Blog Tour for Jo Jakeman’s new book SAFE HOUSE. Published 31st October 2019 by Harvill Secker.
It’s my stop on the blog tour today and I am delighted to share with you my review for this great new psychological thriller. Thanks to Mia Quibell-Smith of Penguin Random House for my spot on the tour.
Charlie just wants to be forgotten but everyone else wants to know her story…
The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She has bought the crumbling cottage that has lain empty for over a decade, and she’s going to make it her home. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for a few days. She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret.
Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. That lie cost her everything.
And now she has the chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really payed the price for what she did.
Steffi Finn needs to disappear…….She’s changed her name, dyed her hair, and moved all the way to a tiny village in Cornwall in the hope that no one will track her done. She needs to start again……. forget the past. Find a new job, new friends and hopefully get on with her life.
Newly released from prison and with money left to her from her recently deceased parents, Steffi, now called Charlie, has bought ‘unseen’ a small house in need of refurbishment. Unable to go back to her home of Sheffield, she will use the skills she has learnt whilst in prison to do up the house and hopefully find some work.
Her last relationship ended with a horror story. Whilst at work one day Steffi has a call from the police wanting her to confirm the whereabouts of her boyfriend on a particular evening. Steffi states he was with her, all evening, but this isn’t necessarily true, and her gullibility and love for her partner leads her to provide a false alibi for him that not only tries to cover up an horrendous crime, but allows him to remain free to kill again!
I really enjoyed this book. It was well written with superb pace and had me interested from the very beginning.
Having read a lot of psychological thrillers I found this story line a nice change from the usual. The main character has done something very stupid but yet I couldn’t help but like her and hope for her safety. The style of writing with various POV’s from different characters works really well and I liked the addition of newspaper reports going over the crimes and hostilities Steffi experienced before she was sent to prison. It allows the reader to understand more of what has happened. The house and it’s surrounding area in Cornwall is described very well and I enjoyed the other villagers and the roles they play in the story.
Her backstory is explained enough for you to try and understand how she came to do what she did, and the relationship she has had with her boyfriend. His controlling nature that has lead her to loose her friends and enable him to guide her into believing anything he tells her. Yet the author doesn’t allow it to hold the present story line up so the tension is flowing throughout and I couldn’t wait to read what happens. There are a few twists that I didn’t see coming that gave the book a great finish.
This is the first book I have read by this author and will definitely try out her previous book Sticks and Stones.
JO JAKEMAN was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition at the York Festival of Writing. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. Safe House is her second novel and Sticks and Stones was her debut thriller.