Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for “Half-Past Tomorrow” by Chris McGeorge. My thanks to Tracy Fenton for the opportunity to join and to the publisher for my review copy!
Author : Chris McGeorge
Title ; Half-Past Tomorrow
Pages : 440
Publisher : Orion UK
Publication date : August 5, 2021
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Shirley Steadman, a 70 year old living in a small town in the North East of England, loves her volunteer work at the local hospital radio. She likes giving back to the community, and even more so, she likes getting out of the house. Haunted by the presence of her son, a reluctant Royal Navy officer who was lost at sea, and still in the shadow of her long dead abusive husband, she doesn’t like being alone much.
One day, at the radio station, she is playing around with the equipment and finds a frequency that was never there before. It is a pirate radio station, and as she listens as the presenter starts reading the news. But there is one problem – the news being reported is tomorrows. Shirley first thinks it is a mere misunderstanding – a wrong date. But she watches as everything reported comes true. At first, Shirley is in awe of the station, and happily tunes in to hear the news.
But then the presenter starts reporting murders – murders that happen just the way they were reported.
And Shirley is the only one who can stop them.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Seventy-year old Shirley Steadman loves her volunteer work at the local hospital radio. If anything, it gives her an excuse to leave her bungalow. One day, fiddling around with the equipment in the studio, she comes across a frequency she is sure wasn’t there before. Intrigued, Shirley keeps listening. But as the presenter starts to read the news, something doesn’t seem quite right. The date is wrong, it’s tomorrow’s. Shirley assumes the whole thing is a misunderstanding. Until the things the presenter has reported actually come true. When tiny accidents suddenly turn into murders, Shirley realises she is the only one who can stop them from happening.
First things first. Shirley. What a fabulous character! She is one of those characters you warm to immediately. Sure, she’s old, and this and that and the other hurts. But thankfully she’s not one of those whiney grandmothers. The idea that she might well be the only one who can stop these murders almost makes her come alive. She’s doing things she probably shouldn’t be doing, maybe even harming herself along the way but she’s on a mission now. There’s a delightful sense of humour underneath that granny exterior but also a whole lot of hurt. Shirley has not had an easy life and sometimes feels quite lonely. I’ll leave you to discover why that is for yourselves.
I’m not entirely sure this book would have worked with someone younger. As it is, you often wonder about Shirley’s state of mind. Is she confused? Is she seeing and hearing things that aren’t there? It’s not at all hard to imagine that were she to confide in someone, that person would probably think she was a sandwich short of a picnic.
I’m an absolute sceptic and so I blatantly refused to believe that someone was indeed predicting the future. But I couldn’t at all figure out what was going on or why. And even less so, why it all had to involve Shirley in the first place. There are definitely some twists and turns to keep you guessing and one or two moments that turn the whole thing completely on its head. It all makes for such a fun puzzle to try and solve.
‘Half-Past Tomorrow‘ is an engaging and intriguing mystery. I felt at times like I needed to suspend belief just that little bit but the story remained enjoyable enough that it didn’t really bother me. Oddly enough my focus wasn’t necessarily on catching a killer, but more so on Shirley because she was this wonderful character I desperately wanted a happy ending for. All in all, an entertaining and fun read with some poignant moments and a clever storyline.
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| ABOUT THE AUTHOR |
Chris McGeorge studied MA Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller) at City University London where he wrote his first novel as his thesis.
His interests are broad – spanning film, books, theatre and video games. He is a member of the Northern Crime Syndicate, a supergroup of writers from Northern England.
He lives in County Durham with his partner and many, many animals.
20 Books of Summer : 14/20