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Posts Tagged ‘Electric Souk’

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Published: 23 March 2017

Copy provided by Urbane Publications & Netgalley

 

Description:

Ireland’s gone bust, and with it Aisling Finn’s life.

She flees austerity for adventure in the desert.  But the Arabia she finds is not that of her dreams.  Everyone is chasing a fast buck, a fast woman and another G&T.  Expats and locals alike prickle with paranoia.
Debonair fixer, Brian Rothmann, charms Aisling with champagne brunches and nights at Bedouin camps.  But is Brian a hero or a desperate expat prepared to go to any lengths to get what he wants?  Is this Aisling?  Or is he using her as bait?
Her only hope is Hisham, a local activist.  But where do his loyalties lie?  Aisling faces severe peril when the sleazy expat and blood-lusting desert worlds collide, as the Arab Spring erupts. 

She has to ask, whom can she trust?  Can she trust her instincts?  Humanity blisters in this haunting, lyrical thriller about trust and treachery.

My Thoughts & Review:

For once a book has left me speechless, I finished reading “Electric Souk” over a week ago and have struggled to put into words just how brilliant this book is.  Even then I don’t think that brilliant is a word that does this book justice.
I first heard about this book when I featured the lovely Rose McGinty over on my “Celebrating Indie Publishing” post at the beginning of March and was so intrigued by the sound of her book I knew I needed to read it as soon as I could.

The reader is plunged into a tale of an adventure almost instantly when they encounter Aisling heading to the Gulf to start a new job and a new life.  But things aren’t as easy as she hopes, life doesn’t run as smoothly in the desert and danger lurks in the shadows.

The reader is submersed in such authentic and realistic surroundings, the details that Rose McGinty pours into her writing are absolutely amazing.  I felt that I could smell the fragrances, feel the intensity of heat, taste the sand that surrounded Aisling.  I also found the cultural details fascinating to read, the customs and traditions that are observed there were new to me and so I felt that I could take some knowledge from this book.  McGinty writes with such a flair that it is evident that she has spent a lot of time in the Middle East and understands the culture and lifestyle.

I particularly enjoyed the thriller element to this tale, the clever way that the tension was wound tighter and tighter meant that my attention was held fast.  Aisling is in a difficult position, there are people who would manipulate her at any opportunity for minimal gain, even if it were to make another person look bad.  She is also in a dangerous position as she can’t really be sure who is safe to trust.  The friendships she forms are interesting, Angie the lively Liverpudlian is one character that made me laugh and smile.  Moazah on the other hand, oh how I felt so much frustration towards this character.  The levels of manipulation and greed that this character would stoop to in order to further her own agenda were shocking.
Brian Rothmann was a character I struggled to work out initially, he seemed almost “too good to be true”, appearing to be almost too saccharine.

Trust and the lack thereof is the overarching theme in this book, and as the tension rises so too does the creeping paranoia.

For a debut novel I am considerably impressed, Rose McGinty writes with an ease that hints towards years spent writing.  Not only does she bring settings alive, but she creates characters who develop fantastically throughout the novel, creates an atmosphere that is serene yet dangerous and manages to give her readers something that shocks, entertains and delights.

A book I would absolutely recommend to others, and I can already see myself reading it again before the year is out!  It’s definitely one that will be on my list of “Top Indie Books for 2017!”

You can buy a copy of “Electric Souk” directly from the publisher here or via Amazon | Wordery

About the Author:

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Rose McGinty was born with itchy feet, which she has yet to decide is a blessing or a curse.  Certainly, surviving Hurricane Sandy, an earthquake, a spider bite, jumping 192 metres off the Sky Tower in Auckland, and nearly being arrested for inadvertently smuggling a rocket in Vietnam, make her wonder about locking up her passport.  But then, it was her adventures in the Middle East that gave her the itchy fingers to write.

Rose lives in Kent, where as well as enjoying writing short stories, flash fiction and poetry, she also paints.  She works in community health services and has worked overseas in Ireland, Canada, Sweden and the Middle East.  She completed the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course, under the guidance of Richard Skinner, in 2015.  Electric Souk is her debut novel and Rose says of her story, ‘The parts of the story that are true, I probably wish were not; while the parts that are not, I probably wish were true.’

If you’d like to know more about Rose and her books you can check out her  website or follow her on Twitter @rosemcginty

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Welcome along to another post to celebrate Indie Publishing!  I am delighted to introduce you to another of Urbane Publications books and authors.  This time the book in question is the brilliant thriller “Imperfection” by Ray Clark and we will be shining a light in the eyes of Rose McGinty to find out the secrets of her writing success.


Book Feature:

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Published: 30 March 2017

Description:

“For long weary months I have awaited this hour.”

A haunting message scrawled on the dressing room wall of a theatre: the scene of the first murder. It had been written using the blood from the victim, previously drained in a separate location.

At the autopsy, D.I. Gardener and D.S. Reilly are shown a riddle carved into the chest of the corpse, informing them there would be more.

Their efforts to find out why are continually blocked by a wall of contradiction, with little in the way of evidence to support their cause.

Steered back to the scene of the crime and a disused prop room, Gardener and his trusted sergeant find another puzzle.

The murderer – it seems – is playing games.

The second victim is hanging upside down in a busy city centre shop in mock crucifixion, with yet another message. And once again, the killer has used the victim’s own blood.

Later, at the autopsy, another conundrum awaits them.

It soon becomes clear to Gardener and Reilly that to find the killer they have to solve the clues, and to do that, they have to tunnel their way into the past, to the beginnings of motion picture production: where the streets were paved with gold, and to a man who terrified people before either of them had even been born.

My Thoughts & Review:

From the very moment I started reading “Imperfection” I was hooked, the style of writing is snappy and gets straight into the action of the murder and the police investigation, and made me feel like I’d stepped right into the heart of the novel.  Short and perfectly baited chapters ensure that the reader’s attention is ensnared from the outset and keeps them reading on to find out what happens  and learn more about the detectives as well as the deviously twisted antagonist.

Detective Gardener strikes me as someone that has done his job for so long that he has encountered every “type” of person;  the ones that want to help with the investigation, the amateur sleuth, hostile witnesses, people who don’t realise the importance in what they have seen etc.  His “people skills” can be severely tested at times but it never impacts upon the job at hand, in one instance reminding a witness that he is investigating a murder and not merely inconveniencing them for the fun of it.
All of the characters are well crafted, there is great depth to each which allows the reader to conjure a clear image of not only their physical appearance but also distinct mannerisms and attributes.

As the story progresses, the tension mounts brilliantly.  With such a twisted antagonist this tale becomes tantalisingly  fascinating to read, the glimpses into his mind are compulsive and interesting reading.  The writing itself it intelligent and succinct, the plot is well structured and should delight fans of crime thrillers and police procedurals.
I’m trying desperately not to give any hints or spoilers away for this book, there are so many parts I want to point out, or comment on certain characters but that might give too much away!  Suffice to say I throughly enjoyed it and it captured my attention from the opening pages.

You can buy a copy of “Imperfection” directly from Urbane Publications here, or alternatively via  Amazon UK | Book Depository


Author Feature: FullSizeRender-225x300

Rose McGinty was born with itchy feet, which she has yet to decide is a blessing or a curse.  Certainly, surviving Hurricane Sandy, an earthquake, a spider bite, jumping 192 metres off the Sky Tower in Auckland, and nearly being arrested for inadvertently smuggling a rocket in Vietnam, make her wonder about locking up her passport.  But then, it was her adventures in the Middle East that gave her the itchy fingers to write.

Rose lives in Kent, where as well as enjoying writing short stories, flash fiction and poetry, she also paints.  She works in community health services and has worked overseas in Ireland, Canada, Sweden and the Middle East.  She completed the Faber Academy Writing a Novel course, under the guidance of Richard Skinner, in 2015.  Electric Souk is her debut novel and Rose says of her story, ‘The parts of the story that are true, I probably wish were not; while the parts that are not, I probably wish were true.’

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

My writing group is my favourite thing. We met at the Faber Academy and two years later we are still meeting on a monthly basis to critique each other’s work, share our love of reading, pass on tips about the publishing world, and support each other through good times and bad. And – drink wine, possibly the most favourite part for us all.

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author? 

That dot on the horizon is my tail, zipping away from me at Usain Bolt speed. I always seem to be chasing my tail and I panic that there’s never going to be enough time to get all the stories down on paper that are itching away in my head. You just can’t rush any part of the writing process- from the dreamy state early in the morning, when ideas have to be gently coaxed from the shadows – to editing, where every word has to be challenged for its place on the page.

If you could have written any book what would it be and why?

Wuthering Heights – has another landscape or two characters, like Cathy and Heathcliff, ever haunted the collective imagination with such fire. Emily Bronte’s writing is raw, brutal and honesty. Stripping back to that purity is my aspiration but it takes such skill and bravery.
How do you spend your time when you’re not wrapped up plotting your next book?

I’m not sure that as a writer I ever truly have spare time.  My eyes and ears are always tuned into what is happening around me, observing people and situations. Characters chatter away all the time. And when I’m not writing I am reading as I passionately believe you only become a better writer by reading far and wide and constantly.

Do you have a set routine for writing?  Rituals you have to observe? I.e. specific pen, silence, day or night etc.

I’m a binge writer. My writing routine is crammed into weekends and holidays. I have a demanding day job and commute three hours a day. So I try to protect one day at the weekend to write. That’s not to say that I’m not thinking about my writing throughout the week, especially as I walk to the train station. I jot down ideas, leave messages on my phone with new pieces of dialogue, map out plot lines, so that by the time I sit down at the weekend I am ready and desperate to go. I absolutely relish holidays when I can write for a couple of hours every day and long for the flow and immersion I get at these times. My dream is that one day I will be able to write every day.

A big part of my routine is that I like to use photos as I work as prompts to take me into the worlds I am writing about. Often just a tiny detail in the corner of a picture can open up a new scene. When I was writing Electric Souk a photo of a lone sidra tree on a tiny islet in the Arabic Gulf led me to the scene where my protagonist, Aisling, first spends time with the charming, but sinister, Royal advisor, Bryan.  The vulnerability, yet resilience, of the sand-storm battered tree touched a chord with Aisling’s predicament.

 

A huge thank you to Rose for taking part and letting us know more about herself, if you’d like to know more about Rose and her books you can check out her  website or follow her on Twitter @rosemcginty

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If you are an independent publisher or author and would like to feature on “Celebrating Indie Publishing” Friday please get in touch – email and twitter links are on the “About Me & Review Policy” page

 

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