Kurt Cobain stands at the top of the stairs, wearing the brown sweater. ‘Please don’t leave me,’ she yells up at him. But it’s too late; he’s turning away.Is Brigitte a loving wife and mother, or a cold-blooded killer?Nobody knows why she was out so early on the morning she was knocked down in a hit-and-run. Or why a man was found beaten to death in her apartment that same day.Brigitte claims she has no memory of what happened, but when the investigation is reopened fourteen years later, unwanted questions start cropping up:What was Brigitte doing before she was run over?Who killed the man in her apartment?And why is she haunted by the face of Kurt Cobain, who reminds her of someone she’d rather forget…?As Brigitte’s world begins collapsing in on her, she is forced to confront the truth about that night – even if it means losing her husband, her kids, and maybe even herself.
Welcome to my spot on the Blog Tour for Please Don't Leave Me Here by Tania Chandler, published by Scribe on 24 September 2015.
I have a copy of Please Don't Leave Me Here to give away to one of my blog followers. To enter, please complete the widget at the end of this post. The giveaway will be open for two weeks, UK entries only please.
How I love an unreliable narrator, and in Tania Chandler's stunning debut you meet one of the very best of them, Brigette could be anything, and whilst the reader is privy to her private thoughts, her dreams and her reality, we really don't know quite how honest she is.
The story opens in 2008. Brigette and her policeman husband Sam have toddler twins, their relationship feels a bit fraught, right from the start and when Brigette finds out that an old, unsolved murder case is about to be re-opened, she falls to pieces.
Brigette swiftly spirals out of control, developing a love-hate relationship with Sam's colleague Aiden. Her drinking becomes heavier, her dependence on painkillers and tranquillisers muffles her world, and her dreams become more vivid, with Kurt Cobain watching her, speaking to her, frightening her.
Part two of the book takes the reader back to 1994, the time of the murder that has evoked such a strong reaction. We were given titbits of information in part one; was Brigette involved in the murder? Did Sam cover for her? Is Aiden getting uncomfortably near to the truth?
In 1994, Brigette was a stripper, she earned a lot of money dancing provocatively, wearing little but a g-string and going home every night with handfuls of dollar bills. Brigette was unhappy, she wanted more, she wanted to study, to write, to be more than an object for rich men to lust after. Brigette was controlled by her older lover Eric, a man who controlled her, owned her and disgusted her.
Please Don't Leave Me Here is a challenging read, it's complex and complicated and just a little bit strange. However, that really shouldn't put anyone off reading it because it's also incredibly clever and teases the reader all of the way through. The dream sequences are, at times, a little off putting, yet they do add to the darkness and tension that runs throughout the story. There's a seediness about Brigette that even when married to a respectable policeman is difficult to shake off. Her earlier life and experiences seem to have shaped her later years, and it seems incredibly easy for her to slip back to the drink and drugs that played a huge part of her early years.
The character of Brigette totally overshadows the plot, she's larger than life and incredibly well put together. Please Don't Leave Me Here is the story of Brigette, with an unsolved murder and the ghost of a dead rock star co-starring.
A clever and quite chilling story. Tania Chandler is a convincing writer. I will look forward to reading more from her in the future.
TANIA CHANDLER is a Melbourne-based writer and editor.
Her work was awarded a special commendation in the 2013 Writers Victoria Crime Writing competition.
Please Don’t Leave Me Here is her first novel, and she is currently working on a sequel.
Find out more about the author and her writing on her blog, Tania Chandler writes
Find her author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @Tania_Chandler
One copy of Please Don't Leave Me Here by Tania Chandler