The Books


Louise has revealed the harrowing story in which she reflects on her life and the bridge incident that shook her family to the core.

Content warning: suicide.

2019. Dawn. The River Humber. A misty February walk. Surprise early daffodils. A picture taken. Then forgotten. Because five hours later my world shattered.

My mother jumped off the Humber Bridge. Had those yellow flowers not delayed me, I might have been there. Could I have stopped her?

In the aftermath of this violent act, I turned to my writing, to my beloved siblings, to our only uncle. I was forced to look at events that led to this suicide attempt. At relationships wrecked by alcoholism. At chronic depression. At our care records. At my childhood. At my mother. At buried trauma never fully explored before. At myself …

When I much later found the picture of those surprise daffodils, I knew it was time to write about that day. I began typing the story that inspired so many of my fictional characters, that shaped the testing things they endured.

My own story.


A professional pianist searches for her sister, who was taken when their parents died, aided on by her childhood care records and a single song that continues to haunt her.

Heather Harris is a piano teacher and professional musician, whose quiet life revolves around music, whose memories centre on a single song that haunts her. A song she longs to perform again. A song she wrote as a child, to drown out the violence in their home. A song she played with her little sister, Harriet.

But Harriet is gone … she disappeared when their parents died, and Heather never saw her again.

When Heather is offered an opportunity to play piano on a cruise ship, she leaps at the chance. She’ll read her recently released childhood care records by day – searching for clues to her sister’s disappearance – and play piano by night … coming to terms with the truth about a past she’s done everything to forget.

An exquisitely moving novel about surviving devastating trauma, about the unbreakable bond between sisters, Nothing Else is also a story of courage and love, and the power of music to transcend – and change – everything.


This Is How We Are Human is my seventh novel and was released in 2021. It was inspired by my dear friend BBC presenter, Fiona Mills, and her son Sean, who is autistic. He was having trouble finding love, meeting girls, and navigating sex. I knew this was something that should be explored, and they gave me their blessing to create a fiction inspired by these experiences. It was a Clare Mackintosh August Book of the Month 2021. Read on for the blurb…

When the mother of an autistic young man hires a call girl to make him happy, three lives collide in unexpected and moving ways … changing everything. A devastatingly beautiful, rich and thought-provoking novel that will warm your heart.

Sebastian James Murphy is twenty years, six months and two days old. He loves swimming, fried eggs and Billy Ocean. Sebastian is autistic. And lonely.

Veronica wants her son Sebastian to be happy … she wants the world to accept him for who he is. She is also thinking about paying a professional to give him what he desperately wants.

Violetta is a high-class escort, who steps out into the night thinking only of money. Of her nursing degree. Paying for her dad’s care. Getting through the dark.

When these three lives collide – intertwine in unexpected ways – everything changes. For everyone.

A topical and moving drama about a mother’s love for her son, about getting it wrong when we think we know what’s best, about the lengths we go to care for family … to survive … This Is How We Are Human is a searching, rich and thought-provoking novel with an emotional core that will warm and break your heart.


I Am Dust is my sixth novel and was released in 2020. It was a Top Six Pick in Crime Monthly, a LoveReading Monthly Pick, and featured as the main book at the Festival of Words 2020. In many ways, this is a very personal book. I wrote it this year during a difficult time in my life. It was my saviour. I explore some dark themes – what happens after we die, obsession, art as therapy, self-harm, and love. Always love. I really hope you all enjoy it. Isn’t this cover beautiful? Read on for the blurb…

The Dean Wilson Theatre is believed to be haunted by a long-dead actress, singing her last song, waiting for her final cue, looking for her killer…

Now Dust, the iconic musical, is returning after twenty years. But who will be brave enough to take on the role of ghostly goddess Esme Black, last played by Morgan Miller, who was murdered in her dressing room?

Theatre usher Chloe Dee is caught up in the spectacle. As the new actors arrive, including an unexpected face from her past, everything changes. Are the eerie sounds and sightings backstage real or just her imagination? Is someone playing games?

Is the role of Esme Black cursed? Could witchcraft be at the heart of the tragedy? And are dark deeds from Chloe’s past about to catch up with her?
Not all the drama takes place onstage. Sometimes murder, magic, obsession and the biggest of betrayals are real life. When you’re in the theatre shadows, you see everything.

And Chloe has been watching…


Call Me Star Girl was released in 2019 and is my fifth novel. It was a big change for me as it’s a dark, psychological thriller, but it was a blast to write. It got to Number One on the Kobo chart. It was a Thriller You’ll Love in Prima, one of the Six Best Pacy Page-Turners in Woman and Home, a Must Read in the Saturday Express magazine, and called The Dark One in Heat magazine. The Irish Independent called it a unique psychological thriller packed with tension and suspense. It was a Book of the Month at LoveReadingUK, longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize, and won the Best magazine Book of the Year in the Big Book Awards 2019.


And here’s the blurb…

Tonight is the night for secrets…

A taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller, reminiscent of Play Misty for Me … from the critically acclaimed author of Maria in the Moon and The Lion Tamer Who Lost…

Pregnant Victoria Valbon was brutally murdered in an alley three weeks ago – and her killer hasn’t been caught.
Tonight is Stella McKeever’s final radio show. The theme is secrets. You tell her yours, and she’ll share some of hers.
Stella might tell you about Tom, a boyfriend who likes to play games, about the mother who abandoned her, now back after fourteen years. She might tell you about the perfume bottle with the star-shaped stopper, or about her father …
What Stella really wants to know is more about the mysterious man calling the station … who says he knows who killed Victoria, and has proof.
Tonight is the night for secrets, and Stella wants to know everything…
With echoes of the Play Misty for Me, Call Me Star Girl is a taut, emotive and all-consuming psychological thriller that plays on our deepest fears, providing a stark reminder that stirring up dark secrets from the past can be deadly…


The Lion Tamer Who Lost is my fourth novel and was released in 2018. It was a LoveReading Star Book, and was highly praised by the Daily Express and Good Housekeeping magazine. It shortlisted for the Popular Romantic Novel of the Year at the Romantic Novel Awards 2019, and longlisted for the Polari Prize 2019.


And here’s the blurb…

Long ago Andrew made a childhood wish. One he has always kept in a silver box with a too-big lid that falls off. When it finally comes true, he wishes it hadn’t…

Long ago Ben dreamed of going to Africa to volunteer at a lion reserve. When he finally goes there, it isn’t for the reasons he imagined…

Ben and Andrew keep meeting where they least expect. Some collisions are by design, but are they for a reason? Ben’s father would disown him for his relationship with Andrew, so they must hide their love. Andrew is determined to make it work, but secrets from his past threaten to ruin everything…

Ben escapes to Zimbabwe to finally fulfil his lifelong ambition. But will he ever return to England? To Andrew? To the truth?

A dark and poignant drama, The Lion Tamer Who Lost is also a mesmerisingly beautiful love story, with a tragic heart…


Maria in the Moon, my third novel, was released in 2017. It got to no 22 in the WHSmith chart, was a bestseller on Amazon, a Must Read in the Sunday Express, and a Book of The Year 2017 at LoveReading. The Irish Times compared it to Maggie O’Farrell. Prima magazine called it a ‘beautiful and compassionate read.’

Maria in the Moon AW.indd

Here’s the blurb…

‘Long ago my beloved Nanny Eve chose my name. Then one day she stopped using it. I try now to remember why, but I just can’t.’

Thirty-one-year-old Catherine Hope has a great memory. But she can’t remember everything. She can’t remember her ninth year. She can’t remember when her insomnia started. And she can’t remember why everyone stopped calling her Catherine-Maria.

With a promiscuous past, and licking her wounds after a painful breakup, Catherine wonders why she resists anything approaching real love. But when she loses her home to the devastating deluge of 2007 and volunteers at Flood Crisis, a horrifying memory emerges …and changes everything.

Dark, poignant and deeply moving, Maria in the Moon is an examination of the nature of memory, of truth, and of the defences we all build to protect ourselves, when reality is too disturbing to contemplate…

And you can order it here – Maria in the Moon


How to be Brave – my debut novel – was released in 2015, and is available on Kindle, in paperback and as an audiobook, read by the amazing Finty Williams, daughter of Judi Dench. It was a Guardian Reader’s Pick 2015 and got to Number 4 in the Amazon Kindle Chart. The Irish Times called it ‘deft and full of emotion.’ It has almost 200 reviews on Amazon, 87% of them 5*, and over 350 ratings on Goodreads.

How To be Brave

Here’s the blurb…

All the stories died that morning … until we found the one we’d always known.

When nine-year-old Rose is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, Natalie must use her imagination to keep her daughter alive.  They begin dreaming about and seeing a man in a brown suit who feels hauntingly familiar, a man who has something for them.  Through the magic of storytelling, Natalie and Rose are transported to the Atlantic Ocean in 1943, to a lifeboat, where an ancestor survived for fifty days before being rescued. Poignant, beautifully written and tenderly told, How To Be Brave weaves together the contemporary story of a mother battling to save her child’s life with an extraordinary true account of bravery and a fight for survival in the Second World War.  A simply unforgettable debut that celebrates the power of words, the redemptive energy of a mother’s love … and what it really means to be brave.

Here’s where you can order it…

How to be Brave on Kindle

How to be Brave paperback

How to be Brave audiobook

Here’s a wonderful picture of Grandad Colin, one of the inspirations behind the book, and his lifeboat at the moment of the amazing rescue.



My second novel, The Mountain in my Shoe, was released in 2016. It longlisted for the Guardian’s Not The Booker Prize, and was a bestseller on Amazon.

The Mountain in my Shoe cover

Here is a trailer…

And here’s the blurb…

A missing boy.  A missing book.  A missing husband.  A woman who must find them all to find herself.

On the night Bernadette finally has the courage to tell her domineering husband that she’s leaving, he doesn’t come home.  Neither does Conor, the little boy she’s befriended for the past five years. Also missing is his lifebook, the only thing that holds the answers.  With the help of Conor’s foster mum, Bernadette must face her own past, her husband’s secrets and a future she never dared imagine in order to find them all.  Exquisitely written and deeply touching, The Mountain in My Shoe is both a gripping psychological thriller and a powerful and emotive examination of the meaning of family … and just how far we’re willing to go for the people we love.

Order the book here…

The Mountain in my Shoe on Kindle

The Mountain in my Shoe in paperback