What’s it all about?:
Manipulated by fear and love…could you cut the strings and take back control?
Billie’s hiding from the world, believing it to be the only way to take control of her life as she lives in fear of the man who nearly destroyed her. But what she doesn’t realise is that she’s exactly where he wants her; isolated and afraid. A chance meeting with budding journalist Adam sparks a relationship that could free her from the terror that controls her. But will Adam be able to see the real Billie buried under her terror and pain?
Adam knows exactly who Billie is and is determined to expose her and get justice for the lives she ruined. But first, he needs to convince her to open up to him but as unwanted attraction and feelings blossom between them, Adam is forced to realise that all is not as it seems.
Most of their lives have been unknowingly governed by the desires and needs of someone who considers himself their master. He has influenced and shaped them for years, meticulously weaving a web of lies and control around them. Can Billie and Adam survive the betrayals in store and cut the strings that bind them?
One thing is for sure. The master wants his puppets back – and he’ll do anything to keep them.
What did I think?:
I was delighted when Faye Rogers asked if I’d like to be part of a blog tour for Abigail Osborne’s first self-published novel, The Puppet Master, especially when I read the thrilling synopsis. I do enjoy a good psychological thriller and this novel ticks all the relevant boxes in that respect but also had a darker and much more disturbing side to it compared to anything I’ve read for a little while.
Without trying to give away too much about the plot (as believe me this has to be read for yourself to uncover the whole horror of what goes on!) this novel tells the story of a broken and very vulnerable woman, Billie. Something terrible has happened to her in her past that has led to her living the life of a virtual recluse, interacting with just enough people to hold down a job but apart from that, hiding herself away, jumping at the slightest noise, frightened of everything and building a hard shell to protect herself from anyone who tries to get close.
Her sole enjoyment in life seems to be a weekly trip to a bookshop and a cafe where even there, she has a set routine of what she buys, where she sits etc. It is here that she meets a journalist called Adam who, unknown to her, has actually engineered the meeting himself to try and get to know her. He is aware of parts of Billie’s past and believes that she deserves to be punished because of it. However, he doesn’t expect to start falling in love with her and as he learns more about her, he also discovers her murky past may not be everything he has believed it to be.
That’s all I’d like to say about the plot. I embarked on this novel after reading very few reviews as I didn’t want anything to potentially be “spoiled.” I’m glad I did as the beauty of this book lies in uncovering the full extent of the horror yourself. And believe me, it’s horrific. Written from the viewpoints of both Billie and Adam, the story is so much more than it initially seems and as certain secrets come to light, I really began to sympathise with both characters for the events that they have experienced, although very different in their own ways both Billie and Adam’s lives have been affected irrevocably from events in their childhood.
I loved how the author made me feel about certain characters, especially when certain secrets are unearthed. I realised how strong a character is that I may previously have thought of as slightly weak, I changed my mind about another character that I may have had a slightly bad opinion of and I remained completely repulsed and horrified by the actions of another. Even the more minor characters like Billie’s mother and grandmother and Adam’s father had their own role to play and evoked similar emotions and judgements. From the beginning to the end, the story was compelling and very difficult to put down and I sincerely hope this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Abigail Osborne.
Would I recommend it?:
But of course!
Star rating (out of 5):
Abbie was born in the Lake District and has moved all around the UK since then until she met her husband at University. She lives with him and their two crazy cats in the West Midlands. She is a Needs Assessor for students with disabilities and has her own book reviewing blog called Many Books, Many Lives. Even though she did English Literature at University it wasn’t until she started reviewing books that she realised how much she loved to write. The Puppet Master is her first novel but it certainly won’t be her last.
You can follow her on @Abigail_Author or @MBequalsML.
A huge thank you to everyone involved in this blog tour, I’ve had a great time doing it. Why not check out the rest of the stops on the tour where you’ll find some fantastic reviews from my fellow bloggers? The Puppet Master was self-published on 30th August 2016 and is available in both paperback and e-book format from all good bookshops now!
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31422186-the-puppet-master
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01JMA4USQ