Today I am sharing a spotlight of a debut psychological thriller, Still Water by Rebecca Pert, which is being released tomorrow.
What is so remarkable about this book is that I know the author – she is one of my work colleagues! I had no idea that she was an author in her spare time until as recently as April, when I was drafted into a conversation she was having with another of my colleagues. Needless to say, I was surprised and super impressed that her book was going to be published so soon!
Now, on the eve of its release, I am very excited for Beccy and I really hope it receives a lot of success and acclaim. To have become a published author is already a fantastic achievement.
Beccy handed me a free proof copy of Still Water, which I read at the start of June, and I shall be sharing my review of it very soon. Overall I quite enjoyed it! The thing which struck me the most is how atmospheric and richly descriptive her writing was, right from the first page. It is told in dual timelines, with the earlier one in the form of diary entries, and it was that part of the story which I connected with the most.
For a psychological thriller, it is highly character driven and along the way it explores some quite sensitive themes, particularly post-partum depression. These are handled very well and leave a powerful impact, so I can see many readers liking this book and connecting with it on an emotional level.
While reading the book I tried not to be distracted by the fact that I know the author, but equally the thought of reading a novel written by a work colleague was also amazing and surreal. I definitely feel privileged to own a proof copy!
When Jane Douglas returns to the Shetland Islands, she thinks she has escaped the dark shadows of her childhood. She carves out a simple life on the bleak, windswept island, working at the salmon fishery and spending quiet evenings at home. And for the first time in her life, she’s happy.
Then the body of Jane’s long-missing mother is found in a flooded quarry. Her mother disappeared when Jane was a teenager, following the death of Jane’s baby brother. Jane has spent her life running from her past, living in fear that she has inherited her mother’s demons. Now, Jane must face what actually happened on that fateful, tragic day twenty-four years ago…
Like I said before, it was a surprise to find that Beccy was an author as well as a fellow university administrator, but then again I have known her for less than a year. In a past life, she did an MA in Creative Writing at Cardiff University and had work published in various magazines, having grown up in Devon, where Still Water is partly set.
She now lives in Gloucestershire with her husband and son, along with a dog called Rosie, who has been known to make the occasional appearance in online meetings. The winner of the Cheltenham Literary Festival First Novel Award in 2020 for its manuscript, Still Water is her debut.
And as you have gathered, I refer to her as Beccy. That is the name she tends to go by, although I suppose when you are a published author you have to be formal about these things! Another fun fact is that we share the same birthday, albeit a few years apart.
Still Water is available to by from tomorrow, 23rd June!
Happy reading 🙂