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Call Me Star Girl

Published Date: 18th October 2018

Available in

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EBook
9781912374649
£5.99
18 February 2019
Paperback
9781912374632
£8.99
18 April 2018

Description

A taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller, reminiscent of Play Misty for Me … from the critically acclaimed author of Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost…

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Stirring up secrets can be deadly … especially if they’re yours…

 

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and the killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. She wants yours, and in exchange she will share some of hers. The ones she knows. But she doesn’t know everything.

Why has Stella’s mother, Elizabeth, finally returned fourteen years after leaving her with a neighbour? Is Stella’s new love, Tom, a man who likes to play games, exciting … or dangerous?

And who is the mysterious man calling the radio station to say he knows who killed Victoria? Tonight Stella’s final show may reveal the biggest secret of all…

 

With echoes of the chilling Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…

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There are some killer standout moments in this book; the crime is shocking without being sensational and a twisted sex act that will definitely raise a few eyebrows. However, that is the power of Beech’s writing. She can shock you with her subject but bewitch you with her words. An elegant and powerful writer who uses language in all its unique glory … I hope Beech writes more psychological thrillers. The shelves may be full to bursting with them in the book shops, but the way she writes them, Beech’s novels will be a very welcome addition’ Michael Wood

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‘Really, really enjoyed it, an original story and beautifully written, so atmospheric … Dark, mesmerising and utterly devastating’

 SJI Holliday

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‘Louise Beech blasts into the world of thriller writing with this moody and tense tale. With secrets, lies and plenty of twisty turns, it’s story is dark and it’s setting eerie and evocative. Definitely one where you might look over your shoulder more than once while reading!’ Fionnuala Kearney

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‘It’s a slow burn at first until it twists and turns at a head-staggering rate to a devastating climax. Original, moody and totally gripping’ Claire Allan

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‘Noirish psychological thriller with fascinating, disturbing characters. Compelling, twisty, and seriously addictive. LOVED the radio station. EXCELLENT’ Will Dean

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‘It’s EXTRAORDINARY – tense, twisted and utterly compelling, written with such raw beauty and unflinching honesty’ Miranda Dickinson

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‘A change in direction of genre but one that pays off – it effortlessly retains Louise’s inimitable voice. A thriller with heart, passion and twists that will surprise even the most astute readers’ John Marrs

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Call Me Star Girl addled my brain. I couldn’t stop thinking about it afterwards, as it’s so much more than a psychological thriller. I think of Louise Beech as a chameleon of fiction – blurring the genre boundaries with her gorgeous writing. Yet again, you can tell that she has put her heart and soul into writing this book. This is literally full of blood, sweat and tears (murder, sex and grief) … Call Me Star Girl is tense and gripping, powerful and shocking – a tale of love and loss. It’s dark and twisty, yet also packed with passion and raw emotion. I was at the radio station with Stella, both on and off air. I felt part of her life, as she shared some of her secrets and her mother shared some of hers. I was there right until the end, with tears in my eyes and a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach. Digesting. Thinking. Grieving. Yet another ‘must read’ from Louise Beech’ Off-the-Shelf Books

 

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Author

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Maria in the Moon was compared to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and widely reviewed. All three books have been number one on Kindle, Audible and Kobo in USA/UK/AU. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice and being published in a variety of UK magazines. Louise lives with her husband and children on the outskirts of Hull – the UK’s 2017 City of Culture – and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.

Online Reviews

‘The writing style seems relaxed and calm, and it is, kind of. In a style that’s easy to read, Louise weaves a tale that you can read quickly whilst sitting calmly, a nice cup of tea, sandwiches… but your heart is doing the Samba and your mind is reeling from the story’s changes of direction … I really hope that Louise writes more Crime/Thriller style books, and SOON! This was brilliantly done, and the alternating perspectives gave a very different take on the story being told, giving more insights into the people we meet along the way … This is definitely one I will be recommending, and reading again very soon!’ Made Up Book Reviews

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‘Louise’s characters have this wonderful ability to get inside your head, leading you on with the story, sharing their story, so you are standing right beside them in that dark, god forsaken alley. Atmospheric to say the least, the setting of a radio station through the night provides the perfect backdrop for events to unfold. Her plotting is superb, the twists and turns leaving you fearful for the outcome but unable to tear yourself away. This is one story that will stay with you; like a whisper it will creep into your thoughts long after you turn the final page. Absolutely brilliant and thoroughly recommended’ Tales Before Bedtime

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‘Watching the evolution of the relationships in this book, seeing how the power shifted, how things changed, makes for fascinating reading and does have a reader questioning how they might react in those circumstances, something intrinsically vital in Louise’s writing. Would I recommend Call Me Star Girl? Absolutely! It’s a gripping and thrilling read, one that puts the reader on the edge of their comfort zone and asks for their trust as Louise Beech carefully and expertly leads them into the oft complex and dark world of relationships. I raise my hat to Louise Beech for another brilliant book and word is that she’s already scribbling furiously on book number six!’ The Quiet Knitter

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‘I’m a massive fan of Louise Beech and her 5th book “Call me Star Girl” did not disappoint and I devoured it in one sitting! It’s a dark and creepy whodunnit mystery about a pregnant woman found dead in an alley; but it’s also so much more than a crime novel This is a book about abandonment, sacrifice and love, which like all of her books broke my heart’ Madeleine Black

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‘In Call Me Star Girl, she has used her gifts to deliver a fully-fledged dark and twisted psychological thriller that has all the hallmarks of her writing but reinforced with a steel core. This is Louise Beech on steroids and boy, is she motoring at high speed. Told in two timelines, then and now, and predominantly in two first person voices – those of Stella McKeever and her mother, Elizabeth, with a sparing but critical third person outside perspective provided by taxi driver, Bob Fracklehurst. Tightly written, with a brilliantly executed story arc, Call Me Star Girl is an immersive dark, aberrant and sometimes very painful psychological drama that is full of memories, secrets, and long felt desires’ Live and Deadly

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‘Beech’s compulsive, claustrophobic writing, piling on the pressure through the night in which Stella remembers and tells her story and voices fears between the “reheated news”, texts and messages from restless callers … I found the way the story is told through that one long night just enthralling.  All the threads of Stella’s life – her past, present and future – are brought together in one intense, pressure-cooker sequence as she cues songs, begs her audience for secrets to share and begins to put together the pieces from what she finds. (Awkward thing, asking for secrets: people may tell you them). Beech used the idea of a character taking calls from strangers during the silent hours in Maria in the Moon – it’s one with obvious dramatic potential – but in Call Me Star Girl she dials up the noir to 11 … Beech exploits this to the full, serving up a dense, haunting, and deeply, deeply unsettling take on that. In the course of doing that she will tie you in emotional knots with a story that has moments of joy, fear, pity and such intense sorrow. Secrets will be revealed, and truths come home to rest. But is Stella ready for what she’ll find? I think this is Louise Beech’s best yet – which is saying something. Come April, you need to get your hands on it!’

Blue Book Balloon

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‘Louise Beech has done it again. This is a gripping read. She has a way with words that pulls you in so much that it feels like reality. I turn the radio on and think of Stella and Victoria every time. Was it a book I was reading or real life!! Louise kept me guessing all of the way through. I truly had no idea how this would end. She had me near to tears, giggling and open mouthed. I was holding my breath wanting to know what happens next, staying up late to get through the chapters. This is definitely a number one for me and will appeal to all crime fiction readers and beyond. Readers make sure you have free time for this as you won’t want to put it down!’ My Journey Finding my Voice 

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Call Me Star Girl is tautly written, cunningly plotted and twistier than a curly wurly. Louise Beech has crafted a beautifully dark little tale in Call Me Star Girl, with a creeping sense of menace that leaves you wondering if you locked the doors’ Espresso Coco

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‘Louise makes you care about her characters, deeply so and way too much, until they stop being characters and become real people. So when they inevitably get hurt in one way or another, you’re hurting along with them … Fabulous, amazing, glorious Louise, you have done it again!’ From Belgium With Love

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‘Louise has managed to create a story that leaves a powerful and lasting impression, I finished the book several hours ago and can’t stop thinking about my favourite scenes!’ Made Up Book Reviews

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‘Startling and so well written. It is a thought-provoking book, with a focus on trust and family, one which will stay with me for a long time’ Macs Books Reviews

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‘This story is full of twists and turns which definitely took me by surprise, right up to the end. Louise Beech brilliantly ramps up the tension and maintains an unsettling atmosphere throughout the book … A dark story about secrets and the things people will do for love, this would make an excellent film I feel’ Portobello Book Blog

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‘There are not the right words in English to describe how great, how fabulous, how mindblowing this book is. This isn’t the book of 2019. This is the book of the decade. I feel changed’ Mrs Loves to Read

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‘The writing is beautiful … Although Call Me Star Girl is a very original story, Beech explores themes that are universal to us all. Her take on families, relationships, motherhood and even death allow the reader to look at the world in a new light’ Portable Magic

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‘I was excited to see what Louise would do with her first toe-dip into thriller world and am very pleased to say that it really, really worked. Set over one tense and creepy night shift at a local radio station, we are introduced to Stella who is presenting her last show when a listener calls in saying that they were witness to a local murder. With a brilliantly crafted story that uses different character perspectives and goes back and forth in time, the story unfolds with twists and turns that had me wondering who had done what to who and when! Although this is a departure from her usual style, Louise still manages to put her lyrical, emotional stamp on it and I really hope that this isn’t her last foray into the genre!’ GoodReads

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‘The plot, thick and chilling, echoes in my head as a classic pop music, with a slow beginning – inviting, intriguing, followed by the disturbing outbreak of drums making you jump at every sound … Louise Beech, queen of literary fiction, turned psychological thriller magician in the blink of an eye. Call Me Star Girl is the proof an author can evolve, find new voices, bring them to life while always, always, ALWAYS maintaining what makes her style so unique and addictive. If you haven’t experienced Louise Beech’s phenomenal storytelling, grab Call Me Star Girl. Swim in the dark oceans of secrets, relish each word, meet characters ready to shake your world. Then go back and buy all of her books!!!!’ ChocolateNWaffles

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‘Louise Beech makes her first foray into crime fiction with “Call Me Star Girl” and was obviously born to it because this is brilliant, literary noir with an old school feel yet set in the modern era. Tense and beautiful with an emotionally traumatic finale and clever little plot twists that were ingrained into the narrative, I loved this from the moment I started reading it and I did that in one perfect, immersive sitting. The writing is pure class and honestly it will stay on your mind, every single chapter gives you something else to consider- at the heart of this too is a complex, layered and absolutely resonant mother daughter relationship that will touch your reading soul. There is nothing about this book that I didn’t adore, even as it traumatised me, even as I devoured it then wished I hadn’t so it would all be shiny new once more. Call Me Star Girl is the black and white movie era in literary form, a gem of a novel that deserves cult status. Absolutely highly recommended. Not a single beautiful word wasted’ Liz Loves Books

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‘I discovered Louise Beech last year when I read The Lion Tamer Who Lost. I’ve since bought her previous novels, and was keen to get my hands on this new one. I’d heard it was a break from the norm for her, a psychological thriller, and I was keen to see how her beautiful, lyrical writing fit this new genre. The answer is, it works. I think she could make anything work, to be honest. Period drama? Rom-com? Spy story? If Beech is writing it, I’m in. It’s as simple as that. I’d probably read her shopping list. I’d definitely read her diary. She just has the most sublime way of turning a phrase, and I don’t think I’ll ever tire of it … loving how Beech slotted every last piece into place as she tied things up’

The Motherload Book Club

Reviews