Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Dog Horn Publishing (April 2006)
Have you ever heard the sound of an entire world crumbling? If you have then you can understand…
My friend, if this story falls into your possession you will find yourself embarking upon a sadistic adventure. You will find yourself out of your depth in places, teetering between shameless excitement and total devastation... but don’t worry... you will not be alone: I will be by your side.
Together we will meet and get to know Anthony and Lucy Denharden, an A-list celebrity couple, and watch as their lives crumble beyond recognition. On this dark journey documenting a tragic fall from grace, mental illness, drug abuse, violence, grief, suicide, murder... you will feel madness descend like a shadow but you will come through it, and you will come through it stronger.
Come on, come with me...
…One chapter in and I was hooked! I loved everything about this book. Royle’s writing style was so refreshingly different, and her talent for dealing with such dark topics without indulging in gratuitous detail, whist still managing to evoke real emotion in the reader, won me over totally. Reading it was, in parts, akin to riding an emotional rollercoaster, being moved to tears at one point and feeling quite elated in others…Ossett Review
A contemporary story about a celebrity couple’s fall from grace, Lucy’s Monster is a potent cocktail of drugs, sex and violence… the words that form the novel have a natural free flowing feel that whisks you from page to page… The One to Watch!Book and Magazine Collector
…A unique thriller which captivates the reader from beginning to end, a page-turner which doesn’t disappoint. Rebecca Royle embraces complex subjects confidently, as though this was her tenth novel rather than her first. Lucy’s Monster is chilling and terrifying and has all the ingredients a thriller should have… it kept my fingers turning pages long into the night.Dewsbury Reporter
…wanted more and the characters were part of my life for the rest of the week. A book I couldn't put down, until the very last page. A very different kind of book - that gripped me from the beginning - well done to Rebecca Royle - I can't wait for her next book.Best magazine
…I am [Royle’s] literary agent here in North America and I found her work so fresh and energetic that I took her on as a client right away. The fact that the book appeals to a hip, urban audience is of great appeal in the United States. I also think the book has great film potential, and we certainly would look to generate film interest in it as well. It's a pleasure to work on something that feels vibrant and distinctive - like a sharp clean glass in a sink full of dirty dishes!Michele G. Rubin, Writers House, New York City
Unique, harrowing and impossible to put down!Action TV
Celebrities, drugs and madness - and no, this not the Priory! Lucy's Monster is disturbing and dark but brilliant. R. L. Royle will certainly make her mark with this, her debut novel. It is hard to believe she is only 23. Where on earth does she get her inspiration? I was unable to put this fresh, innovative novel down, reading on until the early hours of the morning. It is difficult to compare Rebecca to any other author. She is unique. This is gripping, edge-of-your-seat literature but not for the faint hearted. This disturbing insight into Lucy's mind will leave you feeling sympathetic, sad and angry at a tortured life ruined by drugs and cut short by mental illness. Life can be so cruel. This is not a comfortable read but an excellent one. Dog Horn Publishing have picked a winner to launch themselves in a competitive market. Expect great things from the talented, young author and the publishers that have introduced her.The Sunday Post
A gripping tale with plenty of twists, this is a must read!Hot Stars
[Lucy’s Monster] is the story of a three celebrities, dealing with depression, undiagnosed schizophrenia, and drug abuse. It's dark and disturbing, and builds to quite a crescendo in the middle.. then leads you to the touching ending. Rebecca has a rather unique style for this book, making both the author and reader part of the story. It grips hold of you from the first page, and doesn't let go. I've discovered another author to add to my list of favourites, and I will be looking forward to her third book.The Book Club Forum
…[Lucy’s Monster] delves into a world where relationships are charred by drugs, violence and mental illness. Moreover, it’s the description of Lucy’s latent schizophrenia which provides the novel with its most revealing, shocking content…The Big Issue in the North
After a joyless childhood marred by schizophrenia, Lucy Cunningham decides to leave her hometown and head for the bright lights of Hollywood. After struggling for ten years, she finally hits the big time under her stage name of Autumn Leigh and becomes the talk of Tinseltown when she marries fellow A-list actor Anthony Denharden. But when their child is stillborn, her illness begins to creep back, and that’s only the beginning…Star Magazine
Rebecca write[s] captivatingly… This girl will go far. She radiates a drive to write, it’s almost as if you can see her hand itching to write as she talks…Morley Knowledge
…[Lucy’s Monster] is as striking in style as in content. It’s written in the third person but the author’s own voice dips in and out and she often takes the reader into the action to meet the characters. It’s cleverly done.Telegraph & Argus
‘Rebecca is going to be big!’Huddersfield Daily Examiner (headline)
‘Debut Novel Becomes a Monster Cult!’Dewsbury Reporter (headline)
…It’s entertaining, harrowing and compulsive… an unstoppable domino dancing style of twists and turns, highs and lows. This, of course, leads to a devastating climax…Lancashire Evening Post Book Club, Published Review
…A genuine insight into the impact that mental illness can have and an understanding of the struggles that sufferers face from themselves and society in general…Lancashire Evening Post Book Club, Published Review
…This was not just a wonderful piece of writing full of twists and turns, but a truly beautiful love story…Lancashire Evening Post Book Club, Published Review
…Don’t think this is just another book of violence and drugs, it is also powerful, emotional and a tearjerker…Lancashire Evening Post Book Club, Published Review
Lucy’s Monster has a significant dark quality… I have a feeling we will be hearing much more about Dog Horn [Publishing] in the future…Northern Exposure
A unique thriller.Batley News
This was a fantastic book and definitely recommend it. My copy at the moment is circulating at work….‘Ann’, the Richard and Judy Book Club Forum
…this is such an amazing book and R. L. Royle has done a fantastic job. Signed copies with doodles are going for as much as £85 online, so you may want to get them direct from www.doghorn.com.‘Baduitz’, the Richard and Judy Book Club
I LOVED Lucy’s Monster. By the middle, I was sitting in bed reading with my mouth open, then I put it down and said “wow!”. After that crescendo, the rest is a gentle ride downwards, which was also great. I love the way you bring the reader into the story… I MUST know who you based those characters on…Michelle, bookclubforum.co.uk
The book charts the tragic fall from grace of A-list celebrity couple Anthony and Lucy Denharden through mental illness, drug abuse, violence, grief, suicide and murder. Such dark and “taboo” subjects have been commonplace in Rebecca’s previous work, with other subjects covered including the struggles of a 15-year-old HIV sufferer and the prejudice surrounding a mixed-race relationship…The Press
Dark and at times disturbing but definitely worth a read. Not for the faint hearted but this is an excellent novel about a life ruined by drugs and cut short by mental illness.Amazon Review
Lucy's Monster tells the story of an international female icon who, as a result of a traumatic event, is totally engulfed by the schizophrenia that has been bubbling away under the surface for years - and the effect this incident has on the people around her. The story's path is sometimes dark; sometimes light - but you won't stop until you reach the end. Both the reader and the author feature as characters in the book; a unique approach which provides deeper insight into the minds of the tormented central figures. Lucy's Monster is a disquieting read that will leave you wanting more.Amazon Review
The energy and vivacity with which Royle writes is matched only by her determination and success as a businesswoman. Unlike certain other popular authors who make millions with trash, Royle believes in providing top-notch fiction for those who would appreciate it. And she's done it all on her own. She's a true literary hero! P.S., I'd buy a limited edition copy with doodles if you can get hold of one. I have one, and their price has sky-rocketed on eBay. Plus, they're fantastic souvenirs, too.Amazon Review
This book is gripping, intriguing and will blow you away. You'll be hooked immediately, just like I was and still am. Its the sort of book that you burrow yourself into and get so involved in that when you've finished it you're probably going to start from the very beginning again just to get another fix.Amazon Review
This debut novel from Rebecca Lee Royle is one of the most thought provoking emotional rollercoaster’s I've ever been on, following the rise and fall of two A list celebrities, you follow Rebecca on a journey, showing the harrowing results of drug abuse and mental illness. I must read for any living breathing soul living in society today!Amazon Review
…I wanted to write a very brief note to say how very much I enjoyed reading your fantastic book, Lucy’s Monster. This is a great, great book which I loved from start to finish and was a pleasure to read…Allan, reader (via letter)
[Lucy’s Monster] has grabbed me by the neck and makes me read it, I’m addicted!Jonathan, reader (via email)
Lucy’s Monster was one of my favourite books of this year and I’ve struggled to find something to match it… your off-beat style appeals to me.Caron, a reader (via email)
…I have just finished [Lucy’s Monster] and really enjoyed it. It was very different from what I was expecting, which was interesting in itself… Thanks again and I look forward to the next.Dave, a reader (via email)
I devoured [Lucy’s Monster] in three days! I just couldn’t stop. It’s QUITE the rollercoaster… can’t wait for the next one.Brett, a reader (via email)
I read the first chapter and that was it, I was hooked…Carla, a reader (via email)
I’ve just read the first chapter and I’m looking for my socks, as in it’ll blow your socks off!Col, a reader (via email)
I’d just like to thank R L Royle for her amazing book, Lucy’s Monster. I have nearly finished it now and love it so much, it’s brilliant… look forward to reading your next book…Laura, a reader (via email)
Both my brother and I loved Lucy’s Monster…Amanda, a reader (via email)
I bought Lucy’s Monster… and was blown away.Soosie, a reader (via email)
I am also nearly at the end of Lucy’s Monster and again, loving it… both books are totally different. I’m a very avid reader and have not read any books similar to yours – and they are both very well written. The characters are excellent and the pace in both is good.Jill, a reader (via email)
Brilliant first book, thoroughly enjoyed the read. Loved the way you brought the reader into the book, nice touch. Can’t wait to read your next book…Sharon, a reader (via email)
…I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed Lucy’s Monster… when I started I waltzed through and finished it about a month ago. I thought it had a lot going for it and was generally very well achieved… keep up the good work.Julia, a reader (via email)
I must say, [Lucy’s Monster] was a cracking read, I enjoyed it thoroughly. I actually got through it in no time at all and then read it again… I really enjoyed your book and hope it does get onto the big screen for you and I look forward to your next book…Simon, a reader (via email)
…Wow, wow and thrice wow… I am absolutely addicted…Jonathan, a reader (via email)
Anthony was giving his views on where he felt the film industry would be heading in the 90s and Martin was agreeing the whole way. He’d bagged it, it was obvious. They had not got on to talking about Wondering yet but Anthony had Martin in the palm of his hand. It was on the cards that Martin was thinking Anthony perfect for the lead. This would be his biggest film yet, a blockbuster. He could almost jump for joy at the thought.
Thud, thud, thud. The noise made all three jump and Hannah brought her hand up to cover her mouth as she drew a sharp breath of surprise. Someone was hurrying down the stairs and the crashing was so immense the CD was skipping.
Anthony stood up. Is that her? Who else could it be? Why’s she running? Why is she running?
Within a second Autumn had burst into the room and stood in the doorway, excited and smiling as if possessed.
Hannah and Martin could do nothing but stare, gob-smacked.
Here was the marvellous Autumn Leigh with makeup smeared all over her face and dress, her hair a tangled mass of fuzz, standing in front of them with sick on her feet, grinning neurotically. It was almost too much to believe. Hannah shot her husband a shocked glance but her husband did not see it, as he could not tear his eyes away from what was standing facing him.
Anthony walked over to his wife, searching for a sign on her face as for what it could be. He himself was unable to speak or move for the first few seconds after she had run, jumped almost, into the room. He looked blankly at her and shook his head a little.
There was no sign, no warning as to prepare him for what he was just about to hear.
‘Anthony,’ she grinned through tears, placing shaky hands on her confused husband’s shoulders. ‘Alexander is alive!’
Anthony’s eyes widened to a horror filled realisation that his wife was suffering from some kind of mental breakdown and was dragging up the memory of their poor child in the process, in front of important guests no less. After the initial shock of what she had just claimed, all he could concentrate on was a tumbling feeling of anger. A lump instantly formed in his throat.
‘Excuse me,’ he said to his bewildered visitors, who were sitting rigid and speechless.
‘Who’s Alexander?’ Hannah whispered to Martin once Anthony had escorted Autumn out of their sight.
Martin shrugged and shook his head, lost for words.
Anthony had hold of Autumn’s arm tight as he led her through to the kitchen. Once in there and with the door firmly shut behind them, he stood only centimetres away from her, staring into her fluttering eyes.
‘What?’ was all he could manage to say.
‘Alex! He’s alive! He’s communicated with me and… and he’s been in a foster home but he’s ready for us to collect him now and he likes to play with worms!’ The words she spoke were blurred with laughter and tears of joy.
Anthony blinked back angry water and hissed: ‘Alex is dead. He was born dead and he was buried dead.’ Don’t give me this shit Lucy, don’t hurt me like this…
‘No Anthony, listen to me!’ She was still smiling madly. ‘He never died, the doctors made it up. They lied to us!’
Anthony made for the stool at the breakfast bar and sat down heavily, his legs a mass of nerves unable to support a grown man of thirty-eight under such emotion.
‘Why are you doing this to me?’ he whispered, staring at his hands outstretched in front of him, fingers pressed hard on the marble surface.
‘What’s wrong with Autumn?’ Hannah asked Martin another question he was unable to answer.
He finished his wine in one rushed gulp and said: ‘I don’t know, but I think we better leave now.’
Autumn was still standing, smiling, hugging herself and twisting her upper body as if ecstatically happy.
Well of-course she was ecstatically happy – her only son, whom she had thought dead, was actually alive! A thousand prayers had been answered and Autumn was on top of the world. So many plans to make, toys to buy, parties to throw…
She had developed completely selective hearing and sight as well, it seemed. For her husband was sitting opposite her looking like he was ready to explode or kill someone but she just didn’t register it. What she did register, however, was the sound of rustling just outside the kitchen door. She darted for it and opened it hastily to find Martin and Hannah getting their jackets out of the cloakroom.
Martin swallowed deeply when he saw Autumn’s face. He just wanted to get the hell out of there, no prying, no goodbyes, just maybe a phone call to Anthony later in the week.
‘Martin, Hannah, are you leaving?’ Even her voice sounded airy and unreal, about three octaves higher than how she usually spoke.
Martin put his hand on his wife’s back the girl looks like she could hurt someone and gave a weak smile.
‘We do have to be going now. Thank you for the lovely meal and please tell Anthony I will call him.’ With that he gently pushed Hannah towards the doors.
She opened one and shakily said: ‘Bye Autumn, thank you,’ before walking out without looking back.
Martin gave another nervy, fake smile and began walking out but Autumn grabbed his arm and he turned to her.
Martin – an eighteen stone, large, powerful man – suddenly found himself feeling quite afraid of this woman of whom the public claimed to know so well.
‘Do you have any children, Martin?’ she asked while Anthony remained transfixed at the breakfast bar, too crushed to even cry or think straight and too scared to try and convince his guests with a lie to explain her embarrassing behaviour.
‘Yes, I have a child from my first marriage,’ Martin replied politely, desperate to leave.
‘Oh! Boy or girl?’
‘Really? We have a boy too!’ she screeched, laughing.
Autumn and Anthony don’t have kids! What is this? What the hell is she talking about? ‘Oh,’ Martin nodded, not knowing what to say.
‘How old is your boy?’ she asked.
‘He’s twenty-seven, not really a boy any more.’
‘Really? Our Alex is two. Maybe they could play together sometime?’
‘Erm, okay. Goodbye.’ What the hell was that?
Martin did not even entertain a fake smile – She was crazy. He left the house at a fast pace and jumped into the car.
‘What happened?’ Hannah asked, uneased by her husband’s saddened face.
‘Looks like we have another friend who will be paying a visit to rehab soon,’ he replied, waving his driver to move away. ‘Out of everyone in the business, I never thought Autumn Leigh would be ruined by drugs, but that’s what fame can do to you, honey.’