Fiction Book Reviews

Suspense | Lies Behind the Ruin | Helen Matthews

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We’re delighted to be on tour today sharing Laura’s thoughts for Lies Behind the Ruin by Helen Matthews.

Laura was captivated by this story and highly recommends.

Lies Behind the Ruin by Helen Matthews (book cover)

Emma Willshire has overcome plenty of obstacles in her life. From student bride to single mum of a son, Owen, but she has found happiness with her second husband, Paul and another child, Mollie. Emma’s dark days seem far behind her until a fatal accident happens at Paul’s work and he is held responsible.

On holiday in France, Paul’s behaviour turns erratic. On impulse, he buys a cheap, dilapidated property and, to Emma’s dismay, persuades her they can renovate it into a holiday home.

Back in England, their problems spiral out of control. Escape to a new life in France seems the only solution but with heart-breaking loss for Emma. As the couple strive to renovate their ruin and open a small business, shadows from the past threaten their happiness and safety. Because, how can you build a new life on toxic foundations?

Lies Behind the Ruin by Helen Matthews is published by Hashtag Press and is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats. Buy from : | Author Website | Amazon UK | Amazon US |


I loved this book, it was so captivating that I finished reading in one day.

With a toddler it is a rare day for me to enjoy reading in long periods, however yesterday was an even rarer day as he had a three hour nap! I made good use of that time and then had to wait until his bedtime to finish.

The writing is superb and with short chapters, I found myself racing through them to discover more. With tension and secrets cleverly woven within the story, I was completely absorbed.

Emma Willshire seems to have found happiness with her second husband, Paul. Unfortunately a fatal accident at his work leads to an investigation, with Paul to take the blame. During their holiday in France with her son Owen and their daughter Mollie, Paul decides to impulse buy a dilapidated property.

The investigation seems to linger so Emma finds herself living in France with Mollie, overseeing the property and working in a bar while her husband sorts out his work situation.

Secondary characters are introduced to keep the suspense going in this story. I enjoyed the narration split between Paul and Emma, as his chapters certainly created more tension. It was also interesting to read about how our current political crisis has been included and the implications involved and voiced before the referendum.

A wonderful story depicting how our actions can have vast consequences on the whole family.

A great read and I highly recommend.

Jera's Jamboree

author photo Helen Matthews

Helen Matthews is the author of Lies Behind the Ruin, a contemporary suspense novel set in France, to be published in April 2019 by Hashtag Press.

Her debut novel After Leaving the Village, published in 2017, won first prize for the opening pages of a novel at Winchester Writers’ Festival.

Born in Cardiff, she read English at the University of Liverpool and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. Helen’s short stories and flash fiction have won prizes and been published in Reflex Fiction, Ad Hoc, Artificium, Scribble and Love Sunday. Her freelance journalism has been published in the Guardian and broadcast on BBC radio. She is an ambassador for Unseen, a charity that campaigns to end human trafficking and modern slavery.

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I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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