Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Michael J Malone’

  • Title: In The Absence of Miracles
  • Author: Michael J Malone
  • Publisher: Orenda Books
  • Publication Date: 19th September 2019

Copy received from publisher for review purposes.

Description:

John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again.

With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood.

For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about.  A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover. For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence.

Shocking, chilling and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.

My Thoughts:

Michael J. Malone has the unique ability to take a dark and often less spoken about social issue and bring it right into the spotlight, and he does just this in his latest book.

Expertly taking the reader on an emotional and turbulent journey through the pages, Malone unravels a multilayered plot at the perfect pace, shocking and surprising the reader in equal measure.
With a plot so complex, it would be wrong of me to attempt to break it down or say much about it, and in all honestly, I’m not sure I could. Not without giving something away!
However, I will say that the plotting is fiendishly clever, and I had no idea it was heading down this particular route until I got to a certain passage … I then had to re-read it again, shocked at what I’d read, such is Malone’s way of ensuring difficult topics are laid out, bringing them to mainstream attention without sugar-coating or sensationalising them. And for this, I applaud Malone. His writing highlights topics that are not discussed enough or even at all. There is a powerful poignancy in his writing that never fails to move me.

The characters that Malone has created in this book are ones that I found I needed to get to know, I wanted to know about their pasts, find out more about what drove them to make the decisions they made and why they acted as they did. The clever use of multiple timelines explains many actions of the characters and gives readers an insight into a world they might never experience otherwise.

Read Full Post »

419h-ejjtll-_sx324_bo1204203200_

** My thanks to Orenda Books and Random Things Tours for my copy of this book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour **

 

Description:

When Paula Gadd’s husband of almost thirty years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son, Christopher’s, death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula’s husband was not all that he seemed… When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought she knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women’s lives are in very real danger.

Both a dark, twisty slice of domestic noir and taut, explosive psychological thriller, After He Died is also a chilling reminder that the people we trust the most can harbour the deadliest secrets.

 

My Thoughts & Review:

After He Died is an unpredictable and intense read, it’s expertly plotted, has striking characterisation and is a damned good read.

If you’ve read any of Michael Malone’s books you will be aware of just how skilled this author is at setting a scene, making a reader feel that they’ve been transported into the book and facing the situation alongside the characters, but in this book, he’s somehow gone beyond that.  The way that Paula has been written means that readers are experiencing her grief with her, they are able to feel her desperation as she tries to make sense of what is happening around her. If this strong character wasn’t enough, there is another striking figure that stands out, Cara. Her personality, her job, everything about her screams intrigue, and the more time I spent reading about her, the more I liked her.
Equally, the settings are just as fantastically written, so vivid and atmospheric. I think it’s safe to say that I’ve added another place to my list for book related adventures!

One of the best things about this book was the way that it kept me guessing, there are a few authors I can always rely on to give me enough information to keep me hooked without overdoing it, and Malone is definitely one! Masterfully, he weaves mystery and trickery throughout the beautifully written narrative. I had no idea whether characters were trustworthy, whether narrators were reliable, what lay ahead in the darkness that loomed, but I did know that I wasn’t able to put this book down for long.

This is an addictive read that has everything I look for in a domestic noir thriller!

After He Died Blog Tour Poster

Read Full Post »

House of Spines front

** My thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for my copy of this wonderful book and for inviting me to be part of the blog tour ***

 

Description:

Ran McGhie’s world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow’s oldest merchant families. Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who appears to have been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up. Entering his new-found home, he finds that Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word – the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall’s endless corridors, Ran’s grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror … the reflection of a woman … A terrifying psychological thriller with more than a hint of the Gothic, House of Spines is a love letter to the power of books, and an exploration of how lust and betrayal can be deadly…

My Thoughts & Review:

For anyone not familiar with the superb writing of Michael J Malone I would thoroughly recommend acquainting yourself with one of his books as soon as possible, a skilled author with the ability to make readers shiver and feel the coldness that flows from the pages of his books.

With writing that is almost poetic in nature, this is beautifully written book that keeps readers guessing throughout.

Ran McGhie is an interesting character that I could not help but feel for him.  His life has been far from easy or straightforward and the way that Malone captures the subtle nuances of Ran are spectacularly spellbinding.  As Ran’s life begins to take on some major changes, Malone cleverly but subtly charts the slow descent into something not being right (I won’t call it madness, that seems to abrasive a word to use, but at the same time perhaps this character does become a little “off kilter” and lean towards a form of madness….I’ll let you decide).  Inheriting a huge house in a wealthy part of town would probably be a dream come true for most people, and here Ran is no different.  Initially he is awed by the library and the books that his great uncle has bestowed upon him, but soon he feels a haunting presence and begins to question what happens around him.
I am loathe to say more about the plot, I hate spoilers and think that readers experience the full impact of the plot on their own.

This has all the hallmarks of a great read, it’s creepy and leaves the reader questioning whether that was just a shadow they caught out of the corner of their eye…but it also makes you feel a little uncomfortable as you slowly follow Ran into the darkness of uncertainty.  With the mental health issues that the protagonist suffers being incorporated into the plot, it becomes almost impossible to be certain whether Ran is suffering from delusions linked to his condition or whether these events are actually happening.
On top of all this, the descriptions of Newton Hall are utterly spectacular and I think that Malone has really outdone himself here.  I could feel the looming menace that lurked within the house, I was aware of a feeling of claustrophobia while Ran was in the house, although there was splendour and beauty it was also a place of unknown danger and mystery.

There’s a feeling of safety with a book published by Orenda Books, each book has made an impression on Karen Sullivan and in turn she and her team have lavished love and attention on each page of a manuscript  before delivering a book to readers that will wow and delight.  When I initially saw this book being dubbed a “modern day horror story with a twist” I was a little hesitant, I don’t read many horror stories, they just don’t do anything for me.  But I had faith in the publisher and the friends who recommended this book to me and I was not disappointed.

You can buy a copy of “House of Spines” via:

Amazon
Wordery
Orenda eBookstore

 

Follow the blog tour:

House of Spines blog poster 2017orenda-header

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

“Some secrets should never be kept…

A Suitable Lie AW.indd

Andy Boyd thinks he is the luckiest man alive.  Widowed with a young child, after his wife dies in childbirth, he is certain that he will never again experience true love.  Then he meets Anna.  Feisty, fun and beautiful, she’s his perfect match … and she loves his son like he is her own. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems.  Desperate for that happy-ever-after, he ignores it. A dangerous mistake that could cost him everything.  A brave, deeply moving, page-turning psychological thriller,  A Suitable Lie marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s finest crime writers, exploring the lengths people will go to hide their deepest secrets, even if it kills them…”

You can buy a copy of A Suitable Lie here.

I am delighted to welcome you to my stop on Michael Malone’s A Suitable Lie blog tour.  Michael has written a great guest post on writers and how they write, if like me you appreciate his sense of humour you will love the commentary.

How do you write? Any weird habits?  A favourite position (ooo, er missus)? Do you need complete silence, or do you rock out to Black Sabbath? Or can’t you even think about it until you have 3 coffees, melba toast and a wee slice of smoked salmon?

Truman Capote, who arguably wrote the best true crime “novel” ever, couldn’t write unless he was lying down, in bed or on a couch with a cigarette and a coffee. As the day progressed he moved from coffee to mint tea to martinis. As he described it, he had to be puffing and sipping.

Hemingway used to write 500 words every morning, to avoid the heat. Living in Scotland, I SO don’t have that problem.  He is quoted as saying he wrote one page of masterpiece to ninety-one pages of shit and that he aimed to put the shit in the wastebasket. I’m thinking the toilet would have been preferable.

Nabokov wrote his novels on index cards – they would then be paper-clipped together and stored in wee boxes. In the Paris Review he said he liked lined Bristol cards and well-sharpened, not too hard, pencils capped with erasers.

Thomas Clayton Wolfe, the early 20th century novelist was so tall he used to write leaning over a refrigerator.

Ben Franklin liked to write in the bath. (I’ll bet he was very careful. Soggy paper?)

Voltaire used to place his parchment on the back of his naked lover.

John Cheever only had one suit, so he would go to his writing space, hang his suit up and write in his boxers.

My writing space? When I moved in to my current home about eight years ago, one of the attractions was the floored and lined loft space. I imagined it with bookcases, a wing-backed chair and a corner desk where I would write until my little heart was content.

I made all that happen, but then I also filled it with all kinds of stuff – empty suitcases, Christmas decorations, old clapped out techie junk, skiing equipment and an assortment of other bric-a-brac. So much so that the space is an eyesore – and I write at my dining room table.

As you can see from the esteemed writers above, there is no perfect space. What matters is that you show up, just like it’s work and put the time in.

As for my writing space? One of these days I’ll reclaim that loft. I will. Honest.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour for some brilliant posts by Michael as well as more about #ASuitableLie

suitable-lie-blog-tour-poster

About The Author:

bobmcd13

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes:
Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage. Michael is a regular
reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website http://www.crimesquad.com. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.

Read Full Post »

write4bairns

Writing for Kids

The Auld (Woolly) Alliance

When a Scottish Knitwear and Toy Designer and a French Compulsive Knitter Meet...

Put it in Writing

The Blog & Website of Anne Stormont Author: Writing, Reading, Reflecting

bibliobeth

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.” - Cicero

Not Another Book Blogger

Reading, Writing, Drinking Tea

BookBum

A friendly space for all mystery, crime & thriller lovers

Broadbean's Books

Welcome to my blog where I share my thoughts on books.

Audio Killed the Bookmark

Two Girls Who Love To Read Spreading the Love For All Things Bookish! 💕📚🎧

Me and My Books

Books, book reviews and bookish news.

The Beardy Book Blogger

Reading and Reviewing Books - May Contain Beard: "From Tiny Book Blog Buds Shall Mighty Book Blogs Grow" - TBBB

Book lovers' booklist

Book news and reviews

Rosepoint Publishing

Blogger, Book Reviewer, Book Promotion

Crime Thriller Fella

Crime reviews, news, mayhem, all the usual

juliapalooza.com

Books, bakes and bunnies

A Knight's Reads

All things bookish

Letter Twenty

it's all about the tea

On The Shelf Books

A bookblog for readers

Gem's Quiet Corner

Welcome to my little corner. Grab a cup of tea (or hot drink of preference), find your happy place and join me to talk all things bookish...