Thank you to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ for organising this tour and to Helen Matthews and Hashtag Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
Giveaway – win signed copies of Lies behind the Ruin
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Emma Willshire has overcome plenty of obstacles in her life. From student bride to single mum of a son, Owen, but she has found happiness with her second husband, Paul and another child, Mollie. Emma’s dark days seem far behind her until a fatal accident happens at Paul’s work and he is held responsible.
On holiday in France, Paul’s behaviour turns erratic. On impulse, he buys a cheap, dilapidated property and, to Emma’s dismay, persuades her they can renovate it into a holiday home.
Back in England, their problems spiral out of control. Escape to a new life in France seems the only solution but with heart-breaking loss for Emma. As the couple strive to renovate their ruin and open a small business, shadows from the past threaten their happiness and safety. Because, how can you build a new life on toxic foundations?
Occasionally I sign up for a blog tour (that at the time obviously tickles my fancy) but then I forget what the book is about. I’ll be honest and say that I did this with Lies Behind the Ruin and then decided to go in blind. What a pleasant surprise I got with this mild thriller!
Lies behind the ruin is a married couple’s navigation of moving to France and moving on from a tragic incident at work. Emma and Paul aim for a fresh start in France when they purchase a run down farm house and begin rennovations, despite being close to bankrupt. What is meant to be a new and exciting venture soon begins to take a turn for the worse, especially when one of the couple is hiding a secret so devastating that it would ruin everything if discovered.
This novel is told from a dual perspective and moves between narrators seamlessly and at the right time to keep you reading in a rush to return to the next part. I was never sure which direction the story was going to take me in, romance or thriller? This made the book even more enjoyable and surprising.
Emma’s story is told with contrasting emotions. She is excited and looking forward to a new life in France but is heartbroken at leaving her oldest child behind to live with his father. Her character is written with a vulnerability that makes her stronger, not weak. From the beginning, Paul’s story seems to harbour a more sinister feel within the words and I love how Helen slips between the two characters so easily but easy to differentiate between.
Overall, I found this book really entertaining and moorish and found it difficult to put down once I had began. I am looking forward to reading more of Helen Matthew’s work in the future.
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Author Bio – Helen Matthews
Helen Matthews is the author of Lies Behind the Ruin, a contemporary suspense novel set in France, to be published in April 2019 by Hashtag Press. Her debut novel After Leaving the Village, published in 2017, won first prize for the opening pages of a novel at Winchester Writers’ Festival. Born in Cardiff, she read English at the University of Liverpool and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. Helen’s short stories and flash fiction have won prizes and been published in Reflex Fiction, Ad Hoc, Artificium, Scribble and Love Sunday. Her freelance journalism has been published in the Guardian and broadcast on BBC radio. She is an ambassador for Unseen, a charity that campaigns to end human trafficking and modern slavery.
Social Media Links – Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelenMK7Writer/