Friday Favorite – Visiting Lilly by Toni Allen

Looking for something to read over the weekend?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming “read me!”?

Check out my Friday Favorite  – it may not be new, it may not even be by an author you have ever heard of, but it will be a book that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

It is a wonderful experience going back over all my 5-star reads. While I may have forgotten some of them until I see the cover, read the title or the author’s name, some of them stay with me. Visiting Lilly is one of these.

Visiting Lilly by Toni Allen
Visiting Lilly 
by Toni Allen (Goodreads Author)
Reviewed by


EXCERPT: Frankie stood in the rain. It had started out mild, but a driving wind had kicked up, and nowhe was freezing cold. He stared at the building, looked up and across the windows, wondering which room she was in. He’d rehearsed what to say one hundred times over, but that had been in his head, in his imagination. The nursing home had been built in the sixties, straight lined, pebble dashed – no character. In the rain the building looked grim. The idea of going inside was daunting, and for the past hour his courage had failed him. He dug his hands into his pockets. He’d bought new clothes especially for the occasion, a pair of black jeans, a chestnut brown sweater, and some leather shoes, not trainers. He knew she’d like the shoes, polished and smart; but they didn’t look smart any more. It was silly standing there getting wet with no umbrella and his waterproof left in the car. He was supposed to go straight in, only it wasn’t happening as planned. His nerve had failed him.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Why should a man at a Surrey police station go ballistic because someone tries to visit Lilly, his elderly grandmother?

Detective Inspector Jake Talbot is intrigued, and this little puzzle might serve to distract him from sorrows of a Christmas past. Soon he is entangled with Frankie, an odd young man who claims to have met Lilly in her youth. Talbot dismisses the notion of time travel, but then discovers the Ministry of Defence has been monitoring Frankie since his friend disappeared ten years previously. Forced to work with the MOD, Talbot unearths family secrets and betrayals. The families act ruthlessly to prevent him from discovering the facts, colluding to ruin him.

If Frankie is innocent, Talbot won’t let him be victimised. An uneasy understanding grows between them as they follow the evidence, for only the truth will allow Frankie to visit Lilly.

MY THOUGHTS: Can I write a review that does this outstanding book justice? I hope so.

This is a carefully and delicately layered book that delivers so much more than you first expect.

What starts out as a simple police procedural, and one where no real crime has been committed, soon turns into something far more sinister.

Detective Inspector Jake Talbot wonders why a man at a Surrey police station would go ballistic because someone tries to visit Lilly, his elderly grandmother? He asks to follow up the complaint, mainly as a distraction from the ghosts of Christmases past which come to haunt him at this time each year.

He is soon intrigued, even more so after he has met the man in question, Frankie Hayward, who claims to have met Lilly in her youth. Perhaps the authorities, who variously describe Frankie as a nutter, schizophrenic, genius, murderer, stalker and fanatic, may be right.

But in spite of all this, he forms an oddly protective friendship with Frankie, who is traumatised by the disappearance of his only friend, Keith MacKenzie, ten years earlier.

There are lots of secrets and lies, and people acting ruthlessly to prevent Frankie from seeing Lilly. The big question is “Why”?

This is a truly intriguing read. At times I wondered if there had been a book prior to this one, but there hasn’t, and all becomes clear by the end.

Toni Allen has done a wonderful job of this book and I am looking forward to her next book, Saving Anna, which is due out later this year.

Thank you to gejohnsonmedia, Kay Vreeland at Booktrope and author Toni Allen for the gift of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my profile page or the ‘about’ page on for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my page

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbler. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

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