Book Broadcast is a post I have created to help ease the load of the books I have for review. It is a great way to spread the word, providing recognition to an author or publisher for sending me a book to review. As my reviewing and blogging duties have stepped up a notch in the last year, I don’t often have the time to complete an in depth review. I hope you can discover some new titles to read through this regular book post.
Twenty-three year old Katy Speed is fascinated by the house across the street. The woman who lives there, Gloria, is the most glamorous neighbour on the avenue, owning a fashionable dress shop in Bexhill-on-Sea. But who is the woman who arrives in the black car most Saturdays while Gloria is at work? Sometimes she brings women to the house, other times they have children.
Hilda, Katy’s mother, disapproves of Gloria. She wonders if these mysterious visitors have just been released from prison. Is Gloria secretly bringing criminals, or worse, into the heart of the community?
Then one night, the house burns down. In the wreckage, the bodies of Gloria and her daughter are found. Katy is sure the unexplained visitors must be responsible until her father is arrested and charged with murder. Have the police arrested the correct person? Are the rest of the street safe? Can Katy find the truth before it’s too late?
With over ten million copies of her books sold worldwide, revered British storyteller Lesley Pearse needs no introduction. I have personally adored her novels for some time and each time I read a new novel penned by Pearse I make a vow to explore her extensive backlist. The House Across the Street is a slight departure from Pearse’s typical historical saga style novels. This new novel is much darker than Lesley Pearse’s usual fare and it is also heavy on the intrigue. It explores domestic violence, abuse, rape and abduction. It features a very likeable and curious lead in twenty-three year old Katy, a young woman who hails from the small town of Bexhill-on-Sea, but Katy longs for the bright lights of London. Katy becomes a bystander on the happenings of neighbour Gloria’s ‘house across the street’ when she bears witness to strangers, mostly women and children, coming in and out of Gloria’s home, escorted by a mysterious woman in a black car. When a fire breaks out at Gloria’s place, a tragedy takes place, two bodies are pulled from the charred ruins and this sets in motion a dangerous path for Pearse’s heroine. As we have come to expect from Lesley Pearse, the period detail is exact as Pearse expertly transports the reader to 1964, Britain. This is a time of great flux, as women in particular were exercising their right to freedom, with increased choice, looser morals, sexual freedoms and their ability to initiate divorce proceedings. This is all handled with a deft hand by Pearse, but perhaps the lasting reminder that I took away from The House Across the Street was that domestic violence is just as prevalent in the not too distant past as it is now. Pearse delivers this scathing parting reminder in her latest blockbuster novel.
The House Across the Street by Lesley Pearse was published on 17th September 2018 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.