The Moment She Left
Kesterly-on-Sea is full of secrets.
Some are darker than others; many are shameful. One is even deadly.
Andee is an ex-detective whose marriage is breaking up. So when a young female student disappears without trace, she throws herself into the search.
Meanwhile, the town’s beloved Rowzee Cayne has just discovered that she is terminally ill, and doesn’t want to burden her family and friends with the news.
Andee and Rowzee don't know it yet, but their journeys are going to help them uncover a secret. One that is going to affect them more than they could ever imagine.
When I was asked if I would like a copy of this book and to be a part of a blog tour, I jumped at the chance. I have to say, I have not read any of the author’s previous books and have always wanted to, so decided now was the time!
This book starts with the disappearance of a young woman called Jessica and the devastating effect it has on her family. Her father Blake is beside himself and her twin Matt is also trying to come to terms with his sister’s disappearance. Her poor mother is so distraught she has to get away and disappears to Devon.
Andee Lawrence is the local ex police detective in Kesterly-on-Sea and is having problems of her own. Having decided to separate from her husband Martin, she never thought she would have to deal with the hostility of her two children because of the separation.
Rowzee Cayne is the local retired teacher, who is battling a terminal brain tumour, but doesn’t want her family to know. This is becoming increasingly difficult as her condition deteriorates quickly and she is becoming ever more forgetful and clumsy.
Andee is asked if she would look into the disappearance of Blake’s daughter Jess to see if anything was overlooked at the time. It doesn’t take her long to discover that something was missed two years previously......
Although there were quite a lot of characters in this book, the way the author brings them all together is very clever. The chapters revert from one character to the other and then meet with a clever ending! I will admit, I had a tear or two towards the end as well!!
I have had a major loss of reading mojo recently, but this book brought me out of it (thank goodness, was getting a bit worried there for a minute!).
Thank you to Louise Page for sending me a copy to review and for inviting me to be a part of the blog tour. This may be the first Susan Lewis book I have read, but it certainly won’t be the last!
Q & A with Susan Lewis
Where does the inspiration for your books come from?
I often write about difficult issues, as you well know. I don’t necessarily write from experience in these cases but I rely on listening and seeking the experience of others who might have witnessed or been through challenging situations. It’s important as a writer to imagine how you’d feel if it happened to you. I enjoy doing it but sometimes it can be quite distressing – sometimes I cry, which tells me it’s working. This is how I really bring my characters to life.
Do you have any peculiar writing rituals or habits?
Nothing too peculiar! I’m very strict about the hours I write, starting at 10 in the morning and going through until 5pm or 6pm, usually six days a week. Then, I love to have a glass of wine at the end of the day as I read back over what has happened in ‘my fictional world’ over the last seven or eight hours, socialising with the characters and often wanting to gossip about them with someone else.
What advice would you offer to aspiring writers?
Remember to listen: listen to the way people speak, to the rhythm of the words you are writing (you're most likely to do this in your head), and always give your characters room to be themselves. They'll have plenty to say if you just let them chatter on to one another, often giving you ideas you hadn't even thought of!
What is the last book you bought someone as a gift?
A variety of children's books for the recipients of the Special Recognition Award that I'm sponsoring for the local secondary school. They've chosen the titles themselves and what a fascinating selection they've made - from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time at one end and a knife at the other…I could give Bear Grylls a sure run for his money! (one of my own favourites).