TRIGGER WARNING: contains rape and sex trafficking
Odeta is keen to follow her heart and her lover to England, leaving her rural Albanian life behind. But her dreams don’t come true and she faces the horrific truth…
Girl Out Of Sight is a tense crime thriller novel set in Albania and the UK.
Odeta works in the family shop when she meets a man who woos her with stories of a better life in England. She believes his lies and follows him onto the plane. But once they land he snatches her passport and hands her over to his contact. Odeta is forced to confront her abandonment as well as the sexual expectation forced upon her.
Meanwhile, living next door is Kate. She has problems in her family life but has no idea of the horror in her street. Her choices lead her into danger as well… I liked the idea that we never know our neighbours especially as we live increasingly insular lives and the idea of community diminishes.
I wanted to shouted at Odeta to stay home, that Kreshnik was lying to her and danger was looming. The developing realisation of her situation and the sexual violence are dreadful to read. The book is vividly written and this brought the characters to life. I felt emotionally invested in Odeta and Kate’s lives and concerned for the threats they face.
Girl Out Of Sight is a book that deals with a truly terrible concept but it has an important message about the dangers of modern slavery and exploitation.
Odeta’s life has shrunk to a daily round of drudgery, running her father’s grocery store in a remote Albanian village. One day, an enigmatic stranger from Tirana turns up, promising her an exciting career in London. Odeta’s life is about to change, but not in the way she expected.
Kate, a journalist, lives on a quiet London street, but her seemingly perfect life is filled with anxiety for her son, Ben. The boy is obsessed with online gaming but struggles to make friends. Kate sets out to create a simpler life for her family, disconnects them from the internet, and tries to build a community on her street.
On a visit to her home village in Wales, Kate is forced to confront a secret from her past. But even greater danger lies where she lives. Perhaps her neighbours are not the friendly community they seem at first glance…
Helen Matthews writes page-turning psychological suspense and suspense thrillers and is fascinated by the darker side of human nature and how a life can change in an instant. Look out for ‘Girl Out of Sight’ coming soon from Darkstroke Books. It’s a second edition of a prize-winning title from 2017 After Leaving the Village.
Psychological suspense mystery The Girl in the Van’ was published earlier this year by Darkstroke Books and has been longlisted in the prestigious 2022 Pageturner Book Awards. It’s a chilling page-turner that touches on serious and complex themes including individual grief and vulnerability, as well as societal responsibilities towards the disadvantaged and dispossessed.
Previous books include ‘Facade’ twisty noir about tragedy, guilt and revenge in a family where ‘silence echoes louder than truth’ and ‘Lies Behind the Ruin’ domestic noir set in France.
Helen is an ambassador for the charity Unseen UK and available to give talks at festivals, author events and to local groups about the themes in her novels.