I’m absolutely delighted to be on the blog tour today for the debut novel by Susanna Beard “Dare to Remember”
About this book…
Reeling from a brutal attack that leaves her best friend dead and her badly injured, Lisa Fulbrook flees to the countryside to recuperate. With only vague memories of the event, she isolates herself from her friends and family, content to spend her days wandering the hills with her dog, Riley.
However, Lisa is soon plagued, not only by vivid flashbacks, but questions, too: how did their assailant know them? Why were they attacked? And what really happened that night?
As she desperately tries to piece together the memories, Lisa realises that there’s another truth still hidden to her, a truth she can’t escape from. A truth that may have been right in front of her all along.
Sometimes you pick up a book expecting one thing but getting something completely different (GOOD different not bad different!) and Dare to Remember is one such book. I was expecting the usual psychological thriller from the blurb on the back but was pleasantly surprised by the beautifully developed plot and depth of emotion laid bare here. In fact, this wasn’t so much a psychological thriller as a suspenseful piece of women’s fiction in my opinion and I found it all the more enjoyable for that. After the first few pages I was sucked into Lisa’s solitary existence and couldn’t put it down, reading long into the night, totally bewitched by the stunning prose and insightful exploration of post traumatic stress disorder.
Dare to Remember is intelligently written and intriguing with a perfectly crafted cast of characters who drive the storyline forward at a relaxed pace due to the longer chapters. This is no adrenaline rush, rollercoaster ride to discover what happened the night Lisa was attacked and her flatmate and best friend dead. Instead, we follow Lisa as she struggles with her survivors guilt and devastating grief. She cuts herself off from her family and friends and moves away, unable to cope with work or familiar places all of which remind her of Ali. But a chance meeting with an adorable black spaniel starts her on the road to unexpected friendships and a need to begin her healing process including possible closure about what happened that night.
To me, weirdly enough, I actually would have been quite happy NOT to find out exactly what happened the night Lisa was attacked. It was obviously an horrendous and brutal crime which left its mark on her both physically and mentally, but I was more taken by the day to day life of Lisa and enjoyed watching her come to terms with the changes in her surroundings and circumstances. I loved Riley and the walks he shared with Lisa and eventually Jess and Bobby. But my favourite character was John. His relationship with Lisa was so incredibly touching, and gradually built upon, until the only worry I had about the approaching denouement was not what was about to come out about “that night” but the welfare of John!
Dare to Remember is a wonderful, touching debut and I can’t wait to read more by Susanna Beard. Many thanks to Lucy Chamberlain for my review copy.
Dare to Remember: New Psychological Crime Drama. was published by Legend Press on 1st Feb 2017 and is available to purchase from Amazon UK.
Meet the author…
Susanna is a psychological crime writer who lives in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Her day job in PR both demands and celebrates writing and she’s helped promote everything from websites to wine. She writes every day, all the time: news, articles, speeches, websites, blogs – and now novels.
She likes dark, contemplative stories with a twist; she’s fascinated by the psychology of relationships and the impact of insignificant events on people’s lives.
Susanna started writing fiction after attending a course at the Faber Academy. Other passions include her dogs, who keep her grounded, and tennis, which clears her brain of pretty much everything.