“When Glasgow journalist Shona McGilvery moves with her partner Mikey and their baby to an idyllic cottage in rural Scotland, they believe that all that lies ahead of them is happiness.
But with Mikey working offshore, the frightening isolation of the Aberdeenshire countryside begins to drive her insane…
That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina.
She has the perfect home, the perfect man, and a charismatic new best friend – or does she?
As her fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood becomes the least of her fears…”
I am excited to welcome you to my stop on the Valentina blog tour. This is an exceptional novel. There is something truly wonderful and special about it. It’s fair to say I loved this book. It sent chills down my spine and I couldn’t put it down. This is S E Lynes debut and I am so excited to see what else she has in store for us.
Shona and Mikey are madly in love and expecting their first little bundle of joy. Being a responsible father-to-be Mikey finds himself a job working on the oil rigs off the coast of Scotland. Shona begrudgingly packs up her old life and her job, says goodbye to her friends and family and follows Mikey to deepest, darkest Aberdeenshire. It’s OK though, she has the most beautiful house to spend her days in. Mikey’s work rota means that he’s away two weeks out of four so it’s not long before loneliness starts to creep in. She has Isla, her baby daughter, but babies aren’t all that good at conversation!
Thankfully she meets spirited Valentina. She’s full of life, charismatic and Shona’s saviour. But how well does Shona really know Valentina? Is she the answer to her prayers, or the epitome of her nightmares….?
I love how Shona is written. A few chapters into the book and I felt I was sat in the pub chatting to a friend. That’s how well S E Lynes has written her, she became real to me. As I progressed through the book I wanted everything to turn out well for Shona. Does it? Well, you’ll have to read Valentina and find out for yourself.
The plot is so very clever and quite intricate. It was a joy to read this book and I struggled to focus on anything else as it had my full attention. When I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about the characters and wondering what was going to happen next. I even explained the plot to my husband (I don’t think he could work out why I was explaining it to him) but it was because I wanted to talk about the book with someone! It really gets under your skin.
This is a dark story about loneliness and what we accept to be the truth, whether it is or not. The one thing I will say, I was a touch disappointed by the closing chapters. I wanted a little more ‘omph’ but I still loved the story and the authors style.
Would I recommend this book? Most definitely. A very deserving five out of five stars from me. It’s dark, totally compelling and full of shady characters. There’s a sense of foreboding you get from the very beginning which stays with you until the very end. Completely enticing, once you start reading you will struggle to stop. I loved it! As I said earlier, if this is the first offering from S E Lynes, I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next.
Many thanks to Rosalie Love at Blackbird Digital Books for providing me with a copy of Valentina: A Hauntingly Intelligent Psychological Thriller by S E Lynes in exchange for an honest review.
Valentina: A Hauntingly Intelligent Psychological Thriler by S E Lynes was published in the UK by Blackbird Digital Books on 1st July 2016 and is available in paperback and eBook format | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |