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…?
I'm thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for The Old You by Louise Voss today Many thanks to the author, Orenda Books and Anne Cater for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel.
At the start of The Old You, Ed Naismith is diagnosed with Pick's Disease, a rare and progressive form of dementia. It's the same illness which killed his father and so both he and his wife, Lynn know exactly what lies in store for him. Lynn is a few years younger than Ed and had been looking forward to a new job following her husband's retirement but on hearing the terrible news she is naturally upset and even understandably angry and so perhaps her rather selfish thought that this isn't what she'd risked everything for can be excused. Dementia is such a devastating diagnosis for both the sufferer and their loved ones, of course. However, as Lynn's life begins to unravel it's not only Ed's illness which will lead to everything changing as their seemingly perfect relationship starts to become tainted by ever more sinister events.
The tension in The Old You is allowed to build slowly with just the suggestion of something not quite right at first, the sense that things are not quite as they should be. The story is told in both the present and in chapters set years ago which means Ed and Lynn's complicated past is revealed gradually and just as things seem to become clearer, there's a twist and it transpires that not everything is as it first seems. The pacing is perfect as the ominous apprehension builds until the shocking truth is finally unveiled.
I've seen a few criticisms of psychological thrillers recently; that they've become too prescriptive and the twists are too easy to spot. The Old You though is an antidote to the malaise - it is so intricately plotted that though the reader may feel they have worked it out, Louise Voss ensures that the surprises just keep coming. The secrets and lies may have been kept for years but when they are exposed even the most careful will see their tightly constructed lives fall apart. This is truly a tangled web in which so many of the characters have practised to deceive and while it's true that few are especially likeable, they are utterly compelling. I didn't simply want to know the truth, I needed to find out and I became totally absorbed in the story as I was wrong-footed time and again. The book isn't just about the twists and turns though, brilliant though they may be; it's also immersive domestic drama in which the decisions of all characters are shown to be flawed and motivated by a myriad of emotions.
The Old You is a skilfully crafted masterclass in writing and I loved being so confidently led through the beautifully woven and elaborate plot. Louise Voss has combined the unnerving chills of a dark and original thriller with a perceptive and engrossing look at the complexities of love and human relationships. I loved The Old You and I highly recommend it but I also suggest you start reading when you have a few hours spare because this superb book isn't one you'll want to put down.
The Old You is published by Orenda Books and can be purchased here.
Don't miss the other stops on the blog tour, details are below.
About the Author
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.