Annie Howarth seems to have it all; loving husband, beautiful daughter and a house to be proud of but Annie also has a dirty not so secret past. She was once involved with a man accused of murder. And when her former lover, Tom Greenwood, is released from his 10 year prison sentence, Annie’s past comes back to haunt her.
Firstly, I have to say that this book is extremely well written. Louise Douglas has captured a moment in history – the miner’s strike in Yorkshire during the 1980s with haunting accuracy. Her descriptions of the moors are both evocative and atmospheric. She cleverly toils with the thin line that separates right from wrong. Her overall style cannot be faulted.
However, I found that I could not empathise with her protagonist. Understandably, Annie Howarth was a victim of the actions of those around her; from her lover Tom Greenaway and how his actions led her to be left alone to the oppressive and overbearing nature of her policeman husband who smothered her. And whilst this character was layered with many complexities such as where her loyalties should lie – with her policeman husband during the miner’s riots, with her working class family who were striking or with Tom, the love of her life who she believes was wrongly accused all those years ago – I personally found it difficult to feel any sympathy for her situation.
As I have said, that is not to say that this isn’t a good, intriguing mystery that is written very well it just didn’t enthuse a love of character that I was expecting from Louise Douglas.
Your Beautiful Lies by Louise Douglas is available now.