Return to Harlech blog tour

A metaphor for the way out of our current ecological crisis, this slow-burning, thought-provoking and entertaining horror will leave you intrigued and shocked!

black crow on brown rock under cloudy sky at daytime

Tess and Steve are a dysfunctional couple in a rocky marriage. Despite this Tess yearns for a baby more than a divorce and plans a secret conception during a trip to her husband’s hometown of Harlech. But when they get there Steve has other things on his mind. A panic attack causes him to remember his supposed halcyon days of childhood with horrible clarity. He wasn’t as popular as he thought he was, and strangely, he has no memory of the enthusiastic locals who greet him.

A young girl comes to Tess in her dreams, is this her child trying to warn her? Or the child of the mysterious Anwen who has lent them the cottage? With her hopes for pregnancy fading, she longs for a different future without her domineering husband, but can she survive without him?

And can Steve survive his return to Harlech as the locals seek retribution for the crimes of his past?

‘This revenge horror will twist your stomach but have you frantically turning the pages to discover who, what, where, when, why! I couldn’t put this book down!’ Goodreads review

‘A dark, haunting tale with hidden depths.’ Goodreads review

The cover hints that this will be a dark and mysterious tale – and I’d have to say that once I started reading this unusual and compelling tale of Tess and Steve’s trip back home, I was absolutely invested and could not stop reading. It is rare to be able to dedicate a whole day to reading at this time of the year if you are a teacher – never mind in the middle of a pandemic, and I so appreciated the chance to lie down and read without being disturbed. But this book had me hooked and I just could not stop until I’d found out everything I needed to know and discovered if my fears would be confirmed. I’d really like to chat with someone else who’s read it now and see if they enjoyed it as much as I did, I’m not in the mood for light summer reads just yet, but this felt like the perfect read right now It is an absolute belter and I promise you that you won’t be able to stop thinking about it once your eyes are closed and you’re lying in bed at the end of a long day…

The number of boks coming out every month means that writers have to go the extra mile if they want their readers to be genuinely engaged, and I am happy to report that Ruth Torjussen manages this with skill and originality. I am also determined to ensure that there are no spoilers as this book really is worth the wait. I love reading books that really provide me with the unexpected and this felt like getting a fix that keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is one of those novels that you finish and wish you could go right back to the start of and begin all over again. I absolutely loved it and think that it would make another superb TV adaptation. I’m surreptitiously casting it in my mind’s eye right now and I think that it’d be really intriguing to see how they would manage to evoke this atmosphere on screen…

black bird on brown wooden fence

I absolutely love a novel where we are kept guessing and are not very sure where we are as the story unfolds and even from the very start there are hints at there being more to their unfolding narrative in Harlech than meets the eye furnished by a set of wonderfully contrasting characters that play with your mind and weave in and out of your sense of direction until you really are left wondering what on eart will happen next. The tension surrounding their return and how much we get to find out about Steve’s past is very well handled – something else that sets Ruth Torjussen aside from other more run of the mill writers.

As I said earlier, I read this in a single day, being utterly loath to drag myself away from this intriguing tale that we are drawn into. I love books that are even better than the one you’ve been anticipating and I have to say that this novel was the perfect fit for an intriguing weekend read.This book is the narrative equivalent of a hot bath, I could plunge in and lose myself and switch off everything else that was going on in the world. I think it’s difficult to make a dark read genuinely original without seeming to try too hard or feel contrived – but Return to Harlech manages the perfect balance of darkness and reality that holds you in its grip and doesn’t easily let you go. A superb read that will keep you up too late turning the pages until you know how if ends.

grayscale photography of crow

Buy yourself a copy here and immerse yourself in this original and compelling read for yourself

‘This revenge horror will twist your stomach but have you frantically turning the pages to discover who, what, where, when, why! I couldn’t put this book down!’ Goodreads review

‘A dark, haunting tale with hidden depths.’ Goodreads review

The tag line wasn’t lying with the revenge part! I couldn’t quite believe what I was reading. It finished that part and was like ‘what did I just read’? I don’t know what I expected but… I still can’t put it in to words. I read it days ago but could review it immediately. It was bizarre. This isn’t a complaint. Its hard to compare when it’s not your normal type of book but I know I enjoyed it. Give it a read and see what you think!’ Goodreads review

Writer On The Shelf

Ruth Torjussen

Ruth Torjussen grew up in Stoke but now lives and works in Brighton as a Shared Lives Carer.
She is a passionate advocate of eating local food grown through regenerative farming as the answer to climate change. She writes novels and scripts across different genres but always with an eye on what faces us in the next decade.


Follow her on Twitter @RTorjussen,
Instagram @ruth_torjussen

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