I would like to thank the author, publisher and blog tour organiser for the ARC of She Lies Hidden in return for an honest review.
There are so many things that made this book a very enjoyable read. Most importantly of all, has to be the story itself. There has been a lot of debate about the value of thrilling twists being announced on the front of book covers etc, that it is an overused plot device. I love them personally and think they are an integral part of a great thriller, though I prefer they are not sign posted from the first paragraph! The great thing about She Lies Hidden is that they are subtle and clever and had me caught out. For that very reason I enjoyed this psychological thriller, it read with enjoyable ease, with the tension building up throughout.
Then there is the atmosphere. I loved the depiction of the moors, that feeling of isolation and hidden secrets waiting to be revealed. The way the landscape became a character in the book was very clever. It felt spooky and eerily created a tension that the characters became enveloped in. Then we switched from that to the hustle and bustle of the police investigation unit, where people are rushing around, desperately trying to solve the death of a girl, whose disappearance has long haunted her sister. It’s a fabulous juxtaposition between two settlings that gave the story a feeling of being unbalanced, in a good way, the contrast leaving me the reader, slightly out of step and unnerved.
The characterisation is spot on. First you have DI Thomasine Albright, the sister of the victim. Herself a police officer, she is unable to stand back and allow others to solve her sister’s death, emotional and troubled. While opposite her is the officer assigned to officially solve the mystery, the very determined and detached DI Mel Phillips. Firstly I love that both main characters are strong, independent, clever women and secondly that they complement each other. DI Phillips understands what drives Albright, but is frustrated by the lack of control. I would love to read a book, where these two work together on an investigation; they would make a fantastic pair in future novels. Then there is the person responsible for Karen’s death, disturbed, intelligent, but highly repellent, just what you want from a killer.
I would definitely recommend this book. It is a perfectly formed psychological thriller, a real page turner.
After growing up in a small Lancashire village, Christine Stephenson left school at fifteen. Four years later she moved to Cornwall.
In her late teens she met people whose lives were complicated, fuelled by drugs, and filled with violence and aggression. There were others too, in her mid-twenties, everyday people, educated, with careers, who had decent parents; people who you wouldn’t look at twice in the street. They were worse; she knew the victims of their crimes too. These experiences continue to influence her writing.
Her career can be described as eclectic. Jobs ranging from office junior to dental nurse, management consultant to executive and corporate coach. She ran her own training consultancy for over twelve years. It was there that her love of writing bloomed. She went on to produce an extensive portfolio of work which included resource packs, case studies, role-plays, games, presentations and academic texts.
In 2008 her husband’s job dictated that they move to South Gloucestershire. This in turn, lead to a brand-new life. They now live just outside a small medieval town, set between Bristol and Bath.
In 2009, she decided it was time to study the craft and undertook the A215 in Creative Writing with Open University, and later followed that with an MA Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, graduating in 2016. She gained representation with Andrew Nurnberg & Associates soon after. She spent the following eighteen months writing and editing what is now her debut novel. In May 2018 Christine was delighted to accept a contract with Bloodhound Books. ‘She Lies Hidden’ is due for release in September 2018.