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…
If you read any of my reviews of Louise’s books last year, and especially if you read my Best of 2018, you will know just how much I love Louise’s work and, yes indeed, Louise herself, always up for a chat and a laugh. When I found out her new novel was a psychological thriller, I could not get my hands on a copy fast enough! I was willing to beg, steal and lie, fight, kill and die just to hold that book in my hands and read it! (Sorry for stealing your words, Melissa Etheridge) I was just dying to know what Louise had done with my favourite genre. To say my expectations were sky-high would be putting it mildly, but on the other hand, I felt she was facing a bit of a challenge: I read a lot of psychological thrillers, which sometimes makes me react a little jadedly, a been-there-read-that kind of feeling. Oh but Louise came through and did not just pass, but even exceeded all my expectations! (That woman has superhuman writing skills!)
We are all a product of our parents. But who are Stella’s parents? When she was 12 her mum left her and she’s never known who her dad is. What does that do to a girl? Especially one who’s always been told that she came out wrong, one who’s always been convinced that she was boring her mum and one day to such an extent even, that her mum just upped and left. 14 years later this star-gazing girl is desperate not to bore the love of her life, so desperate in fact that she’d do anything to keep him entertained and to keep him in her life. Does the woman ever let go of the hurt inflicted on the little girl, even if she doesn’t speak of it or even consciously think about it? And does the mother ever fully realise the harm she’s done, before it’s too late?
This novel should be on the TBR of every Louise Beech fan, of every (psychological) thriller fan, of every fan of reading, really. It is of course a thriller, but a very emotional one, and as always, Louise steers clear of the cheap sob story elements. The thing is, she makes you care about her characters, deeply so and way too much, until they stop being characters and become real people. So when they inevitably get hurt in one way or another, you’re hurting along with them. So yes, to cut a long story short, Louise made me cry again! (I will have to start invoicing Orenda Books for all the tissues!)
There are simply not enough stars in the universe to allot to this novel, let alone on Goodreads or Amazon. I’ve read it at the end of December and I’m still in awe. Fabulous, amazing, glorious Louise, you have done it again!
Lovely Karen, thank you so much for the early copy!! I would love to tell you that I will never ask you for anything ever again, but I know Louise will have a new novel ready sooner or later so I won’t make promises I know I can’t keep 😉
Call Me Star Girl is out in eBook format on Monday, and in paperback in April. If you haven’t already, then pre-order now, you do NOT want to miss this one, I promise. Here a handy (not affiliate) link for you to use, just do it, you won’t regret it!