He's back. He's watching. And he'll wait.
Sarah Carpenter lives with her two dogs in a farmhouse, high on the North Yorkshire moors.
She isn't exactly lonely, though when an old friend, Aiden Beck, needs a place to stay she welcomes him into her home.
But Aiden has secrets, and as the weather closes in, and snowfall blocks the roads, Sarah realises that there are far worse things than being alone .......
Welcome to the Blog Tour for Elizabeth Haynes' latest novel Never Alone, published in ebook by Myriad on 28 July, the paperback will be released on 6 October 2016.
Way back in September 2011 I read Into The Darkest Corner; Elizabeth Haynes' first novel. It's a long time ago, but I remember it so very well. For me, it is probably the best psychological thriller that I've ever read. I've read the author's later books, including her police procedural series featuring DI Louisa Smith and enjoyed them all, but Into The Darkest Corner has always stood out for me.
I had a tingly feeling about her latest novel, Never Alone, when I read the synopsis, I kind of thought that maybe, just maybe, this was going to be the one that sat alongside Into The Darkest Corner ... I was right! It is an absolute page-turner, it's one of those books that fries your brain with its complexities, yet you cannot stop reading ..... just one more page, and one more, and one more.
I finished Never Alone whilst travelling to the Theakston's Crime Festival in Harrogate this weekend and spent most of the two days that I was there telling EVERYONE that they HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK.
Never Alone is ingeniously clever. I spent most of the first half of the story wondering what the bloody hell was going on. The story is narrated alternatively by Sarah who lives with her two dogs in an isolated farmhouse on the Yorkshire Moors. The second voice is Aiden Beck, a friend from Sarah's past who has turned up unexpectedly and needs a place to stay. Nestled in between their narratives, every now and again, the reader hears from an anonymous voice, and these short snippets are terrifying, adding to the incredible tension that builds up and up, never slowing down, just inducing yet more heart-stopping episodes as the author twists the reader's mind.
Elizabeth Haynes presents three types of character, there's the lead players; Sarah, Aiden, Will and Sophie. The location; the wild desolation of the vast Yorkshire Moors and the creaking, menacing old house that Sarah calls home and finally the weather. Strange as it may sound, the howling winds and the icy cold really are a central 'character' and add such a depth to this story, increasing the chills down the spine and overall feeling of creeping fear.
I'm not going to go into the plot details, after all, you WILL be buying your own copy of Never Alone .... won't you? I must mention the incredible insight into the human mind that the author has, her seemingly, on the face of it, ordinary characters are finely tuned and dare I say it, will be recognisable to many of us.
Never Alone explores themes of regret and recrimination. There's rejection and despair and more than a touch of madness. There's some steamy eroticism, that is perfectly done and the author explores a side of the sex industry that is rarely talked about, and uses non-stereotypical characters cleverly.
Chilling, claustrophobic, enticing and heart-pounding. Never Alone is a story that is so clever, and so frighteningly real. I raced through it to the astonishing ending in complete awe.
And, I really do think that Never Alone may just have overtaken Into The Darkest Corner to become my favourite Elizabeth Haynes novel.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and for inviting me to take part in the Blog Tour.
Elizabeth Haynes is a former police intelligence analyst who lives in Norfolk with her husband and son. Her first novel, Into The Darkest Corner, was Amazon's Best Book of the Year 2011 and is a New York Times bestseller. It has been published in thirty-seven countries.
Her second novel, Revenge of the Tide, was published by Myriad in 2012 and her third, Human Remains, was published in 2013.
She is also the author of two police procedural crime novels, Under a Silent Moon and Behind Closed Doors (Sphere).
For more information about Elizabeth Haynes visit www.elizabeth-haynes.com
Find her Author page on Facebook
Follow her on Twitter @Elizjhaynes