Thursday, 23 March 2023

If She Lives by Erik Therme

Today is my stop on the blog tour for If She Lives, the third book in the Harlow series, by Erik Therme. Thanks to Zoé-Lee O'Farrell at Zooloo's Book Tours for inviting me and to Erik for my review copy.

The Blurb

Tess Parker knows tragedy better than most. After surviving the death of her daughter and kidnapping of her nephew, Tess is ready to return to normal life. But her troubled past has other plans, and when an old threat re-emerges, Tess must seek the help of an unlikely ally to set things right.

No matter what the cost.

If She Lives is published by Thecker Books and came out on 12th March this year.

Goodreads Link -

Buy Links -

My Review

This is the third book in the Harlow series and, having read the first two, it was good to catch up with Tess. In If She Dies and If She Wakes (if you search Erik's name on the blog, you''ll find reviews of more of his books), Erik fair put Tess through the wringer and I was ready for more of the same. But I read the second book a while ago and so was grateful for a conversation early on in this book which recaps much of the back story. This will be particularly  useful to anyone reading this as a standalone. 

We find Tess living with sister-in-law Torrie and nephew Levi, taking a break from husband Josh, with whom she still maintains a good relationship. She's got much closer to Torrie since the last book and as she's not working, she helps look after little Levi. Josh is keen for her to co me home but she is enjoying the emotional space. But whispers persist about the possible return of someone from her past, a traumatic event forces her (and Torrie) to re-evaluate her immediate future and then, to try to ensure everyone she cares about stays safe, she ends up involved in a dangerous plan with another face from the past. Are you still keeping up?! So sorry, it's really hard to summarise the plot without giving spoilers! 

As with all of Erik's books I've read, I found this to be a quick, easy and enjoyable read. His books are very character driven with well crafted key players. It's easy to like Tess and to be rooting for her throughout, particularly after all the awful stuff she's dealt with before (other members of her family have been through the mill too) although I sometimes get a little.frustrated at some of the unwise (in my mind) decisions she makes. From the rest of the key players, teenager Willow was a stand out for me. She's obviously been through some stuff and that's made her old beyond her years. But how much of that is an act? And why? This is very much a female led story with the majority of the main characters women, and strong ones at that, each in their own way, and I loved that. Finally, the relationship between Tess and Meg fascinates me - not friends, not enemies, but always connected.

The storyline zips along with Tess racing across country away from danger, reluctantly responsible for two teenagers. Things, inevitably, do not go as planned, leading to a tense, and ultimately sad, denouement. It was great to catch up with Tess in If She Lives, an enjoyable and tense character centred read. And I really, really hope Tess gets a quieter life now! 

The Author

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature. Join Erik’s mailing list to be notified of new releases and author giveaways:

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  1. thank you so much lovely for sharing your thoughts and for supporting the tour x


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