Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.
Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.
Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after fourteen years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …
What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.
Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…
I know a lot of fans of this author and they grab each and every opportunity to shout (quite loudly I might add) how amazing Louise Beech’s novels are so I was a bit nervous to start Call Me Star Girl. Would I like it as much as the rest? I could have saved myself from stressing about it because she’s a sensational author. The way she wrote this emotional story, I have no words for it! It’s not a Jojo Moyes or Amanda Prowse type of novel though, she has her own tense style, delivering a stellar story that is as much a thriller and murder mystery as it is heart-breaking.
If you ask me to recap Call Me Star Girl in only a few words I’d say it’s a story about love. I mean the dark side of love, not the sweet sugarcoated love, no the big, obsessive, messy love. I’m talking love where you do things for people that you don’t want to do, a love that goes so deep it means giving up your child for it, an overpowering feeling that you can’t do anything against. Elizabeth, Stella’s mother followed her heart and Stella still bears the consequences. The sad thing is that Stella has more of her mother in her then she realises.
The story itself is as dark as the radio studio at nighttime where most of Stella’s story is taking place. The setting had a serious nightclub feel, one where Stella was on the stage with the spotlight on her. It was intimate and with even the timings mentioned between the different songs, I felt I was actually listening in. I was part of the audience, hanging onto her lips to hear about her listeners secrets but mostly because I wanted to hear hers. What was she going to say, what was her big secret? I never stopped liking Stella though, not even when I found out what it was. She had already wormed her way into my heart and I only felt for her. For being so scared of being boring, for her fears of people leaving her because, after all, her own mother left her, for doing things for Tom that weren’t ok.
There’s a murder reported in the story, someone who might or might not know something about it, and some surprising ties to the victim that makes you wonder who exactly is keeping secrets. On top of all of this intrigue there were also telling paragraphs in the past about Stella and her mother that kept me gripped and were deeply touching. The perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper means so much in the story, it’s incredible how loaded this object became throughout, how important it felt even to me.
I never saw the end to the story coming and it just hurt me so much. There are twists and then there are twists and this one totally hit me. My heart is full and yet it’s been squeezed unapologetically. It’s been a long time since a book did this to me. I’m pretty sure this is going to stay my favorite novel by Louise Beech for a good while. It might be my first novel but certainly not my last.
I received a free ecopy of this novel in a giveaway organised by Mac Reviews Books. This is my honest opinion.