Wednesday 24 March 2021

This Nowhere Place by Natasha Bell Blog Tour

 There are many things that first make me want to read a book: the front cover, the blurb, the author. So many factors. With This Nowhere Place it was the setting. Based in the town where I live, Dover, I felt an automatic need to read the novel.

Author Natasha Bell has done a fantastic job of creating a tense, timely tale.

One grey afternoon, high on the cliffs of Dover, two girls agree to help a stranger.

Within months, two of the three girls are dead.

In the years that follow, local legend grows around the events of that summer - and, with the one survivor refusing to speak, it seems the truth will never emerge. Until a documentary-maker arrives, determined to solve the mystery of the Dover Girls.

But some will stop at nothing to keep this town's secrets...

This is the story of 'The Dover Girls'. Three teenagers. Cali, Jude and Mo. Two are local, one is a refugee. 

Secrets, deceit and lies.

Layers of different themes, build to create an atmospheric read that will perhaps provoke you into thinking more about your own circumstance and others that may pass you by.

'That's the thing about our town: people only come here if they're going somewhere else.'

One girl dies, two more follow. Suicide? Murder? Or perhaps something in-between.

This is Dover in the future. 2026 to be precise. 10 years after unknown tragic events led to two girls losing their lives and one other being left without the use of her legs. What was unknown all those years ago was what precisely happened.

There are legends surrounding these girls, a lot of hearsay and with the anniversary looming it seems as though truths may finally be uncovered.

“All along he’s treated them as witnesses, rather than suspects. That changes now.”

Previous investigations came up with nothing. Conspiracy theorists had plenty of ideas but no evidence to back it up. But now that so much time has passed, an investigative journalist, Tarek, is determined to uncover things that some want to keep buried.

The reasons why Tarek is so determined to find out the realities from the fiction are more personal than he lets on.

It seems all involved have their own agendas and people (including themselves) to protect.

No one cared about this place, until they found the first girl.

Told from various points of view, travelling from past to present, Natasha does a fantastic job of conveying the importance behind all of it, not just the tragic events themselves but the political undercurrents too.

Immersive and intelligent.

The use of Dover's backdrop, the cliffs, the Western Heights, gave the tale an almost ghostly feel and because I knew where all these places were it felt so much more realistic to me as the reader.

The Girl meets The Dry in this tense and atmospheric drama about loyalty, lies and obsession.

With the varying combination of writing formats - including interviews for Tarek's documentary, and portrayal of things including immigration, mental illness, LGBT+ and substance abuse, as well as the overriding themes of grief and loss, I felt compelled to turn the pages. Feeling as though I was perhaps doing the detective work too to unravel the mystery.

Lies ruin lives, with its mixed format of interviews and backstory, this is a tantalising novel.

Quietly dramatic, this is a poignant and timely read. I can see this working well as a TV/film adaption, especially if it was filmed on location in Dover!

For more thoughts and reviews on This Nowhere Place do follow the rest of the blog tour outlined below:


And you can of course join in the conversation on twitter tagging @MichaelJBooks #ThisNowherePlace

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