I’m delighted to be able to share by review of The Old You by Louise Voss today as part of the blog tour.
Nail-bitingly modern domestic noir.
A tense, Hitchcockian psychological thriller.
Louise Voss returns with her darkest, most chilling, novel yet…
Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface… and Lynn’s perfect world begins to crumble.
But is it Ed’s mind playing tricks, or hers…?
At the start of the novel, Ed is diagnosed with Pick’s disease, a rare form of dementia. The diagnosis comes as a shock to Lynn, although with hindsight she realises that he has been acting a little strangely in recent weeks, forgetting words and behaving increasingly out of character. With no small amount of fear of what the illness will mean for Ed and their relationship, Lynn settles into this new life as best she can, wanting to make the most of their time together. But as Ed’s illness progresses, Lynn finds herself questioning Ed’s behaviour, which varies from that of a forlorn, scared individual to a sinister, violent man. But it’s just how the illness is developing, isn’t it?
I thought that Voss was incredibly clever in the way that she played out the “is it him or me” battle that is constantly going on in Lynn’s mind. These situations can sometimes be a little overdone, but I thought that Voss got the balance exactly right, and it was very convincing. My opinion changed constantly as to whether Ed was genuinely ill, and Lynn was letting paranoia and the stress of the situation get to her – completely understandable – or whether there was something much more sinister going on.
Lynn and Ed’s background is anything other than straightforward, and I loved the complexity of the situation and how they became a couple. I won’t spoil it for you, but it was rather unexpected and wholly original, and this formed one of the many twists in the novel. I liked that this background was only divulged later in the novel and through brief flashbacks, whilst most of the novel is told chronologically, and these few sections really helped to flesh out Lynn and Ed’s characters.
The Old You is an excellent domestic noir / psychological thriller, and whilst I’d like to say that I worked out was going on, I suspect that Voss was just very carefully drip-feeding hints so subtly that I didn’t realise that’s what they were at the time. Whether my powers of detection are improving (doubtful) or not, there was still a magnificent twist that I didn’t see coming at all. Recommended to fans of domestic noir.
The Old You was published in paperback by Orenda Books earlier this month and is also available to buy in a digital format and is currently available on Amazon Kindle for the bargain price of £0.99. Many thanks to Anne Cater for the review copy and the opportunity to take part in the blog tour.
Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour: