I couldn’t possibly be any more excited if I tried and am absolutely delighted to be involved in the cover reveal for the tenth (10th !!!) instalment in the absolutely brilliant Kim Stone series by the equally brilliant Angela Marsons! I am a HUGE fan of this series and I absolutely can’t wait to get this next book in my grabby little hands!
Dead Memories will be published on February 22nd, but you can already pre-order now! Let’s see what it’s about, shall we?
She ruined their lives. Now they’re going to destroy hers.
‘Someone is recreating every traumatic point in your life. They are doing this to make you suffer, to make you hurt and the only possible end game can be death. Your death.’
On the fourth floor of Chaucer House, two teenagers are found chained to a radiator. The boy is dead but the girl is alive. For Detective Kim Stone every detail of the scene mirrors her own terrifying experience with her brother Mikey, when they lived in the same tower block thirty years ago.
When the bodies of a middle-aged couple are discovered in a burnt-out car, Kim can’t ignore the chilling similarity to the death of Erica and Keith – the only loving parents Kim had ever known.
Faced with a killer who is recreating traumatic events from her past, Kim must face the brutal truth that someone wants to hurt her in the worst way possible. Desperate to stay on the case, she is forced to work with profiler Alison Lowe who has been called in to observe and monitor Kim’s behaviour.
Kim has spent years catching dangerous criminals and protecting the innocent. But with a killer firmly fixed on destroying Kim, can she solve this complex case and save her own life or will she become the final victim?
EEK! I don’t know about you but February can’t come soon enough!!!!!!
Read what everyone is saying about the Detective Kim Stone series:
‘Marsons for me is the QUEEN of this genre. She knows how to add the human touch to each story and I just adore her. Bloody FABULOUS.’ Postcard Reviews
I absolutely loved it!… one of the best crime thrillers I’ve read in a long time, and that includes mainstream authors such as James Patterson! Fiona’s Book Reviews
‘WOW! Did I just read what I thought I read?… I felt totally gut-punched when I finished. Came back to it a day later and re-read the entire book again just to make sure I had read it correctly the first time. Had the stuffing knocked out of me all over again… Totally in awe.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars
‘It’s Angela Marsons, so five stars, ’nuff said… Gripping, intriguing, thrilling, addictive, fantastic… emotional and heart-breaking… I finished this late, sobbing my heart out… Read this book. Just do it… One of the very best detective series around.’ Deja Read, 5 stars
‘I truly don’t know what to say… Somehow Angela Marsons manages smash the brilliantness of the last book and better it tenfold… A first-class read that I feel will be difficult to top… This has certainly gone onto my 2018 MUST READ list’ ILoveReadinguk, 5 stars
Right, enough chat! Time to reveal the glorious cover!
Are you ready?
Here it comes!
Remember, you can already pre-order Dead Memories :
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Cuckoo by Sophie Draper! My thanks to Sabah at Avon for the invitation to join and the review copy, which I received via Netgalley.
When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in Derbyshire. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.
But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.
As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?
Caro returns to her childhood home after the death of her stepmother, Elizabeth. Their relationship had always been a fraught one and they hadn’t seen each other in years. Caro’s memories of her childhood are somewhat patchy in places but going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths things she may not wish to remember at all. Why do the villagers dislike her so much? Why did Elizabeth hate her?
Strange things start to happen around the house. As an illustrator for children’s books, Caro has a vivid imagination so I was never quite sure if what she saw was actually there. Are these memories struggling to resurface or is it a bad case of paranoia? With an entire village against her and a sister on the other side of the world, is there anyone Caro can trust?
Cuckoo has an intensely unsettling atmosphere throughout. The story starts with someone in hospital but the reader doesn’t know who the patient is or how they got there. I quickly found myself intrigued, trying to unravel this mystery. Now, this is quite a slow-paced book and at times, for me personally, a bit too slow. That said though, the latter part of the book more than made up for that!
Of course, there are some twists and turns. Some I saw coming, others not at all. There are quite a few family secrets waiting to be unraveled and there’s a constant feeling of isolation that almost made me feel claustrophobic and it all leads to a rather unnerving conclusion. If slow-burning gothic mysteries are your thing, this slightly creepy read will be right up your street!
Sophie Draper is a Derbyshire based author. Cuckoo is her first book and won the Bath Novel Award 2017. She also won the York Festival of Writing Friday Night Live Award 2017. A second book is due to be published later in 2019.
People always notice my daughter, Isobel. How could they not? Extraordinarily beautiful… until she speaks.
An unsettling, little-girl voice, exactly like a child’s, but from the mouth of a full-grown woman.
Izzie might look grown-up, but inside she’s trapped. Caught in the day it happened… the day that broke her from within. Our family fell apart that day, and we never could pick up the pieces.
The book I’m currently reading
When single mum Joanna hears a rumour at the school gates, she never intends to pass it on. But one casual comment leads to another and now there’s no going back.
Rumour has it that a notorious child killer is living under a new identity, in their sleepy little town of Flinstead-on-Sea.
Sally McGowan was just ten years old when she stabbed little Robbie Harris to death forty-eight years ago – no photos of her exist since her release as a young woman.
So who is the supposedly reformed killer who now lives among them? How dangerous can one rumour become? And how far will Joanna go to protect her loved ones from harm, when she realizes what it is she’s unleashed?
What I’m (possibly) reading next
It’s true what they say . . . revenge is sweet.
1975 A baby, minutes old, is forcibly taken from its devastated mother.
2010 The body of an elderly woman is found in a Dublin public park in the depths of winter.
Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds is on the case. He’s convinced the murder is linked to historical events that took place in the notorious Magdalene Laundries. Reynolds and his team follow the trail to an isolated convent in the Irish countryside. But once inside, it becomes disturbingly clear that the killer is amongst them . . . and is determined to exact further vengeance for the sins of the past.
The Rumour marks the end of my blog tour commitments for the year. Woohoo! Time to delve into my own TBR and Jo Spain’s Tom Reynolds series is the first one I’ve decided to catch up on.
What are you reading this week? Let me know! Happy reading! xx
I’m delighted to be kicking off the blog tour for The Cold Years by Joel Hames today! My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the invitation to join!
Everyone needs to be heard: if there’s one thing Sam Williams has learned it’s that. Which is why he finds himself defending Richard Fothergill against accusations that date back decades.
But Sam’s real problems are closer to home. His nemesis, Trawden, is finally dead, but so are those he once called friends. The people he used to count on, the ones who aren’t in the ground, aren’t what they once were, either. DI Martins is on his back again, and she’s got company. And Sam’s girlfriend Claire might be recovering from her breakdown, but she’s not telling him everything.
Life would be so much easier if Sam knew the answers. Instead, all he’s got are questions.
Who is following him, and what do they want?
What did Fothergill really do to the children he taught?
And where was Claire the day Edward Trawden was killed?
Everyone has a secret to hide, but some secrets are too close to home.
The Cold Years is the third instalment in the Sam Williams series but there’s no need to worry as this can be read quite well as a stand-alone. If you have read the previous books but need some help, the author has very kindly added a link at the beginning of the book to refresh your memory.
For those who don’t know, Sam Williams is a lawyer but not a really successful one. While events in this instalment do connect to those from the previous books, there is enough background story for a new reader not to feel like they’re missing out on too much. However, for me personally, I’m glad I did read the previous ones though as it’s been incredibly fun to watch Joel Hames manage to keep a truckload of balls juggling in the air. So if you have the time, I’d definitely recommend reading all three books in order to give you a better understanding of the characters and their various relationships.
Surprisingly, Sam does actually manage to get hold of a case, defending Richard Fothergill against decades old accusations. But his real problems are a lot closer to home. His girlfriend, Claire, is acting weird. She may very well be recovering from a breakdown but it’s also becoming increasingly apparent that she’s keeping secrets. Friends have died and others aren’t what they used to be, leaving Sam with lots of questions and very little answers.
Sam’s world remains as complicated as ever and there are quite a few players to keep track of but I never found myself at a loss or utterly confused. Although there are various threads to sink your teeth into, the one that stood out for me and really held my attention was the one involving Claire. Just like Sam, I became increasingly suspicious of her behaviour but I couldn’t at all figure out whether or not it was justified, and if she was up to something, what that could possibly be.
The Cold Years is another thrilling addition to the Sam Williams series. It’s intricately plotted, with some delightful twists and will keep you guessing until the end. Sam remains a remarkably likeable character, someone to get behind and root for and solving mysteries alongside a lawyer makes a nice change from all the detective stories out there. I’m not sure if there will be more from Sam in the future. If there is, that’d be wonderful, but if not, it’s been a fabulous adventure!
Joel Hames lives in rural Lancashire, England, with his wife and two daughters, where he works hard at looking serious and pretending to be a proper novelist.
After a varied career in London which involved City law firms, a picture frame warehouse, an investment bank and a number of market stalls (he has been known to cry out “Belgian chocolates going cheap over ‘ere” in his sleep), Joel relocated from the Big Smoke to be his own boss. As a result, he now writes what he wants, when he wants to (which by coincidence is when the rest of the family choose to let him).
Joel’s first novel, Bankers Town, was published in 2014, and The Art of Staying Dead followed in 2015. The novellas Brexecution (written and published in the space of ten days following the UK’s Brexit referendum, with half of the profits going to charity) and Victims were published in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Joel’s website can be found at http://www.joelhamesauthor.com/, where you can find out more about the writer and the books, and sign up to his email newsletter. If you want to know what Joel has planned for the future, what he thinks right now, or just stalk him a little, you can find him on Facebook at facebook.com/joelhamesauthoror Twitter at @joel_hames.
Joel has never seen the word “Joel” appear as frequently as it does right here, and wholeheartedly approves.
The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that there was no wrap-up post last Sunday. There were two, in my opinion, very good reasons for that. One, I was under the weather but more importantly, I didn’t actually have anything to wrap up. No books read, no books bought, nothing from Netgalley. No, hell did not freeze over but I’m sure it came pretty close 😉
Things went a little better this week although my reading mojo is still up and down like a bloody yo-yo. My “I must read these” list currently consists of three books due for blog tours in December. And that’s it. Why yes, I do feel rather accomplished. Thanks for asking 😉
So, what have I read this week? Let’s take a look.
Books I read this week
Four. For me, on the slightly disappointing side. In general? Progress! I’ll take it!
Books I bought this week
Actually, books I’ve bought the past three weeks. Kind of sad. 😄
I already owned The Secret Wife on Kindle but wanted the paperback too. The Snow Girls was a bit of an accident as I didn’t realise it was the seventh or eighth book in a series. And The Other Queen is my first ever audiobook! Because … Richard Armitage. Yes, I am that shallow. No, I’m not sorry at all.
ARC’s received via Netgalley
Three for blog tours, although one of them isn’t until next year, and one because I could.
Monday : Blog tour | Review | The Cold Years by Joel Hames
Tuesday : Nada
Wednesday : This Week in Books (provided I read any 😂)
Thursday : Nothing
Friday : Blog tour | Review | Cuckoo by Sophie Draper
Saturday : Again, nothing
Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up
And that’s it. These aren’t getting much more interesting, are they? 😂
Question of the week : The new WordPress editor. Let’s discuss. I’ve been using it for a few days now and I must say it’s not as daunting as it first looked. I think I’m getting the hang of it. I’ve actually seen some of the plus points as well. Reusable blocks are the bees knees! So what do you think? Have you given it a go yet? Hate it? Love it? Let me know!
I’m off to spend the afternoon with my mother-in-law, who wants to visit a Christmas market and buy some decorations. What on earth did I do to deserve that?! 😭
Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend! Wishing you a wonderful week and lots of happy reading! xx
Happy Sunday and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Merest Loss by Steven Neil. My thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the invitation to join. Author Steven Neil joins me on the blog today to talk about researching and writing historical fiction. But first, here is what The Merest Loss is all about.
A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.
When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?
Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?
The central character is Harriet Howard and the action takes place between 1836 and 1873. The plot centres on Harriet’s relationships with Louis Napoleon and famous Grand National winning jockey, Jem Mason. The backdrop to the action includes significant characters from the age, including Lord Palmerston, Queen Victoria and the Duke of Grafton, as well as Emperor Napoleon III. The worlds of horse racing, hunting and government provide the scope for rural settings to contrast with the city scenes of London and Paris and for racing skulduggery to vie with political chicanery.
In many ways, writing historical fiction is no different to writing any other fiction. The author still has to think about the five key elements of novel writing i.e.
Point of view
In addition to these consideration however, there are particular issues which need to be borne in mind if the historical fiction novel is to come across as a credible representation of the period being described.
In writing 19th century historical fiction, as well as specific research in reference books, I always read widely the dominant fiction of the time e.g. Trollope, Dickens, Hardy, Thackeray, to assimilate the sound and feel of the age. I have also developed a number of questions I pose to myself whilst I am researching and planning my novel and I share some of them with you here.
Point of view
What point of view best suits the story you are telling? This seems a rather obvious question but there is a reason why Trollope and Hardy used the omniscient narrator: they wanted to be in complete control of the characters and to manage the reader by knowing everything, by contrast with their characters, who don’t. In this way there is almost a conspiracy between writer and reader at the expense of the characters.
Of course, Trollope and Hardy were living in the 19th century and could sustain an all knowing perspective with reasonable ease. What the contemporary writer has to ask, if they are to write credibly in a 19th century setting, is whether they have done the research necessary to replicate an omniscient narrator. It took me a long time researching to satisfy myself on that point.
Is this turn of events plausible and credible for the time?
What assumptions are being made about the law, the state of politics, the monarchy, the church, the class system?
Do the events fit with what is happening in the historical timeline and background to events e.g. war, peace, political turmoil, the economy, religion.
Readers will suspend disbelief up to a point (albeit different points for different readers), it is, after all, fiction but if it doesn’t ‘ring true’ you may lose your reader.
Did that park, that building, that street, that room actually exist at that time?
Would it have looked like that?
Would the flora and fauna have looked like that?
Would the clothing have been worn in that way?
Would the lighting, heating, glazing, transport means have looked like that?
There is a famous story told by Ian McEwan, who was assiduous in his medical research for the novel Saturday, who was berated by a reader because he had a driver easing his particular Mercedes 500 SEL into first gear, when, according to the complainant, this particular version only came in automatic, so the correct phrase would have been to put it into drive. Some people!
Is it likely that someone would behave like that at that time?
What cultural norms and standards of behaviour existed and are the characters conforming to them?
Does the way someone is behaving fit with what you have already described about their education, social class, sex, prejudices, opinions?
Is there continuity of character; is the character suddenly and inexplicably behaving in a way that the reader will struggle to accept?
Characters can be complex and may sometimes behave unusually, but I am told that one of the most common phrases amongst book club members is along the lines of ‘I didn’t think he/she would have done that and that spoiled the story for me.’ Beware!
Is this how people really spoke at that time?
Would they have used those words?
Are modern idioms creeping into your draft?
Is the way someone is speaking consistent with a character from the 19th century and from chapter to chapter?
As a rule, speakers in the 19th century did not preface their statements with ‘Do you know what’ and other ubiquitous, meaningless phrases but they are so wired in to modern expression that it can sometimes be hard to keep them out.
This is far from an exhaustive set of questions but asking these sorts of questions early in the research period and at the planning stage will save work later on when you are editing. It is very easy to become ‘snow blind’ during the editing phase and I find it much harder to catch glaring errors at a late stage than it is to filter them out at an early stage.
Steven Neil has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. In his working life he has been a bookmaker’s clerk, management tutor, management consultant, bloodstock agent and racehorse breeder. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire.
I am absolutely delighted to close down the blog tour for And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott today! My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for the invitation to join and to the publisher for my fabulous review copy!
So this is how it ends. It is clear to me now: one of us has to die.
Mark and Evie had a whirlwind romance. Evie brought Mark back to life after the sudden death of his first wife. Cleo, Mark’s sister, knows she should be happy for him. But Cleo doesn’t trust Evie…
When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.
Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As Evie stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?
I am a huge fan of Rachel Abbott’s brilliant DI Tom Douglas series and always impatiently await a new book by her. And So It Begins marks a departure though. Not only is it a psychological thriller, it is also Rachel Abbott’s first traditionally published novel and I was so excited to read it that I didn’t even bother checking out the description. I went in completely blind with no clue whatsoever as to what the story was actually about.
Let me tell you right now, this book has more twists than a bowl of pasta! With such a devious plot, it’s no wonder I was glued to the pages, desperately trying to figure out what the outcome would be. Once again, it also becomes increasingly apparent to me that characters don’t necessarily have to be likeable for a storyline to completely hold me in its clutches.
Full of lies, deceit and secrets, And So It Begins had my head spinning from start to finish. Who is a reliable narrator? Who can be trusted? What really happened and why? So many questions in need of an answer and while I had a tiny inkling about some of it, I couldn’t see the full picture at all. Add some delicious courtroom action and loyalties shifting all over the place and you have one humdinger of a psychological thriller. And that’s all I’m saying as I’m too worried I’ll give something away.
Psychological thrillers are often hit and miss for me but once in a while, I stumble upon a gem that restores my faith in the genre and to me, And So It Begins is definitely that. It’s infinitely clever, brilliantly written and without a doubt one of my top books of the year. If I wasn’t a fan of Rachel Abbott’s writing already, I definitely would be now and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
Rachel Abbott began her career as an independent author in 2011, with Only the Innocent, which became a No.1 bestseller on Kindle, topping the chart for four weeks. Since then, she has published five further psychological thrillers, plus a novella, and sold over 2.75 million copies.
She is one of the top-selling authors of all time in the UK Kindle store (published and self-published), and her novels have been translated into 21 languages.
This is her first traditional publishing deal, though she’s been approached many times.
It’s a real pleasure to be involved in the cover reveal tour for The Blameless Dead by Gary Haynes today.
The Blameless Dead is an epic, compelling, edge-of-the-seat drama that sweeps the reader from twentieth century Europe to modern-day New York, taking in some of the most important events of modern history and exposing them in honest and unflinching terms. Part murder-mystery, part historical novel and shot through with adrenaline-pumping action, this novel superbly demonstrates that, while the hostilities may cease and the peace be signed, the horror that is war is never really over.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? The novel will be published by Endeavour Media in March 2019 so still a bit of a wait but why not go ahead and add it to your Goodreads TBR shelf right now. In the meantime, here comes the brilliant cover and a bit more as to what The Blameless Dead is all about.
In the dying days of World War Two, Pavel Romasko and his Red Army colleagues pick their way through the carnage and detritus of a dying Berlin. Stumbling upon the smoking remains of a Nazi bunker, they find something inside that eclipses the horror of even the worst excesses in the city above them…
As the war ends, retribution begins. But some revenge cannot be taken at once. Some revenge takes years.
And so it is, as post-war Europe tries desperately to drag itself back onto its feet, and soldiers attempt a return to normality, that retribution continues to ferment in the Gulags of the Soviet Union and beneath the surface of apparently ordinary lives.
Which is how, seventy years later, FBI agent Carla Romero and New York lawyer Gabriel Hall are enlisted to investigate a series of blood-chilling crimes that seem to have their roots in the distant past — even though the suffering they cause is all too present. And for one of them, the disappearance of young women is a particularly personal matter.
Gary Haynes is a bestselling thriller writer, and member of the International Thriller Writers organisation. He studied law at university and passed his post-graduate legal qualifications before becoming a commercial litigator. He is a Freedom of Speech advocate and is interested in history, philosophy and foreign policy. Gary’s previous novels include the popular Tom Dupree series: State of Honour and State of Attack.
Delighted to join the blog tour for Good Samaritans by Will Carver today! My thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for my fab review copy!
Author : Will Carver
Title : Good Samaritans
Pages : 320
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : September 27, 2018 (ebook) | November 15, 2018 (paperback)
One crossed wire, three dead bodies and six bottles of bleach
Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs.
A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups.
And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home…
And someone is watching…
Have you ever finished the last page of a book and thought to yourself “what the heck did I just read?”.
Meet the weirdly wonderful brain of author Will Carver and his book Good Samaritans. Boy, oh boy, this one will mess with your head like no other.
It’s also quite a hard one to review without giving anything away. The story is mainly told via four different characters. All flawed, all carrying tons of baggage, all lonely in their own little ways and all trying to find ways to cope.
Ant works for the Samaritans hotline. Maeve drinks. (I approve 😂) Seth struggles with insomnia and has the oddest hobby ever as every night, he picks up the phone and randomly calls a stranger asking them if they’d like to talk. Most don’t. Some do. Note to self : never answer the phone again. But Hadley does. Uh oh.
The short chapters urge you to keep on reading, making Good Samaritans incredibly hard to put down. There’s a tense vibe throughout, a threat of something dark and disturbing that oozes from the pages. It’s edgy, original, bit dirty (think the kind of thing that would have made you blush fiercely if your parents had walked in on you reading this) and brings the word “dysfunctional” to a whole other level.
Good Samaritans is a belter of a crime thriller / serial killer / domestic noir kind of combination and the characterisation is immensely engrossing. It’s one of those stories I can’t stop thinking about, going over things in my head, wondering what I missed and I’m obviously struggling to put it into words as well. It’s unlike anything else I’ve ever read and you just really need to experience this one for yourselves.
This is my first time reading a book by Will Carver, whose brain must quite frankly be the most scary place ever, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last time.
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age 11, 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, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.
I’m absolutely delighted to host a stop on the blog tour for The Lingering by SJI Holliday today! Huge thanks to Anne Cater for the invitation to join and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda for the fabulous review copy!
Author : SJI Holliday
Title : The Lingering
Pages : 300
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : September 15, 2018 (ebook) | November 15, 2018 (paperback)
Married couple Jack and Ali Gardiner move to a self-sufficient spiritual commune in the English Fens, desperate for fresh start. The local village is known for the witches who once resided there and Rosalind House, where the commune has been established, is a former psychiatric home, with a disturbing history.
When Jack and Ali arrive, a chain of unexpected and unexplained events is set off, and it becomes clear that they are not all that they seem. As the residents become twitchy, and the villagers suspicious, events from the past come back to haunt them, and someone is seeking retribution…
I don’t normally read scary stories because I’m a big fat wuss and I was slightly worried, that just like with scary movies, I’d be hiding behind my sofa or have my face buried in a pillow which would make reading rather difficult. Luckily though, I wouldn’t quite label this one as a scary read. Creepy? Absolutely! Chilling? Right to the bone!
The Lingering oozes atmosphere from the very first page, almost like a movie scene. Driving a car down a driveway, seeing a house loom up in front of you for the first time. Not just any house though for this place used to be a mental asylum and if there’s any setting more exciting than that one, I haven’t discovered it yet. Who knows what secrets are hidden in the walls and the shadows?
Married couple Jack and Ali leave behind everything they’ve ever known to move into Rosalind House and be part of a commune. It’s relatively obvious from the start that all is not well with these two. Their arrival at Rosalind House sets in motion a series of unexplained events. But who or what is responsible? Obviously I can’t tell you that but I will say this is one tense, suspenseful and thrilling ride. I wasn’t at all sure of the outcome, couldn’t see how things would end up but found the conclusion absolutely satisfying.
Part domestic thriller, past ghost story The Lingering had me absolutely hooked. Talk about a gripping read, hoo boy! I couldn’t get a feel for any of the characters at all which just added to this sense of unease that I found quite hard to let go of, even hours after finishing the book. On top of that, we are treated to diary chapters written by a doctor who used to work at the psychiatric institution and in an odd sort of way, those frightened me more than anything because they felt incredibly realistic and believable in showing what human beings are capable of.
The Lingering is one dark and disturbing read. With a brilliantly executed plot and complex characters, this haunting tale will linger (see what I did there?) in your mind for days. I have no doubt you’ll see this one pop up near the end of the year on my list of books of 2018.
PS : Do not read in the bathtub. You’ll thank me later.
S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday is a pharmaceutical statistician by day and a crime and horror fan by night. Her short stories have been published in many places and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize with her story ‘Home from Home’, which was published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in spring 2017. She is the bestselling author of the creepy and claustrophobic Banktoun trilogy (Black Wood, Willow Walk andThe Damselfly) featuring the much-loved Sergeant Davie Gray, and has dabbled in festive crime with the critically acclaimed The Deaths of December.
Her latest psychological thriller is modern gothic with more than a hint of the supernatural, which she loved writing due to her fascination and fear of ghosts. She is proud to be one of The Slice Girls and has been described by David Mark as ‘Dark as a smoker’s lung.’
She divides her time between Edinburgh and London and you will find her at crime-fiction events in the UK and abroad.