blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Girl in the Tunnel – Deirdre Palmer

London. A January night. Commuters surge into the Underground. Ellen Randall recognises a man standing close to the platform edge: Matt Leyton, her sister Rosanna’s married lover. The man who’s
playing a game as old as time. A red-hot flash of uncontrollable anger propels Ellen to his side. The train approaches. Seconds later, Matt has gone.
Carl Teviot is convinced Ellen isn’t a killer, even though he’s only just met her – or rather, found her, huddled in a sleeping bag in an abandoned Tube station: a ghost station. He can’t leave her there, alone, and in danger.
But rescuing her from the tunnel is only the beginning…

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Deirdre lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England. She writes women’s and psychological fiction under her own name, and as Zara Thorne. Becoming an author was a childhood dream, although she didn’t have much of a clue as to what it meant. But fast forward several years – okay, many years – and the dream showed signs of becoming reality. She entered the Mail on Sunday Novel Competition, twice, and came fourth, twice. So there was the incentive to complete her first novel, Remarkable Things, which was published by Crooked Cat and shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award. The Girl in the Tunnel is Deirdre’s 14th book.

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My thoughts: this was a book about guilt and memory, and how your memory can’t always be trusted. Did Ellen really push a man under the train? She thinks she did but there’s no proof. Her faulty memories make her panic and hide in an abandoned Tube station. She’s convinced the police are after her. Carl tries to help her, offering her a safe place to heal and reconcile her memories with reality. Meanwhile Matt, the man Ellen believes she killed, is also coming to terms with the way he’s lived his life.

I liked Ellen and Rosanna, they’re both slightly damaged by their shared childhood trauma (the death of their parents) and the unaffectionate life with their aunt and uncle, but Rosanna chooses to start a new life in Cornwall while Ellen struggles with her need to protect her sister and avenge her heartbreak. But it’s Carl that most intrigued me, taking in a lost and distressed Ellen with no motive except to help her. His kindness and freely offered friendship go a long way to helping her move on. I was less interested in the peripheral stories of Georgie and Matt, they felt a bit unnecessary. It was interesting to see how Ellen had convinced herself she was a killer, despite all evidence to the contrary and how it took her time to reevaluate her memories, something that’s notoriously faulty, and see the truth.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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