By SE Lynes
Published by Blackbird Digital Books (Kindle edition - 1 July 2016)
When Glasgow journalist Shona McGilvery moves with her partner Mikey and their baby to an idyllic cottage in rural Scotland, they believe that all that lies ahead of them is happiness.
But with Mikey working offshore, the frightening isolation of the Aberdeenshire countryside begins to drive her insane...
That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina.
She has the perfect home, the perfect man, and a charismatic new best friend – or does she?
As her fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood becomes the least of her fears...
Valentina is a chilling and well crafted debut psychological thriller. It's atmospheric and claustrophobic, getting right under my skin from the outset and kept me guessing all the way through.
The book starts off as a slow burner, and led me to believe I was in for an easy ride. How wrong I was. Shona is struggling to cope in her new isolated home and with a young baby, while her husband is working offshore. So it's a relief when she meets the intriguing and flamboyant Valentina, who provides friendship and companionship at this difficult time.
I won't say much more about the plot, as I don't want to give anything away. But the tension and suspense built up rapidly, until I could no longer put the book down, leading to a dramatic finale.
The book is beautifully written from start to finish. Secrets and lies ooze through every page, with so many twists and turns that the ending left me breathless.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.