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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.
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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.
The story introduces us to journalist, Roz Outlaw. Roz is in a relationship with Tom. They are living together and appear to be pretty solid. One day, Roz returns home to find that Tom is missing. His photo has recently appeared in the local newspaper. This freaked him out. He fears discovery. He has left in a hurry. Roz soon discovers that she did not know Tom, as well as she thought. Tom has a past that he deliberately kept hidden from her. He also has been going under assumed names, for quite some time. He has been living a lie. Their relationship was a lie. As a journalist, Roz cannot stop digging to solve the puzzle of Tom. Will Roz get to the truth about her mysterious boyfriend?
It is impossible not to feel for Roz. Seymour creates such a strong character, who rises to the challenge of a failed relationship and the loss of her boyfriend. We follow her on this emotional journey. Roz is gutsy. She is a fighter. She loves Tom, even when the evidence points to his lies and his attachment to another woman. She still wants to know the truth and to support him. We do not see this as weakness, but as a way for Roz to move on. It is cleverly done. As the ends are tied together, we see Roz has come to terms with Tom and his lies.
As the book progresses we learn about Tom and his terrible upbringing in the evil house of Vixenhead. This is a place of pyschological abuse and of nightmares. Tom is a product of a very unhealthy dysfunctional environment. We see that he is not really ideal boyfriend material.
I had fun getting to know Roz and her complicated world. As a pyschological thriller, it worked beautifully. It had me alternating between needing answers and feeling empathy for poor Roz. It turns into a nightmarish horror story. Gripping and unconventional. Recommended.