Q&A with @maxmanningcrime #DebutAuthor of #NewRelease #NowYouSee @Wildfirebks @headlinepg @Sourcebooks

I was lucky enough to win a proof via a Twitter competition and wished to re-pay my gratitude to the author & publisher.
Knowing I could not read the novel by its Ebook release on 1st November 2017. I offered Max Manning the opportunity to tell us more about his debut novel.
So here it is!

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Now You See by Max Manning
Synopsis:

Will you look her in the eyes, just before she dies? A terrifying crime thriller that will set your pulse pounding. Perfect for fans of M. J. Arlidge, Robert Bryndza, and Angela Marsons.

I, Killer has posted two photos of his first victim online – Before Death and After Death. They’ve gone viral before DCI Fenton’s team even discovers the body.

Soon, another victim’s photo is similarly posted…and so begins the killer’s following.

DCI Fenton is determined to discover the identity of I, Killer. Then the murderer makes the hunt personal, and Fenton’s search becomes a matter of life or death for him and his daughter.

But as I, Killer‘s body-count rises, his number of online followers is growing – and he loves to give his fans what they want…

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your new novel?

A) In my late teens I began thinking about becoming a writer and a career in journalism beckoned. I started as a news reporter on local and regional newspapers. Eventually, I moved to Fleet Street, working for several national newspapers including the Financial Times and the Daily Express. I later joined the staff of The Daily Telegraph, where I was employed as a news sub-editor for sixteen years.

My debut crime novel Now You See starts with a killer posting two photos of his first victim on line – Before Death and After Death. They go viral before the police discover the body. Soon, another victim’s photo is posted…and so begins the killer’s following. DCI Dan Fenton teams up with troubled journalist Adam Blake to uncover the killer’s identity. Things turn personal and Fenton, and his young daughter, discover that if you hunt the hunter, you risk becoming the prey. As the body count rises, the killer’s online following grows­ – and he loves to give his fans what he wants….

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) My work as a news reporter involved writing a lot of crime stories, dealing with the police on a daily basis and covering murder trials. I quickly became fascinated by the workings of the criminal, and especially the psychopathic, mind. When I started writing Now You See, I wanted to try to give the reader an insight into the mind of a psychopath. The use of social media is a fantastic communication tool, but it also allows the dark side of human nature to be expressed without the usual social constraints.

After long evenings spent writing in my office/garden shed, I sent the manuscript out to literary agents looking for crime fiction and I was delighted to get an offer of representation from Madeleine Milburn. After working on the manuscript with her, things moved fairly quickly and I was excited to hear that the Headline imprint Wildfire loved Now You See. The next stage involved working on the MS with my editor, Kate Stephenson, and I found it a fascinating process.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) There are so many authors I love it is hard to pick one or two, but I’ll do my best. When it comes to series crime I think Michael Connelly’s creation, Harry Bosch, is hard to beat. Connelly is a former reporter and his writing style is lean, but forceful. Another of my favourite crime writers is Val McDermid. The Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, beginning with The Mermaids Singing, is fantastic. McDermid’s prose is strikingly powerful and a pleasure to read. My recommendations? Read Connelly and McDermid to see how it’s done. I also recommend Susie Steiner and the standalone thrillers of Belinda Bauer. Away from crime, I enjoy reading historical fiction. My all-time favourites include Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) Under the age of ten I devoured all of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five and Secret Seven books and anything that involved adventures in space or pirates. Pirates in space would have been even better. In my early teens I moved on to Tolkien and read The Lord of The Rings during a two-week Easter holiday. I also developed an obsession with science fiction and read everything I could find by Isaac Asimov and Philip K. Dick.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) From the point of sitting down and starting to write to becoming a published author, there are so many memorable milestones. They range from simply pressing the send button to put your manuscript out there, to getting a literary agent and then a publisher. All of them are a cause for celebration in their own way. The moment that stands out for me, up to now, is getting an email from my agent while sitting with my wife in the sunshine in the garden of a café after a day cycling along the north Kent coast. The email confirmed that Now You See had been sold to publishers in the UK, the US and Germany. It was a brilliant moment.

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) Once the first draft of Now You See was finished, I was fortunate to have had great encouragement from my agent and my editor. Getting that first draft down on paper is a rollercoaster process and impossible without the support and understanding of those closest to you. Without doubt my strongest source of support, from the moment I decided to write Now You See, has been my wife, Valerie. From first word to last, she has been an invaluable sounding board and tireless reader.

Max-Manning
Max Manning
Authors links:
Twitter: @maxmanningcrime
Website: maxmanningcrime.com

*Thank you for taking part in the Q&A on my blog, I wish you every success with your writing career.

**Now You See, is released in Ebook format tomorrow for just £1.99 on Kindle. The paperback release will be 19th April 2018.**

I am so intrigued and engrossed by this cover & synopsis! The novel is calling to me from the book shelves! I may have to be a #NaughtyBookBlogger. Ignore my own lists and read this one next!!!!!!!

 

 

#BlogTour #GuestPost Snare by @lilja1972 Lilja Sigurdardottir @OrendaBooks

SNARE new front cover
Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir
Translated by Quentin Bates

Synopsis:
After a messy divorce, attractive young mother Sonja is struggling to provide for herself and win sole custody of her son. With her back to the wall, she resorts to smuggling cocaine into Iceland, and finds herself caught up in a ruthless criminal world. As she desperately looks for a way out of trouble, she must pit her wits against her nemesis, Bragi, a customs officer, whose years of experience frustrate her new and evermore daring strategies. Things become even more complicated by the fact that Sonja is in a relationship with a woman, Agla. Once a high-level bank executive, Agla is currently being prosecuted in the aftermath the Icelandic financial crash. Set in a Reykjavík still covered in the dust of the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic eruption, and with a nail-bitingly fast-paced and chilling plot and intriguing characters, Snare is an outstandingly original and sexy Nordic crime thriller, from one of the most exciting new names in crime fiction.

#GuestPost

Good people, bad people or just people?

Lilja Sigurdardóttir

I am not a great believer in evil. In my mind, evil is more a consequence than a cause, as behind so many crimes, when traced back to their roots, there most often is a tragedy of some sort, rather than a decided will to do harm. It´s the result, the consequences for the people victimised by the crimes, that is the true evil.

I spent some time in prison researching for The Reykjavík Noir Trilogy that starts with Snare and came to the conclusion that a majority of crimes are committed by good people. Good people that have made mistakes, been ill, addicted or lost their ground in life by some cause, been ignorant to or in denial about the harm they cause, but are in their essence well-meaning.

The Nordic view on crime and punishment is quite mild and Iceland shares that system where imprisonment is seen as a last resort, only used when people have committed serious crimes. I am probably under the influence of this mild Nordic view on crime, which I do understand is a privileged view of societies that don´t have so much crime.

True to this view of mine I usually don´t write black-and-white characters. In Snare, they are not neither good nor bad, but rather a mixture of both. Even the enemies, the scary ones, have something good in them and the nicest characters that the readers root for, are maybe the criminals.

One of the main characters in the book, Sonja, is a rather well-off young mother and wife when her world collapses, partly because of her own actions, and partly due to greater forces. When divorced, she struggles to make ends meet so that she can regain custody of her son and after falling for an offer to make quick money, she is ensnared in a vicious cycle of drug smuggling. As a reader you condemn what she does and know she is committing criminal acts, but you can´t help but root for her because the reason that she does what she does is her love of her son. You can see the tragedy of her life.

Agla the banker, another character in Snare, is absolutely blind to the consequences of her crimes. She uses reasoning that has been heard very often in the aftermath of the Icelandic financial meltdown: “Everybody was doing it.“ Agla is a woman who has had to fight her way all through life, being the only girl in a big group of siblings and then entering the male-dominated world of finance. So her impulse to do as the others and prove herself to be even better at it, becomes understandable in a way, even though you know its wrong.

Bragi, the customs official who is hunting Sonja down in a game of cat and mouse, is living a tragedy every day, as his wife suffers from Alzheimers´ and is slowly disaapearing before his eyes. Bragi has recently realised that despite living in a welfare society that has solutions and offers for taking care of the elderly and ill, he is completely alone in his heartbreak. And that pushes him to behave in unexpected ways.

Even the little boy Tómas, commits a “crime“ of sorts when he lies to his father about his mother´s situation. An eight-year-old knows that it is not good to lie but he does it in an attempt to help his mother out and in his young mind he is justified by his love for her, and therefore does not feel guilty even if he knows lying is wrong.

I love writing multi-layered, complex characters that dance on the sometimes fine line between right and wrong. Somehow those types of characters connect to you in a deeper way as a reader. Probably we connect with them because none of us is 100 percent good or evil. We are all a curious mix of both, esentially well meaning people that sometimes do bad things.

Lilja Sigurðard.
Lilja Sigurdardottir
Author bio:
Icelandic crime-writer Lilja Sigurdardóttir was born in the town of Akranes in 1972 and raised in Mexico, Sweden, Spain and Iceland. An award-winning playwright, Lilja has written four crime novels, with Snare, the first in a new series, hitting bestseller lists worldwide. Translation rights have been sold in eight countries to date, and film rights have been bought by Palomar Pictures in California. Lilja has a background in education and has worked in evaluation and quality control for preschools in recent years. She lives in Reykjavík with her partner.
Authors links:
Twitter: @lilja1972
Website: liljawriter.com
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4406512.Lilja_Sigur_ard_ttir
Via Orenda Books:  http://orendabooks.co.uk/lilja-sigurdardottir/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sigurdardottir.lilja

 

#BlogTour #Review 4* #AnythingYouDoSay by @GillianMAuthor @PenguinRHUK #NewRelease #CrimeFic

*I received an arc copy via the publisher in return for an honest review*

Anything You Do Say blog tour banner
Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister
Synopsis:

A tense thriller, perfect for fans of BBC’s Doctor Foster.

‘I could run, or I could stay and call him an ambulance. Now it is decision time . . . ‘

It’s the end of the night. You’re walking home on your own.

Then you hear the sound every woman dreads. Footsteps. Behind you. Coming fast.

You’re sure it’s him – the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave you alone.

You make a snap decision. You turn. You push. Your pursuer tumbles down the steps. He lies motionless, face-down on the floor.

Now What?

Call 999
Wait for the police to arrive. For judgement, for justice, whatever that may be. You just hope you husband, family and friends, everyone you love, will stand by you.

OR:

Run
Stay silent. You didn’t mean to do it. You were scared, you panicked. And no one saw. No one will ever know. If you leave now. If you keep quiet. Forever.

Which is it to be?

My review:

“It starts with a selfie”

Protagonist Joanna is out in a bar, in London with best friend Laura. They laugh and joke, posing for a selfie with a random man. They treat the random man (Sadiq) rather coldly, leaving his to retaliate in a rather pushy manner. They leave the bar and part their ways and that is when the unpredictable moment occurs……..

“You don’t want to be talking to me like that” Sadiq

Joanna take her path which leads her alone, down by a canal. She begins to feel followed and anxious. She takes her phone out and calls her husband Rueben, they talk for minutes before the call fails. Leaving Joanna and her pursuer alone…….

Joanna is at the top of the stairs, when she feels a close presence of the man, she thinks is Sadiq. She turns and in a fit of panic pushes the man, down the stairs. He lies at the bottom of the stairs motionless and it is NOW the time for Joanna to decide, Fight or flight?

The following narrative is played out in two sequences. Very reminiscent of the movie Sliding Doors, featuring Gwyneth Paltrow. One half depicts what would have played out had Joanna revealed herself as the attacker. The other portrays what would have occurred had Joanna concealed her attack. I think the alternating chapters offer the reader, much food for thought. So I can see the novel being popular with book groups. I did contemplate myself what I would have done, in a similar situation.

Personally I found the protagonist of Joanna very unlikable. She is obsessed and infatuated with her husband. She is full of middle class drama and at times I contemplated her own mental health. But I found this, to be the point of her character. That we as the reader, won’t necessarily like her. But we will question her actions and why she behaves the way in which she does. Much like the police and the media, question the actions of all involved. Or maybe I got the narrative completely wrong, never the less.
This novel is thought provoking and I read the entire book one evening! 4*

GM
Gillian McAllister
Authors links:
Website: https://gillianmcallister.wordpress.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/gillianmauthor?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gillianmcallisterauthor/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15967497.Gillian_McAllister

#BookReview 4.5* Rivals Of The Republic by @afreisenbruch @Duckbooks (UK)#TheBloodOfRome #Series @overlookpress (USA)

*I received a paperback copy via Duck books (UK) publishers in return for an honest review*

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Rivals Of The Republic by Annelise Freisenbruch
Synopsis:

Using her supreme knowledge of the period, author Annelise Freisenbruch presents the great new heroine of historical fiction, Hortensia, who must navigate the male-dominated courts of law in her quest to uncover a sinister plot to overthrow the Republic. Drawing from historical accounts of the daughter of famed Roman orator Quintus Hortensius Hortalus, Freisenbruch delivers an atmospheric, meticulously accurate and fast-paced story that will have readers craving more. Rome, 70BC. Roman high society hums with gossip about the suspicious suicide of a prominent Roman senator and the body of a Vestal Virgin is discovered in the river Tiber. As the authorities turn a blind eye, Hortensia is moved to investigate a trail of murders that appear to lead straight to the dark heart of the Eternal City.

My Review:

This novel has is it all, the atmosphere, crime, scandal, life and death of Ancient Roman era. The characters are well written and the plot incredibly appealing to me.
I am a huge fan of historical crime fiction.

Rome 70 BC

The novel opens with Hortensia and her brother Quintus at a gladiator arena. They are saved by a gladiator called Hannibal The Conqueror from a crocodile. When he later loses his fight Hortensia urges her father, a wealthy lawyer to buy him as a slave due to his earlier heroics.
Hannbel’s real name is Lucrio and he will, come to mean so much more to Horetensia than she can ever imagine……..

Hortensia’s father is a prominent wealthy lawyer, in Rome. She is his favoured child and for this reason he agrees to allow her to marry for love. Something unheard of for the era. Hortensia chooses to marry her second cousin, Caepio and they move into their own accommodation. Taking Lucrio with them, but Lucrio has secrets of his own and a deep seated need for vengeance…..

As the novel develops, Hortensia feels compelled to help Drusilla, at court with the case of stolen dowry and her children’s custody. This gives Hortensia a voice for the first time, something virtually unheard of in Roman society! Her father is furious with her, for creating a potential scandal. He forbids her from any future such endeavours.
But then Hortensia is summoned to the temple of vesta.

The chief vestal informs her that a body has recently been found and they believe that the vestal virgin was murdered. Documents have either been removed, or forged and this could have an impact on Roman society as a whole. The victim managed to write the words Pomey M at the scene before her death. We learn more about Lucrio’s background and why he is seeking revenge. But it isn’t until he is backed into a corner that he confesses to Hortensia. At this moment, they realise that despite their positions in society.
They must work together to solve the case of the murdered vestal virgin.
4.5*

***** This novel is perfect for fans of the BBC TV show Rome! I was a huge fan of this series and this novel is very reminiscent.*****

AF

Annelise Freisenbruch
Authors links:
Website: http://www.annelisefreisenbruch.co.uk/
Twitter: @afreisenbruch
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3412996.Annelise_Freisenbruch

*A huge thank you to the author & Duck books for my copy and I look forward to the next in the blood of Rome series!*

Q&A with @seranopressone A.H. Richardson #Author of #MurderInLittleShendon #AuthorTalks #Indie

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Murder In The Shendon by A.H. Richardson
Synopsis:

MURDER IN LITTLE SHENDON
Picture, if you will, a picturesque village called Little Shendon, suddenly caught up in dealing with a murder of one of its citizens — not a particularly well-liked one at that. Which makes it all the more intriguing because the list of suspects becomes very long. This tantalizing tale unfolds with delightful twists and turns to find out whodunit to Mr. Bartholomew Fynche, the murdered shopkeeper.
Fear grips the community as the investigation slowly progresses. Everyone is interviewed; everyone is suspect! From the murdered man’s housekeeper to Lady Armstrong, her staff and her nephew. Or could it be the shy librarian new in town? Or the defiant retired army major and his ladyfriend, the post mistress? Or perhaps the weird sisters who live on the edge of town? Then there is the couple who own the local inn and pub, along with the two Americans who are staying there? Even the vicar and his wife fall under the gloom of suspicion.
Uncertainty, wariness, and terror reign as neighbors watch neighbors to discover the evil that permeates their upturned lives. No one feels safe in this charming little village.
A.H. Richardson, noted author, places in your trembling hands a mystery murder that will keep you reading until you learn the details, uncovered by Police Inspector Stanley Burgess and his two amateur detectives, his friend Sir Victor Hazlitt and the famed Shakespearean actor Beresford Brandon. Scratch your head with them over the strange clues that turn up. Follow them as they tread carefully among the landmines that appear innocent as they lie hidden beneath the surface of mystery.
Something evil skulks in this tiny country village. Who is the murderer? And why was this strange uncivil man dispatched in such a seemingly civil community? You are challenged to discover the culprit before the last few pages. And no fair looking ahead — it’s the journey that proves the most enticing.

Q&A:

Q) For the readers, can you talk us through your background and the synopsis of your novel?

A) My background?  Wow! – this can either be a few sentences or read like ‘War and Peace’, so I will opt for the former, it will be quicker! I was born in London to a famous father, Clive Richardson, a celebrated concert pianist and a composer.  I grew up in a world of art and music, and studied drama at LAMDA, and became an actress for three or four years … did I make a living at it? — hardly! Did I love it? — absolutely. I loved dragons, wizards and fantasy growing up, and in my teenage years, was a huge fan of the great Agatha Christie. I read everything she ever wrote, and would read them again at a later date. I had dreamed as a young woman of one day writing a murder mystery … and eventually I did, but I was 65 when I started seriously writing! Take heed all you writers out there … it is never too late.

Q) Can you talk us through the journey from idea to writing to publication?

A) The synopsis of this book is pretty simple really, it is a who-dun-it, and my readers tell me they really loved it – thank you kind readers. It deals with the murder of a man, who is not well liked by anybody in the village of Little Shendon – he has been friend to no-one, so the suspect list is a sizeable one. Our two sleuths, Sir Victor Hazlitt, retired diplomat and MI5 agent, and his partner, Beresford Brandon, a noted Shakespearian actor, and son of a famous detective, put their clever heads together and endeavour to solve this mystery.  There are all sorts of wonderful characters who live in the village, and when yet one more murder takes place, seemingly unrelated to the first one, then people start getting nervous.  I shouldn’t say any more, the reader must wade through it, and see if he/she can zero in on possible clues.

When an idea hits me, I jot it down in a very broad outline, and the next thing that happens, I find that various characters (in my head) are clamoring to get out and into the book. Once I have a very rough idea, I start on Chapter One, and I just go.  Sometimes I have no idea what I am going to write (sound crazy?) It isn’t really, because my characters tell me what is going to happen.  Am I a very organized writer?  Absolutely not… should I organize better? I don’t think so, I think it would hamper the creativity which when it starts, just f-l-o-w-s. When you have finished the book, do a little polishing, and send it to your wonderful editor. I have a superb illustrator, the great Jeff Preston, and does my front covers and my editor is (drum roll here) the awesome Val Dumond.  After editing and formatting, and a bit of tweaking here and there … we are off to the races and to the publisher.

Q) What are your favourite authors and recommended reads?

A) I would have to say W. Somerset Maughm – what a writer, a master of his craft.   His books? “The Painted Veil” for one, “The Moon and Sixpence” – “The Razor’s Edge” and many short stories… his use of English was magnificent – if you haven’t read him, you really should.

Q) What were your childhood/teenage favourite reads?

A) As a child I like Enid Blyton and her adventure stories for children were exciting and funny, and a little scary, but not too much.  I cried through ‘Jane Eyre’ and read all the Bronte sisters’ works, and of course Dickens.

Q) What has been your favourite moment of being a published author?

A) My favourite moment of being a published when you first hold that book in your hands, and say to yourself, ‘I did this – wheee!”  You never tire of that feeling – it is exhilarating!

Q) Who has been your source of support/encouragement, throughout the writing process?

A) I would say that my three sons have been supportive of my writing, and the oldest told me the other day, “Mom, this is really quite good,” and said in a tone that indicated he was really surprised!

A. H. Richardson
A.H. Richardson
Authors links:

Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
To learn more, go to https://ahrichardson.com/

About the Author:

A.H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.

In addition to the Hazlitt Brandon series, she is also the author of a series of children’s chapter books, the Jorie series, which includes Jorie and the Magic Stones, Jorie and the Gold Key, and Jorie and the River of Fire.

A.H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.

The Hazlitt/Brandon Series of Murder Mystery Novels by A. H. Richardson

The Hazlitt/Brandon series of murder mystery novels follows a pair of clever, colorful and charismatic sleuths – Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon – as they scratch their heads searching for clues to figure out whodunit.

The first book in the series, Murder in Little Shendon, is a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two.

Picture, if you will, a picturesque village called Little Shendon, suddenly caught up in dealing with a murder of one of its citizens — not a particularly well-liked one at that. Which makes it all the more intriguing because the list of suspects becomes very long. This tantalizing tale unfolds with twists and turns to find out whodunit to Mr. Bartholomew Fynche, the murdered shopkeeper.

Fear grips the community as the investigation slowly progresses. Everyone is interviewed; everyone is suspect! From his housekeeper to Lady Armstrong and her household staff. Or could it be the shy librarian new in town? Or the defiant retired army major and his ladyfriend, the post mistress? Or perhaps the weird sisters who live on the edge of town? Then there is the couple who own the local inn and pub, along with the two Americans who are staying there? Even the vicar and his wife fall under the gloom of suspicion.

Uncertainty, wariness, and terror reign as neighbors watch neighbors to discover the evil that permeates their upturned lives. No one feels safe in this charming little village. Who is the murderer? And why was this strange uncivil man dispatched in such a seemingly civil community?

A murder mystery that will keep you reading until you learn the details, uncovered by Police Inspector Stanley Burgess and his two amateur detectives, Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon. The three sift methodically through the Alibis and life stories of the suspects until they uncover…

You are challenged to discover the culprit before the last few pages. And no fair looking ahead — it’s the journey that proves the most enticing.

Hazlitt Brandon MM'S