Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Call Me Star Girl, the latest novel by Louise Beech.
My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to Orenda Books for my review copy. You can read my review below.
About the Book
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…
Format: Paperback (300 pp.) Publisher: Orenda Books
Published: 18th April 2019 Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Find Call Me Star Girl on Goodreads
I’ve seen so many other book bloggers heaping praise on Louise Beech’s latest book that I’m pleased to have had the opportunity finally to experience it for myself. I know her pedigree as a writer from her earlier book, Maria in the Moon, which I really loved, and I have several of her other books in my TBR pile.
Call Me Star Girl oozes atmosphere from the very first page. This is a book where your review has definitely to be more about how the book made you feel than what it’s about both for fear of giving anything away or of spoiling the sheer experience of reading it for others. In the author’s skilful hands, the reader is taken on an emotional journey that is, at times, unsettling, chilling and full of twists and turns.
Events unfold over one night during Stella’s last shift at a community radio station. It’s late at night and for much of the time she’s alone in the building with only callers to the station providing any human contact. The narrative is interspersed with chapters from the point of view of Stella and her mother, Elizabeth, going back and forth in time to chart their troubled relationship, and between Stella and her boyfriend, Tom. I confess some of the latter felt voyeuristic in a way I found quite unsettling.
I loved that Louise Beech chose once again to use Hull as the setting for her book. I also enjoyed the occasional references to the nature of fiction, reminding the reader that you should not necessarily believe everything you’re told. And there’s room for a couple in jokes as well. At one point the young Stella, after recounting a story she’s written at school, is told she should write mystery novels when she grows up. Earlier, in response to the use of the pet name ‘Star Girl’ by her mother, Stella says, “We just need a killer twist and a cliffhanger ending, and we could have a bestseller called Star Girl“.
Call Me Star Girl is a dark, intense story of desire, control and secrets. It poses the question what would you do, how far would you go, what risk would you incur for the one you love?
I received a review copy courtesy of publishers, Orenda Books, and Random Things Tours.
In three words: Dark, intense, compelling
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 follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. 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 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.
Connect with Louise