‘Tis the season for #Orenda Blog Tours and I am delighted to be hosting today’s spot for the latest author to join #TeamOrenda, Louise Voss and “The Old You”.
Thanks to Anne at Randomthingsthroughmyletterbox for the invite and to Orenda and the author for the review copy. I also bought the 2nd ever copy of this book to be sold at Granite Noir in February this year and it is snuggled in safely with the rest of my signed book collection!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…
Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface… and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed s mind playing tricks, or hers…?
Ooft I think someone has just punched me right in the guts and taken the wind completely out of my sails after reading this!
“The Old You” is a novel where nothing is quite what it seems! I’m saying no more about the plot as I don’t want to inadvertently give anything away! The blurb gives you all the info you need. Let’s just say that this one will have you reeling as you turn the pages and uncover the truth…or do you!
Although the novel isn’t about dementia, the author showed both accuracy and authenticity around the diagnostic process and her portrayal of the earlier stages of Picks Disease was pretty accurate. While on a professional level, I do struggle with the portrayal of dementia as a living death and the loss of the person within, I do think that it is a fairly realistic reflection on how family and carers still see the condition and the narrative captured these feelings and emotions perfectly.
The whole concept of using dementia as an “unreliable narrator” was absolute genius. Immediately we are unsure as to how much we trust what Ed does or says. His behaviour towards Lynn is questionable but understood from the point of his condition. And Lynn, indeed! The book is told from her point of view. Do we believe everything she is telling us? Little nagging doubts were floating around my head throughout. I thought both Ed and Lynn were brilliant characters, well developed and engaging to me as a reader. Did I always “like” the characters? No, I did not but sometimes I enjoy characters whose unlikeable traits engage me. A cast of friends and family are introduced throughout the book and each one serves to add another layer of mystery and deceit into the narrative.
Louise Voss has a brilliantly twisted mind! I love how she takes a “normal” situation and turns it into something so delightfully dark. I found myself completely engrossed in the plot, the characters and the settings. My heart raced and my jaw dropped as each layer was unpeeled to reveal the final truth! Secrets and lies, dark and hidden pasts all combine to provide a thrilling read!
Authentic, twisted, dark, chilling, intensely terrifying all spring to mind when I try to sum up how “The Old You” made me feel! Domestic Noir with a little je ne sais quoi! Sit back and enjoy the read folks, this one is a cracker!
“The Old You” is available to purchase from:
Don’t forget to check out what the other bloggers have been saying!
About the author:
Over her eighteen year writing career, Louise has had books out via pretty much every publishing model there is, from deals with major traditional publishing houses (Transworld and Harper Collins), to digital-only (the Amazon-owned Thomas & Mercer) and self-publishing – she and co-author Mark Edwards were the first UK indie-published authors to hit the No.1 spot on Amazon back in 2011. She has had eleven novels published in total, five solo and six co-written, a combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and contemporary fiction. Her twelfth, THE OLD YOU, will be published in 2018 by Orenda and she is currently working on a film adaptation of her last book, THE VENUS TRAP.
Louise has an MA(Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant and mentor for writers at www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. She lives in South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime-writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.