Happy Saturday! Welcome to #SaturdOrenda! Yes, I like to come up with weird names to put in my hashtags, bear with me. It was supposed to be #OrendaFriday but Fridays are busy. Moreover, I NEED to tell you all about Louise Beech’s latest novel because you NEED to read it!
My biggest thanks to Karen Sullivan for providing me with my Louise fix!
Title: Call Me Star Girl
Author: Louise Beech
Publisher: Orenda Books
Date of publication: ebook 18.02.2019 / paperback 18.04.2019 / audiobook available
Number of pages: 300
Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and the killer hasn’t been caught.
Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. She wants yours, and in exchange she will share some of hers. The ones she knows. But she doesn’t know everything.
Why has Stella’s mother, Elizabeth, finally returned fourteen years after leaving her with a neighbour? Is Stella’s new love, Tom, a man who likes to play games, exciting … or dangerous?
And who is the mysterious man calling the radio station to say he knows who killed Victoria? Tonight Stella’s final show may reveal the biggest secret of all…
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 deadly…
Call Me Star Girl.
Oh, dear Louise, I can call you anything you want!!!
Because each of your novels steals a piece of my heart and makes me fall in love with your writing again and again, root for your authentic characters, and takes my mind on journeys I could only dream of.
Okay, enough with the fangirling… for now.
Stella, our main character. In my mind I can hear her talk to me. She has a warm voice, one of those voices you could listen to for hours. Good thing, as she is a radio host. Although we get plenty of details about her, her strongest feature is her voice. Even the thoughts left on the page by the author have that smoothness I feel floating between the words. Like a song, this novel put me in a trance. Adverbs, verbs, nouns, commas, Louise Beech is one of the most incredible conductors in life’s opera and this time again, she gave birth to a masterpiece.
A different kind of masterpiece from her usual genre.
Let’s go back to Stella. Stella and her final show. Because she has decided tonight is the night. A night of secrets, a night of truths, a night of songs, and a night to face the music. Stella has a mother. Like many others, their relationship is ‘complicated’ to say the least. That explains some things about Stella’s personality and the way she sees the world. Caring, brave, standing on her own two feet, and oh so vulnerable, beautifully flawed, and standing on an invisible edge created by her past, haunting her with every chapter. Why is her mother back? I loved probing into their past. I felt as though, with each chapter bringing me closer to her life and the secrets around Stella, the further I was swimming away from the woman herself. I got to know her, but she kept slipping through my fingers.
As she invites her listeners to share what only the night can allow you to share, she battles with a man who thinks he has answers, a boyfriend I couldn’t warm to, a mother that left me puzzled and sad.
You see, a murder happened near the radio studio. Stella finds herself in the midst of it by chance. No, that is not chance. By fate. Fate and a big dose of bad luck. But such horrors are bound to make you think, aren’t they? So when clues are left for her, Stella doesn’t resist. Like the blacks and whites on a music sheet, she follows her path.
The plot, thick and chilling, echoes in my head as a classic pop music, with a slow beginning – inviting, intriguing, followed by the disturbing outbreak of drums making you jump at every sound. Because who is safe in the presence of secrets? Like a heartbeat, Stella’s story is told with its ups and down, in the form of ‘then’ and ‘now’, cut by another voice making you turn the pages faster, eager to go back to the studio room, with a false sense of safety with its walls and that door cutting you off from the outside world. But the world doesn’t need a door. It has phones, it has stars, it has your brain cells… Stella thinks, Stella feels. You think with her, you feel with her. Without my noticing, I began to feel anxious. Who was that dead woman? What is the connection with Stella? Why do we only get the final show? Tension cutting like the finest corner of a blank page invaded the space and suddenly, all the lights went off, then on again. My avid reader’s brain had rarely experienced such a strong sense of dread, mixed with a million other emotions, in so little time, in such a small space.
I was too busy getting all the feelings to truly ask myself those questions. I just wanted to shake my head in sync to Stella’s tune, which becomes darker as the number of pages grows. Louise Beech, queen of literary fiction, turned psychological thriller magician in the blink of an eye. Call Me Star Girl is the proof an author can evolve, find new voices, bring them to life while always, always, ALWAYS maintaining what makes her style so unique and addictive.
If you haven’t experienced Louise Beech’s phenomenal storytelling, grab Call Me Star Girl. Swim in the dark oceans of secrets, relish each word, meet characters ready to shake your world. Then go back and buy all of her books!!!!
You can find Call Me Star Girl on Amazon!