33 women…one big secret
When sisters Celine and Pip get a call telling them their reclusive mother has died, the women are reunited. But someone is missing… their middle sister, Vanessa, murdered years ago and the victim of an unsolved case.
The discovery of another body in similar circumstances raises questions about Vanessa’s death. What do the mysterious residents of Two Cross Farm, the women’s commune, have to do with it? What secrets are lurking behind their locked gates? And what is the significance of the number 33?
I am delighted to be kicking off the blog tour celebrating the publication of 33 Women, the latest book by Isabel Ashdown. There will be a lot of noise about this book this week so make sure you check out what the awesome bloggers below are saying about this one.
An interesting read that gathered pace as the story progressed. This book started slowly for me and it took a while to familiarise myself with the characters and work out how they fitted in. Key character Celine goes to her mother’s home for the first time following her death, estranged for some years, sisters Pip and Celine are reunited to make plans for the funeral. Their deceased middle sister’s absence is notable for these women at this time and they begin to make some discoveries which link her with some other deaths and the women’s commune next door, known as Two Cross Farm.
There were lots of threads to this story and while the women at Two Cross Farm were consistently seen as suspicious there were others in the frame for these deaths. The premise of Two Cross Farm was a supportive women only community, where residents contribute and choose to live without men or children. By its very nature therefore many of the women were vulnerable, but still the place was considered sinister, the word cult banded around and its occupants considered strange.
The book followed Celine linking up with her old neighbour, Una an ex Detective who has a contact in the local police force. The Police are investigating a current dead woman but similarities between her and Vanessa force the death of Celine’s sister to be reopened. Celine is determined to find out what happened to her younger sibling.
I enjoyed the investigative nature of this book as the police explored different leads. Told from several perspectives and over several time periods a picture is developed of New Cross Farm, its creation and lead members. The story was told well and despite lots of characters and much happening it flowed well and was easy to follow. In its conclusion everything was tied up nicely and I was left with, ‘no further questions’. A few twists along the way kept things lively and the story was neither predictable or unbelievable.
Definitely a recommendation from me and one that really got me thinking about how we view anything ‘different’, in this case a female only commune which was perceived as a cult, sinister and dangerous. But was it? You’ll have to read the book to find out!
About the Author
Isabel Ashdown was born in London and grew up on the south coast of England. Since her award-winning debut Glasshopper was released in 2009, she has written a further seven novels, with two of her dark family thrillers shortlisted in the prestigious Dead Good Reader Awards. She is a full-time novelist, a Royal Literary Fund associate, and a regular creative writing host at the Theakstone Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate. 33 Women is her eighth novel, set in historic Arundel, not far from where she lives.
This is a blogtour celebrating publication of 33 Women, check out what others are saying about this book, out this week.
Thank you so much to Nicole and Alainna at Orion for inviting me to be involved in this blog tour and sending me a finished copy of the book.