Helen Matthews’ Lies Behind the Ruin #BlogTour

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I’d thoroughly enjoyed Helen Matthews’ first novel, Leaving the Village, which focused on human trafficking, and her new novel is just as fascinating. Following a fatal accident at her husband’s firm, for which he is held responsible, Emma and Paul Willshire attempt to begin a new life in France with their daughter Mollie. This is not an easy decision – Emma already has a son in England with her first husband, and Paul has made personal decisions which will affect their new life.

We’re not offered a romanticised escape to a French idyll here – the renovation of a derelict cottage proves highly problematic, and the family become bogged down in paperwork – and this makes the novel all the more engaging.  Emma takes matters into her own hands when she takes on the running of a local bar but Matthews does not give us a whimsical tale of an outsider knitting a flagging community back together through her heroine’s endeavours. Rather, this is a realistic and absorbing tale of struggle and fluctuating profits. That said, there were many moments when I found myself cheering Emma on, enjoying her newfound determination and resilience. Emma, as a highly believable character, is an honest depiction of a woman who has decided to shoulder whatever life throws at her, and although Paul also gets his own chapters, it is she who is at the heart of this narrative, and I loved her story.

As in her debut novel, Matthews is very good at looking at the role power plays within relationships, and she avoids trite or easy resolutions. The steady pace of the plotting shifts up a gear towards the end as Matthews uses her material carefully to build a complex picture of people’s behaviour, and a tense conclusion follows. This is an engrossing story of new starts, difficult decisions, and the impact toxic relationships can have on all concerned. Highly recommended!

My thanks to Rachel @rararesources for my review copy.

Lies Behind The Ruin Front CoverEmma 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?

Purchase Links

UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lies-Behind-Ruin-Helen-Matthews/dp/1999300610
US – https://www.amazon.com/Lies-Behind-Ruin-Helen-Matthews-ebook/dp/B07Q5ZGZHP

Lies Behind The Ruin Author Photo.jpgHelen 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.

Social Media Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HelenMK7Writer/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HelenMK7

Giveaway to Win 2 x Signed copies of Lies Behind The Ruins (Europe Only)
*Terms and Conditions –European entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.


Catch the rest of the blog tour here:

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