Published by Simon & Schuster UK
Synopsis from Amazon:
James Blackwell is sexy and handsome and a fighter pilot – every girl’s dream partner. At least that is what Diana Arnold thinks when her brother first introduces them. Before long they are in love and marry hastily just as war is declared.
Then fate delivers what is the first of its cruel twists: James, the day of their wedding, is shot down over Northern France and killed. Diana is left not only a widow but pregnant with their child.
Ten years later, contentedly remarried, Diana finds herself in the south of France, sitting one morning in a sunny village square. A taxi draws up and she hears the voice of a man speaking English – the unmistakable voice of someone who will set out to torment her and blackmail her and from whom there can be only one means of escape…
I don’t read many ‘celebrity’ written novels but the storyline for this debut novel sounded like something I would enjoy and I’m pleased to say I wasn’t disappointed. It was well written with an interesting and captivating storyline. I loved the short sharp chapters in the first part of the book; for me it certainly makes for quicker reading as I think I’ll just read one more chapter.…and then it’s the early hours!
The first part of the book gives an indication of what kind of a man James Blackwell really is. Despite his good looks and charm, he is actually the type of man that should come with a warning notice. His insidious charm wins over the Arnold family, especially Diana. In the time leading up to the outbreak of WW2, Diana and James enjoy a whirlwind courtship and marriage and then tragedy strikes.
Although Diana is written as a feisty character she seemed to have had a naivety and vulnerability where James was concerned and at times with the benefit of being an onlooker I wanted to shout “no don’t do it”. The main characters are extremely well drawn. Some of the lesser characters are not quite as well developed but nevertheless they have sufficient depth to make them believable.
The main part of the story is set in the south of France and it’s obvious from the excellent descriptions of the locality that this comes from the author’s personal knowledge. I could imagine myself sitting at a pavement café in the sunny south of France watching the story unfold.
I don’t want to give away any more of the plot, you can enjoy finding out for yourself but the twists and turns made this a book that I couldn’t put down and it was a very enjoyable read. My only niggle is with the poor proof reading – in some places the wrong names were used, for example ‘James’ instead of ‘John’ which was somewhat confusing and I also spotted some grammatical errors. I expect to find mistakes in a proof copy but not in a copy on public sale.