Book review: Valentina by SE Lynes

 Valentina by SE Lynes. Blackbird Books
This is the story of a woman who is striving for an idyllic, happy, life with her partner and newborn baby.

But all relationships require compromise.

Glasgow journalist Shona McGilvery’s particular deal involves scotching a return to her career and moving into a picture perfect country cottage with her loving partner.

So far, so idyllic.

But Mikey works away and Shona is alone.

A lot.

Then Valentina comes along.

Beautiful and fascinating and completely different from Shona – yet seemingly the friend she needed to burst her from her bubble and out of her shell.

Then it all starts to unravel.

This novel is not what it might might initially seem.     

Full of twists and turns and with evocative description of the Aberdeenshire countryside, you cannot clearly see where the story is going until the suspense soon speeds up in pace , leaving you wondering how you could not have seen between the lines in the first place.

Your suspicions as reader grow alongside protagonist Shona’s.

Like her you can see glimpses of another narrative but cannot be sure exactly what it is as tensions build.

You cannot help be drawn into her dark story and understand how she feels, her confusion as evidence mounts against Mikey and as Valentina becomes the enemy.

Then Shona does something completely unexpected.

This is a fabulous read, pacy and enthralling through its mystery and characterisation.

I have no wish to give away the story but would thoroughly recommend this psychological jigsaw with an unguessable ending.

As a journalist, I could not help empathise with Shona – sometimes people forget we find stuff out for a living.

And as nut-allergy sufferer, I have every  (maybe not every) sympathy for Mikey.

To find out why you have to read it but I would absolutely recommend.

Full of atmospheric description and plenty of chills, you will not want to put it down.

*Published by Blackbird Books. Copy was supplied for review