Richard Madeley's first novel plays beautifully into the heart of commercial fiction, a love story with intrigue and betrayal at its core.
James Blackwell is sexy and handsome and a fighter pilot - every girl's dream partner. At least that is what Diana Arnold thinks when her brother first introduces them. Before long they are in love and marry hastily just as war is declared.Then fate delivers what is the first of its cruel twists: James, the day of their wedding, is shot down over Northern France and killed. Diana is left not only a widow but pregnant with their child.
Ten years later, contentedly remarried, Diana finds herself in the south of France, sitting one morning in a sunny village square. A taxi draws up and she hears the voice of a man speaking English - the unmistakable voice of someone who will set out to torment her and blackmail her and from whom there can be only one means of escape...
©2013 Richard Madeley (P)2013 Simon & Schuster Audio
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It’s a great book! Not the best piece of literature I have ever read, but all the same, a very good read! I usually stay away from this kind of book, preferring more Thriller/Horror, so this was a nice diversion. I read a few reviews saying it was bad, but it was on offer cheap on the kindle, so I bought it...
I wasn't disappointed. There are a few unnecessary pages that don’t really add much to the story, but otherwise, I don't see the harm in it.
I have even bought the second book by Richard Madeley (I understand it is a standalone book, but it about one of the characters - I won’t spoil it by telling you who!)
Give it a go - if you find it rubbish, I apologise, but you might be surprised like I was!
"Not just another 'celebrity' novel ..."
I am hesitant before reading any book published by a 'celebrity' who is a celebrity for being anything other than an author. I often find them too light for my tastes. I was recommended this book by someone who knows my reading tastes extremely well, so I took them up on their recommendation.
I enjoyed this novel. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. Don't enter into reading this novel with the view of finding something high-brow and literary because it isn't and it isn't trying to be. The storyline is extremely unique from any other war based novel I have read. War novels typically depict heroes, but James Blackwell is far from being painted in this light. I found this such a refreshing change, although I did find some aspects of the story over-simplified and a little far-fetched.
I am confident that this novel would have been published without the name of Richard Madeley being attached to it.
The title is misleading. In order for this review to remain spoiler-free I cannot say why, but it implies a search for someone being the main focus of the novel, and it just isn't.
Contrary to a number of other reviews about the book (rather than the audiobook), I really enjoyed this one. I read Richard Madeley's Fathers and Sons (a superb piece of writing, by the way) beforehand and it was written so fluidly, I wanted to check out his first novel.
The story? Its a romance but not sickeningly so, its a drama but not so deep it loses you... All in all, its a good summer listen with a beginning, a middle and an end, with likeable characters, apart from one (not telling who) and an entertaining plot.
Jane McDowell, the narrator, has a lovely clear, fresh voice and is surely the first narrator I haven't cringed at when trying to do other accents (Scottish, French, etc) as I have done with so many other actors. Each character was clearly definable and I really enjoyed her performance.
Looking forward to Richard's follow-up, The Way You Look Tonight.
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