Cold Calling by Russell Mardell


Book Description:

Still reeling from the break-up with the love of his life, insurance firm cold-caller Ray English has become a bit of a screw up. Cynical and withdrawn, Ray is aimlessly drifting through life in London with his long suffering best friend, Danny. However, once he is asked to reform his college band for a friend’s wedding, Ray is soon forced to face up to his old life, and the hometown he had tried so hard to turn his back on.

Anya Belmont is a woman with a secret and a history that continues to shape her life. A coffee shop owner in Salisbury, Anya is successful, yet bored; married, yet lonely. She is also slowly being driven to distraction by her highly temperamental friend, the child-hating children’s author, Eva Cunningham.

Through fate, coincidence or just bad timing, Ray and Anya’s lives begin to change when Ray cold-calls Anya and the two strike up a seemingly innocuous conversation. Against their better judgement, their conversation is soon the start of a relationship played out over the phone. But can there ever be anything real in a phone call?

A sharp-witted, saccharine-free, thoroughly modern tale of lost loves and found friendships.

My Thoughts:

Ray is a bit of a lost soul. He has never got over the love of his life and is struggling to move on. That all changes when he speaks to Anya over the phone whilst on a cold call for the insurance company he works for.

Anya I couldn’t quite work out to start with. Even though she is very forth right with Ray and his problem, there seemed to be something holding her back. She should be happy with her life but there seems to be something niggling away at her that is constantly there.

The story itself alternates mainly between Ray and Anya and their phone conversations, as well as Danny, Ray’s friend and Eva, Anya’s friend. This way, not only do we get to see Ray and Anya through their own perceptive but from their friends also.

Anya very much becomes Ray’s own personal counsellor. Even though he knows he shouldn’t be calling her, she has become in a way his security blanket. Anya may give good advise to Ray but she seems to have a problem at taking her own advice for herself and I was dying to know what she was hiding from us as well as Ray.

Ray and Anya both know that they are crossing over certain lines yet they can’t seem to stop themselves from ringing each other. Even though it seems to be more a case of Anya helping Ray, I think Ray in his own way helps Anya.

Cold Calling is actually quite a sweet read. I thought it was going to be some big romance story but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I think it’s very much about how sometimes getting a total strangers perceptive on your life gives us more clarity than from people that are closest to us. It’s also about facing the past in order to move on. The relationship between both Ray and Anya felt a bit like a mother berating her young child. It was sweet, humorous and by the end quite moving.

A lovely and compelling read.

Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.

Cold Calling is available to purchase from Amazon.

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