Today I’m excited to share a book that made me glad I was a book blogger. There are so many books out there making it easy to miss some gems but because of the invite to the blog tour of Unravelling by Helen Forbes I found one.
Book Review: Unravelling by Helen Forbes
Author: Helen Forbes
Publisher: Scolpaig Press
Genre: Crime, Psychological thriller
Release Date: 15th July 2021
A forest of secrets
Two bodies are found buried in a Highland forest, a place that haunts the dreams of Kate Sharp. Her mother, Ellen, died when Kate was a child. Does the forest hold the secret to her death?
A secret journal
Kate discovers her mother’s journal, and the tale of a tragic unravelling begins to unfold. Ellen’s story is one of fear and hope, love and loss, set against the imposing background of Craig Dunain, a psychiatric hospital where she should have been safe.
Unravelling the truth
Someone else from Ellen’s past is searching for answers, and he will stop at nothing to find them. Unaware of the danger stalking her, Kate continues her search. Will she find the answers? And can she save her own life?
Beautifully written, cleverly plotted, and meticulously researched, Unravelling is a captivating tale of family secrets.
This is a book with depth and soul. While I was reading Kate’s story as she grieves for her grandmother, and discovers secrets from her mum’s past, I tried to pinpoint what the theme of this novel was. Was it a crime, thriller or family drama? When I began Ellen’s story it hit me, it’s all of those things but fundamentally it is the story of a mother and daughter and the bond that exists between them even when they are separated by grief and time.
It was Ellen’s story which focuses on her time in Craig Dunain, the psychiatric hospital that changed my view that this was a 4 star book; I would have to give it a 5. It captivated me with the characters, deep insight into Ellen’s mind when she suffers from episodes of schizophrenia and paranoia, and the atmosphere of the hospital. It felt real and made an emotional impact on me.
The tension increased as the secrets of the past were revealed and people from the past collide with the present. I couldn’t put it down.
Would I recommend?
Oh yes. Unravelling is an emotional, immersive and powerful thriller with an authentic voice that gives an insight into schizophrenia and life in an institute. Ellen and her world will forever be in my heart and influence how I see things in the future.
The topics of trauma, PTSD, and abuse are dealt with sensitively, but they are impactful so if you are a reader that these maybe a trigger I would avoid.
Crime fiction was not what lawyer, Helen Forbes, expected to write. As a single parent and mature law student, she used her limited spare time to write contemporary and historical fiction. It was a chance remark at a writing club that led her to develop a short story into her debut crime novel, In the Shadow of the Hill, featuring DS Joe Galbraith. The novel is set in the Scottish Highlands and Islands, and it was described in one newspaper review as having ‘more twists and turns than the road to the isles, making it impossible to put down.’ The novel and characters proved popular with readers, leading to the publication of a second book in the DS Joe Galbraith series. Madness Lies is set in Inverness and North Uist. Helen has now taken to crime with a passion, and has published two psychological thrillers. Unravelling is set in Inverness, against the background of a former psychiatric hospital. Deception is set in Edinburgh, and tackles the themes of domestic violence, prostitution and trafficking. Helen has also completed a further thriller set in Edinburgh, which she hopes to publish in 2022. Queen of Grime’s main character is a crime and trauma scene cleaner with a big secret. It is gritty and dark, but also funny and uplifting. Helen hopes to expand Queen of Grime into a series.
Social Media Links –
Facebook Author Page https://bit.ly/3mzghfD
Thank you Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to this tour and providing an advanced copy for me to review and give my honest and unbiased opinion.