The Exiled – Kati Hiekkapelto. Blog Tour Review.

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Publication Date: Available Now from Orenda

Source: Review Copy

Murder. Corruption. Dark secrets. A titanic wave of refugees. Can Anna solve a terrifying case that’s become personal? Anna Fekete returns to the Balkan village of her birth for a relaxing summer holiday. But when her purse is stolen and the thief is found dead on the banks of the river, Anna is pulled into a murder case. Her investigation leads straight to her own family, to closely guarded secrets concealing a horrendous travesty of justice that threatens them all. As layer after layer of corruption, deceit and guilt are revealed, Anna is caught up in the refugee crisis spreading like wildfire across Europe. How long will it take before everything explodes?

So book 3 for Kati and Anna Fekete then and seriously the quality and emotive hits of this series just keep on coming.

Even on holiday Anna gets caught up in murder and mayhem, in this case with far reaching consequences and a link to the past that is scarily close to home. Taking in themes of people trafficking, refugees, corruption and as ever all the darker sides of human nature that so fascinate us as readers, The Exiled is pure brilliance on a level that I can’t find the right word to describe. Taking very real and currently relevant issues and turning them into an entertaining yet highly thought provoking tale is not as easily done as you might think.

If you follow the tour you’ll find out lots of things about the story and the things that draw readers in so I’d like to just talk about the writing a little, the sense of it. Kati Hiekkapelto doesnt pull punches, she makes no attempt to hide behind a wall, her characters shine, are so very real and so are the things that happen around them. The impact on occasion is visceral, immersive and right there. In Anna Fekete she has created a character who is flawed but true to herself, determined and forward thinking, you can believe in her absolutely.

It is truly addictive stuff. You can’t help but fall into the story head over heels and you can’t get out once you are in until it is done. This author writes like a rock star playing to the crowd.

The world of crime fiction encompasses many things. But I find these novels to be unique in their impact. I’d like to explain why but I can’t. That in itself probably says enough.

Highly Recommended.

Find out more HERE

 Follow Kati on TWITTER

To Purchase The Exiled clickety click right HERE

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Happy Reading!

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Truth Will Out A D Garrett – Blog Tour Review

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Publication Date: Available Now

Source: Review Copy

A mother and daughter are snatched on their way home from the cinema. The crime bears a number of chilling similarities to a cold case Prof. Nick Fennimore was involved in. Then Nick begins receiving taunting messages – is he being targeted by the kidnapper?

Meanwhile, a photograph emailed from Paris could bring Fennimore closer to discovering the fate of his daughter Suzie, now missing for six years. He seeks help from his old friend, DCI Kate Simms, recently returned from the US. But Kate is soon blocked from the investigation… The mother and childs’ lives hang in the balance as Fennimore and Simms try to break through police bureaucracy to identify their abductor.

Truth Will Out is my first read from this author but it won’t be my last, really top notch crime fiction with two excellent main protagonists and a beautifully addictive flow. No problem going into the series at this point either, the background information is there without spoiling things if you want to read the previous books.

In this instalment a mother and daughter are kidnapped and Fennimore is dragged into the case, although there is an attempt to keep him and Simms on the outskirts these two seem to be the type that don’t really follow the rules (making for some great plot developments) so they dig in deep. Meanwhile Fennimore is looking at another possible miscarriage of justice, so sets the scene for a twisty fascinating tale that you’ll read fast. Because you have to know don’t you know…

There were various things that really made this great for me – I love books with a forensic twist, the pairing of our main duo is classically great reading. The author brings a strong emotional core to the writing that means you get totally immersed into the world and engage with the characters on a human level. A large dose of authenticity in the detail and a truly gripping story added into the mix and hey we are good to go.

Overall excellent. This is why I love crime fiction.

Highly Recommended for crime fans.

Find Out More HERE

Follow the author on TWITTER

To Purchase Truth Will Out clickety click right HERE

See more from the Tour.

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Happy Reading!

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Ones to Watch in 2017: Watch Her Disappear. Eva Dolan.

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Publication Date: January 2017 from Harvill Secker

Source: Review Copy

YOU CAN RUN FROM YOUR PAST. BUT YOU CAN’T RUN FROM MURDER.

The body is found by the river, near a spot popular with runners.

With a serial rapist at work in the area, DI Zigic and DS Ferreira are initially confused when the Hate Crimes Unit is summoned to the scene. Until they discover that the victim, Corinne Sawyer, was born Colin Sawyer.

Police records reveal there have been violent attacks on trans women in the local area. Was Corinne a victim of mistaken identity? Or has the person who has been targeting trans women stepped up their campaign of violence? With tensions running high, and the force coming under national scrutiny, this is a complex case and any mistake made could be fatal…

Well. I say this is one to watch in 2017 but actually Eva Dolan has been one to watch for a few years now – this the 4th novel in the Zigic and Ferreira series, a series that just increases in both quality and storytelling power with each new instalment.

Watch Her Disappear yet again takes a difficult subject and tackles it with sensitivity and grace but more to the point with true authenticity. Eva Dolan walks where others fear to tread – using her characters to speak truth, layering her plots with all the nuances, taking you on a journey and making you pay attention, feel it, see the black the white and the grey areas in all things human nature.

Here we find our indomitable pair called to the scene of a murder – Colin, now Corrinne, was she the victim of a hate crime or in fiction as in life, are things not so clear cut. With a possible serial rapist  muddying the waters, a political climate that causes intrusive scrutiny  and a family fractured at its very core, the truth will not come out easily.

There is a beautiful and compelling undertone to the writing that plays with the readers emotions in a subtle yet incredibly effective manner. Very cleverly there is no pretence that the victim of this horrific crime was an angel, a good person through and through. Like all of us Corrinne is contrary, not always likeable, in fact for me mostly not at all and yet still strangely sympathetic. Her family, all dealing with the fallout of many things not just the huge changes Corrinne has been through also veer between inducing sympathy and behaving atrociously. It is this, that realistic, thought provoking, unrelenting look at the realities that make these novels stand out from the crowd, bring you into the bigger picture – this is crime fiction that takes a huge bite out of your preconceptions.

It not only gives you all that sense of feeling Watch her Disappear, as with the previous novels, is also highly entertaining. Of course it is. This is fiction. We read it to take ourselves out of whatever situation we are in for a bit and focus on something else.The mystery element as ever is incredibly engaging, the background lives of the series characters ever compelling, once again we see a wider community and how they deal with things and the whole thing is just utterly utterly riveting. Eva Dolan just shows us, in genius fashion, that you can educate, provoke debate, talk about the difficult subjects yet engage, captivate and inspire all at the same time. Is that not what storytelling should do? I don’t know. But I love it when it does do that.

I’m a huge fan. A huge huge fan.

Highly Recommended.

Follow Eva on TWITTER

To Purchase Watch Her Disappear clickety click right HERE

Happy Reading!

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Covering the Covers: Everything But the Truth Gillian McAllister

I love  covers! They can say so much about a book. So I’m VERY happy to show you THIS for Gilly McAllister’s upcoming “Everything But the Truth” – which now I DEFINITELY want to read. Click on the cover to pre-order! More details below.

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About the book:

Publication Date: March 2017

Published by: Penguin

It all started with the email.

It came through to her boyfriend’s iPad in the middle of the night. Rachel didn’t even mean to look. She loves Jack, and she’s pregnant with their child. She trusts him. But now she’s seen it, she can’t undo that moment, or the chain of events it has set in motion.

Why has Jack been lying about his past? Just what exactly is he hiding? And doesn’t Rachel have a right to know the truth at any cost?

Follow Gillian on TWITTER for more updates

Happy Reading!

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Completing the Trilogy: Dark Made Dawn J P Smythe

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Publication Date: Available Now (Kindle) and 2017 (Paperback) from Hodder and Staughton

Source: Bookbridgr

There was one truth on Australia, the prison ship on which Chan was born and raised: you fight or you die. Usually both.
But everything on Australia was a lie. Abandoned and alone, Chan was forced to live a terrible existence on the fringes of society, Australia’s only survivor after a terrible crash-landing on Earth.
But Chan discovered she was not alone. Together with the unlikeliest of allies, Chan carved out a place for herself on Earth. And now the time has come: she’s finally found a reason to keep going. But friends have become enemies, and enemies have become friends. It’s time for Chan to create her own truths, and discover a life beyond fighting and death.
A life beyond Australia.

The Australia trilogy by J P Smythe has been one of my favourite things this last little while, I read book one, avidly awaited book 2 and now here we are at the end. Slight catch in the throat there I shall miss Chan and all the other beautifully drawn characters within this whole vividly imagined and wonderfully immersive world.

If you havent started yet then Way Down Dark is where you need to be, heading into Long Dark Dusk and finally ending up here, where the author finishes things off in passion inducing style. LOVED it. From first book to last.

Things I’ve muchly appreciated about the Australia trilogy: The character journeys, the shades of grey within what is right and wrong that JP Smythe weaves into the story, where the “bad guys” can surprise you and the “good guys” cross the line all the time. The world building is brilliant, emcompassing more than one idea, taking us from one setting to another over the course of the novels so that things stay fresh, exciting and always giving the feeling that there is more to discover.

And there is – Dark Made Dawn mixes things up again, chucks in some emotional trauma, gets the adrenalin going with some cleverly heart pumping action, never losing sight of the road that Chan is on as she tries to save those she cares about and carve out some kind of real life for herself. I’ve been rooting for her all the way, praying for that happy ending and well, as it happens….you’ll just have to read and find out for yourself…

Very difficult to review the last part of a trilogy when you don’t want to spoil things for those coming in so we’ll skip over all the plot nuances and just say that the entire thing is pure brilliance, beautifully written, never once dull, exploring many themes within the vagaries of human nature whilst still being pure escapism of the best kind. Leave this world behind for a while. Visit Chan’s world. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed…

Highly Recommended.

 

Find out more HERE

Follow the author on TWITTER

To Purchase the Australia Trilogy clickety click right HERE

Happy Reading!

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20 Questions for…..Jason Arnopp

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Today’s poor soul facing the 20 Questions test is the adorable Jason Arnopp – well kind of adorable. He scares me. YES with the writing not *actually* scares me. Jack Sparks is all the awesome. Don’t miss it!

The Last Days of Jack Sparks. Scary and hilarious. WHY ARE YOU SO MEAN TO JACK?? He’s lovely. Right? Ok he’s a horrible excuse for a human being but still you were pretty mean…

If I hadn’t been mean to Jack, I don’t know if half the readership would have ever forgiven me! The man was simply bursting to be taken down a peg or ten. And Jack did kinda bring a great deal of misfortune upon himself…

Now then. Dr Who. I know you have that connection and I’m going to admit now that apart from the David Tennant years I’m not really a fan. In fact you could say I’m an anti fan. It all seemed to jump the shark a bit after David and Russell left. Agree? Disagree? Between us you understand…

I disagree, Liz! If Doctor Who has any relation to a shark, it’s the fact that the show is perpetually moving forward, like sharks do. As Woody Allen once pointed out, sharks have to do this or they die, and it’s the same with Who. Steven Moffat’s era, with Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi as the Doctor is simply a whole new era with a different style and look. And when Chris Chibnall takes over as showrunner, I’m sure it’ll change again. All very healthy, I tell you.

Favourite cheese (yes I’m getting the cheese question in early)

My favourite cheese is one that I can no longer find anywhere in the world. A hard kind of cheese, with small pieces of walnut in it. So if any of your readers have encountered this cheese, I’d be delighted if they pop up on Twitter to point me in the right direction. I am a big fan of cheese in general, it must be said, and I’m glad you’ve raised this very important issue. Yes.

If you were on a desert Island with the crime crowd to the left of you and the Scifi/Fantasy crowd to the right who would you want to be stuck in the middle with?

The horror crowd of course! As with people who love heavy metal (who often happen to be the same people), horror-loving folk tend to be the most amiable folk you’ll ever meet. I think that’s because they accept and understand that their demons need feeding on a regular basis…

Beast in the Basement. Now THERES a tale. A twisty tale. I rather loved it. Somewhat violent – where do you draw the line?

Thanks Liz! Whenever anyone asks what they should read next, after The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, I do tend to point them in the direction of Beast. And yes, I suppose it is quite violent in places. I wanted the violence in that novella to feel realistic, which is probably why it’s rather brutal in places. In terms of drawing the line, I don’t think I ever would, not consciously at least. As the writer, you just have to follow your own instincts and tastes. And sometimes, as readers of Jack Sparks will know, I do sometimes like to go for the jugular.

Karaoke – which song and why?

I’ve never done karaoke and hopefully never will, but I rather enjoy watching other people do it. Weirdly, I’ve often entertained thoughts about performing Common People by Pulp, even though I imagine it would be an insanely difficult song to sing! In reality, I might go for Teenage Kicks by The Undertones. Nice and simple. What could possibly go wrong?

What one thing drives you utterly irrationally crazy for no good reason whatsoever other than it drives you utterly irrationally crazy…?

One of my pet hates is people using “myself” instead and “me” or “I”. As in, “The presentation will be given by Oliver and myself”. It’s a rational thing in a way, because that usage of “myself” makes no sense and sounds incredibly pretentious, but in another way it’s hardly that big a deal. It’s not as if it gets in the way of communication/understanding, either!

One film to rule them all….

My favourite horror film ever is The Evil Dead, because it’s the gruesome gift that keeps on giving. But I also have a favourite general film, which is Goodfellas. It’s weird that I love Goodfellas so much, because I don’t tend to gravitate towards period pieces. I think it’s just an amazing rise and fall story, that ultimately exposes that whole world as being full of people pretending to be family.

What are you writing at the moment?

This sentence. And this one. And this one. Apart from that, I’m also working on my second novel for Orbit Books. Which has nothing to do with Jack Sparks and is a standalone affair. Once again a supernatural thriller, mind you, which will hopefully make people afraid in their own homes.

Hell is other people. Who would you NOT want to be stuck in Hell with?

Donald Trump springs to mind. Hopefully he’ll get there a lot sooner than me, though. In fact, I like to think that by the time I arrive he’ll be running the place.

On that note who would you LIKE to be stuck in hell with?

Rik Mayall would be great, funny company. What a loss to the world he was.

When the zombie apocalypse comes who will you rush to save (for the purposes of this question assume close friends and family are safe already) ? Or are you thinking “hang on you should all be rushing to save ME important writer type that I am”

Assuming I have omnipotence, I’d have to save some of my favourite folk, who improve my life. So the likes of Tom Baker, Noel Fielding, Stephen King, Chuck Palahniuk, Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Russell T Davies and Stewart Lee would go straight up the rope ladder into my helicopter. Plus loads more I’m forgetting.

What turns you green with envy?

Reading a book as tremendous as Mark Z Danielewski’s House Of Leaves. Such crazy ambition. One day I’d like to write something even half as ambitious as that.

What makes you blush?

When I say something really stupid in social situations. Sometimes my brain-to-mouth filter goes on the blink.

Proudest moment?

I’m pretty proud every time I finish a novel. Because those things are so ludicrously huge, I’ve no earthly idea why I want to write them for a living. When you’re writing a novel, it’s like trekking across Canada, or something, on foot and very much without a map. Even if you’ve drawn up a map in advance, in the form of an outline, you end up feeling like you’re without a map.

Most embarrassing moment?

Oh, I’ve had far too many. Seriously. Moments that really make me groan out loud, whenever I remember them. Most of these involve me saying stupid things in social situations. But I hate it when people dodge questions in interviews, so let me actually give you an answer. One time, a big TV exec shook my hand, then told me he had a cold. I pulled an exaggerated comedy-face and looked at my hand he’d just shaken, which he didn’t find funny. Not one little bit. So that was terrible. Just terrible.

Would you like to talk about Jack sparks a bit more? Oh go on then but don’t bang on. Sell it to readers in 3 short sentences or less…

Yes please. It’s a scary, funny supernatural thriller about an egotistical journalist who doesn’t live to regret laughing at the Devil. And thematically, it’s about how ego, certainty and belief intertwine in the social media age.

When drunk do you get maudlin, loud or stupid? Or all 3. OH BEHAVE you drink I’ve seen you…

I’m more likely to be stupid, I’d say. I have a tendency to take the piss out of people that I don’t know quite well enough to take the piss out of. Which isn’t great. I’m more aware of this habit these days, though, so am more inclined to rein myself in, even after several shandies.

Last time you honestly wanted to commit murder (come on we all have them)

Oh, the last time social media belched up the latest news story about some arsehole being atrocious to animals. Happily, though, if I remember rightly, the bull had already done the job for me.

How much do you hate me right now?

Not at all! In fact, I feel much gratitude for your fine support on The Last Days Of Jack Sparks. And I thank you kindly!

You are very welcome!

Talking of Jack…

 

You can read my original review HERE

Follow the author on Twitter here

If you are brave (and very savvy ) you can purchase Jack’s story HERE

Find out more here

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Jack Sparks died while writing this book. This is the account of his final days.

In 2014, Jack Sparks – the controversial pop culture journalist – died in mysterious circumstances.

To his fans, Jack was a fearless rebel; to his detractors, he was a talentless hack. Either way, his death came as a shock to everyone.

It was no secret that Jack had been researching the occult for his new book. He’d already triggered a furious Twitter storm by mocking an exorcism he witnessed in rural Italy.

Then there was that video: thirty-six seconds of chilling footage that Jack repeatedly claimed was not of his making, yet was posted from his own YouTube account.

Nobody knew what happened to Jack in the days that followed – until now. This book, compiled from the files found after his death, reveals the chilling details of Jack’s final hours.

Happy Reading!

 

My Sisters Bones Nuala Ellwood. Blog Tour Review.

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My Sisters Bones: Available Now in e-book or 2017 in Hardback

Source:Review Copy

Kate Rafter is a successful war reporter. She’s the strong one. The one who escaped Herne Bay and the memories it holds. Her sister Sally didn’t. Instead, she drinks.

But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return to the old family home. And on her first night she is woken by a terrifying scream.

What secret has Kate stumbled upon?
And is she strong enough to uncover the truth . . . and make it out alive?

My Sisters Bones, a slow burner of a novel, tackles many themes within the narrative, all of them compelling, some very emotive. A warning: If you are expecting a rush to judgment here, a quickfire psychological thriller that follows the usual paths then you won’t get that. Nuala Ellwood takes her time to bring the reader to the truth and in doing so allows for some fascinating character study and some digging into the depths of human reaction.

Kate, to be honest, I found to be rather unlikeable. But as the story unfolds I began to understand just what had led her here, she has seen a lot of horrific things during her time as a war reporter and it has affected her in ways that we only come to see over time. That mixed in with the mystery element of what exactly is going on at home makes for some gripping reading especially towards the end of the novel as all the threads start to come together.

I didn’t really have any problems working out who the “bad guy” was but this is a tight knit character driven book without too many “suspects” in the pool – rather Nuala Ellwood chooses to concentrate on a few, the twists here  when they come may shock you, not necessarily with the who but with the detail.

My Sisters Bones was beautifully written. It was often perturbing, ok sometimes maybe a little TOO slow there were occasions when I wanted to just get on with it but at the end I appreciated why it took the path it did. I felt for all the characters in here, especially it has to be said Sally who for me was broken yet sympathetic.

Overall My Sisters Bones is clever in that it is harrowing and intriguing in equal measure, you get caught up in the moments in this one, then get thrown into another before you have quite gotten to grips with the first. If you like your psychological thrillers to have hidden depths and unreliable unpredictable outcomes then this one delivers.

Follow Nuala on TWITTER

To Purchase  My Sisters Bones clickety click right HERE

#MySistersBones

Follow the Tour!

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Happy Reading!

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20 Questions for….Matthew Blakstad.

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Today’s victim, erm lovely author, who has tackled my 20 Questions is the rather wonderful Matthew Blakstad, author of Sockpuppet. Which if you havent read already you might want to check out. Helpfully Ive put some details below for you. Thanks Matt!

So these always start with a bookish question because, you know, authors – ALWAYS wanting to plug the books, sigh, so for those people I have not yet sold Sockpuppet to YOU do it. Only briefly. We have cheese and desert islands and things to discuss..

SOCKPUPPET is for everyone who’s ever worried that they’re sharing too much of their life online. It’s about two women who get caught up in a social media scandal, and find their lives being taken apart as a consequence – until they start to fight back. My aim is that everyone who reads it will flush their smartphones down the loo and run away to live in a cabin in the woods. And really: who doesn’t want that?

Talking of which, name a television advert which got stuck in your head. No don’t say you don’t have one we ALL have one **sings the Dr Pepper song** OOPS no not that one. Another one.

I am a nightmare for advertisers. I stream pretty much all my TV and music so I barely ever see or hear an ad. I have to look elsewhere for annoying earworms. For instance, every time anyone uses the printer at the office where I work, it plays a series of notes that sounds exactly like the refrain from Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars and as a result I CANNOT GET THAT DAMN SONG OUT OF MY HEAD.

So Sockpuppet has a load of hacktastic whizzadry in it but the moral of the story is surely similar to the one in the definitive big brother novel 1984. So do we think Orwell was a psychic?

Orwell saw the world with merciless clarity but it’s worth remembering that in Nineteen Eighty-Four (to be pedantic about the title) he wasn’t trying to predict the future. He was commenting on the world he saw around him in 1948 (clue: reverse the last two digits of that year). But yes, he did end up as a kind of accidental prophet. He imagines a surveillance state where recent history is constantly rewritten by the powers that be; where everyone is kept in a climate of fear by an endless cycle of wars, against ill-defined enemies. Does that sound at all familiar? Though I guess the thing Orwell couldn’t predict is it’s not sinister government forces that are imposing surveillance on us: we’re doing it to ourselves, every time we use social media or a smartphone…

If you had to be stuck on a desert island (yes its time for that question) and there were only 5 other people with you, all of whom were fellow authors (lets say plane crash on way to some bookish thing or other) who would you choose and why? (I wouldn’t choose William Ryan by the way, he apparently only brings a passable sense of direction to the table but you know)

I would give any group of writers in that situation two months’ maximum before they starved. Maximum. So:

David Sedaris because he is the funniest man alive and he’s even funnier when he’s talking about why we’re all basically doomed.

Neal Stephenson because his books keep getting longer every time so he’d be able to keep us occupied during our slow descent into hunger and madness.

Margaret Atwood because come ON – Margaret Atwood!

George RR Martin because then NOBODY WILL KNOW HOW IT ENDS EXCEPT ME.

And Cormac McCarthy because we’ll need someone to document our slow descent into Lord-of the-Flies-style dystopia.

How much do you love writing? I mean even when its all going pear shaped and your work in progress looks like some kind of monstrous mash up of non related words, do you still love it? How do you set about things…

It is a compulsion. Everyone who’s written a novel will tell you that. When I’m writing I’m in a different space-time continuum. I can spend a whole afternoon in that fugue state and when eventually I surface, it’ll feel like only moments have passed. One minute I’ve just finished lunch, then I look up and suddenly it’s dark outside. When I re-enter reality I feel bereft, like I’ve stepped out of Narnia.

Or to put it another way, writers are happiest when they can vanish from the world and basically not interact with any fellow human beings. We’re terrible people. The worst.

Favourite type of cheese (possibly the most important life question ever)

I can’t believe you’ve left it so late in the questionnaire to ask this one. Banon goat’s cheese, from the south of France. Obviously.

Talking of life questions what is the best piece of life advice you have ever been given?

That’s tough. I’m bad at taking advice, or hearing it when it’s given. How about this? The other day I saw an interview Michael Palin did with the travel writer Jan Morris. She said, ‘Kindness is more important than love’. I think that’s actually quite profound. Especially in our current climate of knee-jerk unkindness, on social media and in our politics especially.

Last thing that made you laugh. I mean proper full on giggling fit.

A Facebook update telling me a relative of mine had been in a bar in Copenhagen called ‘The Soft Cök’.

When you read books what books make you go ooh. Like romance? No I doubt it. Twists in the tale? They kind of have to be REALLY clever these days to actually fool discerning readers so maybe not. I’m assuming you are a discerning reader (as well as a brilliant writer) Yes that was blatant sucking up.

Thanks, I’ll bank that compliment for later. I’m not normally a fan of huge twists and stunning revelations because they tend to turn a book into a complex puzzle – and at worst nothing more than an exercise in deceiving the reader. It tends to be stunning writing that blows me away, not stunning stories. And often this can mean very plain, straightforward-seeming writing; because that’s by far the hardest to do. Recently this has meant Dave Eggers, Claire Fuller, Alison Bechdel, Dashiell Hammett, Andrew Hurley, Sarah Lotz… No particular genre.

If there was an *actual* murder at a crime festival (Lets say Crimefest seeing as how that is the last one we were both at) who do you think would solve it first? The police or the crime writers? My money would be on Sarah Hilary actually…

If the murder mystery writers all got together and planned a murder, Orient Express style, I don’t think ANYONE would ever solve it. Those guys are fiendish. Maybe this actually happened at this year’s Crimefest AND WE DON’T EVEN KNOW.

Tell us a tiny little bit about the next book….

LUCKY GHOST is a sequel to SOCKPUPPET (though both books stand alone). Where SOCKPUPPET is set in the present or very near future, LUCKY GHOST turns the clock forward almost a decade, to a world where people go about veiled in a fabric called ‘mesh’ that augments their experience of the world with stories, memories and ghosts. The book asks what will happen when technology starts to manage and manipulate not just the information we receive, but our very emotions.

Favourite flavour of crisp?

Cheese and onion. Obviously.

How many pigs do you think you are going to have to draw for me before we are both gone from this world?

TBH I’m not sure anything I’ve done so far counts as a ‘drawing’. There’s a reason I’m a writer and not an artist. Many, many reasons.

Lets talk about publishing briefly. You are with Hodder. Do we like Hodder? I think a careful answer to that might be wise…Fleur is probably watching.

Hodder are amazing. But you know that. Specifically, my editor Anne Perry and her Hodderscape crew are doing something incredible at the moment. They’ve pulled together a rich and diverse list of writers who are teasing at the fringes of genre fiction and showing its full potential. Just look at this year’s Clarke Award nominations. Three out of the six shortlisted authors – Becky Chambers, Nnedi Okorafor, James Smythe – are with Hodderscape. I’m proud to be part of it. Srsly.

What makes you mad? Irrationally irritated? Wanting to throw things…

I don’t irritate easily. I don’t need to, with you doing all the getting-irritated on my behalf. But it does frustrate the LIVING HECK out of me how genre fiction gets side lined by bookshops, mainstream reviewers, etc. Really, if Margaret Atwood and David Mitchell can be ‘literary’ writers, why the heck is Becky Chambers still stuck in a dark corner at the back of the shop? Grr, rant, froth at mouth, etc, etc.

Last stupid thing you did (eyes sugar I’ve just fallen all over the floor because I picked it up the wrong way round)

Just yesterday I sent a text message to a (male) carpenter that was meant for my wife. It ended with about twelve ‘x’es. I have not yet heard back from him.

Does your wife suffer fools gladly?

You mean because she married me? Thanks a bunch. Next question.

Last film you watched that you know you are going to want to watch multiple times…

X+Y. Have you seen it? It’s a British indy about a bunch of schoolkids who travel to China to compete in the maths Olympiad. Beautiful movie with a couple of excellent maths proofs performed live on screen.

I havent watched it but I will now.

Top Tip for aspiring authors…

Write. And keep writing, even when it’s terrible. Nobody knows for sure whether they have a good novel in them, but if they do, it’ll be buried under two or three terrible ones. And the rule is, you have to get the bad ones out before you can get to the good one. So don’t wait for perfect. Put in your ten thousand hours and get a little better every day.

How much do you hate me right now?

I don’t hate you, Liz. Because I have Stockholm Syndrome.

Ha! Thank you lovely Matt.

Read my review of Sockpuppet  HERE

Find out more here:

Follow Matt on Twitter here:

To purchase “Sockpuppet” clickety click HERE

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Happy Reading!

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Ones to Watch in 2017 – The Girl Before by J P Delaney

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Publication Date: January 26th from Quercus

Source: Review Copy

Jane stumbles on the rental opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to live in a beautiful ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect, on condition she abides by a long list of exacting rules. After moving in, she discovers that a previous tenant, Emma, met a mysterious death there – and starts to wonder if her own story will be a re-run of the girl before. As twist after twist catches the reader off guard, Emma’s past and Jane’s present become inexorably entwined in this tense, page-turning portrayal of psychological obsession.

It seems as if those Girls are not done with us yet, and in this case that is a really excellent thing as The Girl Before is a classic example of why these types of stories are so popular and work so well when done brilliantly.  In this particular case the psychological thriller we are so fond of is done with  a different vibe and a very distinctive tone.

Having a house as a main character (and it really is the central anchor here) is kind of Rebecca-esque and the two “girls” that inhabit it are both compelling characters. Most enigmatic is the architect  – possibly of more things than just buildings, so the scene is set for a tense and fascinating story.

So we get told both stories in alternate timelines – Emma, the girl before of the title and Jane, the current occupant of a house that will divide opinion on whether or not you would like to live in it. Both Emma and Jane definitely do but there are all sorts of hoops to jump through and for Emma it is not going to go so well….

This is a clever, twisty and intelligent thriller that leads you down one path then another, exposes each character slowly but surely until you see who they actually are, it is a tense and fascinating build up to a finale that exposes the true colours of everyone involved. In the background, stark and watchful is this place they occupy, a modern and utterly engaging home that sounds both heavenly and irritating in equal measure.

Great writing here – really really immersive, descriptively gorgeous, utterly creepy in some parts and an honest to God page turner. Unpredictable and utterly riveting. I was bewitched.

Highly Recommended.

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To Purchase The Girl Before clickety click right HERE

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Fickle by Peter Manus. An impulse read…

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Publication Date: January 2017 from Diversion Books.

Source: Netgalley

One winter night in Boston, a man falls to his death in front of a subway train. The sole witness, a shaken young woman, explains to the police how the man pushed by her as he made his way to the tracks. But when her blog turns up in the dead man’s computer, the cops begin to look for other connections. Was the man a cyber-stalker, charmed to the point of desperation by the irreverent musings of a 20-something blogger? Or are the connections between subway jumper and innocent bystander more complicated?

Now I came to Fickle almost accidentally – the cover caught my eye during a random flyby on Netgalley and then the premise seemed intriguing. Still I nearly carried on past it but in the end impulse got me. Boy was that a stroke of luck because I LOVED this one. Cool, quirky, different and utterly compelling I engaged with every moment of it.

Clever novel. Clever. See Fickle is told via a blog. Well 2 blogs if you want to be exact but thats for you to discover. Basically you are reading a sequence of blog posts and the ensuing discussions. The main blog in question is a blog all about the wonder of Noir. One night our blogger tells the tale of her brush with death, the unfortunate unlucky coincidence of being present at a suicide. She reaches out to her small band of regulars and they all weigh in, showing concern and offering support. There it begins…

Things start to happen. Coincidences pile up. Every post that follows adds more layers to the tale but is our blogger an innocent bystander who has now been caught up in the vortex of things beyond her control or is she making the whole thing up to create her own style of noir  or is she lying or WHAT THE HECK. And blimey as things unfold you will get more and more into it, you’ll wish to heck you could comment yourself, you’ll think you’ve got it then you won’t have it and its the twistiest tale I’ve read in ages. Also if you like Noir this whole thing is Noir tastic in both style and substance.

The writing is incredibly smart, it does read like a blog but also like episodic tv and each instalment leads you further down the rabbit hole. It won’t be for everyone I get that, but for me it was brilliantly executed, the nuances are nuanced to a high degree, in a lot of ways it is interpretative reading, you’ll take your own idea’s from it especially in relation to the ending.

Really really excellent in my opinion. Doing something a little different, pushing the boundaries somewhat within the crime and suspense genre, this is what I love about reading. Those little gems you discover randomly and fall for absolutely. This one I’m just going to say BOOM. Give me more from this author.

Highly Recommended.

Find out more via Diversion Books

To Purchase Fickle clickety click right HERE

Happy Reading!

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