On behalf of Zoe at https://zooloosbookdiary.co.uk/zooloos-blog-tours and Pru Heathcote, I am excited and honoured today to be reviewing Don’t Leave. Thank you to Red Dragon Books and Pru Heathcote for a copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
JANE is a young woman grieving for her child, who is taken to a remote holiday cottage on the Northumberland coast.
From the moment she arrives at the cottage with her much older and over-protective husband, Peter, Jane keeps catching glimpses of a little girl and hearing a child crying.
Peter is convinced these are hallucinations, as Jane has been diagnosed with schizophrenia – a diagnosis she doesn’t agree with.
She sets out to discover who or what the child could be. A ghost? A real child? Or something else?
Buy Link – https://geni.us/e7fKV
Don’t Leave is a tense psychological, paranormal thriller that left me with a chill down my spine.
First, I must say how much I loved the setting for this book. I get so excited when I read stories set in the North-East and even more so, when I can identify and relate to places mentioned.
The remote, cliff side cottage was the perfect setting for this novel. At times, it was idyllic and picturesque and I could just imagine falling to sleep listening to the sea close by and the rain on the windows and it felt like the perfect place to be. Other times it felt lonely, isolated and downright spooky! This was really used well to compliment the mood of the events in the story and also Jane’s mood.
A trope I always enjoy is ‘unreliable narrator’. Don’t Leave has two narrators, Peggy and Jane. Jane was a lovely character – very caring and I really felt so sad for her and her experiences in life however there was always a feeling that she was not experiencing life the same way as others. This left a huge question mark over her experiences and how she saw things. A similar device was used with the neighbour Peggy too. Peggy definitely acts a little off and has a very introverted and lonely existence. She grew on me later in the novel though, especially when I learned more about her childhood and life as a young woman.
Don’t Leave had me questioning things right until the very end and I was torn between the various predictions I had made in my head. I really wasn’t sure which way it would go. It’s not a fast paced novel but it’s riveting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Author Bio – Pru Heathcote
I’ve always loved telling stories and putting them down on paper as soon as I could write. I began my working life in Hertfordshire as a local newspaper reporter – obits, weddings, Uncle George’s Kiddies’ Corner – then went on to teenage magazines (Fab and Rave) and women’s magazines.
I moved to Northumberland forty years ago and worked as an adult education tutor, teaching any subject I didn’t need a qualification for, including creative writing.
Over the years I’ve written dozens of stories for magazines, a commissioned biography, and several plays, one of which was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe.
It was one of my plays that formed the basis for my novel Don’t Leave, winning entry in the 2020 Lindisfarne Prize, written during the first Lockdown.
I’m married, with three grown-up children and two grandchildren.
I live in Warkworth, a village on the Northumberland coast, an area that provides most of the inspiration for my stories.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pru.heathcote
Thank you so much for kicking off the tour today! xx
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No problem 😊 Really enjoyed this one