A huge thanks to Anne Cater for organising this tour and to Louise Beech and Orenda Books for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Tonight is the night for secrets…
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 twelve 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 chilling 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
Well, well, well,……… this is my first outing with a Louise Beech novel but I am now officially a Louise fan and I’ll be reading the others in the very near future.
To be honest, if I tell you anything of the story beyond the synopsis I would be giving things away that would ruin the book for you and that would be unfair. I’m near the end of this tour and I’m certain that all the words to describe this book have already been used in a much better way than I can but I’m going to try my utmost best to do it justice.
The writing in this novel is hauntingly beautiful. It lodges itself into your heart, head and everywhere else and it stays there. You just know when you read this that you are reading something extraordinarily unique and special. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before.
The main setting of the radio station is thrillingly atmospheric and intense. To tell the main part of your novel as a radio show doesn’t just engage the reader, but it consumes you to the point of obsession. Often when reading intensly I become the character, not this time! This time I was a listener, holding my breath waiting for Stella and her listeners to reveal their secrets. a listener riding a wave of emotions that exuded from each chapter.
I love the dual point of view narration and different timeline of this book, moving between Stella and Elizabeth both past and present. Slowly, revealing secrets, lies and heartbreak along the way.
Stella herself has to be one of the most complicated and intricately written characters I have ever had the pleasure to come across. Louise Beech did not hold back when writing her (or any of the other characters). It’s as though she poured everything into Stella – her beauty and kindness, her heartbreak and most of all – her darker side which many characters in novels are often lacking. Stella wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows, she wasn’t always likeable but she was interesting, real and capable of deep love.
Elizabeth was also a highly complex character. Initially, easy to hate because of her choices in life but as the narration moves on, I find her vulnerable and genuine despite all of her past.
For me, the story of the murdered girl was exciting and built perfectly to a climatic crescendo at the end of the book but I feel the main theme of this novel was love. Not the love many of us experience in our lives but all-consuming, obsessive, dangerous do absolutely anything for, love. Love that exists between parents, partners and how far we go to protect that love.
I listened to part of the novel via audio book and I have to say this novel works perfectly in that format – I’d recommend you to read it this way if you like audio books. Louise Sobey’s sensual voice is a perfect representation of Stella and she is just amazing.
Overall I cannot say enough about the brilliance of this book. Buy it! Read it! Tell all your friends about it!
Author Bio – Louise Beech
Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To
Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, The
Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her
previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were
widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on
Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most
Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her short fiction has won the
Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica
Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize
twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her
job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play
was performed in 2012.