Lesley Pearse’s “25 in 25” + The Woman in the Wood @MichaelJBooks @ed_pr #25in25

It is such an honour to join in on the celebrations for Lesley Pearse’s incredible accomplishment of having 25 novels published! All over blog-land, we’re sharing 25 little factoids about each of the 25 books. Many thanks to ed public relations for having me!

My factoid is about book 21 which is titled Forgive Me. Here’s what that novel is about.


Author : Lesley Pearse
Title : Forgive Me
Pages : 512
Publisher : Penguin
Publication date : February 14, 2013


Cheltenham, 1991

When Eva Patterson returns home from work one day, a devastating scene awaits her. Her mother, Flora, lies dead in the bath. Beside her is a note saying only: ‘Forgive Me’.

Until then, Eva always believed her family’s life would be comfortable and secure – but Flora’s suicide changes everything. And when Eva discovers that in her will Flora left her an artist’s studio in London, she realises how little she knows about her mother’s past.

When Eva visits the now derelict studio, she is shocked to find out that her mother was once a successful artist back in the 1960s. A chance encounter leads her to Phil, who agrees to help her restore the studio, as well as offering her the advice and friendship Eva so badly needs.

In the studio attic she finds a collection of Flora’s paintings and old diaries, which Eva believes were purposely left for her to find. Searching for answers, Eva encounters a psychic who mysteriously warns her to beware of a ‘sleeping serpent’, which she soon discovers refers to a shocking crime in Flora’s past.

Will discovering the truth destroy Eva’s belief in everything she holds dear? And will Phil stand by Eva even when her journey leads her and those she loves into certain danger?

Factoid :

Forgive Me : For a daughter to find her mother in the bath with her wrists slashed is terrible, but perhaps even worse is to find the man she believed was her father, isn’t. And he’s out to hurt her!

I’ve not read this one yet but I sure am going to!


I was also lucky enough to receive Lesley Pearse’s latest book The Woman in the Wood via Netgalley and I’m adding my review today as well.


Author : Lesley Pearse
Title : The Woman in the Wood
Pages : 400
Publisher : Michael Joseph / Penguin UK
Publication date : June 29, 2017


Fifteen-year-old Maisy Mitcham and her twin brother Duncan lose their mother to an asylum one night in 1960.

The twins are sent to their grandmother’s country house, Nightingales. Cold and distant, she leaves them to their own devices, to explore and to grow. That is until the day Duncan doesn’t come home from the woods.

With their grandmother seeming to have little interest in her grandson’s disappearance, and the police soon giving up hope, it is left to Maisy to discover the truth. And she will start with Grace Deville. A woman who lives alone in the wood, about whom rumours abound.


The year is 1960. Twins Duncan and Maisy are awoken in the middle of the night when their father decides to have their mother placed in an asylum. Soon after, they are both sent to live with their grandmother at her country house, Nightingales. Grandmother isn’t exactly the wonderful caring kind and leaves the twins’ care to the capable hands of her housemaid. Duncan and Maisy are left to explore and grow, until one day Duncan doesn’t return home. Could he have been taken by the mysterious woman in the wood?

The Woman in the Wood is Lesley Pearse’s 25th book and her experience truly shows. If you think the author may have exhausted topics to write about and deliver anything less than fresh, you’d be awfully mistaken. I’ve only read one book by her so far and while this one is decidedly darker than the one I read previously, it offers everything you could possibly hope for. From crime and family drama to a little dash of quite innocent romance, the author manages to blend everything together seamlessly.

Obviously, there’s a mystery to solve and the tension is palpable throughout as Maisy edges ever closer to danger in a desperate attempt to try and figure out what happened to her brother. This is a bit of a slow starter but the author carefully builds up the action until you find yourself trying to flip the pages faster and faster.

Lesley Pearse delivers some excellent characterisation. Each and every one of these characters came across as utterly realistic and believable, from the stiff upper lip of the grandmother to the mysterious woman in the wood. The story itself takes a dark and twisted turn and may make for some uncomfortable reading to some readers. I was hooked from start to finish and couldn’t put it down.

All in all, a well executed mystery with quite the satisfying ending.

Many thanks to the publisher for my advanced copy, which I received via Netgalley and chose to review honestly.

The Woman in the Wood was published on June 29.

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Lesley Pearse is one of the UK’s best-loved novelists with fans across the globe and sales of over 2 million copies of her books to date. A true storyteller and a master of gripping storylines that keep the reader hooked from beginning to end, Pearse introduces you to characters that it is impossible not to care about or forget. There is no formula to her books or easily defined genre. Whether crime as in ‘Till We Meet Again’, historical adventure like ‘Never Look Back’, or the passionately emotive ‘Trust Me’, based on the true-life scandal of British child migrants sent to Australia in the post war period, she engages the reader completely.

Truth is often stranger than fiction and Lesley’s life has been as packed with drama as her books. She was three when her mother died under tragic circumstances. Her father was away at sea and it was only when a neighbour saw Lesley and her brother playing outside without coats on that suspicion was aroused – their mother had been dead for some time. With her father in the Royal Marines, Lesley and her older brother spent three years in grim orphanages before her father remarried – a veritable dragon of an ex army nurse – and Lesley and her older brother were brought home again, to be joined by two other children who were later adopted by her father and stepmother, and a continuing stream of foster children. The impact of constant change and uncertainty in Lesley’s early years is reflected in one of the recurring themes in her books: what happens to those who are emotionally damaged as children. It was an extraordinary childhood and in all her books, Lesley has skilfully married the pain and unhappiness of her early experiences with a unique gift for storytelling.

Lesley Pearse’s novels have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. She lives in Devon and loves walking on the beach with her grandchildren and dogs .


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