Counting down to publication...
An unexpected blessing of being a published author is the people you get to meet. Among them are Sarah and Elane, who are behind the online writing community, I AM in print. They are overwhelmingly friendly and supportive, drawing together published and unpublished writers, agents and publishers, as well as being massive supporters of libraries. If you haven’t found them, just maybe you should...
A few months ago, I took part in one of their webinars, to talk about all things publishing-related, as well as my own path to publication. Since, they’ve read Her Sister’s Lie and have published their thoughtful review here.
So, for now, these are their words…
Oh, Debbie Howells, you’ve done it again! Another edge of your seat domestic noir. The plot tendrils twist and grip, fusing façade and fact in a most intoxicating fashion* – just what we have come to anticipate from the bestselling writer of four psychological thrillers.
‘But then we were sisters. Blood was thicker than water.’
The heady, carefree days beloved sisters Hannah and Nina spent in the rundown cottage were the best of Hannah’s life. But what happened a decade ago to drive the sisters apart? And what memories and truths are about to resurface?
As her relationship with Matt snaps like a brittle leaf, former band member Hannah is contacted by the police. Nina is dead and Hannah is called upon not only to identify the body but to safeguard Nina’s teenage son, Abe. As the weak March sunlight filters Hannah’s farmhouse window, her grief shifts between Matt and her dead sister as she is forced to reflect upon where it all went wrong.
‘Nature has its own way of dealing with the weak, slowly blotting out their sunlight, strangling them with weeds. But the strong only get stronger. It’s the same with people.’
Abe’s sullenness and shifty behaviour isn’t the only disturbance Hannah encounters once she brings him home – sinister events unfold; household artefacts move, knocks at the door reveal no one there, strangers apparently speak her name. When she uncovers a series of secret letters amongst Nina’s belongings, Hannah wonders how much Abe knows. And how far will she go to ensure the past remains buried?
Author Debbie is at her best entwining the natural world with the ever-so-slightly supernatural. In Her Sister’s Lie she allows the reader into the head of more than one narrator, scattering seeds at intervals which germinate oh so slowly until the final uprooting renders you quite speechless.
We highly recommend this latest offering from Debbie Howells, a gifted storyteller of the dark and the unexpected, and (unbelievably, given her genre) one of the kindest natured authors in the business.
*During the reading of this book, it may be necessary to hold your breath - done say we didn't warn you!