EXCERPT: So that was the official word on the incident: a tragic accident.
And that’s it. Almost. There is just one more mention, easy to miss, had I not, out of habit, set the dates as wide as possible for my search, from before the fire to the present day. You never want to overlook any detail.
And that’s how I found it, the final link chaining the dead past to this house’s living present. It is not a news story but a marriage announcement, dated eight years ago.
Mr J.C. Hayes and Miss O.E. Vane
The engagement is announced between Joshua, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hayes of Richmond, London, and Olivia, daughter of the late Mr. Alexander Vane and Mrs. Vane of Annersley, Cheshire.
And that’s why I am sitting here, flicking through the cuttings before the session ahead, my stomach twisting in anticipation of what I must address.
She is Olivia Hayes. But once she was Olivia Vane.
This is her house. Her family. Her story.
ABOUT YOU CAN TRUST ME BY EMMA ROWLEY: YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HER.
BUT SHE KNOWS EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU.
Olivia is the domestic goddess-turned-internet sensation who has won millions of followers by sharing her picture-perfect life online. And now she’s releasing her tell-all autobiography.
Nicky is the ghostwriter tasked with coaxing out the full story – including details of the tragic accident that blighted Olivia’s golden childhood.
But, as she delves into Olivia’s life, Nicky discovers cracks appearing in the glamorous façade. From money worries to Olivia’s strained relationship with her handsome husband, the truth belies her perfect image.
As Olivia becomes increasingly hostile to the woman she’s let into her life, Nicky becomes ever more relentless in her hunt for the truth.
Has Olivia really escaped the ghosts of her past – or will Nicky find there are more sinister reasons she wants to leave an old tragedy well alone?
MY THOUGHTS: There are two sides to every story, everyone knows that. But what matters in the end, is who gets to tell it.
The story is told from two perspectives: Nicky, the ghostwriter charged with telling Olivia’s story, and from that of Olivia herself. Of the two, I greatly preferred Olivia’s narrative. But, in reality, You Can Trust Me by Emma Rowley largely fell flat for me. In the places that should have been suspenseful, I felt nothing. Come on! A hidden cellar in the cellar, that ought to be supremely creepy; I should have been holding my breath in anticipation, but it wasn’t, and I wasn’t.
The story dragged in parts and, although there were places where the pace would pick up, they were brief and insubstantial. It felt disjointed and incomplete, even at the end. There are two major twists in the story, one of which I guessed when one particular facet of Olivia’s background was being studiously ignored, and once that was exposed, the second was a given.
Overall, I was disappointed. I felt that the plot had far more potential than was explored.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Emma Rowley is a writer, ghostwriter and editor with a background in journalism – formerly of the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph. A graduate in Classics and English at Oxford University, she trained as a journalist on the prestigious City University course. Emma has spent considerable time in the courts and covering major crime stories. She lives in London. (Amazon)
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of You Can Trust Me by Emma Rowley for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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