I was delighted to be asked to take part in the #BlogTour for Pat Young’s debut novel, “Till The Dust Settles”. I met Pat a couple of years ago at Bloody Scotland when the novel was still a twinkle in her eye and it is a great privilege to be involved in the celebration of that twinkle becoming a fully fledged novel!
Thanks to Bloodhound Books and Pat for inviting me to take part in this #BlogTour
What the blurb says:
The lives of two women who never meet are about to collide.
Lucie married young. Her husband has become abusive, controlling and violent. Having lost everything as a result of the marriage, Lucie decides it is time to walk away.
As she leaves the house on the morning of September 11th, heading to a job interview at the World Trade Centre and the promise of a new life, the unthinkable happens.
On a street in New York, choking on the dust, Lucie stumbles upon an opportunity for a new life.
She thought the grass would be greener. But starting again is never that simple…
Sometimes, what lies ahead is even more deadly.
Who would have thought that such a disaster would have changed the life of one individual so dramatically? Lucie is certainly not living the American dream, she was living a nightmare with a controlling and violent husband until the day she decided to try to make some changes to her life by getting a job. That day was the 11th of September 2001 and the job interview she was going to was in the World Trade Centre, New York. Lucie never made the interview but she did change her life dramatically when her world collided with another woman caught up in the hell in the streets of New York.
What a compelling concept for a plot! This novel hooked me right from the very beginning painting a terrifying picture of the streets of New York on a day that is etched into all our memories. From the panic and disbelief to the dust smothering the city and its people, I was thrown straight into the nightmare of the event. Lucie’s panic at the situation she found herself in along with the nightmare she was trying to escape provided a gripping storyline that saw me read this book in less than one day!
The main character, Lucie, intrigued me. I went from feeling sorry for her to become frustrated at her and back again throughout the book. At times her indecision and naivety made me want to give her a good shake! Yet faced with her life and the decisions she had to make I was also able to empathise with the dilemma’s she faced. It was always clear that things were not going to be clear-cut for Lucie, the discoveries she made while living the life of another woman clearly represented a danger for her and her journey into discovering what lay behind the other woman’s life made for a compelling read!
I loved the fact that Lucie was originally from Scotland and all her wee Scottish mannerisms and memories from her grannie’s favourite old sayings to the rhubarb and bag of sugar made me smile!
Lucie’s husband, Curtis and his best friend, Dylan also feature heavily in the story. #NoSpoilers but I was glad at the life Curtis was left to lead following Lucie’s disappearance but oh Dylan why oh why did you let that man use you as his whipping boy for so long!
Living the life of another woman also led to Lucie becoming embroiled in a life full of conspiracy and deceit as she becomes the focus of the attention of someone else who had known this woman very well, so well in fact that she had become dangerous to him. He is determined to find out just what Lucie knows and just how safe is it to let her continue to live this double life.
Till the Dust Settles is an engrossing exploration of the tragic events of 9/11 and the opportunities that this horror opened up to someone who wanted to escape their life. At times there are a few coincidences in the plot that as a reader you might question, but this is fiction and if a storyline grips me enough then I’m happy to embrace the artistic licence of the author and Till the Dust Settles gave me exactly that. A plot that threw up questions, made me think about what I would do in a similar situation. characters that engaged me and a real sense of the terror, fear and loss that 9/11 brought to all those caught up in that day. It also left me wondering how many people in the real world have taken a disastrous situation and turned it into a catalyst for change in their own lives.
If you like a novel that is based on a real situation, a read that will engross you and compel you to read until you finish, a plot that will poke around inside your head and make you question your own morals and decisions then Till the Dust Settles is one for you. An excellent debut and I am looking forward to reading what comes next from Pat Young.
Pat Young grew up in the south-west of Scotland where she still lives, sometimes. She often goes to the other extreme, the south-west of France, in search of sunlight.
Pat never expected to be a writer. Then she found a discarded book with a wad of cash tucked in the flyleaf. ‘What if something awful happened to the person who lost this book?’ she thought, and she was off.
Pat knew nothing of writing, but she knew a thing or two about books, having studied English, French and German at Glasgow University. A passion for languages led to a career she loved and then a successful part-time business that allowed her some free-time, at last.
Pat had plans, none of which included sitting at her desk from daybreak till dusk. But some days she has to. Because there’s a story to be told. And when it’s done, she can go out to play. On zip-wires and abseil ropes, or just the tennis court.
Pat writes psychological thrillers. Till the Dust Settles is her debut, from Bloodhound Books.