Tonight is the night for secrets…
Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.
Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.
Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after twelve years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …
What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.
Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…
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…
Call Me Star Girl is published on the 18th April 2019 by Orenda Books. Many thanks to Karen Sullivan for my copy of the book for this review.
When I first saw the cover of this book and blurb I commented on Twitter, Karen from Orenda Books replied and said that this was Louise Beech’s best book yet….and hell was Karen right!
I loved The Mountain in my Shoe, adored Maria in the Moon and cried at The Lion Tamer Who Lost so I knew I would be onto a good thing but WOW….Call Me Star Girl just blew me away! Louise’s writing is absolutely flawless and whilst I wanted to know what happened but so did not want it to end.
Call Me Star Girl‘s main character is Stella McKeever, a young woman whose mother has reappeared in her life after deserting her at the age of 12. Stella is slowly rebuilding her mother/daughter relationship with her mother, Elizabeth and embarking on an intense relationship with Tom who she absolutely adores. The ‘now’ of the book is the evening of Stella’s last radio show and she has decided on the theme of secrets to try and get her listeners to open up to her and share their deepest, darkest secrets….what she doesn’t bet on is the mystery caller professing that he knows a huge secret.
Three weeks prior to ‘now’, heavily pregnant Victoria Valbon was murdered and her killer is still on the loose. This, understandably, has people of edge and initially creates the undercurrent of tension through the book.
What astounds me with this author is how her books are so different from each in terms of the subject matter, Call Me Star Girl is Louise’s first psychological thriller and by goodness, does she do it brilliantly. Stella’s character comes alive from the pages….I could hear her voice, picture her in the studio and feel her tension and fears. The author’s writing is just beautiful, from the very first page I was drawn in – fascinated by Stella, I wanted to know more about her. I didn’t have a clue as to the journey that Louise was taking us on but I bloody enjoyed the ride! The twists and turns in this book were wonderful, so many layers that come together brilliantly. This was enhanced by the flow of the dual narrative between Stella and Elizabeth and the shifts of time to tell the overall story. I do love a good dual narrative/timeline 🙂
This book is most definitely one of my favourite reads of 2019 – if not number one on that list. Call Me Star Girl is a tense and chilling addictive read about secrets and obsession that I just couldn’t put down!
I cannot recommend Call Me Star Girl (or author!) enough….absolutely brilliant and a book that will stay with me for a long time.
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. Both books have been number one on Kindle, Audible and Kobo in USA/UK/AU. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail , where she was a columnist for ten years. 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 and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012. She is also part of the Mums’ Army on Lizzie and Carl’s BBC Radio Humberside Breakfast Show.