by Susanna Beard
published by Legend Press, Feb 2017
Genre: psychological crime drama
Lisa is recovering from a violent attack which leaves her with memory loss and PTSD; she is also grieving for her friend, Ali who died in the incident. As she tries to come to terms with what has happened, she gradually learns the truth about the attack and the choices she herself made.
In Susanna Beard’s debut novel there is some gripping writing and some well-painted scenes of Lisa’s run-ins with counselling, social services and the legal system. But what stands out are the small details of normal life and the importance of relationships: Lisa’s instinct is to hide from everyone, yet she is drawn into a close friendship with a woman experiencing domestic abuse, with a lonely elderly neighbour who needs her support and with Riley, her neighbour’s dog. It is through contact with others and by long walks in the countryside with Riley, that Lisa is finally able to accept what has happened to her and to her best friend, and not to blame herself. At the end of the novel there may even be romance on the cards.