Posts Tagged ‘Isabel Ashdown’

I am delighted to be part of the blog tour for Isabel Ashdown’s latest thriller Beautiful Liars which will be published on 19th April 2018 but can be preordered now!



Eighteen years ago Martha said goodbye to best friend Juliet on a moonlit London towpath.
The next morning Juliet’s bike was found abandoned at the waterside.
She was never seen again.

Nearly two decades later Martha is a TV celebrity, preparing to host a new crime show… and the first case will be that of missing student Juliet Sherman. After all these years Martha must reach out to old friends and try to piece together the final moments of Juliet’s life.

But what happens when your perfect friends turn out to be perfect strangers…?



As a novelist, I’m constantly discovering new things about myself and the way I write.  With experience I find that I must be fixed on a location before I can write a word, and being a coastal girl at heart, it’s no surprise that most of my books share a coastal theme.  Beautiful Liars is my first departure from the sea – taking us to the diverse locations of rural Derbyshire, modern London and importantly, the Regent’s Canal.  Arguably, you could say that I still find myself gravitating towards water …

Beautiful Liars is a psychological thriller of multiple perspectives, and it’s a story concerned with the power of lies.  Martha Benn, our main protagonist, is a TV investigator attempting to launch a cold case review into the disappearance of her childhood friend Juliet, who went missing on along the Regent’s Canal eighteen years earlier.  In the present day, Martha has a privileged life, living in a plush city apartment with views across London, earning an enviable salary and the respect of her peers.  But our journey into the past shows a very different story.  Having grown up in relative poverty, with an absent mother and an alcoholic ex-policeman father, Martha lived for the moments spent outside the home, with her best friends Juliet and Liv.  The Regent’s Canal was an area they frequented, whether walking to school together or meeting at the Waterside Bar where the staff turned a blind eye to underage drinkers.  It was after a night out there that Juliet was last seen, when Martha left her to cycle home alone after the pair had exchanged cross words.  In the years that have passed, dreams of the moonlit Regent’s Canal have haunted Martha, and it’s now time to put those nightmares to rest.

She’s been here before, recognises the still-water tang of the moonlit path, the creaking murmur of houseboats and wooden decking moored along the frozen bank. It’s a shortcut home, one they’ve always taken in warmer months, but to be avoided alone after dark for fear of unseen dangers lurking in the shadows. To her right the frosted path meanders alongside the black water, disappearing into nothing as it stretches beyond the bridge. Her shallow breaths billow out in hot white clouds, misting her vision. To her left a homeless pair sit huddled beneath sleeping bags on the wooden bench, not looking in her direction, more interested in the sandwich packet and steaming tea they’ve just been handed. ‘You’re an angel,’ one of them says, to no one in particular, his hand raised like that of a stained-glass saint. ‘You’re an angel.’

A key suspect in the case is David Crown, a local landscape gardener and charity worker, who was known to the girls and went missing at around the same time as Juliet.  It was this fact that led the police to scale back their investigation so quickly, believing her vanishing was a simple case of a 17-year-old running away with an older man.  Martha, however, is not convinced, and she follows David’s trail back to his childhood home in Derbyshire’s Peak District to seek out anyone who might know where he is now – and ultimately lead her to discover the whereabouts of her best friend.

From where I stood, her home was in view, not three hundred yards from the clearing, a large stone farmhouse set against the backdrop of the mountains and dales beyond. Out in the open air, the sun was still warm and bright in the sky, and it would be several hours more before darkness descended. I gazed down at the girl, taking in the way her slender arms trailed at her sides, palms upturned, fingers curled as though in restful slumber. One of her yellow clogs had tumbled away to reveal the soft pink underside of her small foot; the other remained in place, incongruous and ugly. I removed it, placed it with its partner neatly at the foot of the nearest birch. It struck me how young the girl suddenly appeared in death, how the absence of life lifted years from her, and how, lying there in her pastel summer dress, her skin sun-kissed and downy with fair hair, she seemed no threat at all. Where was her power now?

Preorder your copy via Amazon UK

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