On a stormy night in 1993, Stella’s parents bundle her and her siblings onto a ferry, desperate to leave their home on Evergreen. Little Stella adores living on the small island just off the Dorset coast, and can’t understand why her parents want to leave. Flash forward twenty-five years and Stella now works as a counsellor. She still reminisces wistfully about her childhood on Evergreen and is shocked one evening to see her old family home on the news – human remains have been found in the garden. Stella is compelled to return to the island but soon discovers she’s not welcome and that someone is prepared to take extreme measures to make her leave.
Come Back For Me is the latest suspense thriller from Heidi Perks, author of Now You See Her – both novels which explore what it means to tell the truth. Like its predecessor, Come Back For Me is quick to pique the reader’s interest with lots of burning questions. Why were Stella’s parents in such a hurry to leave the island that night? Whose body has been found? Who is the killer? The tension amps up when the identity of the murder victim is revealed – it’s someone Stella knew. When her brother, Danny, is implicated in the murder, Stella makes it her mission to prove his innocence.
Heidi Perks is a skilled suspense writer and the book moves along at a cracking pace, building an unsettling atmosphere laden with suspicion. The narrative deftly alternates between timelines – with the scenes from the past shifting viewpoints between Stella’s family – loner sister Bonnie, misunderstood Danny, and parents, Maria and David, as they navigate their relationship with Iona, a mysterious newcomer who seems intent on ingratiating herself with their family.
The reader journeys along with Stella as she sifts through one murky lie after another. The setting of Evergreen is perfect for a murder mystery – the claustrophobic island setting and the silo mentality of a small town, where everyone knows everyone (perhaps a little too well) and protect each other’s dirty secrets for fear of their own exposure. And although I’ve read many books about secrets, I haven’t come across anything quite like this. The reveal of what is actually going on in Evergreen was unexpected, interesting and written in a believable and authentic way.
Come Back For Me is an engaging read about loyalty and the lengths a person will go to in order to protect the people they love. What happens when lies spiral out of control? Is telling the truth always the best option? In this case, the truth is that this book needs to go to the top of your TBR pile, immediately!
Come Back For Me by Heidi Perks is published in Australia by Penguin.
I close my eyes, breathing deeply, slowly, pulling my hands away as I tip my head to the sun which is shooting like an arrow through a slit in the clouds.