#BookReview I AM DUST by LOUISE BEECH #Audiobook


The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?

Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…



I listened to the audio version of this book… wow!

Spine Tingling

I think that pretty much sums up my thoughts on this book! I always love the stories that Louise creates, and this one just gets under your skin from the get go. With 2 timelines, the past and present, we are based at a theatre and following the story of Chloe who is working there as an usher. She’s always wanted to be an actress but this is the closest she has got to her dream! The show Dust is set to return to the theatre, 20 years after the opening, which went down in infamy due to the murder of the main character. She’s thought to haunt the theatre still….

In Chloe’s past, she and 2 friends mucked around with a ouija board and had some chilling encounters that have played a big part in how their lives panned out. As the past starts to reconnect with the present, Chloe is facing some haunting challenges ahead that makes her think she might be losing her mind.

The 2 timelines worked so well with each other!! Having the backdrop of the Theatre alongside the tragedy of Dust from 20 years ago, it really sets the scene for so many questions and wondering just what happened back then and seeing how messing about with the ouija board had such an impact and why Chloe is key to it all.

I couldn’t stop listening to this once I’d started! I found myself picturing the theatre, imagining the terror and confusion of the characters as things played out, and hearing the voices of the past whispering their truths…….. loved it!!!



#BlogTour Call Me Star Girl by Louise Beech #BookReview #RandomThingsTours

A huge thrill for me today to be part of the blog tour for STAR GIRL by LOUISE BEECH – my thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all so I can share my love for this stunningly brilliant book!


Tonight is the night for secrets…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.

Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after twelve years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …

What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…

With echoes of the chilling Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…

Published by ORENDA BOOKS

Purchase Links



amazon uk


Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The follow-up, The Mountain in My Shoe was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Both of her previous books Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost were widely reviewed, critically acclaimed and number-one bestsellers on Kindle. The Lion Tamer Who Lost was shortlisted for the RNA Most Popular Romantic Novel Award in 2019. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, and the Aesthetica Creative Works competition, as well as shortlisting for the Bridport Prize twice. Louise lives with her husband on the outskirts of Hull, and loves her job as a Front of House Usher at Hull Truck Theatre, where her first play was performed in 2012.


I don’t know where to start!!  Breathless is how this book left me feeling as it’s one of those stories that just grabs hold of you from the start and doesn’t let go until long after you’ve finished the last page!

I was really excited when I knew that Louise Beech was going to be venturing into the world of thrillers, as I’ve loved her previous books, and this book was unsettling and tense from the word go and I loved every single minute of it!

Stella is a radio host and has decided tonight is going to be her last show so she’s living dangerously by inviting late night callers to ring in and confess their secrets, while confessing a few of her own!  As a huge fan of phone in radio myself, especially Iain Lee and Katherine Boyle on TalkRadio, I really connected with her way of presenting as  she had built up relationships with callers over the years she’d been hosting the show so when they call in they feel like they are talking to a friend.  Local events nearby had really unsettled her and some of her callers and it was fascinating to see the effect it had on their way of thinking and behaviours. One caller in particular really strikes a nerve with his call and revelations….

Stella has had a complicated life herself and we get to look back at her youth and the very fractured and damaging relationship she has with her mother who walked out on her when Stella was just 12, leaving only a note and a perfume bottle behind.  Hearing Stella talk about these times, alongside the story from her mother’s point of view was really quite poignant as it showed the heartache on both sides.

We are also introduced to Stella’s other half, Tom, and they have a passionate and quite dangerous relationship so you sense that Stella is used to a life that doesn’t running smoothly and she’s never really known a settled life and what kind of effect that has had on her psyche.

When more details are released about the woman who was found murdered in an alley nearby, the tension really ramps up and, without revealing any spoilers, I was shocked by the turn of events and it really caught me off guard as the drama played out.  

A stunning thriller that I recommend highly to all!! Just read it!!!!


#BlogTour The Lion Tamer Who Lost by Louise Beech #BookReview #RandomThingsTours @OrendaBooks @LouiseWriter

Extremely delighted to be the latest stop on the Blog Tour for this wonderful book today.  My thanks to the author, publisher and Anne of Random Things Tours for letting me be part of it all.

About the book

Long ago Andrew made a childhood wish. One he has always kept in a silver box with a too-big lid that falls off. When it finally comes true, he wishes it hadn’t…

Long ago Ben dreamed of going to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally goes there, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting where they least expect. Some collisions are by design, but are they for a reason? Ben’s father would disown him for his relationship with Andrew, so they must hide their love. Andrew is determined to make it work, but secrets from his past threaten to ruin everything.

Ben escapes to Zimbabwe to finally fulfil his lifelong ambition. But will he ever return to England? To Andrew? To the truth?

A dark and poignant drama, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a mesmerisingly beautiful love story, with a tragic heart.

Publisher Orenda

Purchase Links



book depository

‘Vivid, passionate and exquisitely told, this love story will live on in my heart for a very long time to come. A poignant, surprising and all-consuming read’ Katie Marsh.

‘I cannot remember when I was last so touched by a story. Tin Man meets Brokeback Mountain – it really is that good. This isn’t a book you just read, it’s something you absorb. An incredible, poignant piece of work. Louise Beech had cemented her place as one of Britain’s finest modern storytellers’  John Marrs.

‘A beautiful, honest and tender love story that I won’t forget for a long time. With wishes, promises, betrayals, heartbreak and joy – Ben and Andrew’s story spans time and distance. Their love had me trapped in its spell, their tragic moments had me sobbing like a baby. The scenes in Zimbabwe had me right there, inhaling the heady scents and listening to the lions roar. This is Louise Beech at her very best. A triumph’ Fionnuala Kearney.

‘Beech sets up the love story quietly and convincingly. And then – bang – something astonishing and completely unexpected happens to Ben and Andrew. This is where the narrative really gathers pace. I had read patiently until that point then I raced my way to the end. The book digs deep emotionally, but is funny and feel-good too’ Fiona Mitchell.

‘Storytelling at its finest. Louise Beech is a beguiling wordsmith. Prepare to be hooked’ Amanda Prowse.

‘The whole novel is skilfully woven together, with complex, utterly convincing characters and an impossible moral dilemma at the core. It’s a compelling read through to the emotional final pages. I love the poetry, the wisdom, and the insights into life at a lion sanctuary, so vivid that the reader can hear and smell as well as visualise them. It’s a stunning and very brave book’ Gill Paul.

‘Louise Beech does it again. The setting alone makes this book worth a read, the lightly handled metaphor of a place where damaged beings go to recover provides a sumptuous backdrop that does its work on the reader’s subconscious while they enjoy the action of the story. Love, complicated families and the hurtful things people say and do to one another out of fear, love and ignorance feature here, as well as messy relationships and the mistakes flawed human beings make while trying so hard not to. A moving read’ S.E. Lynes.

‘Heartfelt and wry, this will transport you into a keenly observed world; secrets are hidden, people are flawed, but humanity endures’ Ruth Dugdall.

‘Louise Beech is a natural-born storyteller with an elegance about her writing that never fails to move me’ Michael J. Malone

‘This is real life, bruised, torn and coffee-stained, refusing to give up … simply stunning’ Su Bristow.

‘There are times when you finish reading a book and know that part of it will stay with you always. This will be one of those books’ Claire Allen.

‘It put me in mind of John Irving. It’s that feeling of being in the hands of a master storyteller and just trusting him or her so completely’ Laura Pearson.

‘Nothing about this story disappoints. The African setting, the excellent writing, and above all, the immaculate storytelling. It’s a cleverly constructed book too. I loved the chapter headings which give us a glimpse of the story within the story. Another triumph. A beautifully crafted book’ Carole Lovekin.

‘Again, Louise Beech has totally blown me away with her storytelling ability. I loved this beautiful but painful love story; which is also about coincidences, loss and difficult relationships. This is a story about the strength of love and what sometimes needs to be sacrificed for it’ Madeleine Black.

‘Adored this beautiful and inspiring book’ Kate Furnivall.

‘Already one of my favourites of 2018’ Liz Robinson, LoveReadingUK.

‘A stirring novel, beautifully written, reminiscent of the early work of Maggie O’Farrell’ Irish Times.

‘Quirky, darkly comic, heartfelt and original’ Sunday Mirror.

‘This achingly sad story has wonderful characters, including the spiky, sweary Catherine’ Sunday People.

‘A beautiful and compassionate read’ Prima

connect with the author online

Twitter – @LouiseWriter


I feel shocked that this author has passed me by – until now!! I can’t wait to devour her previous books after being totally consumed with love for this story!

This is a story of loss, rediscovery and of love and how it can take you to the highest of highs, as well as the lowest of the lows. It shows love in all it’s form be that tender, toxic, terrifying, tender and traumatic and as you are reading you get to experience all these emotions as the author does a wonderful job of making the characters and their journeys touch your very core.

Ben is in Zimbabwe as a volunteer at a lion rehab facility where he meets a wide range of characters, all there for their own reasons. You know he’s there to escape something back home but it’s only as the story unfolds that you get to discover the many reasons he had to get away as he is finding the past difficult to leave behind. And he seeks solace with the lions – it is clear he has more patience with the animals than he does with humans!

At the core is a story of love, which is dealt with in such a sensitive manner and deals with the horrific prejudice encountered by Ben and Andrew. Ben wrestles with his conscience on a daily basis and is left to decide what is right for him, no matter who it may hurt along the way. Could he be something he isn’t just to live an easy life?

His family also feature a lot and often shows them in a bad light. But you can sense there’s more to their story than first meets the eye, and I found the way their story evolves quite shocking and helped explain quite a lot as to Ben struggling with his emotions and feelings.

I was totally captivated by this story and had tears rolling down my face on many occasions! It always takes something special to make you feel that kind of connection with a set of characters and this book shows how it can be done in such a touching way. Loved it!