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Judy Finnigan is most well known for presenting TV show This Morning alongside her husband Richard Madeley. This is her debut novel which I purchased from my local poundland store. This is also available to purchase from Amazon for as little as £2.85.
Cathy is a mother of two, married to psychiatrist Chris. Cathy suffers with recurring bouts of depression and is recovering from a nervous breakdown. Her behaviour is always under the watchful eye of her husband, who is always questioning her mental state. Almost like she is one of his patients.
Cathy's best friend Eloise recently passed away from cancer. It is fair to say that she is utterly devastated. She returns to Cornwall where they have a holiday home. Very soon strange things start to occur. Cathy believes she is sensing Eloise from the other side; this arouses a suspicion that Eloise's death is not all as it seems.
Her mental state comes under fire time and time again in this book. The revelation that she is seeing Eloise from beyond the grave fuels her husband's fear of a relapse.
Eloise is constantly giving Cathy hidden messages which make her delve into her best friends mysterious past. She has a very heartbreaking secret, one that has to be uncovered. As the story unravels you find yourself guessing at every turn. Was she killed? What is her secret? Who knew about it? My questions were endless.
This book shows the lengths some would go to find the truth. Many relationships are ruined by Cathy's determination to find out what really happened.
Judy Finnigan does a great job at setting the scene throughout. Cornwall is a lovely picturesque place, and her descriptions of the beaches, the cliffs and surroundings are very artistic. I could picture everything down to a tee. I thought it was a lovely place for the book to be set, the weather adds to the mysteriousness of this book, whenever tension is building, thunder storms are occurring. You have the trashing of the waves and the pounding of the rain. I really liked how she done this, it adds to the ghostly element in the book.
The book is sad and I did end up feeling sorry for Cathy and Eloise. Even in death Cathy is trying to look out for her friend. Revelations that could end up splitting up her own family and putting herself in danger are not enough to deter her. Cathy is always under scrutiny from many people in the book which makes it hard for her to help her friend. I do think that people with a mental Illness are constantly living under that cloud, I suffer with anxiety and always find that people think its rearing its ugly head if I don't appear as upbeat as normal or if my behaviour changes. I did think that the constant referrals to her depression were a bit too frequent, which does cast a shadow over the books entirety.
This book is a very easy read. I managed to get through it in just one day, it isn't the longest book but I just found myself needing to know what the big secret was! The writing is good and descriptive. This would be classed as light reading, there's nothing strenuous about it. A very effortless page turner. Good as a holiday read I would say. I applaud Judy on her first novel, as a presenter I wasn't sure how this book was going to fair. I was pleasantly surprised; the story is gripping and well thought out. The characters are well formed and although Cathy is most predominant, each family member and friend becomes familiar throughout.
I would recommend this book. I enjoyed reading it. It's nothing too heavy but has a good gripping story. I will remove one star as I think the constant jibes and recurring mention of Cathy's depression are a bit too frequent.
Pages - 385
Kindle Edition £2.99
Published 2012- Sphere