Beyond Billicombe – Sherry Chiger Review

Beyond Billicombe Suzanne has come to Billicombe, a faded English resort town on the Bristol Channel, for one simple reason: to find her adored older brother. A recovering addict, Jax had moved to Billicombe after completing rehab, but it’s been six months since Suzanne last heard from him. Her search, however, turns out to be anything but simple. For one thing, Suzanne is a former child actress, well known for her role on a long-running TV series, and she needs to avoid being recognized while exploring Billicombe’s seamy underside. For another, Richard, a local man Suzanne turns to for help, has problems of his own stemming from a car accident that cost him much of his memory. Suzanne’s quest for Jax and Richard’s attempt to put his life back together collide in ways neither could have expected.

There was something very heartbreaking about this book. I don’t know if it was the subject matter or just how bleak Billicombe seemed, but whatever it was moved me deeply. Though drugs have never been an issue I’ve personally faced or had a loved one face, Chiger really drew me into Suzanne’s story and I found myself sympathizing with her deeply.

This is a fairly short read, but the characters were very well-developed. Suzanne and Richard were by no means perfect, but you couldn’t help but want the best for them. As Suzanne tried to figure out what happened to Jax, I thought Chiger painted a really vivid picture of the underbelly of Billicombe.

The plot moved at a great pace as well, though the ending was a little predictable. However, it didn’t matter because the atmosphere was very vivid and the story was more about the characters than the plot. A good first novel.

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