“Behind Her Back” is the fourth novel that I have read by Jane Lythell and there is something that always grips me and makes them hard to put down.
Jane’s style of writing, whether with her psychological thrillers or the, more recent, StoryWorld series, is to let the narrative gently unfold but, for both the story and the characters, like a swan that glides calmly and serenely along the surface of the water, underneath is a different story with complex layers, tricky currents and lots of mad paddling.
This analogy perfectly sums up the lead
character of TV’s StoryWorld, Features Producer and single mum to a teenage
girl, Liz Lyon. In a world that breeds drama queens and backstabbing galore,
Liz cannot let her true emotions rise to the surface as she has to walk the
tightrope between all those above, below and around her.
When Lori Kerwell joins the sales team and power-suits her way right to the top ears, Liz starts to feel that the tightrope that she is already struggling to find balance on, is now feeling like it is swaying over the Grand Canyon in a Force 9.
Can Liz keep her balance, while all around are falling or does Lori manage to get in the final, sneaky push that will topple Liz, once and for all?
Jane Lythell, single mum and TV producer for 15
years, herself, has plenty of experience to draw upon which explains the highly
believable treatment of both the domestic and the work scenarios. Throw in a
budding new relationship, that could be trouble, a daughter you need to walk on
eggshells around, an ex-husband that always says yes to his daughter (easy for
him as he doesn’t have to live with the fall out), as well as a cowboy builder,
and Liz finds herself trying to juggle many balls, which Jane portrays
The initial premise was specifically to portray what life was like at work for a single mum, with all the extra sole responsibilities. Having to keep a job, when you are the only one to pay the bills, keeps you restrained. You can’t just walk away when the going gets nasty, you have to make work work or you are in a whole lot of trouble. The problem magnifies when work itself becomes trouble and, in this case, Liz needs eyes in the back of her head to see what is happening, “Behind Her Back”.
An excellent read about the goings on behind the scenes of a television programme, one which has all the ingredients to make an excellent TV series, itself. One where the silences would speak volumes and the looks, evil or pleading, tell it all.
The first book in the StoryWorld series, “Woman Of The Hour”, set a good foundation for this second outing, which builds on the now familiar characters – both lovely and not so. I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Behind Her Back” by Jane Lythell, published by Head of Zeus, and can’t wait for the next in the series.
I have read Jane’s words since the days of her blog and always find the idea of a new novel, by this author, rather delicious.
You can find Jane Lythell on Facebook: Jane Lythell Books and on Twitter: @janelythell Just to confuse the issue, Jane used to write under a pseudonym, Chloe Greene and you can find her very interesting blog at: chroniclesofchloegreene.blogspot.co.uk