Fear blisters through this town like a fever…
When Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, he believes he will be able to settle down and leave his past behind him. Little does he know that fear blisters through the streets like a fever. The locals tell him to stay away from an establishment known only as Berry & Vincent, that those who rub too closely to its proprietor risk a bad end.
Despite their warnings, Teddy is desperate to understand why Rye has come to fear this one man, and to see what really hides behind the doors of his shop.
Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but she’s lonely, and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it.
As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished fifty years earlier, and a community living on a knife edge.
Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it has always found him before. And before long, it will find Ada too.
I think the greatest compliment I can pay So Pretty by Ronnie Turner is that over a week since finishing it, it haunts me still.
So much so, that I have to keep reminding myself that this is a work of fiction and that there isn’t a shop called Berry and Vincent in Rye, because I would find myself avoiding it. It felt so chillingly real and the fear almost visceral. I pulled the duvet up tight and only read when there was someone in the house. It creates an atmosphere so dark that it permeates the story and provides the perfect backdrop to a narrative about how where evil lurks, human vulnerability can so easily be preyed upon. The writer cleverly showing that the damage caused by abuse and neglect, by perversion and a lack of empathy, can crack open the truth her characters hide from themselves. Few writers could handle such an intense and creepy storyline as well as Ronnie Turner, they tend to over play the intensity and then the fear leaks away because it becomes all about clichés, but here it weaves in and out of the story with a quiet intensity, making it feel far more eerie! Every time she takes us into the shop, its like the walls are closing in around the reader.
The characters are pitch perfect, their pasts teased out slowly, so we come to accept that, they seem to be fated to meet where evil is ready and waiting. The secrets that have shaped their lives, the damage that this has done, brings them to a small village, where their already deeply fractured lives, will leave them facing their own worst fears. Both Teddy and Ada, ignore the warnings of villagers that within the shop lurks evil, why? Because the writer cleverly makes both of them outsiders, it isolates them and makes them distrust the whispers of locals. If she had made them more ordinary the whispers and cruelty of the gossips wouldn’t have been ignored. So already blighted by cruelty, they seek out the other, under the misguided impression that friendship will be their salvation. It added a layer of heart breaking pathos to the story, human cruelty has left them venerable, but it is also that which drives the monster lurking into the shadows to seek them out.
It is a story that shows that it is not only within the shadows that monsters hide, but souls of those hate all that is good!
You can purchase this novel directly from the publisher Orenda Books
Also from Amazon and Waterstones
About the author
Ronnie Turner grew up in Cornwall, the youngest in a large family. At an early age, she discovered a love of literature. She now works as a Senior Waterstones Bookseller and barista. Ronnie lives in the South West with her family and three dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and taking long walks on the coast.
You can follow the author on Twitter.
One thought on “So Pretty by Ronnie Turner”
Thanks for the blog tour support x
LikeLiked by 1 person