The Lynmouth Stories by Lucy V. Hay – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Devon’s very own crime writer L.V Hay (The Other Twin, Do No Harm) brings forth three new short stories from her dark mind and poison pen:

– For kidnapped Meg and her young son Danny, In Plain Sight, the remote headland above Lynmouth is not a haven, but hell.

– A summer of fun for Catherine in Killing Me Softly becomes a winter of discontent … and death.

– In Hell And High Water, a last minute holiday for Naomi and baby Tommy  becomes a survival situation … But that’s before the village floods.

All taking place out of season when the majority of tourists have gone home, L.V Hay uses her local knowledge to bring forth dark and claustrophic noir she has come to be known for.

Did You Know …?

Known as England’s ‘Little Switzerland’, the Devon village of Lynmouth is famous for its Victorian cliff railway, fish n’ chips and of course, RD Blackmore’s Lorna Doone.

Located on the doorstep of the dramatic Valley of The Rocks and the South West Cliff Path, the twin villages of Lynton and Lynmouth have inspired many writers, including 19th Century romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, who honeymooned there in 1812.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I don’t read many short story collections but I have read full length novels by this author so had a feeling that I would enjoy them. I wasn’t disappointed and read them all  in a little over half an hour. Perfect for a lunch break or a short bus/train journey.

There are three of them, all similar in that they take place in Lynmouth out of season. I don’t know the area at all, I had to google the Lynmouth flood but I imagine that it was like any tourist area. Very pretty and welcoming in high season. Less so when the weather is atrocious and many businesses are closed.

Whilst it is difficult to go into any detail about the stories I enjoyed all of them. All featured a threat from both the usual human type but also nature. I think any reader who has experienced conditions such as described would fully appreciate how it must feel to be at the mercy of the weather. It was intimidating enough not to have done. With the third story in particular I was happy to be reading on a lovely Spring morning feeling safe, warm and dry.

The third story, Hell And High Water, was my favourite out of all of them. Slightly longer and more intimidating,  I could have easily read a full length version of it. The differing emotions experienced, the resignation followed by fear, gratitude and finally relief were perfect. 

Do No Harm by Lucy V Hay – Blog Tour Review.


About the Book

Till death do us part…

After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with headteacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong…
Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives…
Chilling, dark and terrifying, Do No Harm is a taut psychological thriller and a study of obsession, from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. Do No Harm is the follow-up novel to the excellent The Other Twin and is one of the more malevolent novels I have read. From the opening chapters you could see the venomous thoughts and the wish that the marriage between Lily and Sebastian would fail.
The narrative comes from Lily, Sebastian, and an unknown narrator. You read about how happy Lily is to get away from her controlling ex husband Maxwell, how Sebastian wants to do the best he can for Lily and her son Denny, and how all the unknown narrator wants is for the marriage to fail. I changed my mind constantly about who this person could be. The only two I didn’t suspect were Lily, because it was so evident that it couldn’t be her, and Denny because he was only six years old. These two were also the most likeable in the novel.
At times I found it very unsettling, more so at the beginning when the unexplained events were less life threatening and more mind games. The acts that involved Denny left me feeling tense. Anybody who could manipulate a situation that could cause anxiety to a six year old child must have no remorse or compassion.
I did eventually realise who was responsible quite late on in the novel, I have to admit I was convinced it was somebody else. Obviously I can’t say who.
A brilliant, even though disturbing novel that I recommend highly.


The Other Twin by Lucy V Hay – Blog Tour Review.


About the Book

When India falls to her death from a bridge over a railway, her sister Poppy returns home to Brighton for the first time in years. Unconvinced by official explanations, Poppy begins her own investigation into India’s death. But the deeper she digs, the closer she comes to uncovering deeply buried secrets. Could Matthew Temple, the boyfriend she abandoned, be involved? And what of his powerful and wealthy parents, and his twin sister, Ana? Enter the mysterious and ethereal Jenny: the girl Poppy discovers after hacking into India’s laptop. What is exactly is she hiding, and what did India find out about her? Taking the reader on a breathless ride through the winding lanes of Brighton, into its vibrant party scene and inside the homes of its well-heeled families, The Other Twin is startling and up-to-the-minute thriller about the social-media world, where resentments and accusations are played out online, where identities are made and remade, and where there is no such thing as truth…

My Review

Poppy makes a devastating return home to Brighton when her sister India is thought to have committed suicide. Unconvinced, and feeling guilty after not being able to make amends after a fallout she decides to try and understand the reasons why India might have taken her own life. Or whether somebody else was responsible.
She was determined to get answers from India’s friends but after leaving Brighton a few years earlier under a cloud it was always going to be a struggle. The reasons why she left were a little unexpected and it was understandable why a few people were unfriendly.
All the family were coping or otherwise in different ways. The way that Poppy’s mother fell apart was more convincing than some that I have read. How she coped before the funeral to not coping at all afterwards. Also, accurately portrayed was Poppy and her stepfather trying to help her and dealing with their own emotions.
The Other Twin was a book that took my breath away. Divided into three parts, the final part had me holding my breath and I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough. I lost count of the times I thought I knew what happened only to be proven wrong a few pages later.
A fascinating read.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.