Kate Thompson's latest novel 'Love Lies Bleeding' is much anticipated by her loyal fan base.

Set between glamorous movie star-encrusted LA, Dublin and the idyllic French town of Lanquedoc, we revisit familiar characters from Thompson's catalogue of novels, all of whom are in the midst of a summer of turmoil and revelations.

Screenwriter Deidre O'Dare, who is married to dashing film star Rory McDonagh, finds out how fragile her seemingly enviable Hollywood marriage is when she hires the beautiful and beguiling Greta as an Irish speaking nanny for their son that summer. Greta immediately connects with and charms her young charge, Bruno, but it would appear he's not the only man in the house who is under the spell. She is a lot more familiar with Rory than Deirdre could dare suspect.

Beautiful Madeline Lennox relinquishes her role as muse to her famous and charismatic artist husband, Daniel, setting her on a path of soul-searching and personal revelations. Battling insecurities she discovers the depth and strength of her relationship with her seemingly erratic husband.

Lonely and neglected Dannie Palmer is so desperate for a baby, her obsession clouds her judgement and drives a wedge between her and her workaholic husband. Her disappointment gradually becomes resentment and bitterness, which has drastic consequences for her friend's marriage.

Thompson does a great job of creating chemistry between characters though, at times, the language isn't quite convincing. ('Auntiekins' is not generally a common expression adult men use.) Her excessive descriptions of characters and situations makes it hard to get into 'Love Lies Bleeding', and to stick with it. The predictable plot also makes it a fairly forgettable tale, but it is a guaranteed few hours of summer escapism.

Karen Moran