Book Review: The Girl on the Beach by Morton S. Gray

the girl on the beach

Death By Choc Lit, January 2017

Who is Harry Dixon?

When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon, she can’t help but feel she recognises him from somewhere. But when she finally realises who he is, she can’t believe it – because the man she met on the beach all those years before wasn’t called Harry Dixon. And, what’s more, that man is dead.

For a woman trying to outrun her troubled past and protect her son, Harry’s presence is deeply unsettling – and even more disconcerting than coming face to face with a dead man, is the fact that Harry seems to have no recollection of ever having met Ellie before. At least that’s what he says …

But perhaps Harry isn’t the person Ellie should be worried about. Because there’s a far more dangerous figure from the past lurking just outside of the new life she has built for herself, biding his time, just waiting to strike.

 

Recently, I’ve had the privilege of reading some novels before their published date; my thanks to those who’ve been so generous to allow me to do so, you know who you are. Around two weeks ago, I was accorded the honour of being sent a copy of the author Morton S Gray’s debut novel ‘The Girl on the Beach’, published by Choclit.

I’ve read a few debuts over the years and obviously some are better than others. If you’re lucky, you’re left doing a passable goldfish impression with your mouth simply repeating, ‘OMG! OMG! OMG! Whilst some honestly leave you wondering how on earth they got published. This novel sits firmly, as in set-in-stone firmly, in the former category. I finished it last night and just sat there enjoying a special feeling…you know the one where you know, you just know that you’ve found a special author and you’re going to be ticking off the days on your calendar until their next release!

Those who read my reviews will know that I don’t tend to give much away about the plot, it spoils the twists and turns – and there are plenty here – that a good author will sprinkle around their work. Ms Gray’s story is as much ‘Suspense’ as ‘Romance’ and considering the subject matter, this is just as well. Because of this, I have to explain what I mean and tell you a little more of the story than I normally would. I prefer to concentrate on how the writer…um, writes.

Ellie Golden is an artist who’s recently moved to a seaside resort with her son Tom, but Ellie is a lady of secrets and her carefully planned world is turned upside down by the appearance of the new headmaster of Tom’s school, a gentleman who bears more than a passing resemblance to someone from her past she thought long gone, the mysterious Harry Dixon. Ellie is convinced she knows who Harry really is, whilst he’s just as certain that he doesn’t know who Ellie is. As a kind of status que is reached, Elli’s ex turns up and rarely have I so enjoyed someone getting their comeuppance so much. A tale of bluff and double-bluff which shows the best and worst of people, often on the same page, there is a satisfying ending for the protagonists, though not quite how you’d expect.

That doesn’t give too much of the plot away, but you need to be aware that this isn’t a piece of fluff. Yes, it’s a romance and a very well written and plotted one, but it’s so much more than that and is much more enjoyable for it. This is a novel which obviously took some serious research to bring together and the fact that generally everything holds and comes together so well to a satisfying conclusion, bodes very well for her future undertakings I look forward to reading them very much.

My thanks to the author for allowing me to read her novel.

 

morton orangeAbout Morton S. Gray: 

Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K.

She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen, the plot of which closely resembled an Errol Flynn film. As with many authors, life got in the way of writing for many years until she won a short story competition in 2006 and the spark was well and truly reignited.

She studied creative writing with the Open College of the Arts and joined the Romantic Novelists’ New Writers’ Scheme in 2012.

After shortlisting in several first chapter competitions, she won The Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition in 2016 with her novel ‘The Girl on the Beach’. This debut novel is published on 24 January 2017. The story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s headteacher, Harry Dixon.

Previous ‘incarnations’ were in committee services, staff development and training. Morton has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina Acupressure Massage and Energy Field Therapy.

She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.

 

You can find more information on Morton over on her website: www.mortonsgray.com or follow her on Twitter – @MortonSGray or like her Facebook Page – Morton S. Gray Author – https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/

The Girl on the Beach is available to buy at http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-girl-on-the-beach/

 

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Mick Arnold
Mick will be chatting about his experience as a male author in the romantic genre. Mick is a forty-something member of the Romantic Novelists Association, New Writers Scheme. He lives in Northamptonshire and is the proud keeper of a cat bent on world domination.When he’s not trying to write books, Mick has a deep-seated love of reading that he’s brought from his teens to the current day with no signs of waning. He’s also mad on the music of the Beach Boys and enjoys the theatre and humouring his Manchester United supporting wife. Mick can be followed on Twitter: @mick859

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