A brother sent away
A sister in a loveless home
A father ruthlessly murdered
Ricky and Leonora Bates are brother and sister, best friends, allies in a loveless family.
They are a constant disappointment to their domineering father.
He views Ricky’s quiet bookishness as weakness and Leonora’s feisty intelligence as unbecoming.
Then Ricky is sent away to a boarding school in South Africa to “toughen him up”. And Leonora is stuck dealing with her dysfunctional parents on her own.
The unthinkable happens
Leonora’s father travels to South Africa to bring Ricky home. Disaster strikes. Her father is shot dead. And her brother is nowhere to be found.
Now Leonora must find the truth.
Susanna Beard is in top form in this utterly absorbing take on family betrayal, dark secrets and deep trauma that will keep you guessing until its chilling conclusion.
Original and Thrilling!
The second Susanna Beard novel I’ve read – and I want more please!
Ricky and Leonora are not only brother and sister, they are best friends. With parents who don’t exactly ooze love and affection, they need to stick together. Their domineering father disapproves of their closeness, claiming that Ricky is not tough enough and he regards Leonora’s smartness as a failing, which is why he announces that he’s sending Ricky away to school – boarding school at that – and not only in another country but on a different continent. The siblings are devastated; both of them unsure how they are going to survive without the other. Then, when they think they will be together again, their father heads to South Africa to bring Ricky home and is found shot dead with his son nowhere to be found. Leonora sets herself the goal of finding out what happened and, more importantly, finding her brother.
Leonora and Ricky have an enviable relationship, and that is exactly why being split up has such a calamitous effect on both of them and the author conveys this admirably. I really felt for both characters and this drew me into the story. Their bond is tight and distance impacts on both of them quite badly. Following each of their lives was both emotional and enlightening and I was shocked by the death of their father. And then the story really begins! Pulling the reader’s emotions first one way and then the other, this is a gripping tale which kept me on my toes until the very final word. Original and thrilling, it was impossible to tell how it was going to end. Great characterisation and a well-crafted story all add up to a spirited read and one I thoroughly enjoyed. I’m happy to recommend this one and give it 4.5*.
My thanks to the publisher for my copy; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.
Tags: psychological thriller
- Format: ebook, paperback
- Size: 286 pages
- Publisher: Joffe Books
- Publication Date: 11 February 2021
- Book Links:
Thriller writer Susanna is fascinated by human relationships. She can be found people-watching wherever she goes, finding material for her writing. Despite the writer’s life, she has an adventurous streak and has swum with whale sharks in Australia, fallen down a crevasse in the French Alps and walked through the sewers of Brighton – not in that order.
Her passions include animals — particularly her dogs — walking in the countryside and tennis, which clears her brain of pretty much everything.
Susanna’s latest psychological thriller, The Lost Brother, was published on 11 February 2021 by Joffe Books. The Perfect Life was released in December 2020, and Susanna has two other published books, both about to be rereleased.