When Grace Jensen returns to her home one day, she finds a body in a pool of blood and a menacing gift left for her.
The community of Lookout Beach is shocked by such a brutal intrusion in their close-knit neighbourhood – particularly to a family as successful and well-liked as the Jensens – and a police investigation to find the trespasser begins.
But Grace knows who’s after her. She might have changed her name and moved across the world, deciding to hide on the Oregon coast, but she’s been waiting seventeen years for what happened in the small Welsh town where she grew up to catch-up with her.
Grace might seem like the model neighbour and mother, but nobody in Lookout Beach – not even her devoted husband Elias – knows the real her. Or how much blood is on her hands.
The Beach House by Beverley Jones has to be one of my favorite thrillers of 2022. It’s addictive and I found myself glued to the story, unable to put it down. Unusually for me I raced through it in two sittings and can honestly say it is a compulsive page turner.
Having read Wilderness by the same author, I jumped at the chance to read and review The Beach House, because I knew that Beverley Jones writes stories that are the best in her genre. I was right, because she has delivered a novel that contains all the best elements of a thriller, a fabulous story, a main character that has a lot to lose, multiple characters that draw you into the story and creates a set piece that defied my already high expectations when I started the book.
Here we have a story about the cost of keeping secrets, of the price to be paid to protect the carefully constructed web of lies Grace Jenson has constructed around herself. Now that might just feel like your average run of the mill thriller and it is true that The Beach House follows a well trod formula, but what lifts it above the ordinary, is a story that is cleverly assembled and which had me as a reader utterly taken in by the misdirection’s the writer littered her story with.
Thrillers are at their best when they are full of oodles of tension and create an atmosphere that grips the reader. Not all thrillers achieve this, they are too formulaic, the protagonist is devoid of any likeability and the story has too many twists and turns. They become all action and no character. The Beach House has a lead character who is it’s crowning glory, you know she is not perfect, you suspect she has done wrong and yet you can’t help liking her, wanting her to survive the nightmare unfolding around her. You are willing to accept her flaws, because you believe in her as a character. Grace and her predicament, real you in and keeps you hooked until the final page. Best of all you never know, until the end, if she will survive or her life and those that care for her will be shattered against the rocky coast she loves so much.
There is a sense of snobbery from some towards thrillers, put down as having mass market appeal, as if that in some way, is an insult. But the reason this genre has such appeal is because it can create a sense of excitement in the readers, so many other genres can’t and when done well, they are cracking reads. The Beach House is an example of this, the story vibrates with tension, it doesn’t run along out of control, but like a ticking clock, slowly counts down to an ending that has you holding you breath!
I have read so many thrillers in the last few years that I became overwhelmed with a sense of sameness, The Beach House by Beverley Jones reminded me why I loved them so much! When they are as good as this, when you lose time in a quality page turner, there really is no better feeling.
About the author
Beverley Jones, also known as B E Jones, is a former journalist and police press officer, now a novelist and general book obsessive.
Bev was born in a small village in the South Wales valleys, north of Cardiff. She started her journalism career with Trinity Mirror newspapers, writing stories for The Rhondda Leader and The Western Mail, before becoming a broadcast journalist with BBC Wales Today TV news, based in Cardiff.
She has worked on all aspects of crime reporting (as well as community news and features) producing stories and content for newspapers and live TV.
Most recently Bev worked as a press officer for South Wales Police, dealing with the media and participating in criminal investigations, security operations and emergency planning.
Perhaps unsurprisingly she channels these experiences of ‘true crime,’ and her insight into the murkier side of human nature, into her dark, psychological thrillers set in and around South Wales.
Her latest novels, Where She Went, Halfway and Wilderness, are published by Little Brown under the name BE Jones. Wilderness has recently been optioned for a six part TV adaptation by Firebird Pictures. Her seventh novel, The Beach House, is due for release in June 2021 under the name Beverley Jones.
Chat with her on Goodreads.co.uk under B E Jones or Beverley Jones and on Twitter @bevjoneswriting