26 Books in 2017: Book 6

See How They Run

See How They Run by Tom Bale – some nightmares you can’t wake up from…

Book number six in the 26-books-in 52-weeks challenge has to be a book written by a man. So, not exactly a narrow field there then.

I read books by male and female authors. I always have – and I’ve never really paid much attention to the gender of the writer. My fiction choices nowadays come mainly from the contemporary and crime genres and both male and female authors are on my favourites list. But choosing just one – and it’s a female author next – is difficult.

So I decided that for this category (and the female one) I’d choose an author who is new to me and in a genre I wouldn’t normally read.

Hence I’m going for the psychological thriller See How They Run by Tom Bale as my Book Six. I was first attracted to/alerted to this book through the wonderful Book Connectors group on Facebook. Several of the book bloggers there were praising it. Indeed their enthusiasm was so great that my curiosity overcame my usual resistance to the manipulations of thriller writers.

I’m so glad I overcame my prejudices. Tom Bale is a talented storyteller and See How They Run was a great read. The characters were interesting, believable and well-realised, and the storyline was taut and well paced.

The suspense and the shocks persisted throughout and there were several hide-behind-the-couch and look-through-your-fingers moments.

WARNING – This book is NOT for:

  • Those of a nervous disposition
  • Reading when alone at night
  • Reading at night if you (a) need to get to sleep at a reasonable time, (b) if you need to get to sleep

Here’s what the backcover blurb says:

How far would you go to save your family?

In the dead of night, new parents Alice and Harry French are plunged into their worst nightmare when they wake to find masked men in their bedroom. Men ruthless enough to threaten their baby daughter, Evie.

This is no burglary gone wrong. The intruders know who they’re looking for – a man called Edward Renshaw. And they are prepared to kill to get to him.

When the men leave empty handed, little do Alice and Harry realise that their nightmare is just beginning. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Who is Renshaw? And what is he hiding?

One thing is clear – they already know too much. As Alice and Harry are separated in the run for their lives, there is no time to breathe in their fight to be reunited. And with their attackers closing in, there is only one choice: STAY ALIVE. OR DON’T.

 My advice:

Risk it, live dangerously and read it!

See How They Run is published by Bookouture and is available as an ebook and audio


Book Review: A Suitable Lie by Michael J Malone


Genre: Psychological Thriller

I must admit I’m becoming a bit weary of psychological thrillers – especially ones with ‘girl’ in the title. But reading A Suitable Lie restored my hope that not all contemporary fiction in the thriller genre has become a bit of a cliché, written to a now exhausted formula.

There are no stereotypes in this highly original page turner. Malone avoids anything remotely formulaic in this novel and he keeps it real. The writing is pacy and economical. There’s nothing gratuitous. If anything it’s all quite understated and is more effective for that.

Yes, at first main character, Andy Boyd seems just an ordinary bloke doing ordinary bloke type stuff, but very soon the reader discovers he’s not so ordinary. He’s suffered a terrible bereavement – the loss of his wife in childbirth – and now he’s a single parent to his young son. But then he meets and falls for Anna. It all goes well at the start. He’s happy again. But it’s all too good to be true.

Things go terribly wrong. Happiness changes to doubt, fear and jeopardy along with shame and guilt. There are shocking revelations.

But amongst the bleakness and blackness there’s humour too and moments of touching humanity.

The main characters are very well drawn but so too are the supporting cast. There’s an authenticity to the relationships Andy has with his friends and family, especially his mother.

All in all this is a thrilling but also satisfying read.

Type of read: Disturbing rather than terrifying. One sitting is a real possibility so clear the diary.

Back Cover Blurb:

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, too. When Andy ends up in the hospital on his wedding night, he receives his first clue that Anna is not all that she seems. He ignores it; a dangerous mistake that could cost him everything. A brave, deeply moving psychological thriller which marks a stunning departure for one of Scotland’s top crime writers.

A Suitable Lie is published by Orenda Books and is available as a paperback, and as an ebook.