Talking “The Cleaner” with Elisabeth Herrmann

THE CLEANER

Publication Date: Available Now from Bonnier/Manilla

The Cleaner is an excellent thriller (review to follow) so I was very happy to get to ask Elisabeth Herrmann some questions about the novel, some fascinating stuff here – thanks so much Elisabeth!

* Tell us a little about the background to “The Cleaner” – what inspired the story originally.

I worked for several years as a journalist in the newsroom. I saw a lot of crime scenes in those days. Once I attended a crimescene and there was blood everywhere- spread on the floors and walls, and the owner of the apartments were really scared to go up to their rooms. I asked the policeman in attendance who removes these traces? He told me about the specialists, the cleaners. I was curious to find out more and so started the reserach – and voila, the book came from that experience!

* The narrative that looks at the literal “Cleaning” aspect of Judith’s life is very intriguing and often shocking – it must take a particular type of personality to do that job and this is explored within Judith’s character. Was there a lot of research needed to make this authentic or did you already have background knowledge?

Yes, there really was a lot of research done. I agree, it does take a certain personality to do that job and huge part of Judith’s current situation can be explained by her background – without giving too much away I did research into young people and drug addiction and rehab facilities.

The man I based Dombrowsky on was an old school entrepreneur with a moving van who worked a lot with the Synanon organization (which was initially a drug rehabilitation program), so I used this when I was creating Judith – it allows her to find a path back into a kind of “normal life” by working for “Dombrowsky facility management”.

But why was she a victim? I had a lot of explanations, but beeing an orphan in the GDR-system was one of the best. It took a long time, talking to former kids who grew up in in orphan home, reading, reserching, travelling … Sassnitz is still spooky now! Our knowledge of this time is so full of gaps, it’s not enough. I didn‘t want to write a completley fictional story, it’s so important to me that it be “real” in some aspects.

* The political landscape in the novel is fascinating – how much of that theme within the plot is drawn from real life?

Everything. Really. Everything. The case of Judith did not happen, but it COULD have happened. I had help from a former secret service man and from a lot of other scientists. Many incredible stories began to come to light, beginning with the so called “Keitel-Villa” in Berlin Zehlendorf, where the CIA and BND worked under one roof. Which of course begs the question, why were the CIA manipulating the clear name list of the Rosenholz File, the story about transforming the stasi paper files into micro fiches etc. but I did not wanted to write a true story, it just helped to have this knowledge.

* Tell us a little about you – what type of novels do you enjoy reading, which author inspires you? What is your favourite way to spend a lazy Sunday?

I love love love Tana French. I adore the way she creates a universe of people and a case with so many surprises. Also Elizabeth George and Michael Crichton. I love reading crime novels. But I also read Zerulya Shalev, Donna Tartt and Thomas Mann. And “county and living”-journals 🙂 I have a colorful flat with a lot of things I found on the flea markets. Strolling in summer over the “brocantes” in southern france, where I spend several weeks every year for writing, makes me happy. A lazy sunday means – High Tea! Baking Scones, taking the clotted cream out of the fridge (where I store it after London visits), and making a strong black frisian tea with “Kandis” (Sugar that looks like rocks) …. mmmmhhh. I also love to listen to a Mahler or Bruckner concert, or the latest CD of Ann-Sophie Mutter, and my world is paradise.

* What is next for you in the writing stakes if you are allowed to say?

I just finished a new all-age-thriller. It is set in the bohemian mountains, the so called Emperors Forest, over the shady, pittoresque scene of Karlsbad. And I am also very lucky to be writing the screenplays for my books “Vanished Graves” (Versunkene Gräber) and “Walker in the Snow” (Der Schneegänger) at the moment.

Thank you so much!

It was an absolute pleasure, thank you for having me Liz!

About the book:

THE CLEANER

Signs of an agonisingly slow death, pools of blood, hands desperately searching for a hold. Judith Kepler has seen it all.

She is a crime scene specialist. She turns crime scenes back into habitable spaces. She is a cleaner.

It is at the home of a woman who has been brutally murdered that she is suddenly confronted with her own past. The murder victim knew Judith’s secret: as a child she was sent to an orphanage under mysterious circumstances – parentage unknown. And the East German secret police were always there, in the background.

When Judith begins to ask questions, she becomes the target of some powerful enemies. And nothing will ever be the same again.

The Cleaner is a superb and intelligent thriller, some beautiful writing and a really very engaging and intriguing story, something a little different to anything I’ve read lately in the best possible way.

There are many layers to the tale, not least of which is the political landscape – intensely fascinating it provides a backdrop to the story of one womans journey towards the truth of her history. In Judith Ms Herrmann has created a realistically flawed and conflicted character that you immediately get behind – the horrors of her job speak to who she is, which ties into her reaction to finding something telling at her latest crime scene and the whole story is beautifully constructed to make it entirely addictive.

It can be a challenging read at times, I lost the nuances of the politics occasionally but the historical flavour the author brings to the past during those strands is immersive and wonderfully described. As a thriller it is bang on the money – plenty of twists and turns to keep you enthralled throughout, edge of the seat moments to die for (and hold your breath during) and all the way through Judith is the anchor and the person you are rooting for.

Putting all that aside, there is a huge hook to be had in what Judith does for a living. I was completely into that part of the book, her attitude, especially to others coming into the job allows for some more humerous moments within the narrative – the fact that there are actually people that do this job gave me many moments of thought, I can’t imagine being that person, the one that comes in after the shouting and quietly makes it go away. A different side to things that works so well within the story as a whole. I loved it.

Overall a great thriller. Great. Highly Recommended.

You can purchase The Cleaner HERE

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

 

 

Bad Samaritan by Michael J Malone. Bang on crime fiction.

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Publication Date: Available Now from Contraband

Source: Purchased copy

A helping hand? Or the grip of a murderer?A Glasgow student is found dead in a city-centre alley, kickstarting a trail of brutality that drives DI Ray McBain to the very edge, staring into the abyss… The victim’s family and friends are all under suspicion, and McBain has to untangle a sordid web of lies, blackmail, infidelity and cyberstalking. And when Stigmata, a deranged serial killer from McBain’s tortured past, starts taking out new victims – with the suspects and McBain himself in his sights – the case gets even more treacherous. The pressure intensifies until McBain calls on Kenny O’Neill, his old underworld crony, to help watch his back. Will that be enough to stop the killing?

When crime fiction is described as “gritty” I tend to have a love/hate relationship with it. Often the grit is the thing, attempts to make it so mean actual story gets lost and characterisation suffers – not so with Michael Malone in any novel of his that I have read – he’s bang on the money every time, with brilliant writing, characters that pop and addictive stories that dig deep. And for me the story and the wordplay are always the things that get my blood going.

With “Bad Samaritan” my blood was definitely up, I read it in one sitting and it fairly popped along, totally engrossing, never losing focus and with a noir tone that really appealed.  Some gorgeous prose, descriptive and enticing and yes absolutely chock full of grit first page to last.

I’m a fan of McBain – a main protagonist that has all the hallmarks of one of the greats, with his own style and unique outlook that just grounds the whole story in reality, authenticity is not lacking here, if anything it is pitch perfect. The supporting cast are all just as good, as far as characters you can get behind (or not) goes this is spot on.

Bad Samaritan is probably my favourite of the novels so far, the plot is layered and intriguing, my attention never once wandered, it scared the heck out of me in places and kept me reading into the early hours. Overall it was an intense, emotive and beautifully honed piece of “gritty crime” fiction and in my love/hate  book relationships this came down entirely on the love side.

Highly Recommended.

Follow Michael on Twitter here

You can purchase “Bad Samaritan” by clickety clicking HERE.

Happy Reading Folks!

 

2016 Spotlight: A Tapping at my Door by David Jackson. Blog Tour.

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Publication Date: 7th April from Zaffre

Source: Review copy

A woman at home in Liverpool is disturbed by a persistent tapping at her back door. She’s disturbed to discover the culprit is a raven, and tries to shoo it away. Which is when the killer strikes.
DS Nathan Cody, still bearing the scars of an undercover mission that went horrifyingly wrong, is put on the case. But the police have no leads, except the body of the bird – and the victim’s missing eyes.
As flashbacks from his past begin to intrude, Cody realises he is battling not just a murderer, but his own inner demons too.
And then the killer strikes again, and Cody realises the threat isn’t to the people of Liverpool after all – it’s to the police.

This is the beginning of a new series for David Jackson, a writer I have much admired even if quietly in the crime writing stakes so I was really keen to read “A Tapping at my Door” and see what was what. Loved it. The very definition of a page turner, great characters, terrifically addictive and dark story and a beautiful depth to the writing that just added icing to the cake.

Starting with a shiver inducing murder and staying pretty shiver inducing throughout, A Tapping at my Door has the advantage of being a brilliant police procedural enveloped within some pretty cool pyschological character study, Nathan Cody and his inner turmoil adding some intriguing and fascinating layers into an already fascinating plot.

Weaving a great mystery element around a terrifically drawn cast is not as easy as the huge plethora of crime fiction out there would suggest, you sometimes have to dig deep to find the gems and this is a gem – engaging and thrilling whilst being thought provoking and often horrifying. Some hard hitting scene setting and descriptive prose occasionally had me clutching my head, the beautifully placed little twists and turns worked well,  perfectly paced and entirely absorbing throughout.

This novel also has the advantage of having a bang on ending, a resolution that rings true and digs deep, resolving and restarting, this is a series that I am adding to my must read list. Whatever is next for Nathan Cody he ain’t doing it without me.

Highly Recommended.

Find out more here:

Follow David on Twitter here:

You can purchase A Tapping at my Door by clickety clicking HERE.

Happy Reading Folks!

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New Release Spotlight: Cut by Marc Raabe

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Publication Date: 24th March 2016 from Bonnier

Source: Netgalley

A boy is witness to a horrible crime. Decades later, his girlfriend is kidnapped by an insane serial killer. To save her, he must return to the events of the past. But how can he remember when forgetting was the only way to survive?

Gabriel’s job as security guard takes him to a derelict mansion in Berlin late at night. The obscure scene there reminds him of the most terrible night of his life – the night his parents died. Soon after, he receives a desperate call. His pregnant girlfriend Liz is being attacked and cries for help. Gabriel alerts the police but they arrive too late. Liz has disappeared without a trace. The hunt for her turns into a frantic chase against time. The terrifying man from the past has returned and will not stop until Gabriel is completely destroyed.

Cut is described as “The serial killer thriller that took Europe by storm” – well I can see why because it is intensely creepy, with some memorable characters and a really dark undertone to the writing which gives it an atmospheric twist that is truly addictive.

Cut is both a serial killer thriller and a fast paced race against time,with some beautifully placed reveal moments and a real sense of urgency to it when it comes to Gabriel’s ability to track down his missing girlfriend and save her from a monster.

One thing I loved about Cut was the bad guy was truly a bad guy, Marc Raabe managing to create a certain depth to that character whilst obscuring the motivations behind the actions really right up until the last minute. It is unpredictable which makes it fun (and sometimes horrific) I was often struck by a moment, there are some descriptive scenes that linger with you.

Cut was a fast read for me – one I enjoyed all the way through, the past/present vibe which I always enjoy in novels was done really well, some great writing here and a stonking good story. Serial killer thrillers are thinner on the ground than they used to be – Cut fills that gap nicely with one that has many levels.

Recommended

Find out more HERE

You can purchase Cut by clickety clicking HERE

Happy Reading Folks!

2016 Spotlight: A Time of Torment by John Connolly.

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Publication Date: 7th April from Hodder and Staughton

Source: Review copy

Jerome Burnel was once a hero. He intervened to prevent multiple killings and in doing so damned himself. His life was torn apart. He was imprisoned, brutalized.

But in his final days, with the hunters circling, he tells his story to private detective Charlie Parker. He speaks of the girl who was marked for death but was saved, of the ones who tormented him, and an entity that hides in a ruined stockade.

Parker is not like other men. He died, and was reborn. He is ready to wage war.

Now he will descend upon a strange, isolated community called the Cut, and face down a force of men who rule by terror, intimidation, and murder.

All in the name of the being they serve.

All in the name of the Dead King.

We are at Charlie Parker 14 now and honestly this series just gets better and better, each novel adding layers to the last, the mythology that John Connolly began creating way back in “Every Dead Thing” is brilliantly imagined, incredibly dark and insanely addictive. When I go into a new instalment my expectation is always high and this author meets and exceeds it every time, A Time of Torment was no different in that respect.

This had a slightly different vibe to it, shaking things up a bit, A Time of Torment is a slow burner full of tension and brimming with atmosphere. Following  Charlie and his indomitable sidekicks Louis and Angel on the one hand as they track and deal with some very bad folk, on the other we have the Cut – an isolated and inbred community hiding a terrible secret, who keep the wider world away using fear and often violence. When Charlie hears a strange tale told by a man named Jerome Burnel, the two sides are set on a collision course that brought me to one of the most chilling endings Mr Connolly has yet achieved in this series. Now the wait for more begins once again. I hate that part.

The Cut as a concept was extraordinarily chilling, the characters within it endlessly fascinating and very scary – with his usual flair for setting and descriptive prose, the author paints a picture and leads you towards the inevitable clash, the journey is once again dangerous and taut, completely riveting I was utterly gripped and fully immersed back into Charlie’s world once more.

The mythology deepens, Charlie’s daughters, one living, one dead are becoming inceasingly important to the whole – this layer which speaks to the ongoing saga is incredibly alluring and honestly creepy. Shiver.  The relationships between all the main protagonists are constantly in ebb and flow over the course of the entire body of work so far –  the absolute creative genius the author brings to the core storyline is what inspires comments like “the best crime series currently in existence” although for me personally I don’t like the crime tag for these when taken on its own. Yes it is crime in a lot of the elements but it is so much more, an epic and increasingly spellbinding series that has too many facets to call it any one thing.

On a personal note one thing “A Time of Torment” did for me was knock Stephen King off his perch, from this point on I will happily tell anyone that asks that John Connolly is my favourite author – I would dump a new King book for a new Connolly book in under 10 seconds, if he wrote a book a month it would not be enough for me. As an emotionally charged reader I need an emotionally charged novel and this is what I get every single time, so what can you do except acknowledge that and so I have.

Character driven, literary and always always bang on the money, from my point of view the Charlie Parker series is the best series currently in existence. Forget the crime tag.

Highly Recommended. And then some.

Find out more HERE

Follow John on Twitter HERE

You can purchase A Time of Torment by clickety clicking HERE

 

 

 

 

2016 Spotlight: Hex – Thomas Olde Heuvelt. Break the Hex.

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Publication Date: 28th April from Hodder  and Staughton

Source: Review copy

Translated by Nancy Forest-Flier

Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay until death. Whoever comes to stay, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a seventeenth-century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Blind and silenced, she walks the streets and enters homes at will. She stands next to children’s beds for nights on end. So accustomed to her have the townsfolk become that they often forget she’s there. Or what a threat she poses. Because if the stitches are ever cut open, the story goes, the whole town will die.

The curse must not be allowed to spread. The elders of Black Spring have used high-tech surveillance to quarantine the town. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break the strict regulations and go viral with the haunting. But, in so doing, they send the town spiraling into a dark nightmare.

Hex is hands down the creepiest book I have ever read. Yes thanks SO much to the author for those nightmares. Loved it. When a book genuinely disturbs you, you know you are onto a good thing.

The Black Rock Witch AKA Katherine just insinuates herself into your life while you are reading this book – there was one night that I woke up in a cold sweat absolutely certain she was stood at the end of my bed. Took half an hour and a compulsive check of every room in my house before I was convinced she wasnt actually there. But she could have been…

Thomas Olde Heuvelt has a deeply atmospheric and rich tone to his writing – Hex tells the story of a haunting in the modern age – the use of technology to track the witch on one hand offset against old world superstition and torch burning villagers on the other makes for  a really terrific addictive read that will follow you around during all the routine mundane moments of life – and make you both desperate to get back to it whilst eyeing it suspiciously.

Teenage rebellion. Takes on a whole new meaning if you live in Black Spring, this is a thread that runs through the entire narrative and is really clever storytelling. The author sets you up for every fall yet you never see them coming – his eye for character detail is incredible.  Getting attached to any one person in this novel is akin to watching them walk  a tightrope without the benefit of a safety net – the “what the heck” moments when they come are tense, genuinely immersive and bang on the money when it comes to getting the heart pumping.

In between all those edge of the seat moments though is  quiet comtemplation, observations of human nature that dig into those dark recesses of humanity, to that part of all of us where we are still children hiding from the boogey man. This is proper old school horror where often what you don’t see is far worse than what you do – it reminded me of King when he’s right on it, messing with your head and getting you jumping at shadows. Hex had that in spades, it  grabs you and does not let go,  is paced to perfection, written beautifully and basically just scares the crap out of you.

Highly Recommended. Unless you are of a nervous disposition. Oh even if you are, don’t miss this one. It won’t kill you. I promise. No really. Have I ever lied to you?

Find out more HERE

Follow the author on Twitter HERE

You can Purchase Hex by clickety clicking HERE

#BreaktheHex

 

 

 

 

 

Ordeal – Blog tour review.

Ordeal

Publication Date: Available Now from Sandstone

Translated by Anne Bruce

Source: Review Copy

Frank Mandt died after a fall down his basement steps, the same basement that holds a locked safe bolted to the floor. His granddaughter, Sofie Lund, inherits the house but wants nothing to do with his money. She believes the old man let her mother die in jail and is bitterly resentful. Line Wisting s journalist instinct leads her into friendship with Sofie, and is with her when the safe is opened. What they discover unlocks another case and leads Chief Inspector William Wisting on a trail of murder and narcotics to an ordeal that will eventually separate the innocent from the damned.

Nordic Noir is a thing at the moment – some brilliant books arriving on our doorstep and Ordeal was such a book – distinctly atmospheric, with its own peculiar vibe I enjoyed it very much.

A great mix of police procedural and intensley intriguing character study, Jorn Lier Horst weaves a clever and perfectly paced tale around his main protagonists and has a clear and descriptive eye for interpersonal relationships that allows the reader to fully absorb into their world.

The mystery element is expertly done, Ordeal is light on action, heavy on authenticity, a quietly addictive read that keeps you turning those pages. I have a fondness for crime fiction with real soul, coming from writers that know how to engage and hold attention as the author did here, Ordeal is very much its own thing and that was the draw for me.

It has been said that it has all been done before and that is probably true – but often with this type of novel it is not so much the basics of the story but how it is executed, how a particular writer brings his or her own particular creative spirit to the table – in the case of Ordeal I loved the sense of it and it was a darn good yarn to boot.

If you are a fan of all things Nordic Noir then you will love this. Sometimes it really is that simple.

Recommended.

You can purchase Ordeal HERE

Follow the tour!

Ordeal Blog Tour twitter

 

 

2016 Spotlight: When She Was Bad by Tammy Cohen

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Publication Date: 21st April 2016 from Transworld

Source: Netgalley

YOU SEE THE PEOPLE YOU WORK WITH EVERY DAY.
BUT WHAT CAN’T YOU SEE?
Amira, Sarah, Paula, Ewan and Charlie have worked together for years – they know how each one likes their coffee, whose love life is a mess, whose children keep them up at night. But their comfortable routine life is suddenly shattered when an aggressive new boss walks in ….
Now, there’s something chilling in the air.
Who secretly hates everyone?
Who is tortured by their past?
Who is capable of murder?

Basically When She Was Bad is banging. Best way to put it.

I’ve always loved Tammy Cohen for her incredibly divisive and insightful characters, her beautifully constructed plots and her ability to explore the darker side of human nature-  where the surface is all bubbly and friendly whilst underneath the real personalites lurk, mumbling and grumbling away until all hell breaks loose.

When She Was Bad has all those elements and then some, a seering character study in a tale of two halves. On one side we have a dark event from the past, on the other we have a group of people who work together in seeming harmony until an ambitious and ruthless boss upsets their status quo. Then the true nature of their relationships start seeping through and this sets us up for an addictive and atmospheric tale which fairly rocks along to a frankly, very creepy conclusion.

The group arc is intelligently done and oh so authentic – if you have ever worked in an office environment within a team you will recognise the dynamic and if you happen to work in such a place now by the end of When She Was Bad you will be viewing your colleagues with a certain amount of suspicion. Because that is what Tammy Cohen does – she takes the normal life stuff and kicks it off kilter.

Throw in some genuinely cool plot twists along the way, build the tension in fine fashion, create some unforgettable characters that the reader can develop a love/hate relationsip with whilst at the same time delving into the mundane routine of life that everyone can relate to and finally throw an explosive and unpredictable ending into the mix and you have When She Was Bad. I loved it.

Highly Recommended.

Find out more HERE

Follow Tammy on Twitter HERE

 You can Purchase When She Was Bad by clickety clicking  HERE

Happy Reading!

 

 

 

New Release Spotlight: What She Never Told Me by Kate McQuaile

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Publication Date: Available Now from Quercus

Source: Review Copy

Louise Redmond left Ireland for London before she was twenty. Now, more than two decades later, her heart already breaking from a failing marriage, she is summoned home. Her mother is on her deathbed, and it is Louise’s last chance to learn the whereabouts of a father she never knew.

Stubborn to the end, Marjorie refuses to fill in the pieces of her daughter’s fragmented past. Then Louise unexpectedly finds a lead. A man called David Prescott . . . but is he really the father she’s been trying to find?

Extraordinarily readable (meaning I banged through it in grasshopper on acid fashion) and beautifully written family drama here with “What She Never Told Me” which follows Louise as she unravels her past in order to secure her future. Some well drawn characters and an atmospheric story with a distinct sense of place made this a really enjoyable, engaging and terrific book.

Sometimes you just get fully immersed in a novel, in the lives of those you meet between the pages – that was definitely true with this story, I was hugely sympathetic to Louise who just wants the truth and equally to those around her who are caught up in her obsession. The narrative digs deep into the personalities, whilst  hovering over everything is a woman who can no longer speak for herself – Marjorie, an enigma in death as well as in life.

As Louise slowly uncovers the trail that goes back into a haunting past, What She Never Told Me is a real treat to read, revealing layer by layer a life built on lies, which doesnt necessarily mean that life was a bad one. I loved the exploration of some tangled relationships, the grey areas morally speaking and Kate McQuaile has a real eye for plot building, scene setting and genuinely intriguing character study, the mix of all three is what makes this great.

I will admit to predicting the resolution but to be honest this is not a book that I read expecting some huge twist in the tale –  for me it was the story of mothers and daughters, lovers, friends, even those people you meet rarely but affect  you utterly – it is, in essence, about those  things that are never said but none the less have a huge impact on entire lives. I loved it.

Highly Recommended

Follow the author on Twitter here

You can Purchase “What She Never Told Me” HERE

Happy Reading Folks!

 

 

 

Independent Bookshops – the ones we love. With Nikki Owen.

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Today’s Independent Bookshop is Stroud bookshop – Nikki Owen’s local, so she had a chat to the owner and tells us all about it.

My local bookshop: Stroud Book Shop, Stroud, Gloucestershire

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Why I love it: I love our local bookstore because it reminds me why local bookshops are so essential. It’s not only brimming with books from all walks of life, but it’s brimming with people too, and with that comes a real sense of community. Charles, who runs the store, is softly spoken and very well known in Stroud now, and to see everyone use the shop regularly is a real delight, especially when you see tiny kids (including mine, who are a tad older now) getting all excited there about the latest books. Charles also is in touch with local authors and he regularly has (and publicizes) signing sessions when new novels come out. Oh, and it’s opposite a coffee shop – what more could you want!

I had a chat with Charles of Stroud book shop and asked him what he views is the role of the local book store and how, over the years, that role – and the publishing industry – has evolved:

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“A smaller town like Stroud isn’t big enough to have a Waterstones, but there’s still a need to have a cultural centre in the town. So I guess we’re providing not only access to books, but there’s a notice board we have on the entire window here facing outside where local events can be advertised – so it’s not just about having a bookshop, but I think it fulfills a function in the local community.

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Also from the point of view of book, the shop’s important because always the danger has seemed to me, one that’s quite significant, it’s seemed to be that when Amazon was growing and Waterstones and all the other chains were either disappearing or shrinking, it was that books, as a result, were beginning to become invisible to the average buyer, because, I mean, not everyone lives in a big city near a chain book store. And so, as a sort of gift option for example, or for themselves, books were going lower down in the hierarchy of their preferences, and it was ending up that they weren’t thinking, ‘Ooo, there’s a book shop, I’ll get a book to read or get one for a gift for my friend.’ We felt it was a real danger for the book as a whole, and I felt that it was a real threat – facilitated, ironically, by publishers – that books were disappearing off the high street. Small bookshops are great for just making books visible.

We first started the bookshop in 1992, so that’s 20 odd years now. The key change we’ve seen since the demise of the net book agreement is that we’ve seen greater competition, you know, with supermarkets and the Internet. And the Internet, I think, is the biggest threat, you know with I’d say about a third of all books sold going through the Internet.

The recession and the last 8 years have been significant in terms of our survival. We had a children’s bookshop, which we’ve had to integrate, unfortunately now into the main shop. But from the point of view of the town, of Stroud, things are looking more prosperous now than when we started. You know, we have the Stroud farmers’ market here every Saturday and that’s meant a lot of people come by here when they’re in town. But it is dependent on having quite a discerning clientele here and in the surrounding areas, you know, needing people who may make the conscious decision to use Stroud, to use the high street as opposed to out of town shops, so, yeah, as a result, I think it’s probably more vibrant now than it’s ever been.”

 

Stroud Bookshop

23 High Street

Stroud

Gloucestershire

GL5 1AJ

Twitter: @stroudbookshop

Nikki Owen is the author of Subject 375.

Find out more about her Here

Follow on Twitter Here

About Subject 375

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What to believe

Who to betray

When to run…

Plastic surgeon Dr Maria Martinez has Asperger’s. Convicted of killing a priest, she is alone, in prison and has no memory of the murder.

DNA evidence places Maria at the scene of the crime, yet she claims she’s innocent. Then she starts to remember…

A strange room. Strange people. Being watched.

As Maria gets closer to the truth she is drawn into a web of international intrigue and must fight not only to clear her name but to remain alive.

You can purchase Subject 375 HERE

Happy Reading Folks!