With thanks to Rachel Kennedy for organising the tour; the publishers at Arrow Publishing/Penguin Random House and to Heidi Perks for the fabulous thriller read.
A shocking discovery. An island wrapped in secrets. You can bury the body, but the truth will always surface…
A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body. For Stella Harvey, the news is doubly shocking, as the body is found in the garden of her childhood home. The home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago.
Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the Dorset island. But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets. But one thing rings true…
You can’t bury the truth forever.
Heidi Perks’ debut novel ‘Now You See Her’ twice reached the Sunday Times bestseller list, first in hardback in July 2018 at no.9 and again at no.6 in paperback in March 2019 where it was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2019. ‘Now You See Her’ has sold over 120,000 copies across formats to date and has received a staggering 200 five star reviews on Amazon from readers. It has also been optioned for TV from the production company behind BBC One’s ‘The Miniaturist’ and Channel 4’s ‘National Treasure’.
Heidi Perks worked as a marketing director for a financial company before leaving to become a full-time mum and writer. She is a graduate of the inaugural Curtis Brown Creative Online Novel Writing Course (the only creative writing school run by a literary agency). Follow Heidi on Twitter @HeidiPerksBooks and join in the conversation with #COMEBACKFORME
MY REVIEW OF ‘COME BACK FOR ME’
My first book by Heidi Perks and I was hooked from the start. I love a good mystery and the gripping opening scene had so many questions popping into my head. Our MC is Stella, who grew up on the island of Evergreen, a tiny island and intricate community, but dramatically left during a ferocious and fearsome storm when she was eleven years old with her parents, elder brother and sister. What an opening hook!
Stella grew up to be a relationship/family councillor, but she always remembers the mysterious and dramatic departure from her home and has grown up with so many unanswered questions about why they had to leave. Shortly after the book begins, a news station reports a body has been found on Evergreen – it turns out it’s in the garden of Stella’s old family home. Stella begins a quest to find out the truth of what happened; she has to know why her family had to leave so suddenly and dramatically. The narrative switches back and forth from past to present as we try to work out what happened, and whose body has been discovered. I enjoyed the slow reveal of events on the island and what led to the ensuing tragedy and why. A great puzzle of a read!
I was hooked and loved joining Stella on her journey – there’s a great and varied selection of characters to meet and a suspenseful underscore pinning the narrative as Stella returns to the Island, albeit far from welcome. There’s an array of island folk, some more likeable than others. I loved the watchful menace of some and the controlled dialogues of others; all these aspects building the suspense and added to our challenges of finding the truth. There’s also some emotional character pulls that I enjoyed which added some lovely depth to the overall character arc for Stella.
The setting is fabulous – you can’t beat an isolated island location, particularly dramatic and atmospheric when the weather changes and the storm comes in. This is certainly a crucible of a place that has been slowly simmering for a long while. Superb thriller devices take you on a puzzle of a journey with Stella, as gradually the past unfolds and we watch its effect on the present.
I’m not that sure about the ending working completely for me; this is minor and I’ll say no more and let readers’ decide for themselves but it didn’t have quite enough developed character motivations in place for me – but all reading is subjective, so it’s just my personal opinion. I had a few chats in the past with authors about the challenge of writing the ending of their novels; such a difficult task to please everyone! This makes the book fabulous for a book group. Don’t let that stop you picking up this book; it’s a really minor personal opinion. Reading this book is 100% worth it and you’ll have a great time!
Definitely a strongly recommended read despite my slightly mixed feelings about the ending. An atmospheric, truth-seeking thriller read set within an isolated community of watchful eyes.
I’m off to read ‘Now You See Her’ and Heidi Perks is definitely on my must-read author list. Happy Days!
Other books by Heidi Perks