Monday, 25 February 2013

More Than Acceptable In Any Decade

It wasn't a book that I went looking for but when I saw the name and read the synopsis I knew I wanted to read it. Noir is hard, it's a thankless genre to attempt to write. Many writers have tried, failed and look contrived...thank Christ for Thom Fell. Acceptable in the Eighties is a contemporary noir cut from coat tails of Raymond Chandler with the sharp English tongue of Peter Cook. Fell knows where to adhere to genre conventions and where to push the boundaries. A gem for all who remember beta-max and a lesson for those who don't.

Friday, 22 February 2013

A Hell of a Woman, A Hell of a Book

There's a lot to A Hell of a Woman that most people won't like, and that's kind of the point. All too often great characters do great things and the world watches and it's...well...great. But life isn't always like that and every once and a while there's a book like this. Unreliable narration, irredeemable characters and a lot of wrong that'll make you question your expectations as a reader.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Escaping Psychiatry


Olga Nunez Miret's trilogy of novellas about wannabe writer Mary Miller and her exploits in her primary field of psychiatry carry with them three very distinct feels.  First up is Cannon Fodder which has Mary working with a young African American man by the name of Cain White who is on trial for inciting a religious riot.  Cain claims to be hearing the voice of God and with none of the evidence pointing towards a mental disorder it's up to Mary to dig through the past to find the truth of the present.

I really enjoyed Cannon Fodder, I didn't know what to expect but I found myself unable to put it down.  The writing style, as required in a novella, dives straight into the narrative and allows much of the characterisation to be born out of circumstance.  An interesting and honest piece of fiction that's not afraid to tackle the big issues.


When Police Captain Tom McLeod has a young officer struggling to deal with the violent death of his partner/mentor he calls on old friend Mary to see if the psychiatrist can offer any help for the promising young cop but is there more to deal with than survivor guilt?

Teamwork followed on from Cannon Fodder in a natural way, not only showcasing Miret's writing style but also in the characterisation and development of Mary Miller.  It has a matter of fact way of writing that undercuts characters, plots and motives in a way that's exciting and involving.  Miller is a great protagonist who journey is as bitterly beautiful as it is poignant.


Memory not only finishes the trilogy but takes the reader in a different direction as Mary becomes the victim of a violent sexual assault that results in the loss of her memory but when the psychiatrist becomes the patient who and what can be trusted when there's no recollection of the events?

It's a real change of pace to Cannon Fodder and Teamwork but it lets Memory develop the central character in a different way that not only showcases her vulnerability but also supporting characters from the other novellas.  Read them all, and in order and you'll really enjoy them.

Monday, 18 February 2013

More Good Words from Goodreads

Lost Angeles was shopped out on the freebie for Valentine's Day.  Sometimes you wonder whether anyone has so much as opened a book when they get it for free so the review below was really nice to see.  Big thanks to anyone on Amazon or Goodreads that not only take the time to read it but take the extra time to spread the word...

"Thank you! Loved it!"
"There was a point that I didn't know if I wanted to throw the book out of sorrow and frustration or kill the characters! It was so...emotional? heartbreaking? thought provoking? Honestly, a great book. I would have never thought to look up this book. "
"Honestly, there were point where I wanted to slap Doug so hard! Screaming at the book sufficed though jajaja and while you're reading you realize that while everything is happening you're shaking, or clenching your muscles, god it was heartbreaking!" 

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Brilliantly Behan

THERE'S A SAYING about brightest stars and duration of time they burn and Brendan Behan is proof positive that there's something to it. Borstal Boy showcases not just the best of his writing but the man behind the pen, it's fantastic in it's grounding and as matter of fact as an Irish mammy.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Sharing the Love

Lost Angeles is free for Valentine's Day (and the day after because sometimes love takes longer).  You bought your hot lover a Kindle?  You got a Kindle from your better half?  Maybe you've not plans but to stay home and read a book...come get it for free!

Happy St. Valentine's Day internet!

Monday, 11 February 2013

Get Lost Kobo Readers

GET LOST!  Lost Angeles is spreading out across traditional and digital formats from Friday March 1st 2013.  Until now you have only been able to avail of it through Amazon Kindle but as of this date it will be available from Kindle, Kobo, iBooks and in paperback through Amazon and from selected high street retailers still to be confirmed.

Why not check out the first two chapters of my roman á clef debut on Goodreads, by clicking [here] or alternatively if you’re not on Goodreads then chapter one is available [here].

In a city that sees thousands of people per year come to be discovered why has one man come to get lost?

Full time whiskey enthusiast Doug Morgan is on a downward spiral. Over the past two years the Irish man has played witness to the slow and steady decay of his life and he’s finally called time. Haunted by an unacknowledged pain Doug swaps the white collar nine to five of Belfast for one last charge into oblivion in the City of Angels. A scotch-soaked stranger in a strange land Doug befriends a series of like minded and self destructive vagabonds who, like him, are aiming for chaos.

Buy Lost Angeles on Kindle by clicking on the book at the size of the page.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Bad Year But A Crackin' Book!

LIKE BROTHERHOOD of the Grape Fante deals with desire, aspiration and the working class trap of the Molise family.  In this template for Brotherhood he sketches a complicated teen who's stuck in his economic restraints and battling against the restrictions to his goals.  Never has a book been so bitterly sweet in it's successes.