I really enjoy Louise Beech’s writing with both The Mountain in My Shoe and the wonderful The Lion Tamer Who Lost being in my Top Reads lists the years I read them. Click on those titles if you’d like to read my reviews. Huge congratulations and good luck to Louise who has been nominated for
the Sapere Books Popular Romantic Fiction Award for The Lion Tamer Who Lost.
Call Me Star Girl sees Louise Beech’s writing take a darker turn with this book firmly in the psychological thriller category. Stella McKeever is a late night radio host and tonight is her last show. She invites her listeners to ring in and reveal their secrets. One of her callers says he knows all about the recent unsolved murder of a young pregnant woman. Stella thinks someone has been hanging around the radio station after her shows and worries it might be this man. Her mother has recently come back into her life after abandoning her for fourteen years and Stella’s relationship with her boyfriend is rather intense. As the evening wears on, secrets are revealed by her listeners and by Stella herself.
I have to admit that I was a bit unsure about where this story was going at first but my curiosity was piqued by the author’s compelling mix of chapters in the past and present, narrated by Stella and her mother. Before long, I was caught up in Stella’s story, worried for her safety and wondering what secrets she was keeping.
This story is full of twists and turns which definitely took me by surprise, right up to the end. Louise Beech brilliantly ramps up the tension and maintains an unsettling atmosphere throughout the book. The three main characters, Stella, her mother Elizabeth and her boyfriend Tom, are quite fascinating and the more you find out about them, the more you wonder just who you should trust. This tautly written story builds up to a shocking and completely unexpected ending. A dark story about secrets and the things people will do for love, this would make an excellent film I feel.
My thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for the early review copy. Call Me Star Girl will be published as an ebook on February 18th. You can order a Kindle copy here: Call Me Star Girl The paperback will follow in April.
From the back of the book
Stirring up secrets can be deadly … especially if they’re yours…
Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.
Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.
Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after fourteen years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …
What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.
Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…
With echoes of the Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…
About the author
Louise’s short stories have won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting twice for the Bridport Prize and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Her first play, Afloat, was performed at Hull Truck Theatre in 2012. She also wrote a ten-year newspaper column for the Hull Daily Mail.
Her debut novel, How to be Brave, was a Guardian Readers’ pick in 2015. The Sunday Mirror called Maria in the Moon quirky, darkly comic, original and heartfelt, and The Lion Tamer Who Lost was described as ‘engrossing and captivating’ by the Daily Express.
Follow Louise on Twitter @LouiseWriter and visit her website: louisebeech.co.uk.