Thanks for joining me for this latest blog tour! This time, I’ve been listening to and reviewing “The Estate”, released just two days ago. Liza Costello is a regular contributor of published works, has previously contributed two Kindle Singles – “Retreat” and “Spin” – and although this is her first novel, Audible has picked it as it’s Crime & Thriller of the month. Narrated by the smooth and soothing voice of Denise Gough, I listened to most of this with my eyes closed, relaxing into it.
Told from two places and points in time, but the same person, the story revolves around the female lead Beth, and is told from her perspective. One of the best skills that I feel Costello in writing and Gough in narrating bring to this work is the sense of imperfectness regarding Beth. She has her flaws, and she has her demons, and we watch them haunt her in Sri Lanka, and then in Ireland. There is always a beauty in imperfect characters as they are easy to relate to, but watching Beth’s level of paranoia increase throughout the later parts of the story does make you wonder just how much damage she already had underneath. She talks about the tense, almost non existent relationships with her family, and not only drinks a lot, but is an unpleasant drunk. She has driven wedges between herself and everyone around her. And hey – what’s better for a psychological thriller than an isolated character?
I must confess I found Beth quite dislikable, and also struggled to see why various plot decisions were made. In several points it felt as if things were being done so it would all pull together, yet it didn’t. A short listen at just under seven hours, it is certainly one to take in if you are a lover of thrillers and want something to keep you company for a while, and with several five star reviews already on Audible, there are obviously people who found it easier to connect with than I did. I do enjoy thrillers, and this certainly had its merits when it came to building up tension levels.
With her boyfriend’s journey delayed, Beth is faced with staying in an isolated housing estate alone. There are whispers all around her about things that have happened, and with only herself to mull things over with, it is easy to see how the energy can spin in the direction it does. The company she does find only makes things worse, adding to her anxiety, and leading her down a path of action that would seem unbelievable if you didn’t have the build up to it to back it up.
The steady build of tension before break point does make you wonder; just how safe am I in my home? With thoughts like that creeping in, you know that the book has done its job. You’ve been made to feel unsettled and insecure, looking over your shoulder when you hear a noise reading in the dark. “The Estate” weaves its way through you as you listen.
Thank you as always to the people involved in providing me with my first thriller of 2020; Midas and Audible UK, and Liza Costello of course. I hope this review gives you a little look into February’s Crime & Thriller of the month!