ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – The House Across the Street by Lesley Pearse @LesleyPearse @MichaelJBooks @ed_pr #BlogTour

I’m absolutely over the moon to be sharing my review of The House Across the Street by Lesley Pearse today and I’m even more thrilled to be doing so on publication day. Congratulations, Lesley, on your 26th book! I’m a huge fan and loved this book so much. My thanks to Ed Public Relations for the review copy and for asking me to be a part of the blog tour. How could I refuse?!

Twenty-three year old Katy Speed is fascinated by the house across the street. The woman who lives there, Gloria, is the most glamorous neighbour on the avenue, owning a fashionable dress shop in Bexhill-on-Sea. But who is the woman who arrives in the black car most Saturdays while Gloria is at work? Sometimes she brings women to the house, other times they have children.

Hilda, Katy’s mother, disapproves of Gloria. She wonders if these mysterious visitors have just been released from prison. Is Gloria secretly bringing criminals, or worse, into the heart of the community?

Then one night, the house burns down. In the wreckage, the bodies of Gloria and her daughter are found. Katy is sure the unexplained visitors must be responsible until her father is arrested and charged with murder. Have the police arrested the correct person? Are the rest of the street safe? Can Katy find the truth before it’s too late?

The House Across The Street by Lesley Pearse is published on 6th September in hardback by Michael Joseph priced £20.00. This year is Lesley’s 25th anniversary year in publishing.

I’m a massive fan of Lesley Pearse’s books so I couldn’t wait to read The House Across the Street which seemed to have a really intriguing storyline.

Katy Speed is a lovely young woman, one whom her parents should be really proud of. Her father most definitely is, but her mother is rather unpleasant, disapproving and snipes all the time. Katy often finds herself looking out of the window at the house across the street where Gloria lives. Gloria owns a dress shop and is forward-thinking. Her views and feelings are quite different to most of the residents of sleepy Bexhill and Katy finds her quite fascinating.

When a tragedy occurs, Katy’s lovely father, Albert is blamed for it and Katy desperately wants to find out who is really responsible. I must admit that I thought the story was going one way at this point that I thought seemed really obvious, but I was wrong. The direction it did take was even more thrilling and led to some shocking scenes. For this is, overall, a thriller, but it’s also a story of domestic life and relationships.

I loved Katy. She’s so strong, so mature for a 23 year old, so caring and kind. I was rooting for her to succeed in clearing her father’s name, even though she was putting herself in incredible danger to do so. I also liked Albert, and Katy’s best friend, Jilly, who is bubbly and fun. There’s another character called Charles, who I thought was just wonderful in every way. I won’t go into who he is as you can find that out for yourself. What I’m trying to say though is that all the characters are just so well-drawn. Lesley Pearse has a real way of writing characters to care about and love as well as ones to dislike or even hate.

I loved the story and the setting too. Katy’s home in Bexhill is the epitome of 1960s suburbia, whereas London, where she finds herself later on in the story, is cosmopolitan and exciting. The contrast is marked and I thought very well-portrayed.

Lesley Pearse is a consummate storyteller, a weaver of the most addictive tales.  This is her 26th novel and she’s celebrating 25 years of being published. I hope for many more fabulous books from her in the years to come. I honestly can’t get enough of them. She writes with such warmth and her stories and characters are so genuine. The House Across the Street comes highly recommended by me. I flew through it and enjoyed every minute I spent reading it.

Lesley Pearse was told as a child that she had too much imagination for her own good. When she grew up she worked her way through a number of jobs, including nanny, bunny girl, dressmaker and full-time mother, before, at the age of forty-nine, settling upon a career that would allow her gifts to blossom: she became a published writer. Lesley lives in Devon and has three daughters and three grandchildren.

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Author photo (c) Charlotte Murphy 2014

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