I’m a crime and psychological fiction-lover and a radio presenter – so how could I not read Louise Beech’s Call me star girl which combines the two?
This novel is also published by a small publishing house I have been keeping an eye on and can seemingly can do no wrong – Orenda Books.
I follow them on Twitter which is how I discovered Louise’s work..
This is not her first hoorah as an author – this is her fifth and she has another on the way – but it is her first psychological outing and she pulls no punches.
But Louise readily admits she didn’t even realise she had written one until her publisher pointed it out – she doesn’t deliberately write to genre – a speciality of Orenda.
Call me star girl – my first read of the year and indeed the decade – begins on Stella McKeever’s final radio show where she works late evening and is alone in the station.
As somebody who used to present on community radio and found myself alone in the building regularly – albeit during the day – I understand how creepy that must be at night. Fortunately at the BBC that would be unusual!
Not that Stella is particularly concerned – it’s just that a young woman Victoria Valbon has just been murdered nearby and as she introduces her show on the theme of secrets – a man starts to ring the station and says he knows who did it..
Stella seems to have a healthy disregard for her own safety and keeps talking to him.
Twisty and turn-y, you are led down dead ends where everyone has a secret and a story including Stella herself with her boyfriend who likes games and her quest to find out who her father is.
As characters around her begin to flesh out their own storylines, you start lining up the murder suspects in your mind but Louise keeps the biggest shocker right until the end.
The blurb says it plays on our our deepest fears – and I can only agree.
After reading the book I invited Stella into the weekly radio show I co-present and she was lovely – you can’t help wondering how the nicest authors conjure up the darkest stories.
If you want to listen to the interview head over to BBC Sounds HERE (she is on around 4.20pm-ish)
You can buy Call me star girl in all the usual places – and mine was bought and paid for too.