Behind Her Back by Jane Lythell
When Jane Lythell released Woman of the Hour last year a fictional story based around life at a TV studio it was a break away from the thrillers that Jane had previously written and it really worked. I loved the idea of the story and the characters. I was delighted to hear that there would be a follow up and now just released through Head of Zeus is Behind Her Back and this I loved just as much as Woman of the Hour.
Jane Lythell writes with experience as she was a TV producer for many years so reading Behind Her Back does feel like you are a fly on the wall at StoryWorld. I really enjoyed the main character in Liz Lyon a busy single mother to a teenage daughter Flo. Now after an enjoyable holiday in Italy she is back at the TV studio but there is a new face that has joined the team. Just who is Lori Kerwell? Liz is such an endearing character you just want the best for her as she works so hard at the station and coping as a single mum with all the daily challenges. The station apparently has brought Lori in to help increase the ratings and therefore increase in profits but Liz feels there may be another reason for bringing in Lori. Something is going on and Liz is not being told.
As you can imagine there are some rather big egos at the station and at times for Liz it is like walking on broken glass as she tries to keep her team happy and motivated and working together. It is not long before the memories of the wonderful holiday in Italy start to fade as realisation dawn that something is going on and that feeling of wishing you had eyes in the back of your head really does come to the fore. Who does Liz really trust at the station now and why was she not told they were recruiting before she left for her holiday. Jane Lythell really has written a brilliant and gripping follow up. If you have not read Woman of the Hour you will want to after reading Behind Her Back. At times it is explosive and will have you turning the pages rather quickly as you will want to know what is really happening. This is quality drama and a slice of real life drama. Jane Lythell hits the right note again with this follow up novel and one I highly recommend.
Thank you to Head of Zeus for the advanced review copy.
Behind Her Back by Jane Lythell is published by Head of Zeus was published on 10th August and is available through Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops.
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Woman of the Hour (StoryWorld) – Jane Lythell
The Last Word Review
Woman of the Hour is the third novel from Jane Lythell and a breakaway from her previous two thriller based novels. As a former TV producer for 15 years, Jane has now turned her attention to writing a fictional account of life at StoryWorld TV and the behind the scenes accounts of the personal dramas being played out.
Liz Lyon is Head of Features at StoryWorld TV and for most of us it must seem like the ultimate job in television but in reality for Liz it is a daily battle of stress and strain and she tries to cope with the dramas being played out behind the camera’s and also life as a single mum.
The story is told from Liz’s point of view from life at the studios based at London Bridge and the home of Liz and Flo her daughter. This is a wonderfully crafted novel from Lythell who has in my view written a real gem. Just imagine trying to cope with the enormous personalities on a daily basis and then trying to put together a TV show that will attract the viewer’s and the ratings. Now imagine then having to deal with the StoryWorld television executives after every show. Not so glamorous after all. The stress levels are extremely high every day with battles erupting it is not long before Liz becomes involved in a behind the scenes struggle. Jane Lythell has used all her previous experience and brought together a story that to anyone working in TV would actually may seem true to life. Some the characters involved are interesting and also fiery in particular one man who is thorn in Liz’s side Julius Jones who is the stations director, though Liz has run ins with Julius she has admiration for him. Some of the characters you will cheer on some you will not like at all. The perfect scenario for writing a behind the scenes look at the lives of people at a TV studio. ‘Real People, Real Life, Real Stories’ The stations motto seems to work for both behind the camera and also in front as the real life dramas are played out daily.
I have read Jane Lythell’s previous novel After the Storm which I really enjoyed but there is something about Woman of the Hour which makes this for me her best book I have read and the god news is that this is book one with a deal just recently made for book two which will be due out next summer.
With so many great summer holiday reads out there at present I would happily recommend Woman of the Hour to be in your hand luggage if you are off on a flight to a sunny destination. Terrific five star read.
My thanks to Head of Zeus for a review copy.
Woman of the Hour by Jane Lythell and published by Head of Zeus. Published on 14 July and is available through Waterstones and all good bookshops.