Six months on from publication, Facade has an incredible 209 ratings and reviews on Amazon UK and 80% of them are five and four stars. There are further reviews on Goodreads and on many book bloggers' websites, To my surprise, Facade has been popular with readers in the United States and has 189 ratings on the US 'zon site.
By putting a book out there, authors have to expect and deal with criticism. Our books won't be for everyone and if the book is picked up by someone who wasn't the intended reader they might leave a negative review. And it's not just the readers who dislike our books we have to contend with. We also get bad reviews if the delivery company's packaging was torn or dirty. I wasn't thrilled to discover a one star review from someone who says 'I haven't read this book as I couldn't download it to my Kindle Fire' - I mean, come on, guys, what has the poor book ever done to you? Complain to customer service about your technical problem with the download. Don't rubbish a book you haven't even read. The upside is, when I get good or insightful reviews from readers who've engaged with the story and the underlying themes and actually get that flawed characters are essential to psychological suspense novels, it's a fantastic feeling and makes all those hours of research, writing, editing and neglecting the family worthwhile.
I thought I'd share snippets from a few recent reviews of Facade. If you haven't read it and it sounds like it could be your kind of book, do take a look on Amazon.
"This is a superb read and, here’s a warning, the ending will leave you stunned." - Charlie T.
"Once I started this I could not put it down." - Heather W
"This is a very good, well-controlled family story but it is also a fascinating study of damaged people who are trying to find a satisfying, fulfilling life in the shadow of tragedy, their own fallibility and destructive bitterness." - Mrs S. G.
"Facade is a tightly plotted and enjoyable read with plenty of twists and turns to keep this reader glued to the page. I couldn't put it down." - L
"Helen Matthews’ Façade is a tense, multi-layered mystery - a story about lies, secrets and destructive bonds." - A.F.
"This is a very accomplished and well written novel, with finely drawn characters, an almost unbearable build up of tension and an ending that took my breath away. Brilliant! Looking forward to reading more from this author." - P Williams
"If you like your reading fitted neatly into a box, this book might be something of a conundrum – it’s not a fast-paced thriller, and although there are plenty of moments that make you gasp or shift to the edge of your seat it doesn’t rely on a single jaw-dropping twist, more a series of small changes of perspective. Psychological suspense certainly sums it up, but there are strong elements of domestic noir and family drama too – all I can really tell you is how very much I enjoyed it, and I’ll certainly be reading more books from this very talented author." - Welsh A
"Wow! If this had been a movie I would have been on the edge of my seat. Cleverly crafted with just the right amount of suspense this novel keeps you guessing, and more importantly reading, right up to the end." - Jono
"I loved this story. Very different from this authors last two novels. A bit of a twist to the story to give it a bit of an edge. Visitation of the setting of this story is great to get us through this horrible period we’re living through. I couldn’t put it down." - M/N.
I'm hugely grateful to all the readers who found my book gripping and thought-provoking for taking the time to leave a review. It really helps authors to gain visibility.