Elena Bowes

New York-London design & culture writer of a certain vintage looking for meaning and wholeness in life

A Thriller with Big Themes: Valentina

January 30th, 2017
Calling All Authors

Whether you like to read page-turners or write them, I urge you to get a copy of domestic noir psychological thriller Valentina by Susan Lynes.  Finalist in the People’s Prize for Fiction and the Beryl Bainbridge first novel award, Lynes knows a thing or two about writing scary books (don’t worry, low body count and no shower scenes). Read my interview here with the promising first-time author, mother of three and lettuce grower.


Think Gone Girl goes to Scotland for the feel of this haunting, claustrophobic  novel written in the first person that pulls you in on page one.  I read it on a flight to New York and was sorry when we landed as I had a few pages to go.

In the book Shona has what seems an idillyic life with her partner Michael (Mikey) and gorgeous baby daughter Isla. They’ve just moved to a charming cottage on the outskirts of Aberdeen. The only negative is that Mikey works on an oil rig for two weeks out of every month. Loneliness ensues until Shona meets the captivating Valentina.  This book explores love, trust, female friendship and the loneliness and loss of confidence that can accompany new motherhood.

Lynes is working on her second novel which has the working title of Rope. The interview appeared in 26‘s January issue which is packed with ways to beat the winter blues including matinees – when you’re finished it’s cocktail hour. February is looking up.

January 2017

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