Thursday 1 September 2022

The Ex by S E Lynes BLOG TOUR #TheEx @SELynesAuthor @bookouture #BooksOnTour #BookReview


The love of your life… or a deadly mistake?

It’s hard, meeting your ex after so much time apart. You remember the tears and accusations, the desperate look on his face as he punched the wall, but you try not to show it. You smile politely, even while your heart beats faster.

You watch as he looks down into the stroller, at the beautiful blond-haired blue-eyed baby kicking his little legs in the sunshine, whose innocent smile lights up your world.

You see his face change. You know what he’s thinking.

The next day he calls. His voice is shaking. He wants the truth. Is it his child?

You hesitate, your throat dry, good and bad memories swirling in your mind. You’ve missed him so much… but can you ever trust him again?

You decide that the most important thing is doing what’s right for baby Tom. But months later, when the sirens wail in the night, you have to admit: you never thought either of you would go this far…

The Ex by S E Lynes was published on 23 August 2022 by Bookouture. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour.

I always look forward to a new book from S E Lynes and The Ex is another gripping, intelligent and deeply emotional story from this very fine author. 

Far more than just a psychological thriller, this book delves deep into the human psyche, looks at how relationships can be controlled, and controlling and turns the stereotypical male/female relationship upon its head. 

Cleverly narrated by lead characters Sam and Naomi, along with observations from Sam's work colleague and friend Miranda and interspersed with a letter written by Naomi, the reader is kept on their toes throughout and is allowed to see one story from many different viewpoints. 

Sam left his girlfriend Naomi at the beginning of lockdown. He couldn't cope with her controlling, spiteful and cold behaviour any longer, and moved home to live with his grandmother Joyce. Sam works as a landscape gardener with Miranda and was brought up by Joyce in her beautiful house in Lyme Regis. Joyce and Sam are very close and he was able to pay Naomi for his share of their home, and move on. Lockdown hasn't been as bad for Sam as it was for Naomi. He was able to get out and work, whilst she felt lost and abandoned, cut off from friends.

When Sam and Naomi meet accidentally, he is shocked that she is pushing a pram. At first, Naomi claims that the little boy, Tommy, is the child of a friend. As Sam ponders this, doubts begin to creep in and after meeting Naomi again, he is told that he is Tommy's father. 

Naomi appears to be a different woman. Caring for Tommy seems to have changed her completely. No longer does she appear to look down on Sam, or make hurtful criticisms about him, or his Gran. Despite his initial misgivings, Sam is determined that he will be a father to Tommy, and the couple agree to start again. 

Sam is a caring, gentle man, easily hurt, wears his heart on his sleeve and also easily manipulated. Naomi knows this well and this story is like a slow moving car crash. The reader knows just what is in store, but can do nothing to prevent it. If only Sam could see it too. There were times during the novel when I had to just put the book down, I couldn't bear to read on, to see the inevitable unfold and witness the pain and despair that events were going to cause. It's so very very clever, so heart breaking, so emotional and so bleak at times. 

Not only do we have a wonderfully structured plot, with effective narration, we are also treated to such a vivid sense of place. Lyme Regis is brought alive by Lynes so very well, adding depth and colour to what is an gripping and powerful read. 

The Ex is whip-smart, chilling and compelling. Domestic noir with a hint of romance running through it. Once again, this author has delivered an original and wholly enjoyable story. 

Formerly a BBC producer, S.E. Lynes turned to writing following the birth of her third child. 
After completing an MA in Creative Writing, she became a tutor at Richmond Adult Community College, where she taught creative writing for over ten years. 

She now combines writing, mentoring and lecturing. 

Her debut, Valentina, was published by Blackbird Digital Books in 2016. 
Her next book, the dark and twisting best seller, Mother, was published by Bookouture in November 2017 and Susie has gone on to publish gripping psychological thrillers with them ever since.

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