Sunday, 28 March 2021

#BlogTour Secret Places by Heather Peck

 

It's a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Secret Places by Heather Peck.

About the Author

Heather Peck fulfilled the ambition of a lifetime. Her first novel ‘Secret Places’ is published on 3 February by Silverwood Books. Contributing stories to a community newsletter had re-ignited Heather’s ambition to do more, and after completing a course with the Norwich based National Centre for Writing she buckled down and wrote a story that had been buzzing round her head for years. 

‘One in three women will suffer domestic abuse during their lives. And it can happen to anybody. Within the context of a crime novel, I wanted to make that bleak fact real and explore the impact on lives. I also wanted to set the story in the environment so familiar to me but so foreign to many - farming in the UK.’

Follow @HeatherLydia1 on Twitter, Visit heatherpeckauthor.com

About the book

‘It was dark, cold and silent. He did not wake, but nor was he now asleep. Slowly he became more aware, first of the cold which made it hard to tell where his body ended and anything else began. The dark was total. Were his eyes open or closed? He tried opening his eyes, but could still see nothing, not even vague shapes. Time went by and it became clearer where the strange flesh he was lying on ended, and his body began. Where there was pain, there he was.’

Goat farmer, cheese maker and weaver Tristan Smith is working on her North Yorkshire smallholding when a chance visit by archaeologists exposes a skeleton in an abandoned WW2 bunker. But it’s not a wartime casualty.

Tristan becomes involved in the search for the truth about her predecessors, as DI Greg Geldard follows a trail from North Yorkshire to the Norfolk Broads. He is seeking justice for a long dead victim; but another casualty is hunting for a new life and a safe place to start again. 

Review

Tristan Smith is a woman determined to succeed despite being ridiculed for trying to do a job dominated by men in an area of the country where everyone can see each mistake she makes. She thinks nothing of letting two archaeologists search her property for a secret bunker from the war. She certainly doesn't expect them to find a the remains of human in there.

The author shines a light on the complex issue of domestic abuse and the reactions of victims, which often appears incomprehensible from the outside. It is however an incredibly complicated psychological and physical situation, and people who have never been a victim of domestic abuse tend to victim blame and misunderstand the actions and reactions of said victims.

That's why the court case in this story may pull readers in different directions. Was it trauma or intent? Was it planned or someone acting on pure survival instinct? Should you feel pity for the dead man or is he the real victim in this scenario?

It's an interesting domestic thriller with topics some readers could find hard to read. I found the last page quite brutal, perhaps because it makes the inhumane human and at the same time lets a worm of doubt wriggle into the story.

Either way it's a compelling story that plays upon biases, rumours, assumptions and also the fact that we look the other way far too often. In equal measures the topic of domestic abuse is still one that is grossly misunderstood and the victims still don't get enough support.

Buy Secret Places at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: SilverWood Books pub date 3 Feb. 2021. Buy at Amazon com. Buy at silverwoodbooks.co.uk.

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