My enormous thanks to Lynda Stacey for an advanced reader copy of The Fake Date, her new psychological thriller, in return for an honest review. I have been lucky enough to meet Lynda in person and to feature her on Linda’s Book Bag before so I was delighted to have the opportunity to read The Fake Date. Previously, Lynda wrote a fascinating guest post about her protagonist when House of Secrets was published that you can read here and I was privileged to interview Lynda here when she released House of Christmas Secrets.
Published by Ruby Fiction on 18th September 2018, The Fake Date is available for pre-order through the links here.
The Fake Date
Nine hours and eleven minutes …
That’s how long it’s been since Ella Hope was beaten to within an inch of life and left for dead.
She lies, unable to move and praying for somebody to find her, as she counts down the minutes and wonders who could have hated her so much to have hurt her so badly.
Was it the man she went on a date with the previous evening, the man linked to the deaths of two other women?
Or somebody else, somebody who wants her out of the picture so much they’re willing to kill?
Whoever it is, they will pay. All Ella has to do first is survive …
My Review of The Fake Date
Brutally beaten and almost dead, Ella is determined to survive.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Fake Date because, although it starts in the aftermath of considerable violence to Ella, it has a greater subtlety and menace throughout than just overt violence, especially through the first person italicised sections as we are kept guessing as to the identity of the person behind them. They contrast so well with the third person structure of the rest of the story. The atmospheric references to nature too, give a satisfying balance adding light and shade to the story.
The Fake Date has an exciting plot, particularly as it reaches its denouement and right to the end I wasn’t quite sure what might happen. There are several surprises along the way making for a really engaging read, but it’s difficult to say too much without spoiling the story for others. I also enjoyed the romantic elements that give an extra dimension to the thriller aspects so that there is something for all readers to enjoy in this story.
Lynda Stacey cleverly weaves in the psychological features so that the reasons for the way the characters behave are gradually uncovered. I liked the sensitivity with which she outlined how Ella’s experience created more than physical scars for her life and those around her. I got a clear picture of how crimes ripple and affect so many, not just their immediate victims and the perpetrators, so that reading The Fake Date gave me much to ponder as well as being very entertaining. Again, it’s difficult to say too much about the characters as they are so integral to the plot, but each person is an important element and together they lead to a very satisfying narrative.
What I most enjoyed about The Fake Date, however, was the exploration of the way society behaves, particularly through newspapers and reporters. I thoroughly appreciated the depiction of a character like Bobby, or the manipulative court room scene, or the dynamics between genders because I felt Lynda Stacey was shining a highly realistic and convincing spotlight on what, sadly, does happen in the real world.
The Fake Date is such an enjoyable and engaging read on so many levels that I’m sure every reader will find an aspect that grips them. I can recommend it!
About Lynda Stacey
Lynda, is a wife, step-mother and grandmother, she grew up in the mining village of Bentley, Doncaster, in South Yorkshire.
She is currently the Sales Director of a stationery, office supplies and office furniture company in Doncaster, where she has worked for the past 25 years. Prior to this she’d also been a nurse, a model, an emergency first response instructor and a PADI Scuba Diving Instructor … and yes, she was crazy enough to dive in the sea with sharks, without a cage. Following a car accident in 2008, Lynda was left with limited mobility in her right arm. Unable to dive or teach anymore, she turned to her love of writing, a hobby she’d followed avidly since being a teenager.
Her own life story, along with varied career choices helps Lynda to create stories of romantic suspense, with challenging and unpredictable plots, along with (as in all romances) very happy endings.
Lynda joined the Romantic Novelist Association in 2014 under the umbrella of the New Writers Scheme and in 2015, her debut novel House of Secrets won the Choc Lit & Whole Story Audiobooks Search for a Star competition.
She lives in a small rural hamlet near Doncaster, with her ‘hero at home husband’, Haydn, whom she’s been happily married to for over 20 years.