Come back For Me by Heidi Perks
A SHOCKING DISCOVERY.
A COMMUNITY WRAPPED IN SECRETS.
A tiny island community is stunned by the discovery of a long-buried body.
For Stella Harvey the news is doubly shocking. The body has been found in the garden of her childhood home – the home her family fled without explanation twenty-five years ago.
Now, questioning her past and desperate to unearth the truth, Stella returns to the isolated island. But she quickly finds that the community she left isn’t as welcoming as she remembers – and that people in it will go to any length to protect their secrets.
One thing rings true…
You can’t bury the truth forever.
Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?
A) Come Back For Me is the story of a Stella Harvey, who returns to the idyllic island of Evergreen on which she grew up, when a body is found in the garden of her old home.
The story came about from a number of ideas that I wove together. The idea of living on an island where everyone knows everyone’s business intrigues me and I love the sense of isolation and claustrophobia I hope I’ve drawn out in Evergreen. Also my own childhood home plays a huge part in my dreams and so I liked the idea of Stella revisiting hers, when something had happened that made her wonder whether everything was always as she thought it was. Stella’s journey takes her on a search to find out the truth of why her family suddenly left Evergreen one night, twenty-five years ago, and what secrets were being hidden on the island.
Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea, to writing and finally to publication?
A) I spend ages playing around with ideas and working out whether they could actually form the plot for an entire story. Many times I will come to a dead end but it’s wonderful when I have one that I know could work. I will spend some time making notes, sketching out the rough structure and working on the key characters, but at this stage I am never too detailed. I like to start writing before everything is too formed because more often than not the story will end up veering off into a completely different direction.
On average I will spend four to five months writing the first draft, which I will then share with my agent and editors. This is a nail biting but exciting time as this is when I get some fantastic feedback on how to edit my story. By this point I have usually hit a brick wall and can’t see why things aren’t working so having outside input is crucial.
I then write an edit and send it back. And then another, and usually a couple more before everyone is happy that this is the book we want to share with readers. At this point there is usually about four months to go until publication, time for the publishers to work on the marketing plans while I get started on the process all over again! for the next book!
Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?
A) There are many authors whose books I will read as soon as they come out like Liane Moriarity, Lisa Jewell, Shari Lapena and Holly Seddon. I typically read psychological thrillers because this is what I love, though occasionally it’s good to pick something up from a completely different genre.
My absolute favourite book is Big Little Lies, which someone once described as a masterclass in plotting.
Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?
A) I loved reading the Famous Five when I was younger, but absolutely adored The Last of The Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews. This was my all-time favourite and I’ve recently read it to my daughter who loved it too.
As a teenager I continued to read mysteries but there were a few good series of books out (back then) like Cheerleaders, and of course Judy Blume was always a popular choice.
Q) What are you currently reading?
A) I have just finished Amy Lloyd’s incredible One More Lie and last night started Rebecca Tinnelly’s Don’t Say a Word, which is shaping up to be great and out later this year.
Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?
A) There are two things – the first was being told I’d been offered a publishing deal. I was on holiday at the time and remember crying by the side of the pool!
The second was when my editor called me to say that the same book had been chosen as a Richard and Judy book club read. When I first met my agent, Nelle Andrew, I told her that this was my dream and to have realised it so soon has been amazing.
Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?
A) There are so many people. My mum has encouraged my writing since I was a chid but it was my husband who urged me to try writing the first book. Without his support I doubt I would have stuck at it in the early days as it was a bumpy start to the journey.
AB: Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.
HP: Thank you for having me and for all your support!!
Heidi Perks is the Sunday Times bestselling author of Now You See Her, published by Century, Penguin Random House. Her latest novel Come Back For Me is published on the 11th July in hardback and in eBook.
My Review ~
After seeing the book trailer for this title, I couldn’t wait to read it! Yes you did read that correctly… BOOK TRAILER! Lol
The book trailer is possibly the best one I have ever seen!!!! The Mystery within is going to focus on a dead body being uncovered on a tiny island. Which in turn pushes the community to react to protect its people and reputation.
The central protagonist is Stella Harvey. After hearing of the discovery of the body, she is determined to return to the island and solve a family mystery of her own.
Stella’s family left the Evergreen Island in 1993. They never looked back! But Stella being only 11yrs old at the time never understood, why the family left and why in such haste. In 1993, Stella’s family consists of Dad David, Mother Maria, sister Bonnie (17yrs) and brother Danny (15yrs).
‘What happened to us all?’
In the present day, Stella is a family therapist. As part of her intensive training and education in becoming a therapist. Stella has, had to undergo therapy herself. One of her personal therapies greatest mysteries was uncovering why the family fled the island back in 1993.
When a body is discovered on the garden territory line, of Stella’s childhood home. She quickly becomes obsessed with the case. Who is the victim? Were they murdered on Evergreen Island?
PC Walton and PC Killner approach the Harvey family with routine questions. Whilst Stella answers with intrigue. Bonnie is freaked out, she wishes to sever all times with the island before it forces her to return to the bottle again.
Stella as a counsellor is driven by her need to investigate and understand social situations and mystery’s.
One thing is for sure, it won’t end well for the sisters…
‘Something else changed that summer’
As the chapters alternate between the present day and their last summer on the island in 1993. We become aware that not all is well with older brother Danny. A social outcast and misfit, he struggles to fit in on the island. His attempts at social cues often leave the teenage girls of Evergreen island shook! We also become aware he is estranged from the family in the present day. What made Danny flee the Harvey family? Does he know the secrets of the past? Or is he responsible for the need for secrecy?
As Stella returns to the island to dig deeper, she begins receiving threatening letters. But they do not deter her…
‘Stop digging. You won’t like what you find’
Stella becomes suspicious of everyone. Her since passed mother, her estranged father, her recovering alcoholic sister and the residents of Evergreen island…
‘Everything I once believed was a lie’
The novel is one of family secrets and revelation after revelation. The Harvey family appear conventional from the outside. But as read on, we learn they all have secrets.
The residents of Evergreen are reluctant to welcome Stella back. Although they cannot stop her from pursuing the mystery.
They regard the Harvey family as one of ‘trouble’… but why? 5*