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  • Writer's pictureSecretWorldOfaBook

| So Pretty

by Ronnie Turner

Published : 19th January 2023

Publisher : Orenda books

Format : Kindle, Audio, Paperback

Genre : Thriller

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* All words highlighted in Grey are affiliate links to either purchase from a range of sellers or links to the authors sites. Where ever possible I will try and provide different versions of the book on all purchase sites.


A young man arrives in a small town, hoping to leave his past behind him, but everything changes when he takes a job in a peculiar old shop, and meets a lonely single mother โ€ฆ

Fear blisters through this town like a feverโ€ฆ

When Teddy Colne arrives in the small town of Rye, he believes he will be able to settle down and leave his past behind him. Little does he know that fear blisters through the streets like a fever. The locals tell him to stay away from an establishment known only as Berry & Vincent, that those who rub too closely to its proprietor risk a bad end.

Despite their warnings, Teddy is desperate to understand why Rye has come to fear this one man, and to see what really hides behind the doors of his shop.

Ada moved to Rye with her young son to escape a damaged childhood and years of never fitting in, but sheโ€™s lonely, and ostracised by the community. Ada is ripe for affection and friendship, and everyone knows it.

As old secrets bleed out into this town, so too will a mystery about a family who vanished fifty years earlier, and a community living on a knife edge.

Teddy looks for answers, thinking he is safe, but some truths are better left undisturbed, and his past will find him here, just as it has always found him before. And before long, it will find Ada too.

A chillingly hypnotic gothic thriller and a Mesmerising study of identity and obsession.

My Review

'Some men just like to hurt women. But women are not dolls, you cannot put our bodies back together once you have taken them apart. My mother did not fit back together. Not as she should have!'

Thank you so much Orenda Books and Random Things Tours for this blog spot and enthrallingly disturbing read.

When I started So Pretty I wasn't too sure what to expect. The back alludes to a shop with a sinister presence and two characters looking to get away from whatever it is they are running from but what I didn't expect was to be totally consumed by the story and to be constantly questioning how I feel about certain characters.

Ada and her little boy Albie are brilliant, resilient characters. Settling in Rye, Ada is hoping for a fresh start and constantly tried with the older, clicky town people to fit in and make friends, but the locals are not really open to strangers after learning the hard way fifty years prior when two men came to town opening an antique shop and ruining their peaceful village. Ada tries every day despite this and this is what I loved so much about her character. She is strong and determined despite having a mother who does not want her, she doesn't shy away from the odd little shop and begins to make friends with Teddy, the latest newcomer and our second protagonist who has been hired to work in the antique shop called Berry and Vincent.

Teddy is a very complex and unassuming character, not at any point did I feel like I had figured him out and it's clear from the start he is desperate to not turn out like his evil father, which for the most part I fully believed he was succeeding in doing.

Vincent, the old shop owner is a sinister and oppressive character. He seems to have a natural evilness about him that makes everyone but Ada and Teddy stay away. When I realised that Vincent had an unhealthy obsession with Teddy, mixed with the unsettling vibes I was sporadically getting from teddy I began to feel like they would make a dangerous pair.

My chest tightens. I know what he is looking for. My mother looked for it too.
He's not there, i think. But the words drop from my lips as well. 'He is there', he says as he moves by me. 'She's brought him out of you'.

About halfway through I began to get the creeping feeling that Teddy was slowly releasing something malevolent. That Ada had unknowingly awakened a part of him that was genetically coded to dwell, unseen until the time came for it to be released.

"My grandfather. One of those men. I see fire in her face and wonder if she will burn me. 'Women shouldn't have to be afraid.
We shouldn't have to protect our bodies with alarms and sprays.
Tell me, when you go out at night, what do you have in your pocket? Money? Yes. I have in mine a siren, a plastic voice I need because my own voice isn't loud enough. It calls for me, for help. I have it in case a man like my grandfather comes."

This story was every bit as unnerving and addictive as it was captivating and disturbing. The author has managed to create a constant atmosphere that leaves you feeling like the hairs are standing up on the back of your neck and make you think twice about whether we are all destined to turn out a certain way, and if family traits really can be prevented from manifested into the next generation.

A must for all you gothic thriller-loving fans.




Purchase Here

I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?


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