Watching, not listening.
Rebecca Laurence is centre stage and shining in her role as Ophelia. She pivots, rotating like a ballerina impaled in a musical box, red hair cascading down her back. Amidst the thundering applause, one man is watching.
Rebecca meets the charismatic Seth Gardner, and as attraction grows between them, he invites her to join his Friday Folly, a group of artistic friends. But as Rebecca is drawn into the web of tangled relationships all is not as it appears. The scene is set for the night that will rip the group apart.
Consumed by loss and surrounded by secrets, Rebecca must escape the grip of the Folly to have any chance of saving herself. Meanwhile, one man continues to watch.
Untouchable Things by Tara Guha is published by Legend Press on 1 September 2015 in paperback and ebook, and is the author's debut novel.
Untouchable Things is a novel filled with mystery, suspense and thrills, and is structured in an unusual and very imaginative way.
Rebecca is an actress, she is currently playing Ophelia and is enjoying huge success. When she is invited by Seth to join his Friday Folly she jumps at the chance. Rebecca soon becomes entralled by Seth, he's enigmatic and thrilling and she's prepared to do anything to please him. She's not the only one. The other members of the group all appear to be under Seth's spell, the entire group is a complicated and intricate web of relationships.
Tara Guhu tells her story through many voices, each one of the Friday Folly group is heard, and the differing characters, and perspectives bring depth and colour to this quite tense novel. One revelation, on one night then explodes throughout the group, leaving them shattered and reeling. Rebecca then has to save herself and to escape the clutches of the Folly.
Untouchable Things deals with the complexities of groups, and how relationships can be formed, and controlled and then shattered. There is a darkness to the writing and to the characters that is quite chilling in places, focussing as it does, on the human psyche and the ease in which Seth reaches almost cult-like status.
Psychologically challenging, this is a story that pulls the reader into a world that is obsessive and intriguing. The author has cleverly structured the story and created characters who burst from the pages. Untouchable Things is an excellent debut from an exciting new author, I enjoyed it very much, especially that wonderful twist!
My thanks to Jessica at Legend Press who sent my copy for review.
Tara Guha is the winner of the 2014 Luke Bitmead Bursary and Untouchable Things is her debut novel.
Born to an Indian father and English mother Tara spent her childhood in the Ribble Valley, passing many a wet day writing poetry and music.
After studying English at Cambridge University she embarked on a career in PR, promoting artists including Placido Domingo, Paul McCartney and Dudley Moore.
Over the years she has also worked as a freelance journalist, counsellor and charity worker and is also a keen amateur pianist, singer and song-writer.
Tara lives in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire with her partner and two daughters.
Follow her on Twitter @TaraGuha