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House of Lies: A gripping thriller with a shocking twist Paperback – 1 Jun 2017
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About the Author
Eve Seymour is the author of nine novels and has had a number of short stories broadcast on BBC Radio Devon. Educated in Malvern at an girls’ boarding school, which she detested, she spectacularly underachieved. Sixth form in Cheltenham proved a lot more interesting, enjoyable and productive.
After a short and successful career in PR in London and Birmingham, she married and disappeared to Devon. Five children later, she returned and began to write seriously. In a bid to make her work as authentic as possible, she has bent the ears of numerous police officers, firearms officers, scenes of crime, the odd lawyer and United Nations personnel. She also works by day as a freelance editorial consultant, specialising in crime fiction.
Eve lives with her second husband and often has a houseful of offspring, sons-in-law, partners, and a growing tribe of little ones. Nomadic by nature, she is planning another move very soon.
Top customer reviews
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Roz thinks her boyfriend of three years is her Prince Charming, until one morning when he drops a few reality shocks on her ever so perfect life. All of a sudden he doesn’t want the same things she does. Then later that day he disappears into thin air.
It is by sheer chance that Roz finds out Tom has been hiding not one, but multiple past lives from her. A criminal who is trying to hide from the consequences of his crimes. Or is he?
Seymour brings together a painful past and a violent altercation, which somehow sets the path for a young boy and his life on the run. His life of lies and deception.
I liked the way the author brought it all together in the end. There isn’t a neatly tied bow with a warm and bubbly happy ending. Instead there is realistic one. The lines between guilt and innocence become rather blurred in this story. The main character makes the reader wander between sympathy and antipathy with the frequency of a ping pong ball in a tournament.
It’s an interesting read.
Detail is solid to paint the picture but never dwells and bores, if Eve says you are buying a sandwich in Chester, then you really are !! Chew slowly and savour every bite.
The plot chases from brass to woodwind to strings and then altogether and then in varying ensembles, with some magical surprises lingering behind the stage curtain to scare the living daylights out of you, or slap you around until you realise the deductions in your mind are not your property, they belong to Eve, and you shall damn well comply !!
Eve Seymour's Hex and Tallis novels add suspense to the high action, as they weave between Jason Bourne and James Bond (Skyfall) territory, whilst "Vixenhead" treads what should be a gentler path, rendering the twists and turns deeper as they impact upon characters not ordinarily trained to save the world in their daily role.
This novel is made for TV or film. The current BBC drama "stare into the distance to create a thinking/anxious/dreaming pose" acting habits completely unnecessary as Eve gives such clear and defined direction, straight from the pages.
Journalist Roz is bewildered by her partner Tom’s behaviour when he spots his photograph in the county magazine. The picture was taken at a party thrown by the magazine Roz works for. Okay, he’s a modest guy but isn’t he over-reacting just a bit? And why the sudden hostility towards having kids? At the age of 37 Roz had envisaged a future with the man she adores and that future involves a family. Uneasy over the row that ensues, Roz has to leave for work. On her return her brother who is temporarily lodging with her, breaks the news. Tom has split. He’s walked out on her, and he’s not coming back.
Unable to believe that loving dependable Tom would desert her without good reason, Roz embarks on a quest to uncover the truth along with his whereabouts. A quest which takes her on a journey from the chic environs of Cheltenham westwards to Ludlow and on to deepest Wales and to the eponymous Vixenhead. A dual narrative, the reader follows both Roz and Tom on their missions, which inevitably lead them both to the same sinister destination.
Descriptions of place are so vivid we feel as if we have been there and this is the aspect I most enjoyed about this novel. When finally we arrive at the Vixenhead mansion, events therein live up to the promise of that menacing cover. Lovers of gothic will relish this part and be holding their breath as the drama unfolds.
Eve Seymour’s trademark style is most apparent in the opening sections with the sharp and witty turns of phrase and I enjoyed the brief insights into Roz’s family background which provide some of the humour. However the story quickly turns darker as we have glimpses into Tom’s past, with the Vixenhead scenes verging on horror.
An emotional rollercoaster which takes you from anger to fear to sadness in a surprising final twist. If you like your thrillers to be emotionally powerful with a touch of gothic, this is for you.
The character of Roz is so believable with overtones of Bridget Jones, relationship and family problems. Not quite counting the calories or the amount she drinks, but it's not difficult to imagine her doing so. She has real determination but also a clear sense of right and wrong.
It's a great read.
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