Title: The Newcomer
Author: Laura Elizabeth Woollett
Publisher: Scribe UK
Publication Date: 9th December 2021 (Paperback)
When her 29-year-old daughter Paulina goes missing on a sleepy pacific island, Judy Novak suspects the worst. Her fears are soon realised as Paulina’s body is discovered, murdered.
Every man on the island is a suspect, yet none are as maligned as Paulina herself, the captivating newcomer known for her hard drinking, disastrous relationships, and a habit for walking alone. But even death won’t stop Judy Novak from fighting for her daughter’s life.
A scintillating new thriller, inspired by real events, that puts the victim at the centre, by the author of The Love of a Bad Man.
I am always intrigued by books like The Newcomer which have their basis in true crime, albeit a fictionalised version. The story follows Judy, a woman who goes to the small pacific island her daughter had recently relocated to. She is searching for her missing daughter, however her worst fears are realised when Paulina’s body is found and Judy dedicates herself to finding out who killed her daughter and why. This is interspersed with chapters following Paulina herself in the lead up to her violent end.
The thing I actually liked most about The Newcomer is how overwhelmingly unlikable the murder victim, Paulina, is. She is rude, brash, childishly unkind and in a constantly descending downward spiral of alcoholism, eating disorders and unhealthy relationships. However, none of that should have any bearing on the fact that she is a victim and that no one deserves to be killed or to be written off after their death just because of the way they chose to live their life. I appreciated the fact that The Newcomer didn’t sugar coat or try to twist Paulina’s behaviour into something it wasn’t. It challenges the reader to remember that her death is every bit as important and tragic as anyone else’s. It also manages to show Paulina’s vulnerability festering under the self-destructive patterns and the all encompassing grief of her mother, Judy after she learns of Paulina’s death. This is an unusual and memorable piece of crime fiction which is both challenging and powerful in its intent. I’d absolutely recommend.
I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
2 thoughts on “The Newcomer by Laura Elizabeth Woollett – Blog Tour Review”
I really like the sound of this, especially after I read that the murder victim is portayed as unlikable. It just makes it more interesting to me.
What a great message done in a way that sounds quite entertaining. Wonderful review, Christine.