My review is written with huge thanks to Karen at Orenda Books for my copy of Call Me Star Girl.
Tonight is the night for secrets…
Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.
Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.
Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after twelve years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …
What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.
Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…
With echoes of the chilling Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…
Having been introduced to Louise Beech with The Lion Tamer Who Lost, which was one of my favourite books of last year, I was super excited when Karen from Orenda Books gave me the opportunity to read Call Me Star Girl. It’s very different, but no less engaging and I devoured it in less than a day.
Stella McKeever is a late night radio host and she is frequently working in an office building on her own. In itself, this does not sound too threatening, but when you add in the unknown footsteps, creaky floorboards and a recent murder in the local area, everything starts to look a lot more spooky. Louise Beech is expert at creating an atmosphere which made me feel really uncomfortable, but nevertheless I was mesmerised and I had to know what was happening.
Call Me Star Girl is written from the perspective of different characters, mostly Stella and her mother, Elizabeth. This is one of many techniques Beech uses to help the reader get inside the heads of her characters, Even when I didn’t agree with a character’s actions, I felt I could understand what they had done on some level. The writing is beautiful, and I felt every emotion as the character felt it. I loved being taken on such an emotional journey, where I was able to feel joy, sadness, guilt and fear (to name only a few) over such a short space of time.
Although Call Me Star Girl is a very original story, Beech explores themes that are universal to us all. Her take on families, relationships, motherhood and even death allow the reader to look at the world in a new light.
As I was reading, I often thought I had the measure of this book: I knew who had done what, and how and why. However, there are so many twists and turns in Call Me Star Girl, and I was stunned by every one. I attracted several stares from people nearby as I gasped and cried out.
I can’t wait to see what Louise Beech does next!
Call Me Star Girl is available from Amazon.