Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate iin the blogtour for this new exciting psychological thriller. Sheila Rawlings is a new author to me, but I’ll be looking forward to reading her future work after being totally immersed in this gripping story.
Beneath the Fear
‘Spoilt and indulged since childhood, Samantha Copeland believes bad things only happen to other people. However, after witnessing her husband’s murder during a bank robbery in Oxford, that illusion is cruelly shattered.
Traumatised by the experience, Sam eventually retreats to the Cornish coast, where she hopes to heal her fragile state of mind. Unfortunately, instead of the peace she so desperately craves, she soon finds her vulnerability tested to breaking point by a series of unnerving and unexplained incidents. However, after meeting her enigmatic neighbour, Tony Walker, and local handyman, Nathan Scott, Sam soon discovers the worst is yet to come.’
I was initially attracted to this book by its bold and eye-catching cover- what is this woman running away from? who or what is she looking at? The description promised a thrilling read in one of the most atmospheric settings possible, the Cornish coast, and I jumped at my chance to discover Sam’s story.
Sam Copeland is living wrapped in her own happy bubble, when one fateful day she and her husband Stephen accidentally witness a robbery and Stephen gets shot. Since it was Sam who insisted on taking the walk on that day, she is consumed with unbearable grief exacerbated by guilt. Sam needs time and space to recover and she chooses retreating to a remote village in Cornwall where daily walks on lonely paths next to the rugged clifftops are helping her to heal. In her mind she keeps reliving the day when Stephen died, but something is eluding her. Strange things begin happening around her and Sam’s already fragile sanity is tested again. There are three more important characters to mention: Suzy, Sam’s childhood friend -it is nice to see a familiar face, somebody you can rely on in your time of need, Tony Walker, Sam’s neighbour, and Nathan Scott, a handyman responsible for the cottage repairs and odd jobs.
The book is very engaging and easy to read. I kept saying ‘Just one more chapter…and this one…’ until the end when all the mysteries were solved and all the secrets were revealed. The chapters are fairly short and snappy which contributes to the book’s great pace. There are plenty of clues and plenty of red herrings to keep you guessing. As every good psychological thriller, Beneath the Fear has twists and a mystery to solve, but it isn’t all the book is about. For me Sam’s development, the way she changes throughout the book was equally important.
This was my first book by Sheila Rawlings and I am glad to have discovered a new great author. I can definitely recommend this well-written psychological thriller.
Thank you to Rachel, the publisher and the author for the gifted copy. All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
Sheila Rawlings is an author of adult crime and psychological thrillers, and her debut novel, ‘Truth and Revenge’ was chosen as a finalist for the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards 2014. ‘Beneath the Fear’ is her second novel.
Born in Bexleyheath, Kent and educated at the prestigious Bexley Technical High School for Girls, Sheila originally trained as a graphic designer at Medway College of Art and Design (now the University of Creative Arts – part of Kent University). After graduating from college with a diploma in visual communication, she worked as a graphic designer for two mail order companies, designing and producing their catalogues. Wanting something more challenging, she then worked for several years as a graphic designer and production manager for a magazine publisher. During that time, she also assisted their PR and marketing department, designing exhibition stands for various clients.
It was while working with journalists she eventually rekindled her childhood love of reading and storytelling, prompting her to write her own novels. Sheila now lives in South London with her husband, Martin.
Social Media Links
Instagram: Sheila Rawlings (thrill_writer)
Thank you for reading the post! Have a great weekend!
If you would like to find out what other bloggers thought of Beneath the Fear, here is the full blog tour schedule:
I love when a book is so captivating I stay up way too late to read just one more chapter. This one sounds good, great review Toni.
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It was very easy to read! This week seems to be full of thrillers and I had such good intentions to devote February to romance…
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I was too, but then started reading books for Black History month and Historical Fiction. I have been all over the place this month.
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