Valentina cover

Publisher: Blackbird Digital Books (1st July 2016)



I finished Valentina late last night. I loved it! I can’t believe this is a debut novel.

This is going to be a tricky book to review as I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone, but Shona seemingly has it all. She has a man she loves and who loves her, they have a beautiful baby girl together and their dream cottage in the Aberdeenshire countryside. Yes Shona misses her job and yes she misses Mikey, when he’s away for two weeks out of four for his off-shore work, and she feels a bit lonely, but it’s bound to be difficult for anyone moving to the middle of nowhere, away from your family and friends. Things start to look up when she meets Valentina. They click immediately and Shona is glad of her company. That is until little things start to niggle her. She’s just being paranoid though, surely.

I did guess part of the twist in this story quite early on, but I would never have guessed in a million years where the story would actually lead! Just brilliant!

I had a feeling from the very first page that I was going to love this book and I wasn’t wrong. I love the way the characters address the reader directly. This is their story and they each want to tell their side. I thought this was a very clever style of writing and it flows really well.

I liked Shona, but I can’t say I particularly warmed to Mikey or Valentina. Perhaps I could tell early on that there was something not quite right about them both.

Needless to say, I was gripped from the first page. Early reviews were very positive (although I didn’t read them in full to avoid possible spoilers) so I already had an inkling it was going to be something special and it has certainly proved to be. I will be more than happy to recommend Valentina to anyone and probably will do for a long time to come. I just know this is one of those books that will stay with me. I can’t wait for S. E. Lynes’ next book!

Many thanks to Rosalie at Blackbird Digital Books for my Kindle review copy of Valentina and for inviting me to be a part of the upcoming Blog Tour for this fabulous book.

Watch this space for my Q&A with the author herself.

You can pre-order Valentina here – Valentina by S. E. Lynes 


When Glasgow journalist Shona McGilvery moves with her partner Mikey and their baby to an idyllic cottage in rural Scotland, they believe that all that lies ahead of them is happiness.

But with Mikey working offshore, the frightening isolation of the Aberdeenshire countryside begins to drive her insane…

That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina.

She has the perfect home, the perfect man, and a charismatic new best friend – or does she?

As her fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood becomes the least of her fears…

A hauntingly intelligent, addictive psychological thriller from debut author S. E. Lynes.

What advanced readers have been saying about Valentina…..  

Wow! What a debut! This story had me gripped from the outset. – Dawn Walker

The writing is so atmospheric … I couldn’t put this book down. – Abbie, Many Books Many Lives

This read took a dark and unexpected path…and I ADORED it. – Elizabeth, Betwixt These Pages

It really blew my mind this one. – Sue, Sue And Her Books

Intricately plotted and exceptionally well executed. – Rachel Hall, Reviewer

A slam dunk of a debut up there with the big hitters. Move over Gone Girl you’ve got company on the top shelf. – Read & Rated Book Reviews

Surpassed all my expectations. A debut novel that doesn’t read like one. – Fictionophile – Goodreads Top 1% reviewer

Has easily become my favorite book of 2016! I don’t know what else to say besides, WOW. –Between Dreams I Read

The excitement around this book is contagious. – Claire, The Addiction of Books

A beautifully elegant study of psychopathic manipulation. – Sara Bailey, Author

Gives you chills … A labyrinth of twists to put you off the scent of the truth. – Laura Prime

About the author:

After graduating from Leeds University, S E Lynes lived in London for a couple of years before moving to Aberdeen to be with her husband. In Aberdeen, she worked as a producer at the BBC Radio Scotland before moving with her husband and two young children to Rome. There, she began to write while her children attended nursery. After the birth of her third child and upon her return to the UK, she gained an MA in Creative Writing from Kingston University. She now combines writing with lecturing at Richmond Adult Community College and bringing up her three children. She lives in Teddington.

4 thoughts on “Valentina: A Hauntingly Intelligent Psychological Thriller by S. E. Lynes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s