Literary Fiction

Behind Her Back – Jane Lythell

8 June 2019
Behind Her Back Book Cover Behind Her Back
Jane Lythell
August 10, 2017

Liz Lyon is a television producer and busy single mum to a teenage daughter. She works at StoryWorld, the UK's favourite morning show. As both confidante and team leader, she is the person tasked with controlling the conflicts and tantrums that flare up off-air. Having just started dating again, she's also having to deal with a few conflicts and tantrums at home... Following a blissfully peaceful two-week holiday in Italy, Liz has returned to find a new colleague has joined the station. Lori Kerwell has been brought in to increase the show's profitability. But Liz is not sure that's the only thing on Lori's agenda. As Lori builds her power base with the bosses, Liz finds herself wondering what's really going on behind her back... WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BEHIND HER BACK: 'I have really enjoyed all of this author's books. I think she has a brilliant writing style where there isn't an over reliance on speech, nor of descriptions, it is the perfect balance. Her stories are written so well you feel like a fly on the wall. With this, it felt a memoir rather than a novel it was so good. It had me turning page after page long into the night' J.L. Edwards. Lythell is an intelligent writer who has produced a book that taps into the issues that affect society, the home and the work place ... Well observed, well written, engaging and with a good balance of humour, sadness, tension and resolution to entertain and satisfy any reader' Nicholas J. Sunderland. 'Fast paced and with a good injection of emotional content' Ashrae. 'A story of office politics, rivalry, egos and some wonderful humour. It has a gripping pace that keeps you enthralled throughout' Sarah Mac. 'A thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable read (though you won't want to get a job in TV afterwards!)' Rae Cameron.


Liz Lyon, the producer at StoryWorld TV, has returned in Behind Her Back, Jane Lythell’s second novel in the series. A fascinating entertaining drama that simmers with deceit, power struggles and family issues. We have a fascination with the world of TV, films and media – the glamour, glitz and indiscretions that seem to appeal to our insatiable appetite for scandal. What really happens behind the camera, the chicanery and achievements, the egos and the hard work, and the impact it has on personal relationships.

Liz Lyon is a hard-working woman and a single parent to Flo, and there is a very clear and deliberate female message in the story. Explicitly, it is a struggle for women to balance work and home but that the story should inspire women to pursue whatever they wish in life and not allow obvious or hidden barriers to stop them. I also appreciated that the story is fundamentally considered as an entertaining drama, fraught with office politics and career-damaging machinations regardless of gender. And in fact, similar issues are faced by both genders as a result of plotting and deceit.

There is a recognition that Liz’s job is very maternal, watching how the aspects of internal politics and conflicts can be averted and issues smoothed before there are highly disruptive consequences. The problems are just about to become a lot more personal.

StoryWorld TV has a new Sales and Marketing executive, Lori Kerwell, brought onboard by the MD Saul Relph and it seems she has greater ambitions than her appointed role. Closely linked to Saul she intrudes into aspects of the station which involve Liz and her boss Julius Jones, Director of Programmes. The die is cast for a power struggle, intrigue and the relentless cauldron of gossip. Jane Lythell presents these insights from personal experience as a morning TV producer, which really brings the authenticity of the story to a new level.

Maybe we’ve all felt periods when we’ve been undermined or went unrecognised in our jobs. Worse still when someone has set their sights on getting your job. The uncertainty and stress that can manifest itself are very well developed and the constant scheming is layered brilliantly as it builds and builds.

I would highly recommend this book and I really appreciate Jane Lythell for asking me to review her book and providing me with a copy in return for an honest review.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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