About The Book
Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than lost keys and missing words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?
I’ve become a little tired recently of domestic noir books finding them formulaic with twists that can be extreme and veer towards the ridiculous. So I was incredibly relieved to read The Old You by Louise Voss as it is such a breath of fresh air. This book is a masterclass in how to write an accomplished, clever and slick domestic noir – characters that are believable, secrets that are merely hinted at and twists that are genuinely jaw-dropping without being absurd. This is a meticulously plotted book that doesn’t put a foot wrong as it tiptoes its way through a marriage that is put under strain by an illness when its perfect veneer is cracked.
Lynn has it all, a loving husband, a beautiful house, good friends who are incredibly wealthy and generous with it. She has a new job in a University which she is excited about, her step-son is fully grown and living with his girlfriend and she and her husband, Ed are looking forward to their future together. That is until Ed is diagnosed with Picks Disease, a form of Alzheimer’s Disease. This is when things get strange – blinds are closed when she left them open, or did she? She can hear somebody walking around the house in the middle of the night, or can she? There’s a strange figure at the end of the path who disappears as quickly as he appears. Then there’s Ed’s deteriorating language skills and the gradual erosion of his ability to do basic tasks. Lynn is disoriented and confused. Then something is revealed, and I can’t say what, and the whole thing turns on its head.
I can’t begin to tell you how gripping this book is. Louise Voss’s use of language is so incredibly clever that I was engrossed before I knew it. It is also a massive achievement to write characters that are unlikable and feel completely invested in them. The characterisation was so on point that the suspense was ratcheted up to points where I felt uncomfortable and fearful. The slow unveiling of the truth and hidden secrets are like sucker punches to the stomach. Just when you think you have the measure of the book and you think you’ve cracked it Louise Voss throws a curve ball that knocks you completely off kilter forcing you to get your bearings again.
Suffice it to say I really enjoyed this book. It is a tightly written, wonderful woven tale of marriage and duplicity and forces you to ask the question; how well do you you ever know anybody? It delves deep into the human psyche and examines the darkness within.
About The Author
Over her eighteen-year writing career, Louise Voss has had eleven
novels published – five solo and six co-written with Mark Edwards: a
combination of psychological thrillers, police procedurals and
contemporary fiction – and sold over 350,000 books. Louise has an
MA (Dist) in Creative Writing and also works as a literary consultant
and mentor for writers at http://www.thewritingcoach.co.uk. She lives in
South-West London and is a proud member of two female crime-
writing collectives, The Slice Girls and Killer Women.
I am thrilled to be one of today’s stops for the Blog Tour for The Old You written by Louise Voss, many thanks to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books and Anne Cater at Random Things for inviting me onto the Tour.