Hi guys sorry for my silence but I have been busy putting the final touches to what will be the final edit of Voices Across The Void, it is available for pre-order on Amazon and although letting go of this book has been really hard I am finally pleased with the book I am putting out there, the stories are more about the voices of the ghosts than traditional ghost stories so while I finish up and have a couple of days to chill while it goes through the approval process enjoy this trailer, and if you listen carefully you might just hear a familiar voice.
Okay I might be biased but I think she is rather good at poetry
Shadows hide where they aren’t seen
Turn blind with all the painful memories
They crush, squeeze and cover all light
And I am alone.
The sun in its cycle rises and sets
It caresses and comforts those below
Beams stretching and fighting the dark
And I am alone.
A walking storm untouched by either
A numb core of cold silent stone
Walking through the motions of normality
And I am alone.
This book had been sat on my TBR pile for ages and I confess I had got a little worried it would not live up to the hype, finally I decided to take the plunge but in audio book format…
Running Length; 10 hours and 59 minutes
Narrated by; Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
The Goodreads Blurb…
A debut psychological thriller about a woman who becomes emotionally entangled in a murder investigation because of something she witnesses on her daily commute.
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and every night. Every day she rattles over the same track junctions, flashes past the same stretch of cozy suburban homes. And every day she stops at the same signal and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof deck, living the perfect life that Rachel craves for herself – a lifestyle she recently lost. She looks forward to observing this household every morning, even makes up names and narratives for its residents. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden, and soon after, the woman who lived there disappears.
Unable to keep this information to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and in the process is drawn into the lives of the couple she thought of as Jason and Jess but whose names – she has learned from the news – are really Megan and Scott Hipwell.
But the police accuse Rachel of being unreliable, and it’s true that her memories can’t always be trusted. Plus there are the stories that her ex-husband’s new wife has been spreading about her. By the time Megan’s body is found, Rachel is in over her head, intricately entangled in the details of the investigation, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she put others in danger? Has she done more harm than good?
A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by listeners across markets and categories.
Strangely given all the hype I was surprised when I went to get the blurb how low the rating is for this book but I think I get why and also why as an audio book this might actually blow the written version out of the water.
The story is told from multiple viewpoints, three distinctively different women with three very different views on what is happening within the story, obviously I can only speculate given I did not read the written version but I suspect it can get hard to keep the three separate in your head. The advantage of this audio version is each of the women is narrated by a different actress, and they are all incredibly talented ladies.
The story plays with the idea of memory, not only the unreliable one of Rachel but also the way in which it is selective and allows people to fool themselves into believing their own take on things. In the end though the story is about love, betrayal and heartbreak, though the characters are very different in one way or another they are all self destructive, searching to find fulfilment in the wrong places and irreconcilably bound together by an invisible thread.
Would I recommend this book yes but I would add the proviso that I would recommend this audio book even higher, there is talk of a film but I have to say if they do they need to use this same cast and even then I am not sure it can out do this, a huge 5 out of 5 stars.
This is the first true crime/biography audio book I have listened to and I was a little unsure of what to expect…
Running Length; Approx 18 hours 9 minutes
Narrated by: Maggie Mash
The Goodreads Blurb…
On 15 November 2002, Myra Hindley died in prison, one of the few women in the UK whose crimes were deemed so indefensible that ‘life’ really did mean ‘life’. Without a doubt Britain’s most notorious murderess, her death has done nothing to diminish the shadow she casts across our collective consciousness. This book presents a study of Hindley.
I was not sure what to expect from this, so far my experiences with audio books had revolved around fiction so when I decided to try out the true crime genre and this popped up I thought why not, I am pretty sure everyone is familiar with the story of the Moors Murders so I am not going to discuss that here in detail, but before we discuss the content I want to talk about the narration.
I had to go double check the narrators name as she was not known to me, it seems she is most known for audio work and has split the reviews down the middle when it comes to narration. I lot of people did not like the ways she attempts various accents as she was reading the book, and I will confess a couple did jar, but overall I liked her voice, it was quite conversational, almost as if she were sat across from you telling you the story.
However, I have to say when she puts on the Lancashire accent and you here her speak Myra Hindley’s own words, it sends chills down the spine, but that is nothing to when she reads the words from the Lesley Ann Downey tape. For me her narration works but I can understand who it might distract people who are less used to the accents she depicts.
So the story itself, well, it is fascinating. I don’t think you necessarily learn anything new about the case but what you do get is a slightly different perspective on some things, and there was one aspect I had never thought of before. we all consider the pain left for the family of the victims but I had never really stopped to think about Myra’s family, they did nothing wrong, played no part in the crimes but their lives were also changed forever. You here about her mother, ending her life in a nursing home, spending most of her life living under different names and hiding in her room so no one knew of the relationship and the other event which made me stop and think was her sister’s funeral. Myra was refused the right to go, quite rightly I believe but what I found disturbing was that the flowers at the grave where ripped apart and destroyed, now maybe I misunderstood, but it sounded like it was not just flowers that might have been sent by Myra but all of them and I could not help but feel anger and sadness for her family, they did not do anything but at a time where they are grieving for someone who was innocent and had suffered terribly, both through illness, personal loss and the infamy of her sister, for her grave to be wrecked as a way of lashing out at someone else seems cruel, if someone had done that to a victims grave or the relative of a victim there would have been an outcry, but are Myra’s family not as much victims of her actions as the others? Some may argue if the stories of childhood abuse are true you might pass some level of blame onto the parents but her sibling did not deserve that, my feelings after listening to this anyway.
It also raised another question in my mind, one which has been asked over and over again, would either of the have committed crimes if Myra had never met Ian? My feelings are that Ian would have still gone on to abuse if not kill, he might not have been as prolific but I think he sexual proclivities would have surfaced no matter what, Myra is a different matter. I think she would have moulded herself to fit whatever was required by the person she fell for, if it had been a gangster she would have been a moll, if it had been a banker she would have turned herself into the perfect businessman’s wife, the fact it was a psychopath meant she become his partner in crime.
This book worked well on audio book I think partly because the case is so well known, obviously you miss out on the photos, maps etc that feature in the actual book but because it is well know it does not diminish your understanding of events. I do recommend it and I will certainly try other biographies and true crime books on audio.
The score for this one is 4.5 out of 5 stars it would be five if maybe they offered some for of file download option for the images in the book, as I say maybe not as big an issue for those acquainted with the case but would be useful to someone who was not.
First up a slight provision which is I listen to podcasts by this author and heard this and the sequel as weekly instalments on a podcast the first time I heard them…
Running Length; 7 hours 23 minutes approx
Narrated by Mur Lafferty
The Goodreads Blurb…
A travel writer takes a job with a shady publishing company in New York, only to find that she must write a guide to the city – for the undead!
Because of the disaster that was her last job, Zoe is searching for a fresh start as a travel book editor in the tourist-centric New York City. After stumbling across a seemingly perfect position though, Zoe is blocked at every turn because of the one thing she can’t take off her resume — human.
Not to be put off by anything — especially not her blood drinking boss or death goddess co-worker — Zoe delves deep into the monster world. But her job turns deadly when the careful balance between human and monsters starts to crumble — with Zoe right in the middle.
I love this book, it works far better in the audio book format than it did getting the episodes weekly, but this is a review so there are a couple of parts where I do feel things could have been done better.
Mur narrates her own novel, and while I like her voice, and there is certainly nothing wrong with her reading, I do in places wonder if it could have been even better with an actor reading the story, while she knows the story best an actor/narrator can often bring more in terms of diversity for various characters, though given the book is written primarily in third person this is not as big an issue as it might have been. I will say I think it would make a fabulous film or play or could even be adapted into a good full cast audio drama.
My second gripe is a small one and it is not major however it is in one way a spoiler, between the chapters you get little snippets from the guide book the fictional character is working on, however about two thirds of the way through the snippet is the dedication and actually gives away the fate of one of the characters, and while you may have an idea already that things will not end well for the character in question it is still up in the air at that point how it will end.
The story is fun and appealing, my son has heard clips from in and wants to listen to the whole thing but it is not suitable really for children as there is an encounter with an incubus which might lead to you having a few questions to answer, but once he hits his teen years I would have no problem with him listening to it. Sadly the sequel Ghost Train To New Orleans is not available via Audible UK so bear that in mind if you decide to go with the audio format, though I will say Mur has quite a distinctive voice so if you listen to the first I am sure you will hear her voice as you read the second.
So we have to go with scores and I have to penalise for the spoiler so…4.5 out of 5 stars.
First before we start I need to apologise, in the vlog I talk about how I planned making sure it was up for Friday however I took the memory card out, put it down while I went to do something then could not find it, annoyingly I found it today more or less where I thought I had left it so, instead of the lazy Sunday section of this blog I am processing, editing and posting the Vlog and normal service will resume next week.
I am hoping the ladies won’t mind me using their graphics but it make more sense to make the pages I shall be sharing more recognisable.
So where does this journey really begin or did it truly begin here, The Masquerade Ball, the fact is attending that event made me more determined than ever to make writing my career, I was incredibly jealous of those who had attended as authors and the people I met at the ball that evening made me realise I too could do it, it would time time and patience, and of course a lot of hard work but I knew I had a realistic destination to aim for.
So when the forms appeared for #TheDarkerSideOfFiction2017 I filled it in, nothing to lose, so why not?
Then they started announcing the authors and my heart sank, I had thought I had no chance, that though I have plenty of stuff in the pipeline which will be out before the event, I thought my lack of published work right now would count me out, I had resigned myself that I would be attending as a guest once more next year and comforted myself by the knowledge it would be a good day/night out and I could network and meet more amazing people.
Then I got the email! I read the email, I read it again, I forwarded it to my daughter and got her to read it just to be sure I was not misunderstanding it and that they actually wanted me as a writer not just to attend. Then I sat with a silly smile on my face as I replied to the lovely Rachel, who along with Jo, run Hourglass Events that host these fantastic signings. A few days later everything was signed and sealed and then something that was so incredibly difficult, keeping my mouth shut, I am sure I scared a few people that weekend by grinning insanely at them without telling people why.
The Monday night came and I was introduced to the Facebook page, and if you are on Facebook please come and join the group, not only will you learn more about the event there but you also get to interact with lots of fabulous Indie authors and get the chance to get involved in lots of give-aways and receive some freebies #TheDarkerSideOfFiction2017.
So what else to say for today, this is a list of the authors involved so far, however I am writing this Monday afternoon to schedule for Tuesday morning so there will be a couple more names added to the list by then. I will however keep updating the list each week and at a later date will make a proper list complete with links to all my fellow signing authors pages.
Another Agatha Christie novel this week, featuring my favourite detective…
The Goodreads Blurb…
While on holiday in Cornwall, Hercule Poirot falls, turns his ankle and stumbles into pretty Nick Buckley, accident-prone heiress of a local estate and the survivor of several near-fatal mishaps. Poirot suspects more when strange connections surface between distant relatives, an absent pilot and a local gang of friends.
I have stated before I love the Agatha Christie novels and the Poirot ones are my favourites, yes he can be a little annoying in his ways but when you allow for the historical elements then much like my other favourite detective Sherlock then allowances can be made. It is well known that Agatha wrote to a formula and adapted it to each story and this one does differ a little which does help in assuring you do not work out the whodunnit until the end. As always there are a rich variety of characters but I do feel that some of them in this are less fleshed out than others however it is still a highly enjoyable mystery.
The questions of motive and gain play off against the idea of inherited evil, whether a place can be cursed or if actions are always what they seem.
Now an awkward bit because normally I avoid spoilers but want to discuss the ending, maybe that will be best discussed in another post as a theme in its own right but ties in with ideas of justice and whether what is right is the same as what is just.
Enough said onto the score, I am giving this one 4 out of 5 stars, I love Agatha but would like to have seen more character development for the other characters. But as a bonus a clip of the story from the best Poirot ever…
So I am late putting this up today, partly because we have had nice weather here today and I have been getting some washing done and secondly because I was out last night at my best friends and my head was not so good earlier lol. I am sat here now with a caramel hot chocolate and have been watching a little bit of football until I realised the Icelandic fairy tale has come to an end and now have on Judge Rinder’s Crime Stories, I like Judge Rinder but was not sure how I would enjoy him doing something more serious, it is okay but very similar to dozens of other true crime programmes, his barrister background is not really used to bring anything new to it. So because I am late just four for today…
- There are some days I want to run away and go back to a simpler life where technology simply had an on/off switch but it is always nice to know you are not alone in your battle against the machines https://makropp.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/monday-musings-aint-technololgy-grand/
- When my computer died and ate all my files I had to start again on some things, others I had printed off hard copies and had to retype every thing, this is a lesson now maybe we can all learn from, not only to back up but to keep those back up files up-to-date with technology https://cbwentworth.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/a-weird-writing-dilemma/
- I listen to the podcast hosted by this blogger so was interested to see his new youtube vlogs https://writingishardwork.com/2016/06/27/when-you-feel-like-nobody-reads-your-novel
- We have all giggled at the auto correct meme’s well put your drink down, we don’t want to spray it over the keyboard and have a giggle with a lovely lady who has recently returned to blogging and I am so happy to see her back https://robincoyle.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/won-thing-a-bout-otto-correct/
That is it for this week again sorry it is so late, catch up again next Sunday.
Apologies this does go on a little longer than normal but if nothing else some of the faces I seem to pull while applying make up might give you a giggle as I sit and chat in this vlog