Back of the book :
Tragedy sends troubled film star Vivien Lockhart into the arms of Giovanna Moretti – and it seems her fortunes have finally changed. Until she meets his sister and learns that dark shadows haunt her new husbands past ….
Tuscany, present day
Lucy Whittaker needs to disappear. But her new home, the crumbling Castillo Barbarossa, is far from the secluded paradise it seemed. Strange noises come from the attic. The owner of the house will never meet her in person.
The fountain in the courtyard is silent – but has never run dry …
Across the decades, Vivian and Lucy find themselves trapped in the idyllic Italian Villa. And if they are ever to escape its walls, they must first unearth its secrets ….
What I think :
Lucy needs to get away, she’s done something really ‘bad’ and needs some ‘thinking time’. ( you don’t actually find out what the ‘bad’ thing is until a lot later) Her friend Belinda, Bill for short, knows someone that has a house that needs looking after in Italy. So after having a telephone interview, she hops on a plane and heads off to Italy.
Almost as soon as she gets to the villa she realises things aren’t quite what they’re supposed to be. For instance, she’s never met the owner, just the rather abrupt maid instead. The attic is absolutely out of bounds to everybody, yet she hears weird noises coming from it every time she walks past the door. And what is it with the silent fountain out the front of the house …?
Vivian, a seventies film star, is the owner of the villa Castillo Barbarossa, shes bed bound now and really can’t bear to face the outside world, what has happened to make her retreat into her own world … ?
The story is told in two parts, 2016 and the 1970’s. The stories of both women are told in the now, which is Lucy’s story and in the Seventies, which is Vivien’s story from when she was a sixteen year old child with a brutal father. how she runs away from home and the struggles she faces as she rises to stardom.
I really liked the story and I loved the atmospheric feel, it really kept you on the edge of your seat really wanting to find out more about Vivien’s early life. I thought that the characters were the best that Victoria has written yet, so normal, in Lucy’s case and descriptive in Viven’s, I felt really sorry for her when she was a teenager with that awful father of hers.
But what I really liked even more was the change in direction that Victoria has taken. Don’t get me wrong, I really loved all her other books, but this one I thought, was more of a thriller than a bonkbuster ! I loved that it was slow burning with many twists and turns along the way. Slowly unravling the secrets that have been hidden in the walls of the villa.
I give this wonderful new direction of a thriller 9/10 (5 stars )
Published by HQ (Harper Collins) on 09/03/16.
A big Thank you to Olivia Neilson at Harper collins for the review copy of the book in exchange for a honest review