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
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.