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4.4 out of 5
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    An enjoyable and gripping read

    This book interweaves romance and suspense, which is a combination I love. I also really enjoyed the portrayal of the heroine, Ellie’s relationship with her best friend, Maddie and the depiction of the community where they live. Morton Gray is a dab hand at building up tension in all the right places, and created a villain I loved to hate.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Joy to read

    The Girl on the Beach was a joy to read, with likable main characters that had a habit of staying in your head until you could sneak away to pick up the story again. When Ellie meets Harry Dixon, she has a distinct feeling they have met before, and boy was she right. Loved the twist which I did not see coming and how a tense plot line played out in a sleepy seaside town. Gray caught the atmosphere so well I could almost smell the salt in the air. This is a great debut that did not feel like a debut at all. Will definitely read more by this author. I received a free copy from NetGalley for an honest review
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Deep, dark, full of suspense...

    Deep, dark, full of suspense but with a heart-warming love story at its core; The Girl on the Beach certainly hits the brief of ‘Romantic Suspense’. It’s fair to say Ellie Golden has had a pretty rough past. After suffering domestic abuse at the hands of ex-husband, Rushton, we first meet Ellie, divorced and settled in the seaside town of Borteen where she runs her own art gallery and is single-handedly raising her son, fifteen year old Tom. She is dealing with the typical issues of raising a teen – something I certainly identified with – and the daily struggle of paying the bills on one income. Keen to encourage the next generation in their creativity, the novel begins with Ellie judging the art exhibition at Tom’s school, Borteen High. Her co-judge is the soon-to-be new Headmaster, Harry Dixon, only Ellie has an instant recognition of Harry. He reminds her of someone from her past. A man called Ben Rivers. A dead man. I don’t want to say too much more than that because I don’t want to spoil the plot! Suffice to say, Morton S Gray has cleverly interwoven a dramatic, tense and thrilling plotline with a tender love story at its core. With believable characters like Mandy, Ellie’s best friend, and Nick, a peer of Tom’s who benefits from the mentoring scheme set-up by the school, the novel was, for me, more than just a suspense novel of what was going to happen next; the author has tackled themes, like how tough it can be being a single parent. What stood out most to me was the theme of domestic abuse which was well written, believable and came across as authentic. If you are looking for a page turner full of action, love and suspense, The Girl on the Beach won’t disappoint.
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    A gripping read. Unputdownable. Pure brilliance.

    Ellie Golden is a single parent to Tom Golden, a shy young man who saw things that a young boy should never see. Even more so when it is happening to his Mummy. Ellie experienced a terrible ordeal from her ex husband, Rushton and lives in fear of his release from prison and his threat of finding her and finishing her off. Although she has this to live with, Ellie is a strong and independent woman and will do anything for her son. Ellie is a local artist who owns a shop in the seaside town of Borteen. Ellie runs some art classes at the local school, where her son attends and is planning to run after school art classes from September also. Ellie is judging the exhibits for her competition when she is introduced to the lovely Harry Carter. She's finding it a little difficult to concentrate though. Those eyes .... Wow .... but there are also some familiarites about Harry that Ellie finds it hard to focus. Her mind keeps wandering about how it would be to have those fingers touching her hair .. a long with many more thoughts. Harry has arrived at the town to take over as Headmaster at the school in September. He has a deep and dark secret and a very carefully and painstakingly constructed story of his own which nobody can know about. Harry is wary. Ellie is asking too many personal questions. She could be dangerous. He needs to be careful. Ellie keeps digging for information as well and can't escape the thought that she has met Harry before. .... Ben Rivers ... but it can't be .... he died before her beautiful Tom was born. John Williams is retiring from being the Headmaster but before the school year ends, he speaks to both Ellie and Harry about a mentoring scheme, which they both agree to if not a little reluctantly. When the mentoring scheme is about to start, Ellie is distraught to find that her son is named as being one of the pupils picked. She then discovers Harry is his mentor and takes some time to accept this. Deep down she still has this nagging feeling that Harry is not being entirely honest and she can't move on from that. Ellie then finds out that her ex husband has been released from prison, and although she has changed her name and moved to a completely different town, there is also the worry that Rushton could use his contacts to find her. Does Harry have a secret and will Ellie ever be safe from the past ? A gripping read. Unputdownable. Pure brilliance.
9

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