Bookouture · Psychological Thriller

#Valentina by Susie Lynes is one of the most THRILLING books I’ve read…I bloody loved it! #Bookworms Read it now! @SELynesAuthor @Bookouture

I’m beyond blown away by the plot twists in this wonderfully thrilling psychological thriller. Valentina is Lynes’s debut and was released back in 2018. Please don’t ask why it’s taken me so long to read to it, I’m hanging my head in shame! It is captivating, thrilling, and deserving of each one of the 526 4/5 stars it’s received globally.

Now, before I share my thoughts, here’s the blurb…

When city girl Shona moves with her partner Mikey and their baby to an idyllic cottage in rural Scotland, she believes that all that lies ahead for her family is happiness.

But with Mikey working long hours away from home, the frightening isolation of the Scottish countryside begins to get to Shona. She feels lonely and trapped.

That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina. Valentina enters Shona’s life like a whirlwind, bringing excitement and spontaneity to replace boredom and fear.

Now Shona has the perfect home, the perfect man, and the perfect new best friend – or does she?

As Shona’s fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood outside becomes the least of her fears…

My thoughts…

Full disclosure … I’ve known Susie for quite a few years now. We met online, as many who work in publishing do, then over the years, we’ve shared a vodka or two at various bookish events. I know her books are hugely popular. I was certain I’d read her work so imagine my surprise when I realised, I hadn’t.

I bought a copy of Valentina on my Kindle around publication day, and never got round to reading it (I am so so sorry!)

So, Shona and Mikey fall in love almost the moment they meet, and within months they’re having a baby and moving out the city and up to the remote Scottish countryside. They have it all. Until Mikey starts his new job meaning Shona is alone with a tiny baby most of the time, and the isolation is doing funny things to her.

A chance meeting with yummy mummy Valentina changes all that though. Their babies are the same age and they click instantly. Soon, they’re inseperable and Shona settles into her new life and routine.

But as the months pass, strange things start happening … or do they? Is there something untoward going on in her new world, or is the isolation of it starting to get to Shona more than she thought?

Plot wise, I can’t say much other than my above rehashing of the blurb otherwise I risk spoilers and that’s not good review practice!

So, I’ll start with Lynes’s characterisation. Fecking hell! (Sorry, Mum.)

There are two main female characters in this one, Shona and Valentina. We hear both their stories at different points throughout the book and I loved them both!

There’s a real authenticity to Lynes’s work. There’s a real skill needed to get your readers inside the heads of your characters, and Lynes nails it! I was completely immersed in the world she created, from the perfectly detailed settings to the mind-set of the women, I was there. Living and breathing what they did. Feeling what they felt. I was on that emotional roller coaster and it was intense!

Told from the point of view of both women, Lynes takes us on a whirlwind journey, starting at the end, going back to the beginning, and filling in the details along the way, this one really had me hooked from the first page.

I am mad with myself for leaving this one on my TBR so long, but, on the plus side, I now have all her books waiting for me! Roll on bedtime…

Edgy, compelling, and utterly thrilling, Valentina is right up there on my favourite psychological thrillers of all time! If you haven’t read it yet, go and get it NOW!

About the author…

Former BBC Producer, S.E. Lynes is the Amazon best selling author of ‘intelligent and haunting’, ‘beautifully written’ psychological thrillers, VALENTINA, MOTHER, THE PACT, THE PROPOSAL, THE WOMEN, THE LIES WE HIDE, CAN YOU SEE HER? and her latest novel, THE HOUSEWARMING, available for pre-order NOW.

After completing her MA, Lynes taught creative writing at Richmond Adult Community College for over ten years. She now combines writing, mentoring and lecturing.

She has also published three children’s books in Italy: IL LEOPARDO LAMPO, LA COCCODRILLA INGAMBA, and the bilingual LA SCIMMIA SPIRITOSA/THE FUNNY MONKEY, all available at Amazon.it

Find her on:
Facebook S E Lynes Author
Twitter @SELynesAuthor
Instagram @S E Lynes Author

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