Tell Me How It Ends
Rated: 5 stars *****
Tell Me How It Ends – Cleverly written as a song title and as a title that is so fitting for the mesmerising plot of this glamorous world, where all is not what it seems and us shrouded in mystery, lies and secrets that need uncovering. in this elegant tale of complex, changing times, that has some unexpected twists. It’s a book that I really did wonder how it would all end. It is definitely a book to pick up. Even the cover is evocative, mysterious and powerful.
Thank you very much Ella Patel at Quercus and V.B. Grey for sending me a physical copy of the book, upon enquiry. That was definitely some exciting book post to receive and I have enjoyed the book very much.
Below, discover a bit about the author, the blurb and my review.
About the Author
V.B. Grey is a pseudonym for Isabelle Grey, a novelist a television screenwriter whose credits include Jimmy McGovern’s BAFTA award-winning series – Accused: Tina’s Story as weall as over thirty-five episodes of Midsomer Murders, Casualty, The Bill, Rosemary & Thyme and Wycliffe. She is the author of two novels of psychological suspense and four books of a contemporary crime series under her own name. Her psuedonym marks a change in creative direction. Isabelle grew up in Manchester and now lives in north London.
Delia Maxwell is an international singing sensation, an icon of Fifties glamour who is riding high on the new Sixties scene.
Adored by millions, all men want to be with her, all women want to be her. But one woman wants it a little too much…
Lily Brooks has watched Delia all her life, studying her music and her on-stage mannerisms. Now she has a dream job as Delia’s assistant – but is there more to her attachment than the admiration of a fan?
Private investigator, Frank, is beginning to wonder.
As Lily steps into Delia’s spotlight, and Delia encourages her ambitious protegee, Frank’s suspicions of Lily’s ulterior motives increase. But are his own feelings for Delia clouding his judgement?
The truth is something far darker: the shocking result of years of pain and rage, rooted in Europe’s darkest hour. If Delia thought she had put the past behind her, she had better start watching her back.
From the first few pages, I am somehow hooked and mesmerised and I have a need to know more about the shrouded mystery that surrounds Delia Maxwell.
Right away the intrigue is set-up in this immersive story, told by Frank, Lily and Delia.
Delia Maxwell appears to have vanished off the face of the earth! Just disappeared, right when her career was going places. She had a big Hollywood contract to sign and had plans to move to Florida. Her future was all mapped out and it was all going looking exciting. For all the glamour and the people she entertained, she seems like there’s something down-to-earth. You’d expect something swanky, but no, she was renowned for making omlettes for her guests.
There were strange events from over-zealous fans at the BBC concert hall at BBC Broadcasting House. One of them being Lily Brooks. The fan who crossed the line and became unhealthily fixated. She had studied the singing sensation – Delia Maxwell all her life and became her assistant. Intriguingly, she gets some of the limelight and sings her song “Tell Me How It Ends”. It already has a slight uneasiness about it and then there’s a shock revelation…
There’s more to this story in subplots too, like what is happening in world affairs at this time. It gives it all a sense of time and place. It rather adds to the complexities of the characters and the strange disappearance of Delia, as more mysterious connections emerge as more connections to her life and secrets are unveiled.
The book has an astonishing unsettling quality to it, no more so than when it comes to Lily. No matter how atmospheric it becomes, the more that just needs to be read. It’s such an elegantly written book.
In amongst the secrets, there are themes of identity, rivalries and the marks left by war times, especially on Jews. There are also secrets surrounding Anna Kormocksy as her life unfolds and tells of what she had endured during war times. It’s fascinatingly interwoven and shows some of the human story as well as her link to Delia.
This is such a book of secrets and lies and unexpected twists and turns. In someways there are parts I wasn’t expecting at all, which makes this book quite unique. All just isn’t quite as it first appears in this well-plotted book that captures atmosphere and glamour so well, which is testament to V.B. Grey’s love of the 1940’s and 1950’s periods of time and noir thrillers and ‘women’s pictures’ coming through in abundance, which shows the complexities of the world and the changing times in a compelling way.
Elly Girffiths describes it as “Mesmerising and powerful”
Louise Candlish describes it as “A spellbinding read”
I must say that they aren’t wrong and it is absolutely one to read with the uniqueness it encompasses.