Monday, 8 August 2016

No Turning back - Tracy Buchanan

No Turning Back
by Tracy Buchanan
About the book...
You’d kill to protect your child – wouldn’t you?

When radio presenter Anna Graves and her baby are attacked on the beach by a crazed teenager, Anna reacts instinctively to protect her daughter.

But her life falls apart when the schoolboy dies from his injuries. The police believe Anna’s story, until the autopsy results reveal something more sinister.

A frenzied media attack sends Anna into a spiral of self-doubt. Her precarious mental state is further threatened when she receives a chilling message from someone claiming to be the ‘Ophelia Killer’, responsible for a series of murders twenty years ago.

Is Anna as innocent as she claims? And is murder forgivable, if committed to save your child’s life…? 

About the author...
Tracy Buchanan is a web journalist and producer who lives in Milton Keynes with her husband, their little girl and their one-eyed Jack Russell. 

Tracy travelled extensively while working as a travel magazine editor, sating the wanderlust she developed while listening to her Sri Lankan grandparents’ childhood stories – the same wanderlust that now inspires her writing. 

Find out more about author Tracy Buchanan
Web Page: Tracy Buchanan
Twitter: @TracyBuchanan

My thoughts...
I was given a copy of No Turning Back by Harper Collins, Tracy Buchanan's publishers in exchange for an honest review something I'm more than happy to do.

Wow, where to begin?  This was a real page turner and captured my imagination from the very first few pages.  Tracy's perception of life, bitterness, jealousy and shear shocking horror is so vivid my heart beat faster for practically the whole book.  

The story begins as Anna returns to work from maternity leave to her job as presenter co-hosting a radio chat show, featuring hard hitting, gritting phone-ins.  A job she loves and is good at.  Tracy captures the emotions perfectly - the dead on your feet barely functioning aspect of any new mother returning to work who see-saws between wanting to be at home with her child and needing to be back at work for herself.  Add to that she has recently become a single parent and is facing the spiteful jealousy of a bitter colleague.  Oooh how I loathed Heather from the very first words she uttered!   

At the end of that first day back at work, Anna is exhausted but glad to be getting back to work.  She takes her customary, nightly walk over the beach out to the lighthouse, owned by her grandparents to say goodnight to her beloved grandfather who's life ended, tragically on the rocks beneath it.  Heading for home, Anna and daughter Joni encounter a situation that proves to be life changing.  Not just for them but a whole community.  A community that was rocked on it's heels twenty years ago is once again facing tragedy so awful it's unthinkable, literally everybody touched by it but none more so than Anna.

It was at this point that I thought OMG - I can't read this, the storyline had just taken a dramatic turn, it was shocking and rocked my equilibrium.  The sun was shining and I had turned one page too many into a dark, twisted place with no where to run.  It was so close to the beginning of the book I knew it had to get worse before it could get better and boy did it!

Tracy Buchanan is without doubt one of the best writers I've read that can write in such a shocking way, yet you're compelled to read on - I felt like I was living Anna's world, I really was the fly on the wall - seeing and hearing everything, my heart rose and fell in total sync with the tempo of the book and so many times I wished I could un-read the words.  But for me, the brilliance was in Anna's inner voice, the conversations in her head that play out as thought processes as she decides what to say, who to trust, what to do  Nobody really seems to listen or understand. 

No Turning Back has clearly been researched to a tee.  Tracy has demonstrated through media and that of a small community how word of mouth and the written word can twist and turn what was actually said or done.  Public opinion changing in a blink of an eye. 

Anna's strength of character comes across - many would have crumbled with all that she has to face and the support she gets or doesn't get is surprising. The characters in this book aren't always likeable and in fact aren't always what they seem.  She doesn't know who to trust or who to turn to - her sole focus is that of a mother, the lion like nature kicking in, facing demons far worse than she ever thought possible in her pursuit of the truth.

In case you haven't guessed, I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it - it's a psychological thriller with a plot that is so intricacy woven it will leave you guessing right until the end.  So many times I had my theories blown like dandelion clocks in the wind and when the answers come with the end of the book you like me will sit back open mouthed and words will fail you - a book with an unthinkable storyline running through it that will make you sit back and be thankful it was just a book, it's not real - yet it so easily could be!

Tracy, thank you - such a vivid, capturing book that will stay with me for a long time to come.