured on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestsellers’ lists. Louise was nominated for the Goodreads Debut Author of 2016 Award and the Guardian’s Not the Booker 2018. Louise’s thrillers have been optioned for TV and film.
When Louise isn’t writing thrillers, she turns her hand to penning love stories under the name Amelia Henley. Her debut as Amelia Henley, The Life We Almost Had, is out now.
Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at http://www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction and writing tips.