Louise Voss

The Old You

"‘The Old You’ has it all… gripping plot, well-rounded (and unreliable) characters, twists, turns and revelations...'"


Lynn Naismith gave up the job she loved when she married Ed, the love of her life, but it was worth it for the happy years they enjoyed together. Now, ten years on, Ed has been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and things start to happen; things more sinister than missing keys and lost words. As some memories are forgotten, others, long buried, begin to surface … and Lynn's perfect world begins to crumble.

But is it Ed's mind playing tricks, or hers…?

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Oh, where to start with this book. There are so many subtle nuances to this book, that to describe them in this review could spoil the twists for you. So, as with Lynn Naismith in this book, I will have to tread carefully. The plot is as slippery as a writhing snake! Firstly, I feel I need to confirm that Ed’s Pick’s Disease/dementia is dealt with sensitively. Having had Alzheimer’s in the family, there is nothing positive about watching someone you love slowly ebbing away, being stripped of all that made them whole. Voss is mindful of this and although this is a suspense novel, the subject matter is dealt with properly. However, the state of Ed and Lynn’s marriage is another thing. Not only has her husband been diagnosed the same disease that killed Ed’s father, as with any condition that strips away any inhibitions, Lynn is getting some very strange mixed signals… in particular regarding Ed’s first wife, Shelagh who disappeared, and although someone confessed to the crime, her body was never found. But Lynn has her own secrets as well. Voss is adept at keeping the ball of confusion rolling and rolling so that you can never quite put your finger on who is telling the truth. At one point I wondered if it was Lynn herself who had the diagnosis and in denial and making up a different life to the one she had. In a way, this is correct as many of the characters in this book appear to have been running from something, or want to run away from something and change their identity. Why do I rate this book so highly? This is one of the few times when I had jobs to do around the house and had to do such jobs with this book in my hand. In fact I read the last 100 pages standing up by my back door, telling myself I’d ‘get on’, but stayed rooted to the spot, unable to put it down until the last page had been turned. That is the sign of a gripping read. ‘The Old You’ has it all… gripping plot, well-rounded (and unreliable) characters, twists, turns and revelations – all along the way rather than just at the end. You’d be mad not to throw this into your suitcase when you jet off on holiday!

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