Blog Tour, Book Review, Mystery, Rachel's Random Resources, Romance, Series, Suspense, Thriller

Beginnings (Same Face Different Place Book 1) by Helen Christmas


Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Romance, Series
Release Date:  February 2012
Pages: 311

Beginnings is a romantic thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. Eleanor Chapman is 16. She has no idea her father is employed in a world of organised crime until the day he is forced to go on the run, leaving her at the mercy of dangerous people.

Her life is spiraling out of control yet on the night she plans to escape, she stumbles across a mysterious prisoner. His name is Jake, a rock musician from Holland and he has a contract on his life.

Their daring escape across London eventually draws them into a place of hiding before Jake’s chilling story begins to unfold. He was the one vital witness to a sinister scene leading up to the death of a British MP and now those responsible want him silenced. As two young people, thrown together by fate they develop intense feelings for each other. It does not take long for Eleanor to realise that she will do anything possible to keep Jake alive.

Their tender love bond keeps you turning the pages as they live on a knife edge, desperate to escape London. Will they outrun the deadly enemies who stalk them? Or are the people at the top more powerful than they think?


London, 1972.  Sixteen-year-old Eleanor Chapman’s life of living comfortably and attending  boarding school is about to change for the worst.  As the daughter of Oliver “Ollie” Chapman, right-hand man to Sammie Maxwell, organized crime boss, she is in grave danger as her father goes into hiding and leaves her in the hands of strangers.  Her inner strength to escape a brothel, save a prisoner there who was about to get killed, and run from the man who wants her father dead, is beyond her young years.  As she hides out with the young man she saves, they fall in love, and make plans to escape London forever, but who can they trust?  Will she see her father again?

Twenty-two-year-old Jake Jansen was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  His band, “Free Spirit” was growing in popularity and while scheduled to play at a gala for a controversial politician, he witnesses preparations for what leads to a car bombing.  Being the only witness, his life is in danger and the people involved are about to kill him when a young girl rescues him and they start fleeing for their lives.  After, learning of their pursuers, he swears to protect her at all costs, but can he?

This thriller is action-packed and engrossing located in the seamy side of London in the 1970s.  It is also a love story filled with tragedy and hope.  Eleanor and Jake’s love is pure among an evil world of violence, prostitution and power.  The supporting characters are difficult to decipher in this fast-paced story.  The duplicity is so convincing at times that this reader was duped a few times.  This is a unique story that captures the will to carry on after the worst possible heartbreak and fear.  This reader can’t wait to read the second book in the series.


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Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast of Sussex with her husband. With a love of helen-j-christmas.jpgwriting since childhood, she started her decade spanning thriller series ‘Same Face Different Place’ in 2011. Her first book ‘Beginnings,’ set in 1970s London, combines romantic suspense with a hard-hitting conspiracy thriller. Writing is something she juggles around family and social life. Helen is self employed and enjoys running the web design company, she and her husband set up from home. They have no children but enjoy the company of a faithful border collie and a fluffy white cat. Helen confesses to have got most of her ideas for writing, whilst walking Barney along the beach.