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I’m thrilled to welcome you to another Celebrating Indie Publishing and share a mini review of A Killing Sin which was published on 4th Jule 2019 by the fantastic Urbane Publications. This is a book that’s set to challenge readers and thrill them with some highly topical themes, and the publisher has informed me that it’s available on Amazon for a limited time at a bargain price!

  • Title: A Killing Sin
  • Author: K.H. Irvine
  • Publisher: Urbane Publications
  • Publication Date: 4th July 2019

Copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

Would you surrender your secrets to save a life?

London. It could be tomorrow. Amala Hackeem, lapsed Muslim tech entrepreneur and controversial comedian, dons a burqa and heads to the women’s group at the Tower Hamlets sharia community. What is she doing there?

Ella Russell, a struggling journalist leaves home in pursuit of the story of her life. Desperate for the truth, she is about to learn the true cost of the war on terror.

Millie Stephenson, a university professor and expert in radicalisation arrives at Downing Street to brief the Prime Minister and home secretary. Nervous and excited she finds herself at the centre of a nation taken hostage. And then it gets personal.

Friends since university, by the end of the day the lives of all three women are changed forever. They will discover if friendship truly can survive secrets and fear.

My Thoughts:

Do you ever hear about a book and then instantly feel the urge to find out more, need to read the book and discover what it’s all about? This was one of those books for me. I heard murmurings about it on Twitter when the publisher gave a preview of what was to be published throughout the year, and I knew that it would making it’s way onto my ever growing list of books to buy.

With a post Brexit London setting, the plot is very current and the themes are ones which will spark plenty of debate among readers. The characters are profoundly interesting, the depth of their personalities means that you connect with them, become invested in their lives and care about what befalls them. The writing is compelling and at times uncomfortable, the range of emotions that the reader goes through is extensive and I was very aware of my frustrations and sadness. But it’s a breathtaking rollercoaster that engrosses the reader, thrills them and then leaves them utterly shocked at what they’ve read. The style of writing is punchy and makes for an tense and pacy read, the short chapters convey the perfect level of realism and intensity as we witness how vital each minute of the day is for the three women.
It’s quite hard to put into words how much this book got under my skin without giving anything away, the author has taken great care and time on this book and it really shows in her writing. It’s compelling reading, and as I mentioned above it can be uncomfortable at times, even distressing but it’s also very informative.


Author Feature:

KH Irvine grew up in Scotland and now lives near London. The book was her 50th birthday gift to herself, believing you are never too old to try something new. Her work has taken her to board rooms, universities and governments all over the world and has included up close and personal access to special forces. A Killing Sin is her first book. The second follows on a few years later as Britain moves to civil unrest with the rise of the far right as the personal and political become intertwined.

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

The most favourite thing is where I write which is the very north coast of Northern Ireland. When I get stuck I walk on the beach in the (usually) howling gale until my mind clears and I find the answer. Helped by the fact that I have to walk past a little old fashioned bakery specialising in the wonderfully Irish ‘tray bakes’.

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

The least favourite thing is passing it to someone else to read and the anticipation of their response. It is not just like handing over a baby but being stripped naked at the same time! In the early days I wrote like I dance – like no one was watching but then, thankfully, found most people were kinder about my writing than my dancing.

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

That is very hard. I would opt for either a Thousand Splendid Suns or To Kill a Mocking Bird. Probably the same reason for both but if pushed to go for one I would have to go for Atticus Finch and Scout. They are probing, compassionate, complex characters with right on their side in a context that is just the opposite. We can’t be anything but empathetic as Scout tries to make sense of a world around her that often makes no sense. A bit like the world now.

How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?

I work full time. I have two daughters who are 20 and 23. I travel a lot both for work and pleasure and still have a fair few places on my bucket list. I read, watch films, visit the theatre and spend a lot of time eating and drinking. I try to swim and go to the gym and I love just kicking back with nothing to do but that doesn’t happen too often.

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

I go to our house in Ireland and spend the first day in total indulgence – a walk, a box set and a nap before getting up early the next morning. For a frenzied week or so at a time I write in 2-3 hour bursts, starting at 8 and then be completely done in by about 4 o’clock. When I decided to start the book, which was a 50th birthday present to myself, the song I loved at the time was Hozier, Take Me to Church and I like to play that through my headphones on the beach. Every day. It reminds me that the Irish (even though I am not) punch well above their weight in literature, spoken word and song and I hope to get some of that in the sea air.

What’s on the horizon? 

Book number 2 is a few years further on from a Killing Sin and is about the rise of the Alt Right. There is a tit for tat war on the streets of the UK and we have normalised some pretty appalling views. Two characters return Millie and Alex plus some new ones. Again, it meshes the personal and the political in a female led thriller. Number 3 I have in mind to call 11 Days – maybe apocryphal but that’s how long it can take any one of us to fall through the net and end up on the streets, I want to write it backwards from day 11 to day 1 so its hard to guess who it is that is begging for money in the prologue.

Finally, if you could impart one pearl of wisdom to your readers, what would it be?

Fiction is one of the greatest ways of understanding others and I would like A Killing Sin to thrill, make your heart beat faster but also maybe make you think about what might drive you to commit an act of terror.

Can you tell me a little about your latest book?  How would you describe it and why should we go read it?

It is shocking, not because it’s unimaginable, but because it might just come true. State surveillance, home-grown terror, shady politics and a race against time. At face value, a breath-taking, pulse-racing thriller. Beneath, a thought-provoking novel that questions what lies ahead for a tolerant, democratic Britain. 

A quick summary:

Amala Hackeem, lapsed Muslim tech entrepreneur and controversial comedian, dons a burqa and heads to the women’s group at the Tower Hamlets sharia community. What is she doing there?

Ella Russell, a struggling journalist leaves home in pursuit of the story of her life. Desperate for the truth. She is about to learn truth is the first victim in the war on terror.

Millie Stephenson, a university professor and expert in radicalisation arrives at Downing Street to brief the prime minister and home secretary. Nervous and excited she finds herself at the centre of a nation taken hostage. And then it gets personal.

Friends since university, by the end of the day and all three women’s lives are changed forever. They are about to find out if friendship is stronger than fear.

And who is Nusayabah? The damaged and strategically brilliant terrorist holding the nation hostage.

She strikes at the centre of power,  the establishment and the lives of the three friends.

For her it’s personal. But who is she?

How can she know so much?

How far will she go?

Can they find her before it’s too late?

A Killing Sin delivers the strong, believable female characters so often missing in top tier thriller writing. I hope it is an audacious first novel, gripping from start to finish, full of hairpin twists and turns and surprisingly thought-provoking insight.

My thanks to the author for joining me today and sharing a little about herself and her writing process. It’s hugely impressive that this book was a 50th birthday present to herself, and I’m so glad that she could share it with us! Looking forward to books two and three, and if they’re anything like this one, then I know that I will love them!

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