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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 3 May 2013
I bought this yesterday because I heard it was by a local author and I thought I'd maybe read it over the summer.
But I just took a quick peep first.
Well! Two hours later I was still reading, housework undone....
The story is told from a present in which the main character is living in poverty, under an assumed identity and in great fear of discovery. The present day narrative is interwoven with accounts of the past which gradually explain why.
Traced by a journalist, she is eventually persuaded to let the truth emerge, and to rebuild a life. It is well written, fast moving and I found it on the whole convincing. (I did wonder how she could leave her daughter behind, the only jarring note for me, but it is suggested that she suffered from post-traumatic stress. As she eventually confronts the horror, this becomes believable)
The characters seem real and I ended up liking Kim more than I expected. The author could have made her a stereotype but managed to make her more than that.
Having worked all my life with children and parents, I unfortunately found the depiction of domestic violence totally believable - as were the reactions to it of others.
I didn't know until I read the bit at the end that the author had been a journalist - hence perhaps the sympathetic treatment of them in the story.
This was well worth buying, an entertaining ang gripping read. I'll be looking out for her next one!
I realise I'm writing the first review of this book, which has not happened to me before - but I'm not a friend or relation! This was a happy chance, and I'm glad I stumbled upon it. I only wish I had bought a paper copy so I could pass it on!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 August 2013
In Too Deep is the story of Maura, who leaves her home in a small northern market town after the death of her friend and starts a new life, under a new name. She is hiding from something or someone and, after five years thinks she is safe...until a journalist comes knocking on her door. Told in the first person, this novel jumps back and forth, from the past to the present as the story unfolds and we understand just why Maura might be scared. It is a good story. It isn't great though. As another reviewer said, there just isn't enough to like about any of the characters. They aren't sympathetic. I didn't care enough for any of them. Saying that, this is a first novel and there is a lot to like. The style is easy to read, it flowed well, and the story was, as I said, good.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2013
This was a really good read which kept you in suspense right to the end. The story centres around what is quite a parochial event in a small town but which becomes all important to the protagonists and portrays what lengths supposedly ordinary characters are prepared to go to impose their will and the terrible effect this all had on the heroine and her only friend.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2013
I thought I'd found a book about a woman who had fled an abusive husband, and who feared that her husband had caught up to her. I had, but the story that unfolded had far more to it than that.

There was an abusive husband; a man who belittled his wife, a man who knew where he could hurt her and leave no marks, a man who always had an answer.

There was a small market town: an insular town where people were quick to judge, where they clung to tradition, where outsiders and new ideas were resented.

And there was a newcomer: a bright, ambitious reporter sent to the town after a campaign to get more publicity for the town's annual mediaeval fair.

The bright reporter and the downtrodden wife became friends. Real friends. Maura stood up for Kim when she made waves in the town, when she reported the negative news as well as the positive. And Kim took steps to rebuild Maura's self-esteem, taking her on as an assistant, and encouraging her to take steps towards a more independent lifestyle.

Maura's husband wasn't happy with her. The great and the good of the town weren't happy with Kim. And when things went badly at the annual fair - bad weather and bad publicity - things boiled over. On the final day there was a terrible tragedy. Maura felt responsible, and she fled.

But five years later a journalist found her, and she had to talk about the past, deal with the past, and look to the future.

Bea Davenport tells this story very effectively. The narrative moves quite naturally between Maura's story in the past and her telling of it in the present. And the prologue explained enough of what had happened that I could concentrate on exactly how events had unfolded without wondering who, where , when .... that brought the heart of the story into sharp focus.

It was a compelling story, simply and clearly told. The characters were real and believable, and their dialogues, their reactions, their behaviour rang true.

There were times when I found both Maura and Kim maddening. Maura should have, could have, left her husband much sooner. And Kim might have been more sensitive to the feelings of others, more aware that certain of her actions would have consequences. But at the same time, I accepted who they were - and how difficult Maura's situation was - I saw that they were real, complex, fallible human beings.

The character of Maura's husband was drawn with wonderful clarity and subtlety, and that made his actions all the more shocking.

Everything worked together, making a compelling human drama.

It wasn't quite perfect - the town was a little too mediaeval, some pieces of the story fell into place a little too easily - but the story worked. It rang true psychologically. I cared about Maura, and what would become of her. I wanted to know.

I turned the pages very quickly, and I stayed up and went on reading much later than I had planned.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 August 2013
Psychological Thriller - Thanks to the publisher and netgalley.

In Too Deep had an interesting premise - Hiding under an assumed name, Maura lives day to day life as quietly as possible. She is shocked therefore to discover that a reporter knows her true identity and wants to know exactly what happened in her previous life. Reluctantly but having little choice, Maura tells her story..

I enjoyed this book it has to be said, without completely loving it. Its possible that I have read so many psychological thrillers and crime stories lately that it has to be absolutely top notch for me to rave about it. Having said that it is extremely well written, with an interesting protagonist and it holds your attention - you will want to know what is going on.

The location is key here - a small village where everyone knows everyone elses business and yet can be reluctant to interfere, its easy to see how Maura got caught up in her problem. As we find out more about her in both her incarnations, things become clearer. Or do they? I think one of my problems with this particular story is I really couldnt see why Maura acted as she did, her character seemed stronger than her actions...

Domestic violence however is a difficult subject to tackle - who can tell how any one of us would act in any given situation?

To sum up I would say if you like this type of thriller you WILL enjoy this one, but I doubt you will find any surprises. I would like to read another book by this author - I feel that this was a great debut but not the greatest I have read. Elizabeth Haynes "Into the Darkest Corner" with its similar themes is definitely superior by quite a long way. BUT this is not a bad book by any means...if you are a crime and mystery aficionado I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

Happy Reading Folks!
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on 28 November 2015
Maura is a young lady living with her husband and child in what seems to be a sleepy,flowery'Midsummer Murders' style market town living the life of a woman who is 'looked after', spending her time buying makeup, magazines and cooking dinner for the family.

A newcomer,a bright, ambitious reporter arrives in town after a campaign to get more publicity for the forthcoming summer fair - Kim.Kim is a larger than life character with no morals.Probably too full on for such a small place and it's residents that do not accept outsiders readily.Maura befriends Kim and I believe,relishes the adventure and excitement Kim has to offer and attracts.The friendship is looked down upon by the rest of the townsfolk.

Maura's husband takes charge of that summer's annual medieval fair. Things start to take a turn for the worst for Maura and eventually for Kim also.Not going into this for fear of spoiling.

This book is told in first person and is quick to reveal vital clues's to the plot and storyline from the get go.
Five years on,why has Maura changed her name and left this town? She seems to be hiding from someone or something.Maura's life is now in total contrast to what it was until she is visited by a reporter. What made him come looking for her?
Lots of questions all become clear as the story unfolds.
Eventually the truth comes out and reveals the towns hidden secrets from five years previous.

This book was,Bea Davenport's debut adult novel.I read her This Little Piggy first and was blown away by it.Loved the smoothness and flow.
However I didn't feel this so much with In Too Deep.The book jumps from when the reporter found her and the events form five years before. I have read a few books that jump between time lines but felt this one lacked the continuity and flow to carry this off and I experienced confusion every so often.This is not to say I didn't like this book and don't want you to be put off by the three stars.I liked it a lot.It just didn't blow me away like her other works.I still enjoyed Bea's style of writing and her journalist background shone through again.

I wasn't expecting the hard hitting content that bounced off the pages at me later in the book and gasped as I read it.I had only read the blurb on the back page which kept this part of the book a huge secret much like Maura's story itself.
Wow,it was uncomfortable and a tender subject to tackle and I think Bea wrote it extremely well.Making me feel, was evidence that the book had drawn me right into this distressing topic and had 'got me'. All the same,I did struggle to read these pages and even skim read quite a few.Up till this point, I didn't feel anything for these characters but this topic made me feel.
This book is well worth a read but you need to have a strong mind about you.
A good debut novel.Constant suspense throughout even though it wasn't a favourite for me personally.I will definitely read more from Bea Davenport because if This Little Piggy was even better, what will future novels be like? fabulous?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2014
Some books are plot-driven. Others explore characters and their relationships. This novel pulls off the admirable trick of having a first class story, but making us care because of the people it brings to life. The authenticity of the round of small- town reporting is an added strength. I'd recommend this to readers who care about interesting characters, but who don't want a book which is bland or slow moving. It's sense of suspense is cleverly crafted. I give it five stars because it sits well within its genre and delivers richly on all expectations.
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on 19 October 2014
Five years ago Maura fled life in Dowerby, a northern market town, and assumed a new identity. She's trying to live under the radar but is plagued by memories from the past. However, when a reporter finds her, Maura's life is in danger again.

In this, Bea Davenport's debut novel, there is everything you could ever want from a thriller. It's gripping and has a good flow to it. Davenport builds intrigue by telling the story from Maura's point of view, flashing back and revealing the story at just the right pace. The story is well-written, with Davenport getting the sense of a small town and its atmosphere just right. The location plays a big part in the drama that unfolds and Davenport demonstrates a keen eye for place.

The characters are believable and I truly felt Maura's misery and isolation. The villain of the piece is utterly normal which is what makes him so terrifying, he could be living next-door to any one of us.
Davenport's background in journalism also shines through, giving the reader a hint of what it's like to be a journo.

I devoured 'In Too Deep' and I can't wait to read Bea Davenport's next novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2013
From the opening paragraph I was hooked - we know from the beginning that Kim will end up dead which gives the novel a deeply unsettling air of foreboding. The author draws on her own experience as a journalist to create a town and characters who are entirely believable. The story unfolds with many twists and turns, keeping up interest to the last page. A gripping read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2014
In the questions to the author, at the back of the book, Bea Davenport cites "readability" as a crucial factor in a novel's success. I agree with her - not for me too measured self-conscious writing. In this novel, the author has proved her point - In too deep is very readable and I enjoyed it and would recommend it.
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