20 Questions For….Neil White.

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Leading into tomorrow’s e-book release of the brilliant (and to be reviewed on Friday) Lost In Nashville, a slight departure for the enigmatically clever (that’s £50 he owes me) Mr White, now seemed like a good time to throw 20 Questions at him. As you do…

So your next crime book is the start of a new trilogy. Tell us about it. Don’t bang on though we haven’t got all day…

Firstly, it’s not a trilogy but a whole series. Pay attention. It’s about a defence lawyer and a private detective, the private detective being a former client of the defence lawyer when she was accused of murder but acquitted. They work together to fight injustice, dodgy clients, dark deeds and their own unrequited feelings for each other.

When you last got drunk did you do anything stupid?

I was wild and crazy, drinking until the early hours and falling asleep in front of the television. Yes, I stayed up very, very late.

I’ve read all your books and it is the worst kept secret in the world that I’m a fan. So which is your favourite and why? No you can’t say the new one to plug it a bit more, it has to be one of the others.

Dead Silent. The pace is slightly slower, and it was the first book where the characters determined the plot, rather than coming up with an idea and then moulding it around the characters. As a character was a freelance journalist, the plot involved a Lord Lucan type character who would come out of hiding if the character proved his innocence first. The character’s occupation determined the plot.

You are some kind of legal genius (so I’ve heard) – do you think you could plan, execute and get away with the perfect murder?

Well, they haven’t caught me for the three I’ve done so far, so I guess so.

You are a rugby league fan. Why is that? Is it the rugged handsome players or what?

Rugby league is brutality and grace all in one game. Tough and uncompromising but with so much beauty as the ball sweeps between the players, everyone in motion, decoy runners, like watching a dance, fluid and poetic.

What would your wife say is your worst habit?

Watching rugby league and drinking too much. And killing people, although I tend to be quite sketchy on the details, just to protect her. She does like the constant replenishment of spades and saws though. Good to see shiny things in the garage.

There is another book on the horizon. Non crime. I of course know nothing about it so give us a clue. Again though no banging on. We are not even halfway there yet…

Lost In Nashville, it’s about a man approaching his fortieth birthday who takes his father on a road trip, to try and reconnect with him. They travel Johnny Cash’s life, starting at his birthplace and visiting the places important to Johnny Cash’s story and places he sang about. They discover a lot about Johnny Cash and a little bit about each other.

I self-published it because it is very much a personal project and I was impatient about it.

If you are at a party and there are people you would really like to avoid (don’t pretend that never happens it comes upon us all) are you willing to hide under a table? Or are you endlessly polite? (I’ll pretend I didn’t see you diving behind the bar when you saw me coming at Crimefest)

I tend to be polite, although I have been known to walk the other way at times. I’m big though, so I don’t change direction easily. Like a cargo ship.

I don’t tend to approach people to talk, I’m too shy and not gregarious enough for that (I assume that people think I’m an idiot, and I hate to see it confirmed in their expressions). I will always chat back though.

Talking of festivals which is your favourite?

Harrogate, just because so many people go. But Crimefest and Bloody Scotland are great too.

How much do you love Corrie Jackson and would you two like to have another chat for the blog? (I’m asking her this in her 20 Q’s too just so you don’t think I’m picking on you…)

Corrie is great, very talented and cool, but she needs more gravy in her life. You can never have enough gravy.

Talking of interviewing people for me (I’m glad you’ve learned its safer just to do what I ask) is there anyone you would like to ask many questions of that I haven’t yet annoyed you into doing?

If you could sort out that Grisham chap, I’d be most obliged.

One thing you can’t live without.

Tea

One thing you’d rather live without.

My weakness in front of a sweet rack.

If you and Rod Reynolds were stuck on a desert island and the only way to survive was cannibalism do you think you’d emerge victorious or would he?

It’s a moot point as to whether being compelled to munch your way through my glutinous mass is a victory. The answer is, therefore, that we are both losers.

The cheese question – everyone is struggling with the cheese question – but what IS your favourite kind of cheese?

Mature cheddar. Mmmmmmmm.

If you were going to a fancy dress party with Murder and Mayhem as the theme what costume would you choose?

The quiet man you suspect the least.

Your favourite read of the year so far (no you can actually only have one for this interview. I’m strict. If you pick more than one I edit you down to your first answer)

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

Name something that irrationally irritates you.

People who say “Can I get” in coffee shops, as opposed to “have”. I want to stamp on their feet when I hear it.

Your top writing tip for those who need them…

Keep going. It won’t write itself.

How much do you hate me right now?

Immeasurably.

Hmmm..

About Lost in Nashville:

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A father and son, the open road, and Johnny Cash. Number one bestselling ebook author Neil White has penned an emotional journey through the life and songs of Johnny Cash, told through the eyes of James Gray, a lawyer whose life is a success. Or, at least he thinks it is, but it has something missing: a bond with his father, Bruce. Bruce Gray is old, tired and estranged from his family. He spends his time drinking and drifting in the small seaside town in England that James once called home. James decides to take Bruce on a road trip, to try to connect with his father through the one thing that has always united them: a love for Johnny Cash and his music. Together, they travel through Johnny Cash’s life; where he grew up, the places he sang about – A Journey of discovery about Johnny, the South, and each other. Always fascinating, an evocative and emotional personal road trip, Lost In Nashville will captivate you, inform you, and along the way may even break your heart.

You can Purchase Lost in Nashville HERE

Visit Neil at his website HERE

Try some of his top crime fiction

Or follow on Twitter HERE

Happy Reading!

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Ones to Watch in 2017 – Little Deaths Emma Flint.

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Publication Date: 12th January 2017 from Picador

Source: Proof copy

It’s the summer of 1965, and the streets of Queens, New York shimmer in a heatwave. One July morning, Ruth Malone wakes to find a bedroom window wide open and her two young children missing. After a desperate search, the police make a horrifying discovery.

Noting Ruth’s perfectly made-up face and provocative clothing, the empty liquor bottles and love letters that litter her apartment, the detectives leap to convenient conclusions, fuelled by neighbourhood gossip and speculation. Sent to cover the case on his first major assignment, tabloid reporter Pete Wonicke at first can’t help but do the same. But the longer he spends watching Ruth, the more he learns about the darker workings of the police and the press. Soon, Pete begins to doubt everything he thought he knew.

Ruth Malone is enthralling, challenging and secretive – is she really capable of murder?

For me, Little Deaths was a marvel of a novel. Poignant, thought provoking, beautifully written and engaging, also randomly rage inducing – I went through a spectrum of emotions reading Ruth’s story and at the end I was wrung out.

Also, warning: Will cause google mania as you look up the case that Emma Flint took her inspiration from. That is also extraordinarily fascinating. I have today purchased her recommended book on the subject.

Little Deaths starts with a tragedy – two missing children. I don’t think its really a spoiler to say there is not a happy ending for the tiny ones – what follows is a multi layered, insightful and scarily authentic dig around the court of public opinion, the influence of the press and the dogged determination of a police investigation headed up by an obsessed detective.

Set in Queens, New York  in the Summer of 1965 Emma Flint brings that time, that place, to beautiful, occasionally awful, always vivid life. You will see and hear it, find focus in the community surrounding Ruth as she faces every mothers worst nightmare. Ripples going outwards, infecting and affecting so many lives, this novel shows you all the nuances, those places inbetween, it was gripping, utterly gripping from the very first page. That did not go away.

I think it should be noted that in this reviewers opinion  if you are expecting a psychological thriller, a “whodunnit” then you won’t get that. Whilst there is resolution in a sense, whilst there is an element of “Did she Didn’t she” that is the peripheral of Little Deaths. Whilst still intriguing on that level the heart of it is in the characters, their influences, a snapshot of a time, a place, a judgement that one would hope we as a society would have left behind us now. We have not though as the cases glaring at us from todays headlines prove all the time.

I’m back to Little Deaths is a marvel of a novel. Literary crime with a dash of eloquence and a story rooted in the truths we don’t like to think about.

Highly Recommended

Follow Emma on TWITTER

To Purchase Little Deaths clickety click right HERE

Happy Reading!

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There’s something about Maggie – with Michelle Davies. Gone Astray.

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Today I am very happy to welcome Michelle Davies to the blog talking about one of the characters in her novel Gone Astray. Maggie is a Family Liasion Officer – not often the main focus of police teams in Crime novels so something a little different there for you…

There’s something about Maggie…

A question I’m often asked these days is whether I’ve put a lot of myself into my characters, particularly my series detective, DC Maggie Neville.

On paper, the answer would appear to be ‘nothing’: Maggie is in her late 20s, lives alone in the town where she was born and raised, doesn’t have much of a social life and is unhealthily close to her sister Lou, a single mum with three children by different dads. I, on the other hand, am hitting my mid-40s, I live in London with my partner Rory and our seven-year-old daughter Sophie, and while parenting has curbed any chance of spontaneous nights out, I still go out more than Maggie does!

But there is a reason Maggie is like she is. I wanted my leading police character in Gone Astray to be unique, and as a Family Liaison Officer (FLO) had never taken centre stage before in a detective series, it was the perfect role and I created Maggie to fit it.

My research revealed that many officers who undergo FLO training have themselves experienced a degree of grief that makes them empathetic to the relatives they are helping. For Maggie, that comes the form of an accident when she was a teenager in which someone she knew was killed and for which she blames herself.

Her relationship with her sister Lou, while frustrating at times, demonstrates her belief in the importance of familial ties – a crucial trait for any FLO. It also proves she has patience in spades, another requisite of the job, as it can many hours and days to coax traumatised relatives into giving statements.

I then deliberately cast Maggie in her 20s because I didn’t want her to be jaded like a more senior officer in his/her 40s might be. The absence of cynicism, particularly in regard to policing, makes her outlook generally positive, which again is a good way to be when you’re surrounded daily by so much grief. I’m also a massive Prime Suspect fan and used to wonder what had made DCI Jane Tennison the way she was, so I was very happy when Lynda LaPlante explored her early years in Tennison. I see Maggie as Tennison was before the job wore her down.

I hope you like Maggie and what she stands for. We may not be similar, but she really is a woman after my own heart.

About the Book:

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What if someone thinks they deserve their life more than you?

When a Lesley Kinnock buys a lottery ticket on a whim, it changes her life more than she could have imagined . . .

Lesley and her husband Mack are the sudden winners of a £15 million EuroMillions jackpot. They move with their 15-year-old daughter Rosie to an exclusive gated estate in Buckinghamshire, leaving behind their ordinary lives – and friends – as they are catapulted into wealth beyond their wildest dreams.

But it soon turns into their darkest nightmare when, one beautiful spring afternoon, Lesley returns to their house to find it empty: their daughter Rosie is gone.

DC Maggie Neville is assigned to be Family Liaison Officer to Lesley and Mack, supporting them while quietly trying to investigate the family. And she has a crisis threatening her own life – a secret from the past that could shatter everything she’s worked so hard to build.

Read my review of Gone Astray HERE

Find out MORE

Follow Michelle on TWITTER

To Purchase Gone Astray clickety click right HERE

Follow the Tour!

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20 Questions For…..Simon Booker.

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Next victim/participant/very brave person featuring in 20 Questions is the rather lovely Simon Booker (who really made an EXCELLENT if rather bossy quiz master at the Killer Women Festival this last weekend – more on that another day) author of the rather gripping Without A Trace.

Thanks Simon for taking part.

So, Without Trace is your debut novel (and a bloody good read it is too) – we’ll start with a book question so just tell us a little about it…

Thank you. I’m so glad you liked it. WITHOUT TRACE is the first in a series of psychological thrillers. The book introduces Morgan Vine, a single mother and investigative journalist who’s obsessed with miscarriages of justice because of traumatic events in her childhood. Her first love, Danny Kilcannon, has been convicted of murdering his stepdaughter. Convinced he’s innocent, Morgan campaigns for his release from prison. She succeeds. He’s exonerated and released. But Morgan’s own 18 year-old daughter then goes missing under mysterious circumstances, with the finger of suspicion pointing firmly in Danny’s direction… Morgan sets out to find her daughter and discover the truth about Danny. Is he the innocent she believes him to be, or a ruthless killer…?

Lets say you’ve just murdered someone (don’t worry they ABSOLUTELY deserved it) You can’t get rid of the body because the car won’t start. Or something. THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING. Who do you call for help and why them?

I’d call you because you’ve read so many crime novels and must know all there is to know about disposal of inconvenient corpses.

When you started writing what made you go the criminal route – were you tempted by some other genre first or was it always crime for you?

I’ve been writing crimey stuff for TV for many years – Mrs Bradley Mysteries, Inspector Lynley Mysteries etc – and seem to have a knack for coming up with twisty-turny plots.

Do you regret it now? The crime crowd are quite a bunch! (A lovely deliciously funny bunch but QUITE a bunch)

The old cliché is that crime writers are the nicest group of writers because we kill off people we don’t like ‘on the page’. Like all clichés, it contains a grain of truth. Romance writers are said to be the most difficult…

So we’ve rocked up to a fair few bookish events together at different times – do you ever think “Oh God what again?” or have you loved every one of them (This is just between us you understand. You can say if anyone had an utterly boring book launch…)

It’s like a family. Very collegiate and good fun. But I can only cope with a certain amount of socialising (and drinking) before I have to go and lie in a darkened room.

Favourite cheese.

Depends on my mood. Parmesan is hard to beat because it generally accompanies a delicious plate of pasta.

The desert Island question. Who would you most like to be stuck on a desert island with? You can have 4 but remember you may be there for a while. And possibly have to live with them for a LONG time. This assumes close family are already with you so not them.

Barack Obama. Michelle Obama. Jon Snow (newsreader not Game of Thrones). Penelope Cruz.

If you find £500 in a wallet that has no identification that would allow you to return it to the owner would you keep it or hand it in to the police?

I couldn’t keep it for myself but if I didn’t think the police would find the owner, I would donate the money to charity. Perhaps a home for retired crime writers…

If something annoys you does everybody know it or are you good at hiding your irritation?

I think people can read me pretty easily.

Are you writing something new right now? Can you tell us anything about it?

I’m doing line edits for the second Morgan Vine thriller.

If you and all your Twenty7 friends were thrown into The Hunger Games who would emerge victorious?

Ayisha Malik, author of Sofia Khan is Not Obliged. Twenty7 rule number one: don’t mess with The Malik.

Writing habits – do you have any? Good or bad or both…

I write best in the morning. No music, no coffee shops, just bum on seat in my study. Oh, and a siesta after lunch. Let’s face it, we’re all useless for at least an hour in the afternoon. I don’t fight it, I just have a kip then do some more work until Jon Snow appears on Channel Four News (see above).

Last book you read and did you enjoy it?

I find it hard to read about crime while writing about crime. I’m currently reading non-fiction: THE GIRL WITH SEVEN NAMES by Hyeonseo Lee, a defector from North Korea. It’s a fascinating insight into life in that bizarre and cruel country.

How do you feel about chips – fried, baked, NO CHIPS EVER I’m too healthy?

What kind of question is that? Fried, obviously. And the best chips EVER are at a restaurant in Deal, Kent – the Frog and Scott. One for the bucket list. (I’m serious.)

I rather love gin – what do you rather love?

My kitten, Minou. Oh, you mean, alcohol? Again, depends on mood. Sometimes a cold beer is hard to beat, other times a glass of good red wine, or a cup of tea. (Yorkshire Gold.)

If you could be anything at all apart from a writer what would you be?

A (successful) singer. I can’t sing for toffee but how great would it be to sing your way around the world, entertaining people and basking in their applause.

Your real life hero…

Barack Obama. What a mensch. I’ll be heartbroken when he goes – even more so if The Orange Idiot takes his place.

Your fictional hero…

I loved Sherlock Holmes as a kid. Also Holly Golightly – but for slightly different reasons…

One thing that drives you crazy…

Builders’ radios blaring in the street while I’m trying to write.

How much do you hate me right now?

How could anyone hate Liz?

Well exactly!

About the Book

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For four long years, journalist Morgan Vine has campaigned for the release of her childhood sweetheart Danny Kilcannon – convicted, on dubious evidence, of murdering his 14 year-old stepdaughter.

When a key witness recants, Danny is released from prison. With nowhere else to go, he relies on single mum Morgan and her teenage daughter, Lissa.

But then Lissa goes missing.

With her own child now at risk, Morgan must re-think all she knows about her old flame – ‘the one that got away’. As the media storm around the mysterious disappearance intensifies and shocking revelations emerge, she is forced to confront the ultimate question: who can we trust…?

Find out more HERE

Follow Simon on TWITTER

To Purchase Without A Trace clickety click right HERE

Happy Reading!

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20 Question For…. J M Hewitt

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Today I have 20 Questions for the lovely Ms Hewitt, which includes at least one bookish question and the rest as usual. Thanks so much to her for agreeing to be a victim. LOVE doing these and we’ve got a fair few to come yet (poor authors)

Tell us about Exclusion Zone in a way that makes us want to read it (not me I already did although I’ve lolly lagged terribly on writing the review. David Young will feel your pain)

Well, Exclusion Zone is a crime fiction book with a difference. The whole premise started from a question I asked myself: ‘what if terrible crimes were happening in a place where no law enforcement would go?’ And Exclusion Zone was born from that. Imagine though, the abandoned and off limits locations where people do live, though they are not supposed to. As a resident who do you call in those circumstances? Well, in my case – Private Detective Alex Harvey, and his reluctant side-kick Elian Gould!

What would be your preferred method of despatch should you be planning to murder someone (in other words how bloodthirsty are you)?

Right now I’m looking into poisons, in fact, next to me are articles from newspapers with headlines such as ‘Wife jailed for Poisoning husband’s Christmas Day Lambrini’ and ‘A brief history of women putting poison in their lovers’ food’. Hopefully my partner doesn’t come in here and look around my desk too much…

I also love how they get rid of bodies on Breaking Bad, you know with the hydrofluoric acid. Except one time they use a plastic bath tub instead of enamel and it all comes through the floor!

And who would you call to help deal with the body?

My mother! She’s not at all squeamish and I know I could trust her!

Cup of tea – Dunky biscuit or no dunky biscuit?

Wow, I’ve never dunked a biscuit in my life. It would seem like a terrible waste of tea if it were to break up and be a big soggy mess at the bottom of the mug.

What made you want to write about a nuclear fallout zone?

The idea of a place that is so geographically close to us, but can never be lived in again – ever! That’s so interesting. And the more research I done, the more intrigued I became. Conspiracy theories, government cover ups, wildlife and nature reclaiming the land… how could I not want to write about it?

Chips – Fried or oven?

Fried – from the chip shop, which is conveniently situated at the end of my road and which I frequent every single Wednesday!

Which famous person would you most like to meet and why?

You know, if you’d have asked me a year ago I’d have said Jackie Collins, but she passed away exactly one year ago the date I am writing this. So now, I’d probably say Stephen King or Jeffrey Archer – I bet they’ve got some stories to tell!

How many glasses of wine do you reckon we’ve consumed between us at various events? However much it was I don’t think it was enough…

This question made me laugh a lot, because we’ve been at a few events together and not once have I ever drunk wine! I’ve probably had about one G&T at each bash with you, so I think that answers the question how many glasses of wine have YOU had!

HA too many obviously…

On a desert island with only crime writers for company which 3 would you choose?

This is difficult, I’m going to say Jane Isaac because we get on so well and she is so damn lovely. I can’t imagine having a cross word with her, ever! Alex Marwood, I could listen to her talk for hours and she’s rather fabulous and finally, Marnie Riches because she makes me laugh my pants off, she’s hilarious!

Sandy beaches or Rocky Mountains?

Oh sandy beaches every time!

What was the last thing you did that you wish you hadn’t done?

Oh man, I interviewed for a cleaner recently and the one I hired was so lovely as we said goodbye she stuck her hand out to shake and I hugged her. So embarrassing, not to mention when I pulled her in for a hug I accidentally stood on her toe too. Oh dear, it was like that bit in Friends where Rachael accidentally kisses her boss who is interviewing her…

In Exclusion Zone you use differing timelines. How does that stay straight in your head? Are you a post it note person?

Post-Its, notebooks, envelopes, the note function on my iPhone! Everything is needed and sits in big piles on the desk until the end of the project!

When you are reading a novel what would make you put it down? In other words which writing tropes annoy the flaming hell out of you?

I don’t like it when the point of view is portrayed incorrectly – an easy mistake to make I know, but also a rookie one! I did stop reading just a couple of chapters into one which had this error a lot! Other than that, there’s not much I won’t read!

Film you’ve watched the most times and why?

It would be a tie between The Godfather, The Deer Hunter and Deliverance. All 1970’s greats and I will watch them every single time they’re on the T.V. Oh, and Terminator, both one and two. I’ve seen them hundreds of times. Oh, and Die Hard!

Christmas person or bar humbug?

I love Christmas, the wintry weather, the fire on, the food, the presents! Bring it on!

Do you believe in Fairies? (I wanted a Unicorn but nobody would buy me one)

Fairies… no, but I recall my mum telling me they lived at the bottom of the garden when I was a little girl and I’d spend hours looking for them!

Worst habit.

I asked my partner what my worst habit was and he said ‘swearing’! Apparently I swear too much, who’d have fucking known hey?

Fancy planning a heist with me so we can retire to some Island somewhere?

Yes! Name the time.

One thing in the world you’d change if you could..

Aside from getting rid of the obvious, wars, climate change, racial and cultural ignorance etc, I’d like less people on the planet and for our pets to live the length of an average human life!

How much do you hate me right now?

Liz, I could never hate you. I think you’re Goddamn fabulous!

Aw. The feeling is entirely mutual!

About the book:

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On 26th April 1986, reactor four exploded at the factory in Pripyat, Chernobyl.

At the same time teenager Afia Bello vanished from her home without a trace.

The damage from the nuclear fallout is examined over the following weeks, months and years by Afia’s younger sister Sissy, as she unwittingly uncovers clues relating to her sister’s disappearance, and the secret life that Afia kept hidden from her family.

In the summer of 2015 Private Detective Alex Harvey is hired to investigate the disappearances that have been occurring within the exclusion zone.

He can think of only one person to bring along with him to help; Ukrainian national Elian Gould.

Elian – who was adopted at birth – has her own reasons for accepting the job; namely to search for her own family history which has always been a mystery to her.

But the remaining citizens of Chernobyl are hiding their own secrets and with a darker force at work, the missing person’s case suddenly turns into something much more serious…

Follow J M Hewitt on TWITTER

To purchase Exclusion Zone clickety click right HERE

Happy Reading!

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Deep Down Dead – One Day to Go. Competition Time!

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***Competition Now Closed****

So TOMORROW you can FINALLY get your hands on Steph Broadribb’s (AKA Crime Thriller Girl) Deep Down Dead (in e-book)  – a book that as a crime and thriller fan you will NOT want to miss. And yes I know I should possibly have been all professional and used a beautifully posed author shot but I love this girl and this picture of us together at Crimefest this year is MUCH better.

I have a little giveaway/competiton thingy for you in a minute read on because you don’t want to miss out –  but first here is what we know about Deep Down Dead (translation: here is the blurb)

Lori Anderson is as tough as they come, managing to keep her career as a fearless Florida bounty hunter separate from her role as single mother to nine-year-old Dakota, who suffers from leukaemia. But when the hospital bills start to rack up, she has no choice but to take her daughter along on a job that will make her a fast buck. And that’s when things start to go wrong. The fugitive she’s assigned to haul back to court is none other than JT, Lori’s former mentor – the man who taught her everything she knows … the man who also knows the secrets of her murky past.

Not only is JT fighting a child exploitation racket operating out of one of Florida’s biggest theme parks, Winter Wonderland, a place where ‘bad things never happen’, but he’s also mixed up with the powerful Miami Mob. With two fearsome foes on their tails, just three days to get JT back to Florida, and her daughter to protect, Lori has her work cut out for her. When they’re ambushed at a gas station, the stakes go from high to stratospheric, and things become personal.

Do you want this book? YES. What did I think about it? Not telling you. I’ll be doing a feature review soon in the lead up to the paperback release and probably I shall have a little chat to Steph all about it too. And she thought she had escaped my 20 Questions…

I WILL say that it is by FAR the best thriller I’ve read this year (which is a relief because seriously if I hated it I woul have to go and live in Antarctica)  and it is so much more than just a thriller.

These guys had a few words to say….

Deep Down Dead grabs you like a whirlwind – once you’re in, there’s no getting away till it’s through with you. Pacey, emotive and captivating, this is kick-ass thriller writing of the highest order’ Rod Reynolds

‘A relentless page-turner with twists and turns that left me breathless’ J.S. Law

Deep Down Dead oozes authenticity. This is an engaging, original thriller with the type of characters you wish you knew in real life. Fresh, compelling and beautifully written, with a real cinematic quality. Read it. Now’ S.J.I. Holliday

So in anticipation of the book coming out I have a little competition for you to win a VERY limited edition bound signed proof of Deep Down Dead along with some other bits and bobs (excellent bits and bobs!)  Here is what is up for grabs…

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Yes you want that right? Well if you do simply pop onto Twitter and tweet using the hashtag #DeepDownDead and tag me @Lizzy11268 with one sentence on why you want to read it.  One lucky reader will soon be able to read this brilliant brilliant book. With chocolate. And other stuff..

Alternatively you can comment on this post and your name will also go into the hat. Its a real hat. A name will get picked out of that hat to decide the winner.

You could order Deep Down Dead by clickety clicking HERE

Follow Steph on TWITTER

Or visit her in her CRIME THRILLER GIRL persona…

Happy Reading!

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Ones to Watch in 2017 – Tattletale Sarah J Naughton

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Publication Date: January 26th 2017 from Orion (Trapeze)

Source: Review Copy

One day changes Jody’s life forever.
She has shut herself down, haunted by her memories and unable to trust anyone. But then she meets Abe, the perfect stranger next door and suddenly life seems full of possibility and hope.

One day changes Mags’ life forever.
After years of estrangement from her family, Mags receives a shocking phone call. Her brother Abe is in hospital and no-one knows what happened to him. She meets his fiance Jody, and gradually pieces together the ruins of the life she left behind.

But the pieces don’t quite seem to fit..

I’m crazy in love with this book for many many reasons none of which I can tell you otherwise I’ll spoil it and then prevent you from falling crazy in love with this book.

That would be the shortest review ever though so we’ll talk around things a bit. For a start you’ll probably be expecting the usual sort of psychological thriller. Well yes. And No.  She says enigmatically.

The characters in Tattletale are all extraordinarily intriguing, but they won’t necessarily do what you expect them to do at any given time. Sarah J Naughton has a keen eye for psychological knots – and she’ll tie you all up in them from start to finish. There really is some beautifully layered storytelling, challenging assumptions, exploring some dark themes and juggling the emotions of the reader from one extreme to another with almost every chapter.

Very very clever. At times very devious. Certainly emotive. And you know, surprising. Genuinely surprising. The resolution is genius, unexpected, when I got there I had to step back for a bit and take stock of what I was feeling. BAM. It gets you. But gently…

I loved it. Because its not really about what you think it is about. The surface will offer fans of psychological thrillers everything they could possibly want – then the hidden depths will offer everything else. So really. Everyone should read this book.

No one believes a liar. Even when they’re telling the truth.

What is the truth? Well you’ll have to read it if you want to find out. Sorry. Thats the way it goes..

My lips are sealed.

Highly Recommended

Follow the author on TWITTER

You might want to follow TRAPEZE too, great stuff on the way

To Purchase Tattletale clickety click right HERE

Happy Reading!

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Killer Women Killer Crime Writing Festival. Part 6

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So the brilliant crime writers at Killer Women are having their very first festival on Saturday 15th October – it is going to be a rocking day and you can pick up a ticket HERE.

With 2 days to go, here is Part 6  of my trawl around the bookish landscape to find out more about those you can see at the festival – and what they will be up to. I hope to see some of you there!

If you missed Part One you can find it if you clickety click.

If you missed Part Two you can find it if you clickety click

If you missed Part Three you can find it if you clickety click

If you missed Part Four you can find it if you clickety click

If you missed Part Five you can find it if you clickety click

The full line up can be found HERE but today we are hearing from Melanie McGrath, Brian Hill (Century Films)  and Janelle Andrew (PFD  Agency)

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Tell us a little about your latest novel and what readers can expect from it?

My first psychological thriller Give Me the Child is out next year, though there will be special proofs knocking around at the Killer Women festival so keep an eye out! A little girl turns up on Cat and Tom’s doorstep in the middle of the night claiming to be Tom’s daughter. But Ruby Winter isn’t all she seems. Readers can expect a taut, twisty psych thriller with a very dark secret at its heart. 

What is the last book you read and would you recommend it? 

I’m reading Erin Kelly’s new novel He Said She Said and it’s wonderful: pacy, intelligent and beautifully written. 

What will you be doing and talking about at the Killer Women Festival?

As one of the cofounders of Killer Women it’s my job to make sure everything goes OK on the day, so I’ll mostly be running around like a headless chicken. But I’ll be putting the brakes on long enough to chat to one of the crime greats, fellow Essex girl, Martina Cole, which I’m incredibly psyched about. What a woman!

 

Who is your hero/heroine, fictional or otherwise, and why?

We’re all standing on the shoulders of VI Warshawski.

 

Tell us two random non-bookish facts about you …

I know how to shoot an AK47
But I’m scared of spiders

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Tell us a little about your latest novel and what readers can expect from it?

I can tell you about my latest film – it’s all about London and is currently in pre-production.

 

What is the last book you read and would you recommend it? 

PORCELAIN by Moby.  It’s his autobiography and I would recommend it very highly.  Far from being the usual celebrity tosh it’s a very entertaining and honest book, which I’m hoping to secure the film rights to.

 

What will you be doing and talking about at the Killer Women Festival?

I will be showing parts of my film THE CONFESSIONS OF THOMAS QUICK.

 

Who is your hero/heroine, fictional or otherwise, and why?

My hero’s and heroine’s change regularly.  At the moment they are Laura Trott and Jason Kenny.

 

Tell us two random non-bookish facts about you …

The only thing I ever wanted to be while I was growing up was a writer.  Somehow I ended up as a film maker.

Although I make documentaries for a living I hardly ever watch other documentaries.
 

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What is the last book you read and would you recommend it? 

The last books I read was in tandem (I like to do that) and finished them around the same time. The first was the proof of a crime novel that is coming out next year and is agented by one of my colleagues called THE BOOK OF MIRRORS which is that east coast, intricately plotted crime mystery that was very reminiscent of The Secret History but originally told. The next was literary supernatural suspense, The Essex Serpent and I would THOROUGHLY recommend it – it is sumptuously written and gorgeously creepy. I am in the middle of it right now and am savouring every word of it.

 

What will you be doing and talking about at the Killer Women Festival?

I am doing a panel with Orion fiction editor Sam Eades on How to Pitch a Novel.

 

Who is your hero/heroine, fictional or otherwise, and why?

Hero in terms of fiction was probably Atticus Finch – he just represented all the ideals I wanted to be and have loved ever since. In terms of real life, I have enormous admiration and respect for JK Rowling and Toni Morrison – both came to writing late, both have fierce opinions and have broken records and surpassed expectations in every way. And JK’s twitter game is on fleek.

 

Tell us two random non-bookish facts about you …

I absolutely LOATHE exercise but have been forced to start doing Ballet Barre classes which are so much harder than you would think but which have now become necessary as my metabolism catches up with my 30s….and I once renewed my vows in Las Vegas with a fat Elvis dressed in black jumpsuit and red rhinestones, who sang SUSPICIOUS MINDS as I walked down the aisle at my request because I thought it would be ironic.

Thanks everyone! And that as they say is that! With Saturday fast approaching, I am very excited and muchly looking forward to a brilliant day.

Don’t forget to follow the Killer Women on Twitter for the latest news and updates or find out more about the organisation and subscribe to the newsletter HERE

Happy Reading!

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Dancers in the Wind. Blog tour author interview.

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Today I am MORE than happy to welcome Anne Coates to the blog to have a chat about her novel Dancers in the Wind. Anne is a great friend and I’m extraordinarily pleased to see her novel out there in the wild! Although a little like poor David Young she’s having to wait for a review from me because as ever I’m a little late to the party and havent written it yet. So before that I bring you this!

You tackle some tough subjects in Dancers in the Wind – tell us a little about why you decided to write this particular story, what inspired it?

When I started writing Dancers, I didn’t know how tough the subject was going to get! The interviews at the beginning are based on ones I was commissioned to write for a newspaper. Their stories haunted me. I’ve rewritten them so much now that they probably bear little resemblance to the originals except for some of the facts which I listened to in horror at the time. Prostitution is such an emotive topic. I remember after graduating and starting work in publishing, an (ex)-friend telling me I was prostituting myself for working for a mass-market publisher! In a way this is Hannah’s problem too. She’s freelance and needs the work and can’t be too choosy. Women working the streets can’t be choosy either especially if they are at the mercy of pimps. Without giving anything away there are some pertinent comparisons in the novel.

The setting King’s Cross is one you and I both know well! Did you research around that, how much of Dancers in set in reality when it comes to that area?

I’m not sure how to take that comment about us knowing King’s Cross so well, Liz! However, this is King’s Cross of the early 90s pre-modernisation of the station and I did walk round the places where the prostitutes took their clients. I also studied street maps and photographs of the time. So I would say the location is definitely set in reality. The pubs and cafés are an amalgamation of downbeat London establishments.

Talk a little about Hannah – strong and independent, even she is not QUITE ready for what comes – how did you look to build the character and what do you hope readers take from the story?

Hannah’s character evolved with the narrative. Her reactions to what happens sometimes took me by surprise. I love the fact that she can get so ratty at times and also that she is vulnerable yet brave. I don’t think the violence in the story is ever gratuitous but it was an eye-opener for me. I once sat at my desk with a knife held to my throat to experience the sensation.

I have been delighted that early readers have had their preconceptions challenged. And I love the fact that people have enjoyed the storytelling. Wonderful for an author’s ego when people actually discuss your characters with you. I’m not hoping to change the world just to expose a fraction of it.

This is your first novel – what has the road to publication been like for you?

Tortuous sums it up nicely. Although this is my first novel I have published seven non-fiction books and two collections of short stories. As you know, I wrote Dancers some 20 years ago and gave up on finding a home for it. Then, last year I rewrote it and tried again. The breakthrough was learning about Urbane Publications (via Twitter) and sending off the idea to Matthew Smith. He asked to see the whole manuscript virtually straightaway and, once he’d read it, was so enthusiastic we discussed the project as a trilogy. Book two, Death’s Silent Judgement will be published in May 2017 and the third, which I am currently working on, in the following autumn. So after a long gestation period, a whirlwind of activity!

Finally, just for a bit of fun, tell us 3 very random non bookish facts about you…

Gosh this is the hardest part … I don’t drink tea or eat cake (unless it’s non dairy) so I often feel left out when everyone on twitter is drooling over sensational gateaux – but I find wine compensates.

Fat, smelly people always gravitate to the empty seat beside me on a bus or train.

I’m a devotee for the Miss Havisham school of housework.

About the Book:

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Freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Webridge is commissioned by a national newspaper to write an investigative article on the notorious red light district in Kings Cross. There she meets prostitute Princess, and police inspector in the vice squad, Tom Jordan. When Princess later arrives on her doorstep beaten up so badly she is barely recognizable, Hannah has to make some tough decisions and is drawn ever deeper into the world of deceit and violence. Three sex workers are murdered, their deaths covered up in a media blackout, and Hannah herself is under threat. As she comes to realize that the taste for vice reaches into the higher echelons of the great and the good, Hannah must expose the truth—and stay alive.

Dancers in the Wind is available from 13th October published by Urbane Publications.

Find out more HERE

Follow Anne on TWITTER

To Purchase Dancers in the Wind clickety click right HERE

Happy Reading!

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The Bird Tribunal – Blog tour Review.

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Publication Date: Available Now from Orenda

Source: Review Copy

Two people in exile. Two secrets. As the past tightens its grip, there may be no escape… TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44-year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough.

The Bird Tribunal is a beautifully (BEAUTIFULLY) written piece of book art, atmospheric, with an eye for scene setting that I havent seen done so well in forever. It sucks you in. Then spits you out.

A very intense book on many levels, admittedly I did not get on at all well with the people – an incredibly  focused character study of two separate personalities that come together and create a vortex of obsession. It is a short yet still slow burning story that builds the tension with gorgeous expressive language and an underlying sense of fear.

I can’t say I loved it because that would be a lie – I wanted to kill both Aggis and Sigurd very early on – I guess that shows that Agnes Ratavn evokes an impressive emotional response, ultimately I thought the pair of them deserved each other.  What I DID love was the way the author created that feeling, that need to glare at the book and hope everyone died soon yet still dive back in to find out what the ultimate resolution would be. And that paid off in style.

The sense of place and being out of time was the thing in The Bird Tribunal that made it for me. As always with this publisher the writing is the thing – Orenda finds those gems and bring them to us, the readers – The Bird Tribunal is a case in point. I didn’t love it but I couldnt stop reading it. And I’m not going to forget it..

Find out more HERE

To Purchase The Bird Tribunal clickety click right HERE

Follow the Tour!

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Happy Reading!

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