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Call Me Star Girl

by Louise Beech

Family Drama Books of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Crime and Mystery Star Books Thriller and Suspense eBooks of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of Call Me Star Girl

A surprising, achingly tense and glorious story - a Liz Robinson pick of the month

A beautifully powerful read that sits in darkness, not an all-consuming menacing murk, but one with pinpricks of light that can be found and felt if you open yourself to the discovery. Stella McKeever is working on her final radio show, she is encouraging listeners to divulge their secrets and waiting another call from a man who claims he knows who murdered the pregnant woman in the city three weeks previously, but should some secrets stay secret? There are times when I think it might be slightly distracting to label a book with one specific genre and for me this is one of them. I know Call Me Star Girl is a psychological thriller, it certainly does thrill, it also made me feel a whole host of other emotions too. Louise Beech excels in writing about people, at their very best, very worst, and everything in between, so I’d rather not pop this book into a pigeon hole but let it fly. Each chapter is headed by a name, and either ‘then’, ‘now’ or ‘with’. I quickly settled into the story while getting to know the characters, they became entirely real to me as I explored the how and why of who they were. While suspicion cut through my thoughts, unexpected slices of deep, aching surprise were served, and there is one particular moment that will stay with me for a very long time. Call Me Star Girl explored my feelings, touched my heart, and is one of my picks of the month, it is a truly glorious read.

Liz Robinson

Call Me Star Girl Synopsis

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and the killer hasn’t been caught.

Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. She wants yours, and in exchange she will share some of hers. The ones she knows. But she doesn’t know everything.

Why has Stella’s mother, Elizabeth, finally returned fourteen years after leaving her with a neighbour? Is Stella’s new love, Tom, a man who likes to play games, exciting … or dangerous?

And who is the mysterious man calling the radio station to say he knows who killed Victoria? Tonight Stella’s final show may reveal the biggest secret of all…

With echoes of the chilling Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781912374632
Publication date: 18th April 2019
Author: Louise Beech
Publisher: Orenda Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 276 pages
Primary Genre Family Drama
Other Genres:
Recommendations:
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Call Me Star Girl Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

One of the most original storylines I have ever read, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, if you're familiar with Louise Beech you'll know she writes from the heart and if you're not, it's time to acquaint yourself with a terrific and emotive author!

I love Louise Beech's style of writing and her very beautiful storylines that she has written previously to this, her first venture into psychological crime fiction. It certainly shouldn't be her last, I wholeheartedly adored this book Call Me Star Girl and highly recommend it.

Atmospheric, haunting and very intriguing, there is just the right amount of plot twists to keep you turning the pages and I was emotionally wrung out by the time we finally reached the fantastic ending.

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught. Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers. What Stella really wants to know, is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.

The author has a wonderful way of involving all of her excellent characters into the story from the main protagonists to even the fringe players and she really cares about how they are portrayed. I particularly liked reading Elizabeth's story as she recounted how she left Stella as a young child and most interestingly her involvement in recent events.

The plot slowly builds up the tension to a dramatic and emotional conclusion that is both creepy and edgy with some very definite disquieting undercurrents.
A tale of obsessive, desperate and selfish love when one's needs overpower all sensibility and when you would do anything to prove your love is absolute, proving just how deadly dark secrets can be!

One of the most original storylines I have ever read, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, if you're familiar with Louise Beech you'll know she writes from the heart and if you're not, it's time to acquaint yourself with a terrific and emotive author!

5 stars

Miriam Smith

A tense thriller set during a late night radio show where the host encourages the listeners to share their secrets, while disclosing a few of her own.

This is a tense thriller which unfolds during a late night radio show hosted by the protagonist Stella. Through flashbacks, we learn about Stella's childhood and current relationship with Tom. Abandoned by her mother when she was twelve years old, and never knowing her father Stella has always carried a star shaped perfume bottle with her everywhere she goes. It belonged to her mother and reminds Stella of her; she also later discovers that it was a gift from her father and belonged to his mother.
There are a lot of twists and turns towards the end of the book and although I wanted to finish the story and find out the ending, I did find some parts slightly out of genre and ridiculous. The setting is original and adds to the tension, helping to build up to a dramatic conclusion.

Emma Barton

Superb thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat!

This is one of those great books that comes along once in a while and really grabs your attention from beginning to end. It's a real page turner!

Stella will keep you enthralled as the start of the book with her sitting in her radio station alone in the early hours thinking of the murder that had just taken place nearby while on a quiet phone chat it. I won't go further with a spoiler but when Tom her boyfriend appears the story goes from great to fantastic.

This thriller is a must read covering various genres and the reader won't be disappointed. I can say I definitely wasn't.

Catherine Bryce

Louise Beech has nailed it again. With themes of abandonment, obsession and deep, dark secrets Call Me Star Girl is a truly compulsive read. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Louise Beech has absolutely nailed it with Call Me Star Girl. Yet again she uses her outstanding writing skills and perfect turn of phrase to explore the depths of love but this is not like The Lion Tamer Who Lost in which the all-encompassing, powerful and yet forbidden love moved me to tears. Call Me Star Girl delves into the darker side of love, its intense, obsessive and selfish side. Stella’s life has been shaped by the love she felt for her dismissive mother whose life revolved around her many suitors, until she lost interest in each in turn. Stella’s desire to avoid boring her mother at all costs has made her the adult she is today, afraid of losing Tom and the fierce love they have, afraid of ever being boring. It didn’t work with her mother, she abandoned Stella any way, leaving only the bottle of star perfume behind but it has to work with Tom. Her gut feelings, premonitions almost, tell her that it must. He is her true twin-flame. When Stella’s mother comes back into her life we learn what really happened in the past, just how far a mother will go to make amends with the daughter she deserted and how hard she will strive to be a better mother. The brutal and yet somehow tender murder of local girl Victoria Valbon has an impact on them all; it ties them all together but how? It’s Stella’s final night at the local radio station where she works. Her show is full of deep, dark secrets and tonight, no matter how destructive, they will all come out. As the minutes tick by, the tension builds. Stella’s premonitions increase and fear grips like a vice but Stella is not afraid. She knows exactly what she is doing and soon, so will everyone else.

Veering from heart wrenching to truly terrifying, Louise Beech masterfully teases out the story and takes us on a journey where we wholeheartedly suspect each character in turn and don’t, even for a second, expect the ending. With themes of abandonment, obsession and deep, dark secrets Call Me Star Girl is a truly compulsive read. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

S. Harper

A very good psychological thriller that kept me turning the pages.

This had me hooked from the first page to the last page. Each chapter relates to one character, moving from the past to the present - very well done. There are secrets and gradually they are revealed, after having hints, twists and turns. It starts with a brutal murder, there is a new boyfriend - is he all that he seems - and a mother who reappears after abandoning her daughter, Stella, so she could be with the man she loved. Well woven together.

Alison Bisping

Louise Beech Press Reviews

‘A stirring novel, beautifully written, reminiscent of the early work of Maggie O’Farrell’ Irish Times

 ‘Quirky, darkly comic, heartfelt and original’ Sunday Mirror

‘This achingly sad story has wonderful characters, including the spiky, sweary Catherine’ Sunday People

‘A beautiful and compassionate read’ Prima

‘Fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine will love it’ Red

 ‘A devastating, tender and powerful love story, beautifully and bravely told. You will lose your heart to this book. I adored it’ Miranda Dickinson

‘A heart breaking yet ultimately uplifting tale’ Good Housekeeping

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781912374632
Publication date: 18/04/2019
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781912374649
Publication date: 18/02/2019
Format: Ebook

View All Editions

About Louise Beech

Louise Beech is an exceptional literary talent, whose debut novel How To Be Brave was a Guardian Readers’ Choice for 2015. The sequel, The Mountain in My Shoe, was shortlisted for Not the Booker Prize. Maria in the Moon was compared to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, and widely reviewed. All three books have been number one on Kindle, Audible and Kobo in USA/UK/AU. She regularly writes travel pieces for the Hull Daily Mail, where she was a columnist for ten years. Her short fiction has won the Glass Woman Prize, the Eric Hoffer Award for Prose, ...

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