Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech #BookReview #BlogTour

Stirring up secrets can be deadly … especially if they’re yours…

 Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and the killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. She wants yours, and in exchange she will share some of hers. The ones she knows. But she doesn’t know everything.

Why has Stella’s mother, Elizabeth, finally returned fourteen years after leaving her with a neighbour? Is Stella’s new love, Tom, a man who likes to play games, exciting … or dangerous?

And who is the mysterious man calling the radio station to say he knows who killed Victoria? Tonight Stella’s final show may reveal the biggest secret of all…

.With echoes of the chilling Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…

I'm absolutely thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech alongside Beverly Has Read today. Many thanks to the author, Orenda Books and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me and for my advance copy of the novel.

Stella McKeever presents a late night show on community radio; it's a job she loves but tonight is her final show. To the consternation of her boss and with little initial response from her listeners, she foregoes her usual format of featuring requests, gentle discussions and hits from down the years and instead asks people to message her with their secrets. For the most part she is alone in her studio allowing Louise Beech to slowly torment readers with unsettling moments which ominously foreshadow what is to come.
The chapters are divided into then and now and mostly split between Stella and her mother, Elizabeth (although there are a few key chapters featuring another character.) Stella's mother abandoned her when she was just twelve years old and although they have recently been reunited, the effect of being left with a neighbour has shaped the woman Stella has become. It becomes apparent that she believes her mum left her because she wasn't interesting enough - and to Elizabeth's shame, that is broadly true, the pull of another life was stronger than the love she had for her daughter. As a result, Stella is determined to never be boring and the intense, passionate relationship she has with her boyfriend, Tom is testament to that.
There's a sense of danger to their relationship, particularly after a risky  - and some will find unpleasant - sex game which meant that I was never quite sure what their pairing would eventually lead to. At the heart of the novel lies the mystery as to who killed Victoria Valborn and just what a caller, Stella has named, 'The Man Who Knows' can reveal about the night she died. As the narrative switches back and forth, with Stella becoming increasingly paranoid in her studio, there's an almost Hitchcockian feel to Call Me Star Girl - the claustrophobic single setting, stars giving way to darkness, the constant sense of doubt as to who can be trusted. It's a compelling thriller with some twists which I genuinely didn't see coming and although there were moments where I thought I'd figured things out, I was wrong more often than I was right.
This is a Louise Beech book however, and as much as it is dripping with portentous suspense, it still features her intensely perceptive character building. She is always able to see deep into the soul of the people who appear in her books as she brings them vividly to life. Call Me Star Girl might be about a murder but it really explores what it means to feel abandoned, how our pasts may define us, whether darkness lies within people and perhaps most effectively, the power of love as a destructive and redemptive force.
Call Me Star Girl may be Louise Beech's first psychological thriller but it is as beautifully written as I've come to expect from her and with all her usual sharp and empathetic insight into human nature. Over the course of the novel she introduces familiar aspects of crime fiction and yet adds her own unique voice to create something which is tense and dark yet deeply moving. It's proof that whatever direction this hugely talented author chooses to take, her readers are guaranteed a novel of the highest quality. I can't wait to read her next book!

Call Me Star Girl is published by Orenda Books. It is out now as an ebook and published as a paperback on 18th April 2019. Purchasing links can be found here.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Her third book, Maria in the Moon, was widely reviewed and critically acclaimed. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.
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  1. Thanks so much for the blog tour support Karen x


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