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  • Title: Twenty Years a Stranger
  • Author: Deborah Twelves
  • Publisher: Fortis Publishing on July 27, 2020
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Pages: 399
  • Format: Paperback & Digital editions
  • Rating: 5/5

Many thanks to Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours, Deborah Twelves, and Fortis Publishing for providing me with a digital copy of Twenty Years a Stranger in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Stillbirth, Emotional Abuse, Graphic Sex

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Twenty Years a Stranger Blurb

Is it possible for anyone to really know another person?

That is the question Grace King must ask herself when she receives an email informing her that the man she has been married to for the last twenty years is an accomplished con-man, leading multiple lives with at least four different women. Worse still, she learns he has children with these women, but Daniel always told Grace he didn’t want children…

In a split second, Grace’s world is torn apart. She is forced to face up to the fact that her marriage is a sham and the enviable lifestyle she enjoyed with Daniel was all based on lies and deceit. With Daniel suddenly threatening to go bankrupt, Grace decides to turn amateur detective in an attempt to salvage anything she can from her old life and avoid financial as well as emotional ruin, but can she cope with what she finds out?  

As increasingly disturbing secrets about Daniel emerge, events spiral out of control and Grace begins to see just how far he is prepared to go to protect those secrets. A dangerous game of cat and mouse ensues, but it is clear there can only ever be one winner. Pushed to breaking point, Grace is about to discover what she is truly capable of.

Everyone has choices and those choices always have consequences.

Based on true events, this compelling story is filled with twists and turns and sadness and laughter that will keep readers gripped until the very last moment.

Provided by Fortis Publishing

My Review

Deborah Twelves has done something spectacular with Twenty Years a Stranger. She has taken real-life events and turned them into one of the best thrillers I’ve read this year. Just when I thought there couldn’t possibly be any story left to tell, she drops another bomb and drags me right back in.

The sheer audacity of this antagonist is astonishing. I hated him from his very first introduction. How he can go on to become even more appalling, I have no idea, but he manages it. Though, to be honest, his lady friend is as despicable, if not more so, than Daniel. 

There are some real pieces of work in this book, and my emotions were all over the place. Between anger, frustration, and sadness, I was an emotional wreck. I never knew which way the tale was going to lead me next, and that is what makes for a great thriller.

Can we talk about the ending? Whoa, boy, is the end a doozy! I didn’t see it coming at all, but it was thrilling. Knowing that this is a series frightens me a bit because I don’t know how much more these characters can take. But, I am excited to find out and will be first in line for the next volume.

This book entertained me to no end. So, I am confident in awarding 5 out of 5 stars to Twenty Years a Stranger. If you love thrillers, especially ones that tell a story based on true events, you will devour this novel. I highly recommend it.

About the Author – Deborah Twelves

Deborah Twelves was born in Sheffield, but raised in Ponteland, Northumberland. She studied French and Spanish at Edinburgh University and taught languages for some years while living in France, Spain and Northern Quebec. She now divides her time between her  home in Pwllheli, on the Llyn Peninsula of North Wales and her family home in Northumberland but often travels abroad. She has a black Labrador called Nala and a black Lusitano horse called Recurso (Ric), who take up a lot of her spare time, although yacht racing, which she began at an early age with her father, remains her great passion.

Deborah has written many articles for the sailing press over the years and Twenty Years a Stranger is her debut novel, based on true events in her life.

It is the first book in the Stranger Trilogy. The other two books, Ghost of a Stranger and The Boy Stranger will follow soon.

Alison Pierse interviews Deborah Twelves here.

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