#Review of Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver – A Relevant, Gripping, Addictive Thriller for our times @Will_Carver @OrendaBooks #NothingImportantHappenedToday #BlogTour #Review #Thriller #Fiction

Nothing Happened Here Today
By Will Carver
Rated: 5 stars *****

Today I am so excited to share my review of Nothing Important Happened Today by Will Carver. This is one of the most relevant, exceptionally dark, yet beautifully written and gripping thrillers you will come across to read this year. Please do read further about the author and my review.

About the Author

Nothing Important Happened Today Will Carver 2Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series.
He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company.
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, and lives in Reading with his two children.
Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Express, and hit number one on the e-book charts.


Blurb

A shocking, mesmerizing original, pitch-black thriller, which, following the critically acclaimed Good Samaritans, confirms Will Carver as one of the most imaginative, innovative and exciting authors in crime fiction.

Nine people arrive one night on Chelsea Bridge. They’ve never met. But, at the same time, they leap to their deaths. Each of them received a letter in the post that morning, a pre-written suicide note, and a page containing only four words: Nothing important happened today. That is how they knew they had been chosen to become a part of The People of Choice: a mysterious suicide cult whose members have no knowledge of one another.

Thirty-two people on a train witness the event. Two of them will be next. By the morning, People of Choice are appearing around the globe. It becomes a movement. A social-media page that has lain dormant for four years suddenly has thousands of followers.

The police are under pressure to find a link between the cult members, to locate a leader who does not seem to exist …

 

Nothing Important Cover (1)

Review

I will start by saying this is one of the most highly original and  dramatic books I have read. This book is relevant to today in every single way. Every part of it is believable, every part of it can be related to or recalled as some real events are mentioned. I give it a well-deserved full 5 star rating.

From the first page, I was hooked. My first thought was “Wow!” I will say, if you are suffering from depression, perhaps this is not the book for you, but for anyone else, this book is a fantastically gripping thriller. The prologue – oh my goodness, I’ve read some pretty good prologues in my time, but nothing like this. Read the prologue and also with the genius that is the fact, just prior to it, is who the book is for -“For nobody” is what it says, with that opening line “nobody cares…”

The sentence structure along with the words has grabbed me. The sentences are so sharp, feel so natural and the atmosphere, location and the scene is set. It is dark, but resembles a truth in many ways and even through the darkness, the way it is written is somehow quite beautiful. The descriptions are incredible. There is something weirdly, almost poetic and entrancing about them, that drives readers further and deeper into the events that ensue.

If you didn’t know what a cult was or how they end up being formed, you sure will after the first chapter.

The characters are grouped, numbered and have no actual name. It makes a thought-provoking statement. It’s also so different from so many other books. Keep with it. You will be able to follow the story. You will still understand what is happening. You will get to still know the characters and their lives as you delve deeper into “Nothing Important Happened Today”.

There’s the lovers desperately trying to find that spark pre-children. There is the ungrateful for whom nothing is ever enough, no matter how much of something they have, they want more and more and more. There’s the poet harbouring a lot of angst and deep, dark thoughts and dreams. There’s the doctor, who just wants to help others, she has no room in her life for anything else, that’s what she wants to do, even though she seems exhausted. There’s Nobody #1, the one who works in a library or you’ve perhaps noticed on the street etc. There’s Nobody #2 who is similar to other nobodies. There’s Nobody #3 who may have people who may miss him. There’s Young Levant who is seeing a psychiatrist.
Every single character could well be someone in reality, the types of people you’ve perhaps met or may meet in the future, just living life. This creates an incredible impact.
All those on the bridge could be anyone’s son, daughter etc and could be well-educated and in any profession or doing anything at all with their lives and still, stuff could happen. This is partly what makes this book important to read. This is showing people in story-form that the events and reasoning can be very real. Real names of companies and heads of them are used and people will remember or know of what happened in real life to some people, and yet this is a fictional thriller book. 
These are the people who have notes posted through their letter box. These are the people who end up being caught up in “The People of Choice”. There’s just a global need for there to be a connection of some sort and to belong.

There are police as well investigating what happened and there are witnesses from a train and you’ll need to read the book as to how they handle this grave situation.

As I read on, I am entranced and sort of fixated on what’s going to happen next. It is so hard to put the book down. It is a page-turner and is highly addictive. It had a hold on me. It is ok, I’m not about to follow what is actually occurring in this book), this is incredibly powerful writing from Will Carver. He knows what he is writing about and knows how to capture his readers.

This book isn’t just about cults, it addresses  society too. It tackles society and community ills and how community can so easily become something darker, even though the people within any community are just average people going about their daily lives, and bam!!! They can find themselves unexpectedly caught up in something, in this case an ideology, a cultish type of thing, before they know it. This is a brave book in many ways, as people will discover in its contents as they read it.  This book is so thought-provoking and hopefully many people will find that is the case too.

Look at the cult name – “The People of Choice”, Look at the characters. Look at the bridges. Read and think. See the clever irony. Question, did these people want to die, did they not? All of them strangers to each other, all of them died and yet “Nothing Important Happened Today”.  It’s slick, it’s at an amazing pace with short sentences and chapters.

All of the chapters are fabulous and amazing. They tackle so many issues and what can currently happen. It cleverly talks of millennials, parenting, social media and many issues that all arise in today’s society that everyone lives in, in some form or another.

This book, I just know will become my latest obsession to hope people will read.

This book is just amazing and powerful and gripping from start to finish. It’s a book of our time. It’s a book that could well linger with you, even when you’ve finished reading it. It’s left its mark. “Nothing Important Happened Today”.

Check out other reviews from this blog tour too.

nothing happened poster 2019 (4)

 

An Extract of new book – Violet by S.J.I Holliday Blog Tour @SJIHolliday #Violet @OrendaBooks #TrainNoir #Thriller #Extract #BlogTour #AnneCater #BlogTour

Violet
By S.J.I. Holliday

Today I am pleased and excited  to present an enticing extract that sets the scene of the thriller/train noir book Violet by S.J.I. Holliday. There is enough to give a bit of a taster to know that you are going to join in on a train journey, not just any train journey, an international adventure where you just know something isn’t going to be right and all will not be as it seems. Thanks to Orenda Books and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for organising this.

About the Author

Susi author photoS.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a scientist, writing coach and the bestselling author of five crime novels, including the Banktoun Trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly), the festive chiller The Deaths of December and her creepy Gothic psychological thriller The Lingering. Her short story ‘Home From Home’ was published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and shortlisted for the CWA Margery Allingham Prize. Encapsulating her love of travel and claustrophobic settings, her latest novel, Violet, explores toxic friendships and the perils of talking to strangers, as well as drawing on her own journey on the Trans-Siberian Express over 10 years ago. All of her novels have been UK ebook number-one bestsellers. Susi was born and raised in Scotland and now divides her time between Edinburgh, London and as many other exciting places that she can fit in.

Blurb

Carrie’s best friend has an accident and can no longer make the round-the-world trip they’d planned together, so Carrie decides to go it alone. Violet is also travelling alone, after splitting up with her boyfriend in Thailand. She is desperate for a ticketon the Trans-Siberian Express, but there is nothing available.
When the two women meet in a Beijing Hotel, Carrie makes the impulsive decision to invite Violet to take her best friend’s place. Thrown together in a strange country, and the cramped cabin of the train, the women soon form a bond. But as the journey continues, through Mongolia and into Russia, things start to unravel – because one of these women is not who she claims to be…

Violet Jacket

 

Extract

Beijing

 1

I’m sitting alone on a concrete bench. Around me, people are swarming, shouting quickly in a language that I can’t understand. Above me, the sky is a thick powder blue, like dirty paintbrushes swirled in water. The smog is so dense I can taste it. Waves of panic wash over me as I try to inhale some fresh air, and I wonder how anyone can breathe in this city. What started out as an exciting, fun morning has rapidly declined into panic and frustration; and not for the first time, I regret leaving Sam behind in Bangkok.

There is something easy about that place, with the swarms of British backpackers and grinning Aussies, men on stag parties, cold beers and menus written in English. Even though Thailand is as far away from the English countryside as can be, there is a certain warmth. Familiarity. Despite all the stories you hear, I felt completely safe there. But then me and Sam had that stupid falling-out in the hotel lobby. I can’t even remember how it started.

And so here I am, sitting outside the Beijing international train station, no boyfriend, only half my luggage – since my rucksack went AWOL somewhere on the way to China – and still no ticket for the train I want, which leaves tomorrow morning. I could call Sam, beg for his forgiveness, ask him to follow me out here. But firstly, I know he doesn’t want to, and secondly, I’d only be doing it out of desperation. He got sucked in, in Thailand, didn’t want to follow the plan – my plan – loop back via China and the Trans-Siberian Express to Moscow, before flying home from there. He’d gone into an Internet café and resigned from his job; he was getting more excited than I liked by the cheap beer and the hordes of stunning young women that seemed to flock to him on a daily basis. ‘I’d just like to hang about here a bit longer,’ he’d said. ‘Lighten up, sweetheart. You need to smoke some more weed.’

Idiot.

He’d changed since the group of German students arrived. There’d been a wild night. I’d felt uneasy, but he’d felt the opposite. ‘This is the kind of fun I came for,’ he said. To them, not me. I knew then that my Sam was gone. Was I angry? Not really. I just hope he stayed sober enough to do the appropriate checks on some of those beautiful ‘women’ that he and the German lads were spending so much time with.

Now I’m alone, in Beijing, a bustling metropolis of nearly twentytwo million people, feeling properly homesick for the first time in months. I did have fun yesterday, going for a proper Chinese tea ceremony with a young couple I’d met in the gardens near the Forbidden City. The tea had been ridiculously expensive, and I’d realised early on that it was a scam of some sort, but as scams go, it was pretty friendly. And I know more now than I ever thought I needed to about the many different kinds of Chinese tea.

This morning I was buzzing, ready for another full-on day, making sure I could fit in as many crispy duck pancakes as I could manage. All I had to do was pop down to the train station and buy my ticket. The station is huge, the guidebook said, but buying a ticket should be simple. Just make sure you go to the international section. When they said huge, I hadn’t quite realised what that meant. But while I sat outside, waiting for the sun to push its way through the everpresent smog – it didn’t, by the way – it dawned on me that small towns in China have five million inhabitants, and that huge really means the station is the size of Manchester, and after walking around the whole place for two hours, being jostled and stared at, pointed at, pointed out and misdirected for hours on end, what I realised was that foreigners can’t buy international tickets in the station after all; they have to go to a travel centre in some business hotel, streets away … and that I am so over this now. This so-called ‘adventure’.

And so I sat myself down on this concrete bench, and all I want to do now is cry. But that’s not going to get me anywhere. Certainly not to Moscow, which is where I really want to be. I need to move on. Find another companion for my trip. So I take a swig of water, then I pick up my backpack and head back into the throng.

 

 

violet tour poster 2019

Review of the captivating book – Nothing to Hide by James Oswald @SirBenfro @Wildfirebks @headlinepg #RandomThingsTours @annecater #Bookreview #BlogTour #CrimeFiction #Thriller #NothingToHide

Nothing to Hide
By James Oswald
Rated: 5 stars *****

I was so excited and delighted when I received an invitation by Random Things to review the latest Constance Fairchild book – Nothing to Hide by James Oswald as part of a blog tour. The book did not disappoint and kept me engaged. Today I present my review on the first day of Scottish Book Week. For those of you not in Scotland, it is a hugely important event for books to be promoted, reading to be encouraged. There are events happening online and in libraries and other places that have lovely books. Support authors and these events if you can, everyone appreciates it when you do.

Nothing To Hide Blog tour Poster

About the Author

Nothing to Hide James OswaldJames Oswald is the author of the Sunday Times bestselling Inspector McLean series of detective mysteries, as well as the new DC Constance Fairchild series. James’s first two books, Natural Causes and The Book of Souls, were both short-listed for the prestigious CWA Debut Dagger Award. James farms Highland cows and Romney sheep by day, writes
disturbing fiction by night.

Website ~ http://jamesoswald.co.uk
Twitter ~ @SirBenfro

 

Blurb

Suspended from duty after her last case ended in the high-profile arrest of one of Britain’s
wealthiest men, DC Constance Fairchild is trying to stay away from the limelight. Fate has
other ideas . . .
Coming home to her London flat, Constance stumbles across a young man, bloodied, mutilated
and barely alive. She calls it in and is quickly thrown into the middle of a nationwide
investigation . . . It seems that the victim is just the latest in a string of similar ritualistic attacks.
No matter that she is off-duty, no matter that there are those in the Met who would gladly
see the back of her, Con can’t shake her innate determination to bring the monsters
responsible for this brutality to justice.
Trouble always seems to find her, and even if she has nothing to hide, perhaps she has
everything to lose . . .

Review

Nothing To Hide CoverHaving the latest crime thriller by James Oswald in my hands to review was always, for me, going to be exciting. His writing lives up to all the hype that surrounds him. His writing is most definitely up there with Ian Rankin and Val McDermid.

The detective in this book is not McLean,  but Constance Fairchild, who is currently suspended from duty. It is as good as any McLean book. This is a new series from James Oswald.

Perthshire, Edinburgh, London; the book covers some ground when there are nationwide, killings, brutal murders that bear all the hallmarks of them being ritualistic.  So many lives are in danger and DI Constance Fairchild is not immune to this danger either.

Lady DC Constance Fairchild (not that she really uses Lady), is an interesting, strong character, who isn’t afraid of breaking a rule or two. The workforce doesn’t always like her and rib her for being posh and the press seem to almost hound her after her previous case. She is, whilst being suspended,  waiting to be able to testify at the trial of wealthy businessman Roger De Villiers and all seems like it’s going to be straightforward, but that doesn’t last as other events occur.

Out and about, members of  “The Church of the Coming Light”, part of the Danes Estate, is stumbled upon. It highlights some of the social deprivation here and that there are people trying to help. In this case it is people who are taking the drug most commonly known as Spice. I really like that it is highlighted that people can and do help to try to make things better, through charitable works. but it shouldn’t be necessary, indicating, quite rightly that lives ought to be better and ones with hope, not such despair. There does however seem something sinister about the group on first glance, plus the name indicates it isn’t going to be a mainstream church. Then there’s the odd Reverend, Doctor Edward Masters with his connections is high places. I then got very intrigued as to who Polly Cho is, who Stokes reckons Constance should talk to before he takes very unwell. Readers then really get to know what sort of people they are.
This sort of cultish world interests me, intrigues me, disturbs me and is something that still exists today in some form or another. All the ingredients are there that make it a “want to read book”. The tension that is built up is excellent.

It is interesting getting to know all the characters whom DC Fairchild is, one way or another, in contact with and it is interesting getting an insight into the workforce and their world.

I could not put this book down. I found myself being pulled further and further into getting to know the characters and also into the uneasiness of the killings and the sinister “church”. The book has a great mix of intrigue and familiarity of the surroundings. Even if you have not been to the UK before, it still will all make sense. The book is the second of the Constance Fairchild series, but can also be read as a stand-alone book as there is enough back-story to grasp onto, to catch up, if you’ve not read the first one. If you haven’t ever thought of reading James Oswald’s books, I recommend you give them a try. You just may find that you become hooked and if you’ve read his McLean books, then also try out this new exciting series from him. You won’t be left disappointed.

With thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to the blog tour. Thanks to Wild Fire Books and Headline for sending a copy of the book. Thanks to James Oswald (who is active on Twitter).

Review of A Friend In Deed by G.D. Harper @harper_author #Review #BlogTour @matadorbooks #thriller #politicalthriller #crimefiction #fiction

A Friend In Deed
By G.D. Harper
Rated: 4 stars ****

 

Today, a little later than I had planned, I am pleased to present my review on the blog tour for A Friend In Deed by G.D. Harper.

A Friend in Deed Full Tour Banner

 

About the Author

I was placed third in the 2015 Lightship Prize for first-time authors, won a 2016 Wishing Shelf Award Red Ribbon, been shortlisted at the UK Festival of Writing for Best First Chapter, longlisted in the 2017 UK Novel Writing Competition.

In 2017, I was one of twelve authors selected for Authors in the Spotlight at the Bloody Scotland book festival in Stirling, showcasing who they considered to be the best emerging talent in crime fiction, and was the only self-published author to be chosen. I have spoken at numerous other book events, including Blackwells’ Writers at the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; a stand-alone slot at the Byres Road Book Festival in Glasgow, and the Aye Write! Book Festival, also in Glasgow.

I worked in Russia and Ukraine for ten years, which gave me the ideas for the plot and setting that I used in A Friend in Deed.

Social Media Links
Webpage www.gdharper.com

Facebook: @gdharperauthor

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/harper_author

Blurb

A Friend In Deed CoverBritain: a few years from now. A new populist political party has won the recent general election.

Duncan Jones, freelance political journalist and blogger, loses his weekly column at a national newspaper and turns to investigative reporting. The chance remark of a friend leads him to suspect that the Russians are directing the new British government’s policies and decisions. As he visits Moscow and Ukraine to discover more, scandal follows intrigue, dark forces attempt to silence him by whatever means possible and he turns to an unlikely ally for help.

A Friend in Deed is a fast-paced psychological thriller set in an all-too-believable near future. It is also the story of how one man confronts the traumas in his past and works out how to resolve them.

Review

The book gets off to a good start in the National Portrait Gallery, London, with the main character scrutinising famous Scottish actor Peter Capaldi in the exhibition titled “Celebrity”. It’s a pretty good place to start I reckon as I like the gallery and Peter Capaldi. I also like the description of Bill Nighy too and the way readers are taken through the gallery in general.

I can certainly relate to Duncan Jones feeling the need to finish his blog, even though it is late.

To begin with there’s the interest of a new political party – Act Now, journalism that sounds like is not doing so well for Duncan and the part of the team he is in, there is also new love with Tanya from Ukraine. There’s also a brief snippet of life before as he had a love of his life until tragedy struck. Duncan also goes under 2 aliases, one for his political blog and the other for his novels. Tanya also seems to live 2 different lives, one sort in London and another, darker, more dangerous sort in Russia.

The book has substance and feels so close to what is happening now in the world. It feels like quite a bit of thought has gone into this and also some foresight too, something that not everyone has, but G.D.Harper seems to. It does feel like it is set not in the too distant future.

The story has close truths about how technology can be chillingly misused. G.D. Harper has the atmosphere just right as it is one that is unsettling and so thought-provoking and plausible. There is also the new “Dissemination of Terrorism Act”, which adds even more to the increasingly frighteningly sinister political world that Harper has created.

The ending seemed a little bit quick in some ways, but it was good and the story of course, did have to conclude and it was, on the whole satisfying.

I do recommend this book. I recommend it so that people can see how close to what is written within the pages we actually are in today’s world and how today’s political parties are not too far off the Act Now party. It really does make one think.

Absolution by Adam Croft @AdamCroft #StevenMooreAuthor @HobeckBooks #Review #CrimeFiction #PoliticalThriller #Thriller #ReadingCommunity #WritingCommunity

Absolution
By Adam Croft and Steven Moore

Rated: 5 stars *****

About the Authors

With almost two million books sold to date, Adam Croft is one of the most successful independently published authors in the world, and one of the biggest selling authors of the past few years, having sold books in over 120 different countries.


Adam Corft and Hobart
His 2015 worldwide bestseller Her Last Tomorrow became one of the bestselling books of the year, reaching the top 10 in the overall Amazon Kindle chart and peaking at number 12 in the combined paperback fiction and non-fiction chart.

His Knight & Culverhouse crime thriller series has seen huge popularity worldwide, with his Kempston Hardwick mystery books being adapted as audio plays starring some of the biggest names in British TV.

In 2016, the Knight & Culverhouse Box Set reached storewide number 1 in Canada, knocking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child off the top spot only weeks after Her Last Tomorrow was also number 1 in Canada. The new edition of Her Last Tomorrow also reached storewide number 1 in Australia over Christmas 2016.

During the summer of 2016, two of Adam’s books hit the USA Today bestseller list only weeks apart, making them two of the most-purchased books in the United States over the summer.

In February 2017, Only The Truth became a worldwide bestseller, reaching storewide number 1 at both Amazon US and Amazon UK, making it the bestselling book in the world at that moment in time. The same day, Amazon’s overall Author Rankings placed Adam as the most widely read author in the world, with J.K. Rowling in second place.

In January 2018, Adam’s bestselling book to date, Tell Me I’m Wrong became a worldwide bestseller and quickly went on to outsell Her Last Tomorrow.

Adam has been featured on BBC television, BBC Radio 4BBC Radio 5 Live, the BBC World ServiceThe GuardianThe Huffington PostThe Bookseller and a number of other news and media outlets.

In March 2018, Adam was conferred as an Honorary Doctor of Arts, the highest academic qualification in the UK, by the University of Bedfordshire in recognition of his services to literature.

Adam presents the regular crime fiction podcast Partners in Crime with fellow bestselling author Robert Daws.

Click below for links to websites:
Adam Croft Website

Partners in Crime

Steven Moore Website

Steven Moore

Steven hails from the south east of England, where he grew up (the jury’s still out) surrounded by the North Sea on one side and the Norfolk broads on the other.

As well as writing fction, Steven is an amateur painter and photographer, though his frst love is the great outdoors.
Restless and unfulflled by his late teens, the travel bug bit early, and to date Steven has lived and worked on fve continents and has visited close to sixty countries, combining that age-old writing adage with his own mantra: ‘Write not onlywhat you know, but where you know.’

A late entry into further education yielded a degree in Anthropology, Archaeology and Art History, and those disciplines, as well as the travelling and the endless adventures, all feature prominently in Steven’s bestselling action thriller series featuring Hiram Kane.

When not on the road with his travel-writer wife Leslie,
they call San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, home, where they live
with their two cats, Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald
(Ernie & Fitz).

You can find more of Steven’s books at: stevenmooreauthor.com

 

Blurb

Could you betray your government to save your country?

Sam Barker works in IT at the Home Office. All he wants is to get his work done and enjoy a quiet existence. But when he’s caught up in a terrorist attack on the London Underground, his life is turned upside down.

As he lies recovering in his hospital bed, a shadowy figure visits him and tells Sam not only is he a key witness to the attack, but he has unique access to information which could blow open a huge conspiracy and bring down the British government.

Will Sam risk everything he knows and loves to save his country?

 

Absolution-Kindle-7

Review

Remember, Remember the 5th of November….. this is a genius time to release this book, given the subject matters within those pages. 

A terrorist attack, survivor’s guilt, a potential conspiracy theory – could the government really be corrupt? And just who is “The Firm”?  There’s a lot in this book that packs a punch and to keep people wanting to read more. I certainly wanted to keep reading on and on. If only I didn’t have a job to go to, I’d have read it in one sitting.

I never gasp at books, but I did when I started to read Absolution. It is a fantastically well conceived beginning with a terrorist on a London tube. So current and topical and written in a way that not only captures the imagination, it is written in a way that brings to to the forefront of the mind, that this has happened, could happen again and anyone could be there. I love that it isn’t just any tube station, movements are very specific. For those living in or been to London before, it is easy to picture the Geography of it all.

Sam Barker works for the IT department in the Home Office and also likes to go down the pub with friends and has a lover called Dee. I like that we get a good sense of the man and how ordinary life all seemed 6 weeks ago, where chapter 1 begins. It is interesting and also very real with cancelled leave as his department gets used for cyber crime, meaning he can’t see his son in Edinburgh.

The book then jumps to 2 weeks ago. The book does however flow really well and it is great concept and tool to use. The book also then moves to Edinburgh, a place I also know well. Adam Croft has done his research well. It’s great how readers can find out a bit more about the relationship between him and Leila and his son.

Chapter 3 takes reader to 1 week ago. As a result to the beginning, I felt the anticipation and tension, even though not written as everything seems relatively normal, as time was getting closer to what went before.

Chapter 4 brings time to today with the location back in London. The contrast between a normal day changing into one of devastation is stark. The reactions feel real and natural. The atmosphere on the tube feels intense and I certainly feel a mix of emotions as I read on about the day that changed so many lives and especially Sam Barker’s forever. The book explores survivor’s guilt through Sam’s character.

Time in general is used very cleverly within this book. It adds to the tension and makes you want to read on.

The book moves on and the organsation called “The Firm” is sinsterly intriguing as is reading about Abdul and a terrorist cell.

The authors have made an interesting comment about how Sam could count on one hand only, the amount of people he knows where he lives. It’s a quick sentence, but that packs a lot into it, so much that I can only hope that people think about the number of people they know and set about to change that and get to know more, but without the suspicion Sam has, who is still shocked by recent events.

There are clever uses of the usual types of talks and articles that are published after a terrorist attack, that are echoed within this book.

This is an excellent political thriller that will keep readers engrossed from beginning to end. I certainly was gripped. It has an excellent balance between the terrorism, political life and the more ordinary life. It has a great pace and is an excellent start to a new series featuring Sam Barker. It’s one that will almost undoubtedly leave make an impression and a good one, but also a thought-provoking one at that.

It is perhaps worth me mentioning that there will be an audiobook version of Absolution coming soon. 

I recommend taking time to read the acknowledgements at the end. They are so interesting.

I am now looking forward to the next book, whenever it is written, with a start like this one, who wouldn’t want to read the next installment?!

*With thanks to Adam Croft and his wife – Joanne for allowing me to review Absolution – the first book in his new series (discover his other series on Adam’s website).
Thanks to Joanne for already allowing me to review the second book within this series.
Thanks to Adam Croft for allowing me to take his photo in Morecambe, which I have used also within this review. 

 

 

Who? What? When? Why? A review of a panel at @MorecambeVice Festival with @william1shaw @thegyth and others #review #crimefiction #bookish

Who? What? When? Why?
A Review of a Panel at Morecambe and Vice Festival

This panel was created by best selling crime novelist William Shaw. What can crime fiction tell us about the way works? With 3 Academics who are avid crime readers – Mary Evans, Hazel Johnstone and Sarah Moore. Crime writers – William Shaw and Gytha Lodge. William Shaw kept a certain pace for the panel and skillfully eased everyone from topic to topic and the others answered and also  created discussions that were intelligent, informative and thought-provoking.

William Shaw’s latest book is Deadland. The book tells the story of 2 teenage who are so disengaged with the world they live in, but have a strong sense of wanting to help each other in all their complexities. It is up to DS Alexandra Cupidi to solve the case. William Shaw is praised by Val McDermid, Peter James and Peter May.

Deadland by William Shaw 2019 book
Gytha Lodge’s latest book is She Lies in Wait. It is about six friends, a dark past and one killer. It is up to DCI Sheen to crack the case when 30 years later a body is discovered and to work out who is lying as everyone becomes a suspect. Gytha Lodge is praised by Val McDermid who says it makes hold your breath and gasp out loud.

gytha lodge 2019 book

Quick Facts
60-70% of readers read crime.

There’s a new respectability to reading and writing it.
More women read crime than men.
Men win the most prizes

This was such an intriguing panel, especially with the title that was given to it. This wasn’t your usual panel. The festival certainly seems to like to bring something different onto the stage.

Crime books were discussed in different ways. This was about what crime books have to say and the sociology and coverage of the genre. Although there were academics, this was not at all heavy going. It felt more like an informative and relaxed talk rather than a lecture. It was entertaining, fascinating and well-formed and relaxed for the festival audience.

There were interesting points that were made. One of the first ones being about the National Press and intriguingly, since crime is now such a hugely popular genre, doesn’t seem to feature as much as other fiction, especially those in the light entertainment segment of fiction, with lighter plots.

The discussion began to move in a different direction as they decided they were all fans of the golden age and talked about Agatha Christie’s subversive character – Miss Marple, whom I sensed they had a soft spot for. The academics wanted to chart a shift from the golden age to the 70s, when noir began to emerge. They discussed how writing moved on and how their began, as there is now, more of a political and social consciousness about the causes of crime being written about. Writing also changed in how the police were seen, no longer were they as nicely well behaved as they were in what is dubbed as the “golden era”. This made for an engaging talk about the change in style and the approach within the crime fiction genre.

There was much interesting talk in the sociology of crime and how it shows the internalisation of positive and negative values. The panelists pondered over sociology as a subject has missed the powerlessness and unrest, which is added into crime fiction.

The panel moved on when William Shaw asked about the narrative in storytelling. It seeemed to be concluded that the narrative was very important and that conventionally everyone wanted to know how a story ends. This is true, for me anyway.

The why and how also really kept my attention and it seemed the rest of the audience’s too, when they talked about the fabric of people’s worlds and how it isn’t always the “who” in the stories that keep readers reading.

They covered gender in crime books and also how there seems to be an appetite for true crime, especially on tv, as they reflected on The Confession, which is on tv.

They concluded by talking about how crime is now colonising other genres. It got me thinking, there is a lot going on in crime books, there isn’t just the crime, but there’s the psychology and also sometimes some romance and other genres feature too. They also talked of the trend to feature women detectives as well as male detectives and to show just how, for both sexes, the job can be incompatible with domestic life. I liked that they included both genders in this and they weren’t stereotyping anyone, they were just saying how it can be for everyone with the hours put in etc.

They rounded off by going back to the golden age and addressing the question about whether it is possible to write crime as a period piece and to take a book as a thing within its time? This was an yet another excellent question. They pondered this and decided that it can be difficult to keep to a certain line, with modern thoughts, but to not have a period piece become so ridiculous that piece of writing becomes too modern. This was a point so well made, I reckoned as the writing would then lose the fact it is historical and no one could learn anything from the past or get any sense of different times. They discussed how it can be difficult as times have changed and it has to be so worked out what would be acceptable and also about how in the past there are things that are spoken about much more freely now than they were in earlier years.

This was another fascinating panel and to hear about crime fiction from such a broad and different angle brought new and different insight.

I thank William Shaw for allowing me to take a photo of him and also for him reckoning him and I should have a selfie. I also thank him for the nice chat.

Me and William Shaw            William Shaw
              Me with William Shaw                          Gytha Lodge and William Shaw

Both authors also have more books to come in 2020.