#bookreview The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex published by Picador

Bookseller synopsis:

They say we’ll never know what happened to those men. They say the sea keeps its secrets . . . 
‘A mystery, a love story and a ghost story, all at once. I didn’t want it to end’ S J Watson

Cornwall, 1972. Three keepers vanish from a remote lighthouse, miles from the shore. The entrance door is locked from the inside. The clocks have stopped. The Principal Keeper’s weather log describes a mighty storm, but the skies have been clear all week.

What happened to those three men, out on the tower? The heavy sea whispers their names. The tide shifts beneath the swell, drowning ghosts. Can their secrets ever be recovered from the waves?

Twenty years later, the women they left behind are still struggling to move on. Helen, Jenny and Michelle should have been united by the tragedy, but instead it drove them apart. And then a writer approaches them. He wants to give them a chance to tell their side of the story. But only in confronting their darkest fears can the truth begin to surface . . .

Inspired by real events, The Lamplighters is an intoxicating and suspenseful mystery, an unforgettable story of love and grief that explores the way our fears blur the line between the real and the imagined.

My reading experience:

Firstly I would like to thank the publisher author and Netgalley for my free ARC.

It’s a rare thing to take a true mystery, and then use that to write a new tale that neither disrespects the memory of that mystery nor renders the new work unoriginal. The author has taken the essence and conjured new characters of such richness that the reader cannot help but have feelings and opinions of them, and be wholly invested in them. At times I found myself willing characters to listen! Or talk! As we all often do when watching a cinematic drama.

I enjoyed the layout of the tale, explicit in the narration of which character and which year we were in.

Finally the design of the book cover and sprayed edges is beautiful and enticing.

I highly recommend this debut novel by Emma Stonex.


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