Friday 10 June 2022

The Companion by Lesley Thomson Blog Tour

 I've said it before and I will say it again, I love a good crime novel.

So when I was asked if I'd like to take part in the tour for best-selling author Lesley Thomson's latest novel, I of course jumped at the chance.

The Companion revisits characters from the book Death of a Mermaid, but fear not, I can confirm that this story can in fact be read as a standalone. 

And - spoiler alert - it's dark and secretive, perfect combination for a crime to take place don't you think.


Timothy Mew, aged twenty five answers an advert in Cuckoo’s Nest, an organisation matching younger people with little financial means to live cheaply with an older person in return for shopping and company. Rex Lomax is seventy and lonely. At first he welcomes Timothy into his home, an apartment in a grand country mansion, Blacklock House, in the Sussex countryside. But when there are several murders nearby and the police announce they are hunting a serial killer, Rex becomes uneasy and mistrustful. DI Toni Kemp, of Sussex police, must unravel a case which has shocked the county to its core. In late summer sunshine, the  idyllic setting, fountain on a rolling lawn, peacocks screaming into the bushes and a summer house are all wrought with threat. Seven long-term residents have seen more than they should. But this is a community who are good at keeping secrets...

Now I will say from the start of my review, this isn't an instantly gratifying novel. It's what many of us would call a slow burner. But it does of course begin with murder and intrigue. . .

James Ritchie is a man who has recently split up from his wife. He was looking forward to a spending some time with his son, Wilbur.  Little does he know (or his ex Anna) but this will be the last time that they all see each other. 

Quite simply because that afternoon,  both James and Wilbur are found dead.  The unfortunate victims of a double stabbing on the beach. All they were doing was flying a kite weren't they?

In steps DI Toni Kemp, who has the tricky job of solving this disturbing case which has shocked the county to its core. 

Clues lead her to Blacklock House. A large and looming country mansion, that has over time been changed into numerous flats. 

The residents here all seem suspicious in their own way and out in the middle of nowhere, this picturesque place actually filled me with dread!

Told from varied points of view, each chapter gave us more insight into the main cast. This gave a great deal of backstory, details that really made the tale much more atmospheric. I was impressed at how Lesley was able to alternate between each person without letting the tension drop.

Interestingly, I found myself liking all of the characters (even the bad ones), this was quite a refreshing aspect for me.

I personally loved this novel.

It felt like a traditional whodunnit with extra spice.

With a great mix of characters (and red-herrings), this was a story that although not quick in its pace, delivered everything I think a crime novel should. Most importantly, the fact that I was kept guessing until the very end.

Deceptive and dark, The Companion definitely has me wanting to read more books by Thomson now.

Highly recommended.


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