About The Book
Stirring up secrets can be deadly … especially if they’re yours…
Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.
Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.
Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after fourteen years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …
What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.
Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…
With echoes of the Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…
Louise Beech has been my favourite author who doesn’t write crime fiction for a few years and with this novel she has made a successful transition into my favourite genre. But whilst this is a crime novel, with a huge amount of tension, she still managed to tug at my heart strings.
Stella is the star of local radio, but she decided to quit the job she loves. Before she leaves she wants to know the secrets that her listeners have. And in return she will reveal hers.
Well, where to begin… The three people who feature in the novel all have a connection to the murdered woman and her unborn child who tragically died with her. The connection is revealed throughout the novel, but mainly during one chapter when secrets are revealed and this part of the novel broke my heart a little.
It’s dual narrative and dual time frame. At first it was difficult to have any sympathy for Elizabeth. I found her selfish and struggled with the way that she neglected Stella. But as I read, I realised that she was the one who suffered more. Stella had Sandra, the woman who raised her, Tom and her friends through work. She had her listeners who she felt she a had connection with. She was also somebody you wouldn’t mess with, I was cheering when she dealt with the school bully. Elizabeth had nobody.
I had never considered what it must be like for somebody who works in the radio. To talk to people but have no contact. To be surrounded by people but be alone. To pick a playlist. I found this fascinating, wondering how the playlist was picked. Were they favourite songs that had some meaning or were they just songs that were played as the book was being written? Whichever, the playlist that is playing throughout this book is a good one.
There is the crime in this novel, but not in the conventional way with a police investigation. This is all from the people who knew the victim or in the latter part of the novel from Bob Fracklehurst who regular readers of Louise’s books will know very well.
There was more than one victim, most of Stella’s story left me feeling sad. How she could touch so many people and not realise how much she had an impact on them. This became more evident when Bob appeared and you could see how she affected people. Even the ones she never really knew.
In this novel there is a lot of tension, there isn’t as much violence as in other crime novels but it is gripping. It is about a crime but mainly it is about the small group of people who are connected to it. Louise Beech has written another stunning novel, she has proved that she can write in different genres and is an author who has never failed to deliver.