I Could Be You by Sheila Bugler

Blog tour: 20 to 29 January 2020

Synopsis

A life has been taken. But whose life is it?

On a stifling hot day, former journalist Dee Doran finds the crumpled body of her friend at the roadside. Katie and her little boy, Jake, have been a light in Dee’s otherwise desolate life – now a woman is dead and her son is missing.

Katie has been keeping secrets for a long time. Years earlier, she fell for the wrong person. But he was in love with someone else; who he couldn’t have but couldn’t keep away from. When jealousy and desire spilled over into murder Katie hid the truth, and has been pretending ever since.

As Dee assists the police with their enquiries, she’s compelled to investigate too. She realises Katie wasn’t who she claimed to be. Lies are catching up. Stories are becoming unravelled. Revenge is demanded and someone must pay the price. The question is: who?

My review

Dee Doran is in her early fifties and a bit of a recluse. She’s moved back to Eastbourne after the breakdown of her marriage and death of her mother. She was an investigative journalist at the Daily Post in London but is now unemployed, after a career break to look after her dying mum, and lives alone in the house that belonged to her parents.

One sweltering afternoon, on her way to the shops at the harbour, a hungover Dee discovers the body of a woman lying in the road. She’s been run over in a hit-and-run incident and her body is badly damaged. Straightaway, she recognises the victim as her friend, neighbour and tenant, Katie Hope, who is a piano teacher and 27-year-old single mum of Jake, aged two. Shopping is strewn across the path and there’s a twisted pushchair with two wheels missing but no sign of Jake. Dee hunts for him, searching the beach, surrounding areas and the mobile home where him and Katie live, desperately calling his name.

Detective Inspector Ed Mitchell, a former school friend, interviews Dee about what has happened and the police get the story about the hit and run and missing child out to the general public and ask anyone with information about Katie or Jake to contact them immediately. Intriguingly, we discover that all is not as it seems and that Katie isn’t who she says she is.

As Dee helps the police with their enquiries, she also uses her investigative skills to try and work out exactly what has happened to Katie and hunt for Jake. As she searches for the truth, she draws upon her 20-plus years of experience and the help of useful contacts that she’s made, including old colleagues and her cousin and editor-in-chief of the Recorder, Louise, and she even speaks to her alcoholic ex-husband, Billy Morrison, who is also a journalist and desperate to try and scoop a story.

I quite liked Dee. She was lonely and drank too much but had had a tough time and seemed a bit beaten after her divorce and her mum’s death. She still seems to have feelings for her ex, who she was with for 16 years, despite his failings and the fact he is a ‘complete and utter waste of space’. She regrets never having children but has built up a nice friendship with Katie and adores little Jake. She was brave and foolish at times as she went all out to discover the truth.

In this well-plotted, dark and twisty book, we learn more about Katie’s past in flashbacks. She had a rather sad, lonely childhood; her dad ran the Railway Tavern pub in Hither Green in London but he didn’t spend much time with Katie. She wasn’t allowed to work behind the bar and he didn’t like her socialising with anyone. She makes some friends but the relationships are rather unhealthy and they treat her badly.

As Dee visits various places in her quest, we start to uncover the truth and the back story to recent awful events. There was some clever misdirection and we weren’t totally sure who was who in the book. Several of the characters were rather flawed and unlikable and I enjoyed trying to work out the motives for Katie’s murder and guess who was involved. There were a few suspects and clues as the story progressed.

I Could Be You is intriguing and suspenseful, and I was gripped and keen to find out exactly who Katie was and whether her son was still alive or not. Overall, I enjoyed this book and will definitely be checking out the author’s other novels and looking out for her future work.

Buy the book

I Could Be You by Sheila Bugler can be purchased from Amazon on Kindle and in paperback now, and as an eBook from Kobo and iBooks.

About the author

Sheila Bugler grew up in a small town in the west of Ireland. After studying Psychology at University College Galway, she left Ireland and worked in Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland and Argentina before finally settling in Eastbourne, where she now lives with her husband, Sean, and their two children.

Twitter: @sheilab10
Facebook: @SheilaBuglerauthorpage
Website: http://sheilabugler.co.uk

Blog tour

Thanks to Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers for my digital copy of I Could Be You and for my place on the blog tour.

See the banner below for more stops on the #blogtour.

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