‘The closer you are, the less you see . . .‘
-Between the Lines
[ About the Book ]
When Kev’s girlfriend is killed in a hit-and-run, he thinks he’s suffered the worst.
Haunted by his past, Kev attempts to put his life back together, throwing himself into his new relationship with Stella and his job as a literary agent.
Then a book lands on his desk that changes everything. And he quickly realises his nightmare has only just begun.
[ My Review ]
Between The Lines is the debut novel from Irish-based writer S. J. Butler. Published with Headline Accent 6th August 2020, it is described as ‘a darkly gripping psychological thriller….perfect for fans of Teresa Driscoll, K.L Slater and Shalini Bolland‘
Kevin Parker (Kev) is a disillusioned literary agent. Working in a fast-paced and energetic environment, Kev is struggling to make a success of his career. His colleagues are always dropping names in conversations, all expanding their network in the hope of being winners in this tough world. Kev knows he is out of his depth but he struggles on determined that he can succeed. On a night out celebrating an event with his co-workers, Kev has one too many. Kev loves to dance and, as the rhythm of the music takes over, Kev gets lost in the beat with little recollection of the evening. Later on, while taking air and trying to walk off his impending hangover, Kev bumps into a girl and the conversation flows. Her name is Eve Blake and she is about to become the love of his life.
After three exciting and wonderful months together Kev and Eve are about to meet Eve’s family for the first time on Christmas Eve. But this was to be the night that would alter the course of Kev’s life forever. A tragedy of a hit-and-run and Kev’s world is shattered.
Trying to pick up the pieces is proving a major struggle for Kev but then something very unexpected happens, he meets Stella. Although Eve was always very much on his mind, he knew he needed to move on and Stella made him happy. She was just out of a bad marriage. She was an independent woman, uncomplicated and funny and was just what Kev needed at that time.
As a literary agent, Kev was used to getting lots of submissions which he filters out in the search for that one book that will give him the credit he is looking for. After rejecting one particular book, Kev starts to receive very unusual emails. Initially he is dismissive of them but then things start to take a sinister turn. Kev is intrigued yet unnerved by what he reads. His life had settled down. He had cut way back on his drinking. He had been sleeping again and was happy in his new relationship with Stella. Kev is uneasy as he starts to see a pattern in the emails. Who is sending them to him? And why?
Kev is a very interesting main protagonist. He is, at times, thoughtless and quite selfish yet also, lost and lonely, finding it very difficult to stay afloat. His decisions can be reckless but always with no harm intended. He is really is quite a vulnerable character.
Between The Lines is a clever, clever tale. Dealing with many relevant themes, the reader is taken down a very twisty road. The concept is very original adding to the suspense at all times. There are some shocking scenes intertwined into the plot that are truly tragic but S. J. Butler handles them in a very sensitive and thought-provoking manner.
Between The Lines is quite a complex psychological thriller. It is a very impressive debut novel from a writer who definitely brings his own unique twist to the genre. One to watch.
[ Bio ]
S. J. Butler lives and works in County Mayo, Ireland. Between the Lines is his debut novel.
Twitter ~ @SJButler7