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Wednesday 6 March 2024

Dark Clouds Bring Waters by I R Ridley BLOG TOUR #DarkCloudsBringWaters @IanRidley1 @RandomTTours #BookReview


We all have questions for the dead...

Comedy writer Luke Jessop's life is in stasis. 

He hasn't written a word since his wife, Billie, died almost three years ago and on finding a pile of old letters from her ex, Adam, he has begun to wonder how well he really knew her. 

Embarking on a pilgrimage to Italy, Luke determines to piece together the full story about his wild and sometimes secretive love. 

But with Adam refusing to answer his questions and a flame-haired hotel guest threatening his fragile calm, can Luke finally face the truths of the past and learn to live again?

Dark Clouds Bring Waters by I R Ridley was published on 7 February 2024 by V Books. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour

Dark Clouds Bring Waters is short novel at just 136 pages in the paperback edition. Despite the short length it is a novel that is so affecting, so emotional and at times very raw. I am positive that the author has drawn from his own emotions and feelings whilst writing this which adds a poignancy to the story. It is breathtaking in its beauty at times, startling in imagery and beautifully developed. 

Luke Jessop is a comedy writer, he is also a widow, and the death of his wife Billie three years ago has left him bereft, unable to write and struggling with life overall.  Luke recently discovered a box of letters and some diaries in Billie's office, he only read the most recently dated letter which was sent to Billie in May 1993; many years before she and Luke met. 

Luke always knew that Billie had had relationships in the past, she was a beautiful, vibrant, intelligent woman, and they didn't meet and fall in love until they were both older. Reading the words written in the letter sparks a thirst for more knowledge in Luke, and the reader meets him as he lands at a small airport in Genoa, Italy.

Luke and Billie had spent happy times together in a beautiful small hotel in the region. Far away from the well known tourist traps. However, Luke's memories are marred by the fact that Billie had been seriously ill on their final visit, and now he has returned alone. This is not just a pilgrimage though. Luke is determined to find the author of the letters, to speak to Adam, the man who Billie once loved. 

This is wonderfully told novel of searching for the truth and exposing one's inner thoughts and feelings. As Luke learns more about Billie's past, and considers their own relationship, he grows in himself. Both Luke and Billie are flawed characters, and although most certainly desperately in love, their arguments could be as passionate as their love making. At times Luke finds it so hard, walking the paths that he walked with Billie, seeing the sights, taking the same boat trips and eating in the same places. It becomes a healing process for him, although his pain, at times is clearly laid out. 

This is a novel to savour, with characters to discover and get to know, in a beautiful setting filled with sunshine and colours. Luke learns so much and also understands more about his late wife. It is a story of love, grief and of hope. Highly recommended. 

IAN RIDLEY is a writer and journalist who spent 35 years on national newspapers,
including 18 on The Guardian and The Observer. 

DARK CLOUDS BRING WATERS is his third novel, and a move into literary fiction after his two crime thrillers, OUTER CIRCLE and DON’T TALK, in the ‘Jan Mason investigative journalist’ series.

Ian has also written 14 non-fiction books, including two shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. Addicted, written with the former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams, was a Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller while The Breath of Sadness: On love, grief and cricket is a poignant account of coping with the death of his wife Vikki Orvice, a trailblazing sports journalist, in February of 2019 at the age of 56.

X @IanRidley1

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