Stevie Turner is a writer and published author who resides in Suffolk, not far from where I live in Beetley. Here is a link to her Amazon author page.
She is also a highly engaged blogger, and a valuable part of our WordPress community. When I saw this new book for sale, I bought the Kindle edition for just 99 p, and read it last night in around seventy-five minutes. As you can see on the cover, it is described as a ‘short story’. At just 64 pages, it certainly isn’t a conventional book, and is following a recent trend of what I think of as ‘short books’. These quick reads are always good value, and more satisfying than a typical short story of under 3,000 words.
I am starting this review by letting you know that The Noise Effect is excellent. I certainly could not have contemplated not finishing it in one sitting, as I was immediately engaged with the main characters from the first paragraph, and eager to discover their fate. Set in the recent past, and in a part of England familiar to anyone who knows it, we have a complete tale of the events that rock the life of an average young couple, concluding with a delicious twist.
Anyone who has ever read one of my own fiction stories will know how much I love a twist!
Eve and Leigh are like so many young couples. Hopelessly in love, and not that well off. They begin married life having to live with Eve’s parents, pinning their hopes on being selected for a new council house being built on an estate close to where they both work. When they are allocated a modest two-bedroom house, they are overjoyed. It doesn’t matter that they have to use hand-me-down furniture, buy some cheap rugs, and eat egg and chips for dinner. They have their home, they have each other, and can now plan for the baby that Eve is desperate to have to complete the family.
After settling in, and being able to walk to both their jobs, they feel that life is wonderful, and their future is spread out ahead of them, full of possibility.
Then the next-door neighbours move in. A father and two sons. Unfriendly, unemployed, and inconsiderate. From the first day, they have parties all night, with loud music and noisy guests milling around in the street. Leigh tries to reason with them, but they are aggressive and threatening. Eve turns to the council for help, and registers a complaint about the noise. But such things take time, and the troublesome family next door are well-known to be difficult to evict.
What follows is a nightmare for the previously happy couple, resulting in a chain of events that spirals tragically out of control.
Stevie gets it all just right. The period details fix the era, and the descriptions of everything from surrounding streets to the music being played is all completely authentic. As someone whose life was also plagued by irresponsible noisy neighbours when I lived in London, I immediately identified with the sense of helplessness and frustration overwhelming the couple.
And then there was that good twist I mentioned.
Here is a link to Stevie’s blog.
And this is an Amazon link, if you want to buy your own copy.