Coming Next Week to Liz Loves Books.

So the end of another week. Heading into September where is the year going? So last week was great, thanks to authors Luke Delaney and Cassandra Parkin for taking part. So what is in store in the week ahead then? Well, I will tell you…




Sunday see’s the release of The Memory Game, the latest novel from Sharon Sant. Look out tomorrow for a Q&A with Sharon and the chance to win your very own copy of the book in a little competition. Its a great story and you don’t want to miss out!




On Monday I will be revisiting a much loved book – What Lots Wife Saw by Ioanna Bourazopoulou. Winner of the 2007 Athens Prize for Literature this was one of my favourite reads of the year. Ioanna has answered a few questions for me about the novel amongst other things so clickety click on Tuesday to hear what she had to say and to find out about one of the best Post Apocalyptic novels to hit our shelves for a while…




On Tuesday I will be talking once more about one of the books that made me cry…the stunning “His Fathers Son” by Tony Black. In a move away from Crime Fiction, Mr Black has given us an emotive tale of the relationship between Fathers and Sons as well family dynamics in general. He has also answered a few questions for me so find out all about it on Teusday. Don’t miss out!




On Wednesday it will be all about “The Cry” from Helen Fitzgerald. Its obviously a tearful week – this book also had me reaching for the tissues, and in an amazing story of love and loss, Helen Fitzgerald has taken us behind the scenes of a missing child won’t put this one down until you are done. Find out all about it from Helen Fitzgerald herself and read a review here on Wednesday.




On Thursday you can meet Nick Quantrill and his creation Joe Geraghty…and find a review of the latest instalment – The Crooked Beat. I also managed to track Nick down to answer a few questions – find out what he had to say on Thursday and discover the world of Joe….




Finally on Friday there will be an interview with Jonathan Lee all about his wonderful quirky little tale – The Radio. A novel I loved you can find out all about it on Friday and complete the week in style!


So there you go. Plenty of lovely booky book stuff for you to sink your teeth into. And September is going to be a busy month for Liz Loves Books – look out for even more great stuff coming soon!


Happy Reading Folks!

Liz Really Loved….The Keeper by Luke Delaney. Corrigan Rocks!


So, yesterday saw the release of The Keeper, the second of the DI Corrigan books from Luke Delaney and a book that kept me hooked from start to finish. Review and information will follow, but first Mr Delaney kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me and here is what he had to say.


Cold Killing was a great introduction to Sean Corrigan – was he pretty much set in your head or did he evolve with the writing process?


Some elements of Corrigan were set in my mind before I even started writing – I wanted him to be a tough Londoner, but not like someone off the Sweeney. I wanted him to be thoughtful and moody, but a family man too, despite not spending much time with them – which reflects the reality of the job. But it was the real smart bad guy I created in Cold Killing that caused Corrigan to evolve into the super-insightful detective he is now. He had to be special enough to catch my evil creation, and as I wanted him to be real it was important to explain how he came to be so in tune with those he hunts, hence his abusive childhood. Really good detectives do walk a line between good and evil, mentally if not morally. It’s a required tool of the trade and Corrigan pushes it to the limit. It’s not really a sense – more the ability to get into the mind of the offender through experience and imagination. It’s nothing psychic!


With “The Keeper” you upped the ante quite a bit, it was a stunning follow up. How much do your own experiences within the Police Force impact upon the stories you tell?


The Keeper was both very enjoyable and extremely draining to write, I think because it felt more real than Cold Killing. For Cold Killing I invented almost a Super Baddie, based on the meanest criminals I’d dealt with, whereas with The Keeper it was based much more on an everyday psychopath, if there is such a thing, created by his own sufferings. Because of my police background I understand these people aren’t usually monsters – just individuals who’ve been destroyed by circumstance. I felt genuinely sorry for many of the criminals I dealt with, be they murderers or shoplifters. But everyone in The Keeper felt very real – the victims, the witnesses, the families of the victims − which is why I think it was so, for want of a better word, emotional to write. A lot of people have told me they cried when they read it and I have to be strangely happy with that.


Can you tell us anything about what is next for Sean?


What’s next for Sean – that’s an easy one as I’ve already finished the third DI Corrigan novel – The Toy Taker – which everyone seems to think is the best one yet, so that’s fantastic. I can’t give too much away other than to say it rests on every parent’s worst nightmare – their children going missing from their own homes in the middle of the night: no trace, no noise, no signs of a struggle. But all is not as we may believe! Once everyone’s read it I’ll tell you where I got the idea from.


Are you a big reader yourself and if so what kind of novels do you enjoy?


I used to be a big reader, but between writing and looking after my young children I don’t have a lot of time for reading – shocking really. In the old days I used to enjoy the early work of Thomas Harris and James Patterson, but then I drifted into historical books and autobiographies (not of tin-pot celebrities, I hasten to add).


Coffee or Tea?

Coffee. Good coffee! I like the occasional cup of tea, but only if I’ve made it! Can’t stand tea made by anyone else!


Favourite thing to do on a lazy Sunday?


Lazy Sunday? I refer the honourable reader to answer 4 above. Thing of the past, I’m afraid. Sundays are hard graft – really hard. In fact it’s been so long since I had a lazy Sunday I can’t even think what I used to do.


Thank you so much Luke!




So we come to the second in the DI Sean Corrigan series from Luke Delaney (Start with Cold Killing)  and it was a corker.

This outing finds Sean investigating a missing persons case – not his usual type of case but the powers that be demand and so on he goes. Soon he realises that something sinister is going on, then another woman disappears and a body is found. So begins an emotional and heart stopping roller coaster ride while Sean uses his peculiar and intriguing senses to unearth the villain of the piece.

I liked this a lot. Cold Killing was excellent, but the standard has been raised with “The Keeper” to a very high level. Crime fiction is an overcrowded genre but Luke Delaney is going to fit right in – Sean Corrigan may not be unique but his quirks, his background, what drives him on are all very well imagined and the plotting is tight and realistic. The aftermath of the events of “Cold Killing” are dealt with and with a new addition to the “cast” who I hope we will see again (I really liked Anna) this was an absorbing read. One of the cleverest parts of Mr Delaney’s writing comes with the hidden agenda’s and the examination of each characters motivation for doing what they do – you will know as much about the criminals as you will about the police officers that hunt them and this makes for a well rounded and complete reading experience.

I am also quite fond of the fact that the author doesnt see the need to rely on dramatic license and there are no plot holes – ok its not one of those books where you will be saying “Never saw THAT coming” but neither is it predictable. In fact what makes it so good IS its unpredictability especially where Sean is concerned – you are never quite sure what he might do next and it can be edge of the seat stuff.

So all in all a brilliant read and one that I would recommend. My thanks to Kate at Harper Collins for sending me an advanced copy of this book – I’m going to have to stay on her good side because I believe there are more to come. Happy Reading folks!



You can follow Luke Delaney on Twitter here


For Purchase Information clickety click


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Happy Reading Folks!

Love Dr Brennan….terrific novels from Kathy Reichs.



So today the latest Dr Brennan novel from Kathy Reichs is officially released and as I adore these books I thought it would be nice to tell you a little bit  about the Author, the books and if you havent yet picked one of these up then perhaps I can inspire you to do so…..


The Author


Taken from

Where you can find out a lot more information about Kathy, the novels, and the popular tv show inspired by them.


Dr. Reichs is one of only eighty-two forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She received her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from American University, in Washington, DC (1971).  She earned a Masters in Physical Anthropology (1972) and a PhD in Physical Anthropology (1975). The American Board of Forensic Anthropology certified Dr. Reichs as a Diplomate (D.A.B.F.A) in 1986.


Her novels are inspired by her life which gives them a unique authenticity – For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec.


Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


One amazing Lady I would say.


The Novels

In the beginning….





Her life is devoted to justice — for those she never even knew.

In the year since Temperance Brennan left behind a shaky marriage in North Carolina, work has often preempted her weekend plans to explore Quebec. When a female corpse is discovered meticulously dismembered and stashed in trash bags, Tempe detects an alarming pattern — and she plunges into a harrowing search for a killer. But her investigation is about to place those closest to her — her best friend and her own daughter — in mortal danger. . . .



My first foray into Dr Brennans world and one I remember fondly to this day. One of those books that along with Stephen King’s “The Stand” and John Connolly’s “Every Dead Thing” made me realise that this was an author I was going to be following forever, I was hooked from the beginning. Its perhaps not for the faint hearted – the nature of the work Dr Brennan takes on can make for some gruesome reading, but its all very realistic and completely entralling.  I especially loved that Dr Temperance Brennan is by no means perfect…moody yet dedicated, as a recovering alchoholic she has her own demons to fight…and yet she will place herself in very real danger to achieve justice for the dead. Kathy Reichs has a terrific writing style…and to this day that has not lost its charm for me. I look forward to each new Brennan adventure with a great sense of excitement. You can start here…I envy you the journey!


And the latest…..






One of my favourite Authors would be Kathy Reichs, I have followed Dr Brennan’s adventures from the get go so thank you kindly for the advanced copy from netgalley.

This instalment finds Doc Brennan investigating the hit and run death of an unidentified young girl, whilst trying to help a soldier in Afghanistan who is accused of an unlawful killing during an assault on a local village. Reluctantly leaving her “Jane Doe” behind she travels to the war torn country to investigate…

Following many strands in that unique way that Ms Reichs has, as usual this was brilliantly done. Its no surprise given her background that these are some of the most authentic tales you will find in this genre and her knowledge and experience as always shines through during the more technical portions of the book. And yet even someone who has zero knowledge will know what is going on – there is always a handy character hanging around who is dim witted in these matters that the good Doctor has to explain things to in common language – Slidell usually, a character I have what is close to adoration for, he brings a lot of light relief to the drama as always.

Another thing I’ve always loved about this particular style of writing is also prevalent here – Each chapter ends with a short, snappy sentence that somehow, someway, even if its mundane, means you have to read at LEAST a page of the following chapter before putting the novel down. If you can. As usual I found this hard to do! Its not even that there is a cliffhanger at the end of each portion – its just something. It can be an addiction – I did read late into the night again…its a side effect Ms Reichs books have on me. At least now I’m used to it. And I look forward to it.

I have the greatest admiration and respect for this author anyway. She has done an awful lot with her life, not only just for a career but as a calling and has helped an awful lot of people. And hey, she can write. A great story, a terrific page turner, and now you can watch Temperance Brennan on the small screen in “Bones”. A different incarnation again – don’t expect the books – and a terrifically entertaining show.


The End?


Well no of course not….because we also have…


The Television Series.





I remember being so excited to hear that a set of books I loved so much was going to be the basis for a new tv show…and starring none other than David Boreanaz, an actor who I had a secret girlie girl crush on since his “Buffy” days…so I sat down to watch with great anticipation.

I was surprised by what I found…and kind of delighted.  The Temperance of the tv show, whilst having the same background as her book counterpart was actually completely different. Surrounded by a whole new cast of eclectic and hilarious characters she may be a forensic anthropologist who helps out on the most gruesome of cases but she is also quirky, unpredictable and completely annoying in the best way possible. Perfect chemistry between Emily Deschanel and David Boreanaz makes for some sizzling and downright brilliant scenes – and the mysteries are always terrifically imagined and intriguing.

I am a couple of seasons behind now – an error I will need to rectify as soon as possible….


So there you go. Read one of the books, watch some of the show, and enter the amazing, sometimes horrifying, always compelling world of Temperance Brennan. And by proxy…Dr Kathy Reichs.


You can follow Kathy on Twitter here :


Purchase info


Happy Reading Folks!



From the very Beginning….Meet Amie.



So today I want you to meet a lovely friend of mine, Amie Johnson. As well as being an amazing singer with her acoustic band “In Your Honour” and a teacher she is also attempting to embark on a writing career. Reviewing both books and bands she is already making a bit of a name for herself.  I’ve read bits and pieces of her preparation so far and I think she might write rather a good novel. As a blogger, reviewer and lover of all things books I thought it might be interesting, and something a bit different, to follow the writing process from initial decision to writing to (hopefully) success. Equally its possible that things may not go as planned. Either way lovely readers, we will be with Amie all the way, with updates over the months and for all the ups and downs that are to come.


So I will hand over to Amie – she will tell you about her idea, her decision to write and her process so far. Enjoy!


Amie – From the Beginning


However cliche this may sound, or however silly, the idea for my current book came to me in a dream…

I was on a summer holiday in Gran Canaria and I remember waking up, crying for my brother. I don’t think I’d drank many cocktails previous to me going to sleep! And within seconds the dream came flooding back to me in vivid detail. I knew at that moment it was something I wanted to write. I wanted to turn my dream into a written piece of art.

I don’t know how well my dream will translate on paper, if well at all, but I want to try, to make those tears seem worth while. To make them mean something more than just another nightmare.


NanoWrimo is what awakened a passion in me to write novels. At university, in my last, year I wrote a very “in-yer-face” script set around the theme of prostitutes and drugs. It was performed by my class mates on a large scale production – tickets were sold and everything – and it was a great success. So, after being challenged to the great NanoWriomo … -That is to write 50,000 words in 30 days – I decided I would turn my play into a street drama novel. Unfortunately, that year (2011) I did not achieve the full 50,000. So, I made it my goal to accomplish it for 2012. And, after many sleepless nights and anti-social days, I did. I wrote a chick-lit book titled ‘The Other Side’ and it was a very proud moment for me. It was about an actress who lead a perfect life in front of the camera, but behind the camera everything was going wrong. I would love to share this novel with you but due to my lack of backing documents up and my friends lack of computer skill (you know who you are!) I lost the whole novel. 50,000 words gone, vanished into a cyber space and never to be read again. Of course I had other, shall we say more experienced, people look to find it but alas, it wasn’t to be.

Now I want to avenge my story with another and this dream couldn’t have come at a better time – and don’t worry, I’ve learnt to back up my stuff!!


In the future, once a great war has settled and there are only two islands left, a new Government ‘The Regime’ is in play and with elections around the corner, there is a lot going on. Annie works for the local school helping people with disabilities to read and write. She is happily settled with her boyfriend who saved her from a, common, street attack. Her Father, after being recruited into the Regime’s army ‘The Crafters’, went missing and Annie’s Mother joined The Crafters as a communications officer in search of him. Annie’s brother works in a warehouse by day, but by night he is part of a much more life threatening group – ‘The Rebels’. They work against The Regime with hopes of one day performing an overthrow. Annie has a good friend in The Regime, Eman, who is favourite to win the election, but once he does, many of the dependents opinions change. Eman calls for a human cleanse, meaning anyone who, in his eyes, do not contribute enough to their society will be outcasted.

How badly will the cleanse affect Annie and her life?

Do the Rebel’s succeed in an overthrow?

Or will humankind be altered again?


When I started to write a plan it honestly just flowed. Every spare second I had on my holiday I was on my phone typing away, letting my imagination run wild, and it felt great. Once home, I typed it all up and printed out a chapter by chapter synopsis. Names for characters come easy to me and as I began writing the story, naturally the plot changed slightly. Two chapters would merge into one, things like that. The first ‘bump in the road’ I reached was names for things like the new Government and even now I am unsure of what to call my two remaining Islands. My first idea was to have ‘districts’ but this is becoming very popular in young adult novels and so I moved on from that, deciding I should create a name – so this is still a working progress.


So far I am on 6,314 words and am still thrilling over the idea of getting it all down. A lesson I have learnt on a writing course I am currently studying for is to write down your story, having planned each chapter, and then go back to each chapter and turn your drafted words into a masterpiece. Whether I have the skill to produce a masterpiece is another question! For me, I struggle with filling chapters. Most of mine are about 1,000 words which, when I think about your average book, should be more. Maybe once I have finished the big job of writing the book in its entirety, before going back to chop and change things, and on completion of my writing course, I will be able to master this technique better and produce lengthy chapters, after all practice makes perfect!


I did have a moment of weakness however, which i’m told is apparent in most writers careers. I lacked the confidence to continue, my characters stopped talking to me and I didn’t know where to take them. I know what I want to happen in my story but finding the words was proving difficult. My problem is I ramble on and although I have 1,000 words a chapter, it becomes too wordy. My style of writing at the moment is blogging, but it needs to be better. Say three lines in one sentence kind of thing. This is something I am now working on to advance at. Wish me luck!


And that brings you right up to date with my process. It’s a working one and no one is perfect, but I hope you have 1. learnt something 2. were excited by my book blurb and 3. look forward to my next entry here. That latter hope is a big one, I have to say, but please do.


With thanks to Liz, as always, an inspiration and influence to my passion. x


You can follow Amie on Twitter here:

And her blog here:


Thanks Amie. I look forward to hearing more….and reading more as we go!


Happy Reading Folks!

Liz Currently Loves….Black Chalk by Christopher Yates



So a few weeks ago I read the amazing “Black Chalk” by Christopher J Yates.  This title will be released on the 19th September by Random House UK Vintage Publishing and on that day on Liz Loves Books you will be able to find an interview with the author where he talks about the origins of the story amongst other things – don’t miss that its interesting stuff! In the meantime, to wet your appetite here is my review for the book and some links for you to find out more…




One game. Six students. Five survivors.

At University, six friends come together and play a game. Its a silly little game imagined by two of their number – a game of actions followed by consequences growing ever more intricate in nature…with one winner to remain standing at the end. Fun. Oh yes. Or no. As the game becomes ever more involved, the stakes higher, the opponents becoming ever more competitive and adversarial, friendships will be destroyed and tragedy will strike. Watched over by the ever mysterious Game Soc, the players are pushed to their limits….just how far will they go and how much of their future will they sacrifice?

This story will sink into your subconcious…..written in a clever and compelling way the lines between fantasy and reality blur and you will never be quite sure where you are. The game itself is brilliantly imagined – it seems so innocuous and yet its insidious…when is the game being played exactly…and just how serious will the consequences be?

Another extremely clever aspect of this novel for me, is the way that the usual “twists” you would be expecting to come at the end, or as game changers somewhere in the middle are all over the place and intricately placed. In a way this is very much a character driven novel…Jolyon stands out as perhaps one of the most enthralling and unusual characters you will find in fiction – and the rest of the students in their own way are just as fascinating. Any one of them can walk away at any moment…but will they? Psychologically speaking they are all captivating – are any of them quite as they appear? Its very cunning writing…Insidious indeed.

As a mystery, it works on several levels. It will keep you guessing but not about the usual things perhaps. You will want to work out what is going on but every time you think you do, something changes. Someone talks, someone else listens and the whole playing field shifts…if you were to ask me to sum up this novel in a sentence I would perhaps say “The Twilight Zone on Acid” and yet it is all very much grounded in reality. After all, we all play mind games…don’t we?

I will say without a doubt this is one of the best books I have read this year. It will be going into Highly Recommended. As Sherlock Holmes might say. Come Watson….The Game is Afoot.


Find out more about Christopher Yates here :


You can follow him on Twitter here:


To Pre-Order Black Chalk clickety click here:


Happy Reading Folks!

Liz Simply Adored..The Summer We All Ran Away by Cassandra Parkin



So, Happy Bank Holiday Monday everyone, I hope you all have a great day. Today I am revisiting a book a read a little while ago – the wonderful “The Summer We All Ran Away” by Cassandra Parkin. Recently nominated for the Amazon UK Rising Stars Award, quite rightly so in this readers opinion, this was a lovely heart warming story with a myterious heart. You can see my review shortly, first however Cassandra kindly agreed to answer a few questions for me and here is what she had to say.


The Summer We All Ran Away has so many terrific characters – do you have a favourite?


I’m so glad you like them – I am very fond of them all too, having spent quite a long time in their company. I don’t know if I have a favourite, exactly, but I do rather like writing about lost boys, and both Jack and Davey satisfy my need there. And I do have an especially soft spot in my heart for Pris – she’s so tough and rude and cynical, but also very sweet underneath it all.


Did you always know their full story or did it evolve as it was written?


When I started, I definitely had an overall direction in mind, but the story evolved quite significantly as I wrote. I think most writers have the experience where suddenly, your characters start arguing back – they won’t do what you want, they won’t say what you want, they have their own agenda and suddenly, you’re not in control of the story any more. Once that happens, you know you’re definitely getting somewhere.


You have recently been shortlisted for the Amazon UK Rising Stars award – Can you put into words how that feels?


It still hasn’t really sunk in yet, to be honest – I keep checking back on the page to make sure that it really is “The Summer We All Ran Away” on there! I’ve loved so many of the previous Rising Stars nominees – Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus”, S J Watson’s “Before I Go To Sleep”, Elizabeth Haynes’s “Into The Darkest Corner”. Being one of the twelve nominated novels for 2013 is just amazing.


Are you working on another book? If so can you tell us anything about it?


After revelling in a glorious, decadent country mansion, I thought it would be interesting to try writing a story that’s set in the smallest possible space. So my next novel, “The Beach Hut”, is about a grown-up brother and sister who build an illegal beach-hut on a Cornish beach in the autumn, and the impact that their arrival has on a widowed pub landlord and his daughter.


Favourite Author to read (A difficult one I know!)


Oh my goodness – that’s such a hard question! The author whose books I always, always take with me wherever I go is Jane Austen – I haven’t left home without at least one of her books since I was about fifteen years old. She’s a writer you can go back to over and over again, at any age and at any stage of life, and still discover something new.


Favourite comfort food


I love chilli, nice and hot and with far too much garlic to be remotely civilised afterwards. It’s my Meal Of Shame – I make it when my husband’s away and I know I don’t have to meet anyone the next morning. I also really, really like chocolate raisins to eat while I’m writing, because I can pretend to myself they’re healthy.


One thing apart from people you would rescue from a burning building?


I’m dithering between my Chinese lion-dog (he’s about two thousand years old and it would be terrible if anything happened to him on my watch, so to speak) and our back-up drive, which has copies of all the family photos, plus every word I’ve written for the last ten years. No, I’ve thought about it some more and I think it’s going to have to be the hard drive, and hopefully my lion-dog will somehow make it through the inferno. Unless pets aren’t included in “people”, in which case it would have to be my family’s two cats and two guinea-pigs. They’re as daft as brushes and they’d probably all panic and think they were going to the vets, but I love them all to bits.
Thank you so much Cassandra!

Thank you kindly to Legend Press and Cassandra Parkin for the copy of this novel via netgalley.

In an abandoned house in the West Country a small eclectic group of people gather – including young Davey, escaping from life , who is welcomed into their midst with one caveat – he asks no questions. 30 Years previously, Musican Jack Laker is writing a comeback album…and in abandoning one girl for another sets into motion a wave of events that will ripple through the years until  they reach Davey’s shore..

I have posted this review under Fiction – you might also consider it as a mystery novel but for me it was all about the beautiful characters and flowing almost poetic prose – sometimes its hard to put a book into a single genre. Cassandra Parkin has created some wonderfully witty and heartfelt folk here – I loved each and every one of them from the hilariously honest Priss (my favourite) down to the less than likeable but still intriguing Evie. As you follow events both in the past and the present, you will get inexorably caught up in their world…a world as harsh as it is breathtaking. The house is almost a character in itself – there is a definite atmosphere about it and you know it is hiding secrets…but what those secrets are it refuses to tell.

The story unfolds over both the time periods in a charmingly delightful manner – it is gentle yet fascinating. You care less about what they may be hiding from than you do for the people themselves and what they might do next. The Summer We All Ran Away is the closest I’ve come expressively speaking to Agatha Christie – you feel like you are reading an age old tale yet in a modern setting. Of all the wonderful books I have read lately this is the one that has made me feel true nostalgia for those early days of my reading life – when wide eyed I would emerge from a story and suddenly realise it wasnt real. But it feels real when you are in it…doesnt it?



Find out more about Cassandra here


You can follow her on Twitter here


Find out all about Legend Press and their other titles


Purchase Information for the book


Happy Reading Folks!

Coming Next Week to Liz Loves Books.

So Favourite Authors week is over, thank you so much to all who took part, it was great fun and I will try and arrange another one soon! Bank Holiday Weekend is upon us lets hope we all have a good one and here is what you will find should you visit the blog next week!




On Monday I will be talking once again about a favourite read of mine lately – The Summer we All Ran Away by Cassandra Parkin. Recently nominated for the Amazon UK Rising Stars award, you will be able to hear from Cassandra all about that amongst other things and find a review for the book and some informative links.




On Tuesday I will be revisiting Black Chalk with a “Liz Currently Loves” post all about it. Review plus links and a teaser for the Q&A with Mr Yates which you will be able to find upon the release of the book in September. Another of the reads I have adored lately.




On Wednesday you can meet Amie – a great friend of mine, Singer, Writer, Teacher, Reader, Reviewer of bands and books who is about to embark on her own writing career. Writing a first novel can be daunting. I thought it would be nice to follow the process so to speak – the ups and the downs, the good and the bad. As Amie continues on this journey you will find regular updates – and hopefully at the end a terrific novel. No timescale on these things but it will be great fun as well as interesting to see how it all pans out. I know she will write a great book…because I know about these things!




On Thursday it will be all about Temperance Brennan, to celebrate the release of the latest novel from Kathy Reichs. I will be talking about my love of these books, how I have followed them and will review one or two for you and if you havent read them yet, perhaps you will want to!



On Friday its all about “The Keeper” the latest Sean Corrigan novel from Luke Delaney – Review and a terrific Q&A with Mr Delaney himself – don’t miss that one its going to be great, these novels are top notch and some of the best Crime Fiction you will find around currently.


So thats that! Another great week coming up and I hope you will join me.


Happy Reading Folks!

Favourite Authors Week – Will Carver

Friday already? Where do the days go! Anyway for the final day of Favourite Authors week its the turn of Will Carver.




So if you want a book that at first glance appears to be a standard crime thriller but ends up sending a chill up your spine, then Will Carver is the author for you. With a brilliantly quirky writing style and an eye to the darker side of human nature these books sink into your subconcious and stay there. And I rather love January David. Here is what Will had to tell me about his favourite things.


Favourite Book Written.


For me, it’s always the book I am writing right now. I am always learning and trying to make the next book better than the last. While writing a book I tend to flit between loving the words, hating myself for being so awful and not knowing whether it is the best thing I have written or the worst. I love this. I enjoy the torture; the beautiful agony of the writing process. It never gets boring.

Until I’m finished.

Once I have hit the full-stop at the end of the last sentence, I am over it. That book is finished and I can think of nothing worse than reading through it again. I want to start something new.

But, if pushed, I’d say that The Two is my favourite book I’ve written that has been published. Although it was a hard-edged thriller, I still think of Girl 4 as a love story, but The Two was a more intense exploration into loss. January David grew increasingly complex and London felt larger and darker than before. I experimented further with foreshadowing, shifting narrative and time, even writing one section in reverse. It polarised readers’ reactions even more than Girl 4 and that was great. There’s nothing worse than a three-star review.

I’ve done something very different again with my next book in the series, Dead Set. So ask me this question again when it’s released in November and I think my answer will be different.


Favourite Book Read


This is tough as, obviously, I’ve read more books than I’ve written. There are books that I associate with different times in my life, there’s genre to consider, era, style . . .

By the time I had finished writing The Two, I had only read one crime book in my life. The Talented Mr Ripley. I still think you’d be hard-pressed to find something better. I’ve read a lot in the last couple of years. It started with a book swap. I gave a copy of Girl 4 to Erin Kelly and she gave me a copy of her book, The Poison Tree. This book is very poignant in my reading history, also.

I talk about it a lot but Fight Club really cemented the idea of becoming a writer in my brain because I had no idea you were allowed to write a book like that, in that way. I think that The Great Gatsby is a near perfect book and I love everything Hemingway ever wrote. And Fup by Jim Dodge is as elegant and heartfelt as ninety-five pages gets.

When I was younger I loved Stephen King, Julian Barnes, Nick Hornby, all authors whose books felt like they were written specifically for me. And this is where I’m reminded that the word favourite does not mean best written: it’s a book you pick up and it is just the right time for you to be reading it.

I read a book in January of this year that I have had on a bookshelf for years. I tore through five-hundred pages of war and death and friendship and was left audibly weeping for the last fifty pages, despite knowing exactly what was going to happen at the end. I read the last word and wanted to start reading it all over again. I have thought about it every day since. It was The Book Thief and I cannot recommend it enough.


Favourite Holiday/Destination


I don’t like the time of year when the sun is out. I want grey skies and cool air, perhaps a light drizzle. I also have no desire to escape to warmer climes. I love the snow. The only places I want to go where it is hot are places that are too hot for wasps. Because wasps ruin everything.

Lying on a beach and sunbathing – even with a book – is my idea of hell. I would prefer somewhere that’s cold but I could still wear a T-shirt. Perhaps with tall buildings and pollution. Somewhere that is culturally significant, where my favourite films are set and made or books are written or music is played. A city. With lots of people around.

New York is magical. There is a feeling I get when I am there that I do not get anywhere else. Even London. I feel creative and inspired and that I absolutely belong there. I overly romanticise the place but it always delivers. It was eight years ago that I stood outside the Random House building and thought, ‘One day . . .’

I was fortunate enough to travel there again last year, as a large part of my next book, Dead Set, is set in Manhattan, and it was a memorable experience to walk those streets in the footsteps of my characters and take notes and visit several police precincts and bars and buildings. There was a particularly heavy downpour the day I was in Central Park that made it’s way into the book. Best of all, there were no wasps.

In an ideal world, though, my favourite holiday destination would be Paris. In the 1920s.


Favourite Meal


My wife took me to The Fat Duck for my thirtieth birthday. I have never put food that good into my mouth. I like to cook but I never think of turning my whiskey into jelly or poaching a piece of salmon in licorice or spraying the essence of lime into the air while a meringue made using liquid nitrogen pops in my mouth as the mist descends. I even ate  foods I usually avoid and loved them. It was food plus theatre and I was allowed to wear jeans and a T-shirt, which is what I always wear. This was by far the greatest meal of my life. I can’t think of any better.

Though I do love steak.

The top three steaks I have ever eaten were all in Las Vegas. In third place is the Paris hotel. Second is The Belaggio. But the best was in a Brazilian restaurant inside The Mirage. Lovely roasted plantain, too. Oh, and Mojitos.


Favourite Tv show and/Or Film


My television is only switched off for a few hours each day while I am asleep. I watch a lot of TV shows. I can’t go week-by-week, though. I like to do it all in one large chunk. Get an entire season and watch four or five episodes each night. When 24 first came out, I would wait until the release of the box-set and watch it all in one go. Without breaks. That is the only way to do it, I think.

I loved House. What a great show. Like Sherlock Holmes in a hospital. And one of the only shows where each season is better than the last. It also has the most perfect ending to a TV show in the history of television. Exactly how it should’ve ended. Brilliant.

Twin Peaks. Wow. What an amazingly original show. Like a deliciously weird soap opera. Eastenders but with women who talk to logs and dwarves that speak in reverse. It really shows the dark underbelly of a small-town community but blurs that line between dream and reality so well. It has definitely influenced the January David series greatly. The owls are not what they seem . . .

But, my favourite TV show of all time is X-Files. The mythology surrounding Mulder’s missing sister and The Cigarette Smoking Man is superb. I even love the stand-alone quirky episodes like Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’. I often hear people say they used to watch it on TV but it started going downhill after season two.

They are wrong.

It got better and better. From ‘The Erlenmeyer Flask’ to ‘Paperclip’ to ‘Anasazi’ to ‘Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man’ to ‘Redux’ to the double episode of ‘Two Fathers’ and ‘One Son’ – these are all episode titles, by the way: I think I could name about 200 off the  top of my head. I remember watching the whole of season six in one go. On video. You don’t even need to do that with X-Files like you do with 24 but I couldn’t stop myself.

Then Mulder disappears and Scully gets a new partner and you think it will never work. And it absolutely does.

Then Mulder returns and you think the ninth season is going to be brilliant and it absolutely isn’t. It’s a bit rubbish and unfulfilling. But it is still my favourite show because sometimes it is the duds that make a series great. It’s the one song you skip on an otherwise perfect album that makes that album perfect. It’s the film by your favourite director that you have only watched once. It’s the book that your favourite author wrote that you don’t like to talk about. Perfection is rare and it’s boring.


I have a lot of films. Thousands. Thousands and thousands. I went through a phase of watching three films each day. It lasted about ten years. Now, I don’t have as much time so it’s more like two films per day and one of those is usually a Disney film.

I’ve worked in a cinema and a video store. I once decided that I would watch every film made in Hollywood between Easy Rider and Apocalypse Now. I’m still going on that one . . .

I have two favourite films and they are interchangeable.

Cinema Paradiso. This is my favourite, today. Not only is this a gorgeous love story but it really captures the magic of the movies and that special feeling I know I still get when I go to the cinema and the lights go down. I’ve only ever watched the Director’s Cut because it’s the only one I care about.

The other film is Manhattan. I watch it once a month without fail. I’m a huge fan of Woody Allen and an even bigger fan of the city in which it is set and an era I wish I had been alive to experience. The opening monologue explains why I love this film so much. It probably has something to do with my Golden Age Syndrome.

What I find interesting is that, if you asked Woody Allen which of the films he has made is his favourite, he would say The Purple Rose of Cairo. It makes me think about how it is those imperfections that makes thing perfect, that make authors or musicians or filmmakers our favourite. And how the artist’s favourite piece of work will rarely coincide with the audience’s favourite. Consistency is stagnation. Sometimes getting something wrong is more useful than getting everything right. This is why I always try to take risks with my books, break rules, bend conventions and strive to make each story more compelling than the last.


Thanks Will! As Will is in the early days of what I fully expect to be a long and brilliant career, it is actually fairly easy for me to choose my favourite book. The one that started it all off…..




When I first picked up “Girl 4” and started reading it I wasnt sure it was going to be for me. 3 chapters in however and I was hooked like a fish on a line and over one long night I completed the lot. My original review perhaps says it all, even though in those days my reviews were shorter and less involved.

A first outing for Detective Inspector January David, this bodes well for a brilliant new series in the world of, what I call, Crime Fiction Plus. January is investigating a serial killer, and 3 victims in, there are no clues and the killings just stop. Then comes Girl 4..someone January knows. Well he should do…its his wife. And she is still alive. Told from the point of view of January, the Killer and also his victims, this is a terrific “serial killer thriller” with just a touch of a supernatural twist. Be warned though – have “The Two” at the ready because the ending to Girl 4 is a twisty cliffhanger and you won’t want to stop reading there! I had to wait, you lucky readers will not!


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Happy Reading Folks!



Favourite Authors Week – Neil White.

Welcome to Thursday on Favourite Authors Week and today its the turn of Neil White, a rather nice chap!




Apart from Stephen King, Neil White is probably my favouritist favourite author (yes favouritist is a word because I said so!) I’ve always loved Crime Fiction but a while ago I lost that love…probably because I felt at that point like I’d read the same book over and over again for quite a while. Then I picked up Fallen Idols and everything changed. So, here is what Neil had to tell me about some of his Favourite things.


Favourite Book written.


That’s a hard question to start with, because it is hard to be objective about them, and perhaps the ones that have been the hardest to write have been better books because of that.
My favourite is the one due out next month in hardback and ebook, Next To Die, because it was the first book where I felt I was starting from a good position. My previous books were five in a series and then a standalone, but of course the series stemmed from a debut, Fallen Idols, where I was still learning how to put books together, perhaps not wholly comfortable with what I was doing, and if I went back I would perhaps change one or two things.
Next To Die is a new start for me, because it enabled me to develop a new series but from a starting point where I don’t feel like a complete newbie anymore. For instance, in my earlier series Jack Garrett was a journalist principally because I wanted to avoid having a lawyer as a main character, as whenever I found myself writing something legal I became more interested in making it accurate than interesting. One of the two main characters in Next To Die is a lawyer, a criminal defence lawyer, and I didn’t have the same fear, and because I’m a criminal lawyer, I felt like I had “come home”. That isn’t to say that I feel like I am in any way accomplished at what I do, but I feel less bewildered by it.
To nominate as a favourite a book that is due to come out may come across as being a cynical marketing ploy (*innocent face*) and so if I am forced to choose my favourite from the ones people might have read I will choose my fourth book, Dead Silent. If I think about why, I would say because it is the only plot I came up with in the previous six books where the lead character generated the story. I will try and explain.
In all the other books, I tended to have an idea of an angle and then fitted the story around that. In Lost Souls, I became interested in precognition and an arts professor called David Mandell. Last Rites was connected to the Pendle Witch legend. Cold Kill was based on the BTK killer, and in Beyond Evil I was trying to create a low-rent, Lancashire Charlie Manson. Dead Silent had a different genesis. Jack Garrett was a freelance crime reporter, and I wondered what would be the ultimate scoop for a crime reporter, and I guessed that it would be to locate Lord Lucan, the long-disappeared aristocratic nanny-killer. So I came up with the idea of Jack being approached by someone who knew a long-disappeared murdering toff, Claude Gilbert, who would come out of hiding through Jack, provided that Jack could prove his innocence first.
I didn’t hide the Lucan background, as a lot of the fake sightings of Claude Gilbert in Dead Silent were in fact “real” fake sightings of Lord Lucan, and the two locations crucial to the Lucan story were used in the book: the basement where the nanny was killed, and the pub to where Lucan’s wife ran in order to escape him.
So Dead Silent is the answer. The pace is slightly more gentle than the others, and it’s the fact that character generated the plot rather than an idea being fitted around the characters. Ironically, it has the lowest sales figures too.
Favourite Book Read.
Like all favourite things, the answer changes every time I think about it, and the answer I give most times probably isn’t correct.
The answer I give usually is To Kill A Mockingbird, and this is because of one simple reason: it’s the only book I’ve ever read where I wanted to read it again as soon as I’d finished. Sometimes I give the answer Shoeless Joe by WP Kinsella, which is a whimsical Iowa-set story about a farmer who rips up his cornfield to build a baseball field. It is more recognisable as the Kevin Costner film Field of Dreams, but it is beautifully written, and is the writing style I first tried to mimic, albeit in a crime setting.
I’m going to choose something different, however, because the problem with favourites is that your real favourites becomes swamped by later also-rans, and so you don’t know which is your real favourite, or even whether it matters. So I’m going to choose Salem’s Lot by Stephen King, for no other reason than Stephen King was one of the writers who really got my love of reading going as a teenager. I had always read, but Stephen King gripped me, and so I think he deserves the tag as the writer of my favourite, and Salem’s Lot stands out as terrifying me.
Favourite Meal
Food is about mood. Spicy food always wins for me though, and a curry will always tick the box. I’m not of the “make it hot” brigade, but I like to feel some bite.
Favourite Holiday/Destination.
I love the USA, and there isn’t a better day out than having an afternoon at Fenway Park watching the Boston Red Sox as part of an all-day boozing binge, but as for real beauty I would say the Catalan region of France.
France is a beautiful country, so varied and stylish and so much history, but with the area in the south-western corner you get all of that but with the most sunshine. The rolling vineyards, the wave of the sunflower fields, the shabby chic of the small villages and towns. Italy is very similar, but I haven’t seen enough of Italy and so will stick with France. I have bought so many “learn French” things, hoping to learn the language and move there, but have never quite managed it.
Favourite Tv Show and/or Film
Like books, the answer changes every day.
I will love most things with Denzel Washington in, and I watched Flight last night and thought it was fantastic. Field of Dreams and O Brother Where Art Thou are in my top five usually, and a friend and I went to where Field of Dreams was filmed, a small farm just outside Dyersville in Iowa. The farmer realised that if the film company built it, people would indeed come, and they do, and the farmer makes a living from selling merchandise from a hut. So we spent the afternoon sitting on those small wooden bleachers. listening to the crack of the bat as people played baseball and watched the slow waft of the corn at the edge of the outfield.
Life of Brian is just brilliant, just perfect in so many ways, but the film I will pick as my favourite is Quadrophenia.
I came into my life as a lawyer somewhat late, after spending my teens and early twenties unemployed. All of that “wasted” time was spent messing about on Vespas and Lambrettas, and some of the greatest weekends I’ve had were spent on scooter rallies, where thousands of dodgy characters would take over a small seaside town and get up to things that they would rather not have appear on their curriculum vitae. Those were fun times, although so many things happened that I will not discuss or admit but could have scuppered a career in the law before it had even started. So I shudder sometimes when I think back, but smile also, although it has left its mark in the form of a pretty bad tattoo on my arm. In my defence, tattoos back then were not the art form they are now.
This brings me back to the film, Quadrophenia, the tale of a sixties mod who lost his way when he became involved in the mods and rockers thing in the sixties. Although my scooter times were in the eighties, the whole scooter renaissance was started by the film and the way it coincided with bands like The Jam and then the ska bands of the late 1970’s. So it feels like the film is partly responsible for the way my life has developed, and we would often put it on before going for a ride out. The music is great, the scooters are great, and the memories are great.
Field of Dreams 4Field of Dreams 71987033
Thanks Neil! My favourite book of Neils is a hard one to pick – I fell madly in love with the Parker brothers from “Next to Die” but as we are having a whole day dedicated to them nearer the release date I’m going to pick a different one….
This book killed me. Absolutely. I don’t usually cry at crime fiction it has to be said but this one had me reaching for the tissue box…oh and in places its pretty horrific in the best way. Neil’s use of descriptive prose to describe the darker side of a crime is always evocative – in this particular book, part of the Jack/Laura series, there was an especially emotional scene. For that reason its always going to be high on my list of favourites when it comes to Mr White’s books.
My orginal review:
For me this was a brilliant read that I simply could not put down. I would highly recommend reading Fallen Idols and Lost Souls before reading this if you want to get the full effect of the story and a proper feeling for the main characters. The story moved along well. Some of the descriptions may not be for the faint hearted, but for me that added to the fear you felt for Sarah and the urgency to turn the next page and discover her fate. As with all of Mr White’s novels, it left me wanting more, and I am looking forward to the next in the series out soon.
Other Titles
Neil also has his own page here so you can find reviews for all the books, including the new one, right there!
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Thanks once again for taking part Neil!
Tomorrow we round the week off with Mr Will Carver.
Happy Reading Folks!

Favourite Authors Week – R J Ellory.

Wednesday folks! Happy Wednesday. Today on Favourite Authors Week its the turn of R J Ellory.




I love Mr Ellory’s books – I like to call them Noir Plus they are always evocative and intriguing…with great characters and often dark storylines. Here is what Roger had to say when I posed the favourite questions to him…


Favourite Book Written


I am so often asked, ‘Of the books you’ve written, which is your favourite?’  This, like all the questions in this interview, is impossible to answer.  That’s like asking a father with a dozen kids which one he loves the most.  However, in France, I was once asked a variation of this question. ‘If you died tomorrow,’ the reporter asked, ‘which of your books would you wish left behind as your legacy, if you could in fact leave only one book behind?’  It was a close called between ‘A Quiet Vendetta’ and ‘A Quiet Belief in Angels’ (and nothing to do with the word, ‘Quiet’!)  After some consideration, I decided on ‘A Quiet Vendetta’, because I feel it perhaps best represents the kind of story I always wanted to write – broad, expansive, an all-encompassing perspective on a slice of American history and culture that fascinated me as a child.  And it deals with honour, integrity, the pursuit of truth, so many areas of human conduct that we battle with in our lives.  It’s also my wife’s favourite, and that means a lot too


Favourite Book Read.


IN COLD BLOOD – Truman Capote

What can I say about this book?  I have read this four times.  I’ll read it again.  Genius.  Absolute genius.  I feel very strongly about this book.  This was almost a case of ‘one man had one book as his life’s purpose’, and then once the book was written he never really published another word, and he drank himself to death.  For many years – simply as a result of this book – Capote was considered one of the most eminent and important twentieth century American writers.  I don’t think anything could ever take that away from him.  And then there is the Harper Lee twist.  Search out the Norman Mailer essay about the relationship between Lee and Capote (childhood friends – she the author of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, the only book she ever wrote, Pulitzer Prize-winner, Oscar-winning film adaptation; Capote the author of ‘In Cold Blood’, a serialised book that sold more copies of The New Yorker than ever before, generated four films, two of them adaptations of the book, two of them bio-pics of this period of his life), and see what you make of it.  An astonishing book – as William Shawn said ‘I think this book will change the way people read…it may even change the way people write…’  Superb, breathtaking, magnificent.


Favourite Meal


Late 2009, on a US east coast tour, myself, my publicist and his wife went to dinner in a small hostelry called The Bridge Street Café beneath the Brooklyn Bridge.  Once a whorehouse, then the first licensed porter establishment in New York, they served us soft-shelled crab and hanger steak the like of which I had never had, and probably never will again.  Perhaps it was the wine, the company, the atmosphere, the fact that it had been such a successful tour, but it was an evening I will remember for the rest of my life.


Favourite Holiday/Destination


Little bit difficult this one as I don’t take holidays.  Never have had, probably never will.  I think the last holiday I took was when I hitchhiked to Wales with my first wife in 1985 and slept under a tarpaulin for a week on the beach.  However, having said that, I do tour a lot, and I have been to some of the most incredible places.  If I was to choose a holiday destination right now it would be Austin, Texas.  Blues clubs, great food, wonderful people.  Either Austin or Nashville, for pretty much the same reasons.  Have been to both of them, and didn’t want to leave.


Favourite Film and/Or tv show


Another staggeringly impossible question!  I am going to go with All The President’s Men.  I could say Goodfellas or The Godfather or Apocalypse Now or The French Connection or The Third Man or Strangers on a Train or Rear Window or North by North-West or a hundred thousand others.  I spent the vast majority of my teenage years distracting myself with classic noir films from The Golden Age of Hollywood, and I am a huge fan of those films, but there is something that has always intrigued me about political conspiracy and cover-ups.  I remember watching All The President’s Men as a child, and that inspired me to want to be a journalist, a goal I kept for many years but ultimately never pursued.  Great script, great acting, great direction.  A wonderful, wonderful film.


Thank you so much Mr Ellory!


No dilemma for me today. Picking my favourite of Mr Ellory’s books was a no brainer. I book I have loved and that has stayed with me since I first read it years ago, in my Top 5 and likely to remain there….When I talked about the books that made me cry I talked about this one and here is what I said!




Candlemoth. Oh Candlemoth! The first book to make me cry and realise that sometimes a book CAN touch your heart, I look back on this with great fondness. Also on my reread list to add to Mr Ellory’s page here, it was certainly one of the books that turned me into the prolific reader I am today.

Candlemoth tells the story of Daniel Ford. Sat on Death Row with only 30 days until his execution is set, he looks back on the events that lead him there – and so begins the story of a friendship that was supposed to be forever. Daniel’s story is a sad one. It is. It speaks about how life catches up with you – how events in life can change who you are. So yes, tears. Tears for Daniel and for his friend Nathan. A beautiful story….


Other Titles




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Linky link for purchase information


Thank you once again Mr Ellory. He also has his own page here so you can peruse at your leisure!

Tomorrow its the turn of Neil White to tell us a few of his favourite things.

Happy Reading Folks!