Warning! This Blog Post Contains Discussions about Trigger Warnings.

Are more warnings needed in book descriptions?

Is book censorship in danger of limiting creativity and freedom of expression?

 

 

 

I recently watched a discussion unfold on Facebook about whether The Abattoir of Dreams should have trigger warnings in its description. The person who started the discussion stated they had finished the book, thought it was good, but that ‘there really should be a statutory warning on book covers and blurbs, if a book deals extensively with child abuse’.

This comment then led to a debate about the pros and cons of trigger warnings. Trigger warnings are defined as: a statement cautioning that content (as in a text, video, or class) may be disturbing or upsetting.

As the discussion was taking place in a crime fiction group, many people didn’t see the need for warnings as they’d expect topics such as murder and abuse to be included anyway. The overall opinion was that the book description should make the content of the book clear, so that readers are aware of anything they’d prefer not to read before buying the book. I think that this approach is easier for both publishers and indie authors to implement

I asked best-selling crime thriller author, Peter James, for his opinion, and he told me that he never would put warnings on any of his books. His personal belief is that we live in an age where there are far too many warnings anyway. Continue reading

My Top Read of 2017 and Author Spotlight on Mark (C. P) Wilson

Today, I’d like to share my top read of 2017. The book which really stood out for me was Ice Cold Alice by C P Wilson (Mark Wilson.) Mark has kindly offered to share an extract from a work-in-progress, too, which you can find after my review below:

Book Description

They thought that they had all the power, until she took it from them.

A killer hunts abusive spouses, blogging about their sins post-kill. Soon the murders and the brazen journaling draws the attention of Police Scotland’s CID.

This killer works with surgical preparation, precision and skill, using a unique weapon of her own and never leaves a trace of evidence behind.

Edinburgh’s DI Kathy McGuire, nearing the end of her career, begins the hunt for the murderer as a media frenzy erupts. But McGuire might have met her match…

What has led this killer to take the law into her own hands?

Is the woman accountable really a cold-hearted killer or a desperate vigilante?

 

My Review
This is a thriller that stands out from others in the genre. Written in a way that allows the reader to learn about the inner working of Alice’s mind, it gives you plenty to think about as you read. The author doesn’t mess around, and takes you straight into the story to meet Alice and find out what she does.She doesn’t use her real name, but goes by the brilliant pseudonym of Tequila Mockingbird as she kills men who have abused their wives/partners. She then tells people about each kill on her blog.

I really enjoyed this fantastic book, and thought Alice was a brilliant character. I also thought it made a nice change to have someone like Kathy in charge of the murder investigations. Her maturity and personality made a nice change to the male pairings often in charge of such high profile cases. Some parts of the book are graphic and violent, but are included to show Alice’s feelings towards the men she kills.

You’re always told that two wrongs don’t make a right, but with these killings it seems to – I found myself thinking that these men deserved everything they got. And it seems that revenge is a dish best served ice cold by Alice! I can’t speak highly enough of this excellent book, and urge anyone who hasn’t yet read it to go to Amazon and treat themselves.
Find Ice Cold Alice here on Amazon.

 

And now, over to Mark to introduce an extract he’s kindly offered to share with us:

The following excerpt, titled The Tanzanite Ring, comes from a novel I’m working on with a writer I’ve worked with on several projects named Ryan Bracha. Ryan and I work well together, and he’s one of the finest writers I know.
Ryan suggested the concept which is to use the Excuisite Corpse mechanism to tell the story.
I’m writing the main plot narrative (set in the past) and giving Ryan an item with which he will base the present part of the story on.
I’m also doing a couple of present sections. The Tanzanite Ring is one of my contributions,
Hope you enjoy.

 

The Tanzanite Ring

Paris, 2020

 

The high and muddy Seine slid beneath the bridge, hurriedly winding through the city; no care for its residents, its beautiful buildings nor an appreciation of a stunningly crisp winter evening. Sebastian checked the deep pocket in his overcoat for perhaps the seventh time in the last fifteen minutes.

The shape of the box within settled his nerves and caused his eager heart to skip a beat. Eleanor would be here any moment. Memories of their last visit to this spot together simmered to the surface warming Sebastian more thoroughly than the steam venting through the nearby grates.

He and Eleanor, in Paris. Walking the streets, loving the city. Right here on this very bridge they’d locked their love alongside hundreds of other metal declarations, giggling at the cheesiness of the act but brought closer somehow by it. As though a little padlock bought for two Euros from an opportunistic vendor, could deepen their love. But, somehow, it had.

Have three years really passed since last we had been in the city together?

So many other cities and countries explored together since.

Sebastian clutched at the box in his pocket once more as he scanned the padlocks and their messages to pass the time. A rough vibration from his phone shook Sebastian from his reverie. Checking the face, he confirmed the alarm he’d set.

Time to meet Eleanor by Notre Dame.

∞∞∞

I see her long before she notes my presence. Content to watch her for a few moments, I step back, cloaking myself in the deep shadows of a nearby statue. She’s right on time. Continue reading

The Liar’s Promise Prologue.

Today, I’m excited to share the prologue of my forth-coming release, The Liar’s Promise. It is now available to pre-order on Amazon and will be published 28th November. Here is the book blurb:

How does a mother protect her child from the unknown?

During a visit to a local theatre, four-year-old Chloe Hollis becomes hysterical. But her mother, Mel, doesn’t realise that this is just the beginning of the nightmare. In the coming weeks, Chloe talks of The Tall Man – Of death.

At her wits end, Mel confides in Charles Honeywell, the headmaster at the school where she works. But what Kim doesn’t know is that Charles is linked to what is happening to her daughter.

Will Mel learn the terrible truth? And can she overcome her own tragic past and save her daughter before it’s too late?

The Liar’s Promise is a story of past lives and future torment.

 

And, here is the prologue:

 

Peter King regarded the young woman handcuffed to the brass headboard with a mixture of contempt and anticipation. It was clear she lacked breeding, and her coarse tongue left a lot to be desired, but these matters were of little consequence. This wasn’t a young ladies’ finishing school; not unless you took the finishing part literally. Her name was Tanya, but she would be assigned a colour and a number for the rest of her days: Purple-six. Her predecessor, Purple-five, would be a hard act to follow. Impossible, even, but now was not the time to cry over spilt blood.

Purple-six was now at the mercy of several glasses of Chardonnay and four crushed sleeping tablets. Enough to fell an average horse, let alone a lame foal like Purple-six. It was almost ten hours since she’d fallen asleep at the dining table, head resting on a plate of leftover chicken sandwiches and sweet pickled onions.

King had abducted her from his usual stomping ground at Paddington Station. He’d almost been resigned to giving up after hours of fruitless watching and waiting when she’d stepped off an incoming train from Reading like an answered prayer. The first sign she was the right girl for him had been her obvious lack of direction. After several minutes wandering around in circles, she’d sat on a bench, hunched over, hands fidgeting with just about anything they could, well, get their hands on.

King had waited a while before approaching her. His fake beard was irritating his skin, and the padding around his midriff had slipped, but these minor inconveniences would be soon forgotten once he focussed on the task in hand. He adjusted his dark-grey trilby hat and sat down next to his prey, careful not to engage her in conversation too soon.

Purple-six helped things along by taking a tobacco tin from her blue coat and plugging a thin roll-up between her lips. He offered her a light with Yellow-one’s Zippo lighter. Yellow-one no longer smoked. Or breathed, for that matter. Continue reading

BLOG TOUR: Death Parts Us, by Alex Walters

 Book Description:

Twenty years ago, Jackie Galloway was a senior cop with a bad reputation. Then he ended up on the wrong side of the wrong people, and his career was ruined. Sacked and with no pension, he ends up eking out his last days on Scotland’s Black Isle, his mind lost to dementia, supported only by his long-suffering wife, Bridie.

Then Galloway is found dead. The police assume the death to be accidental, until Bridie Galloway reveals that her husband has been receiving apparently threatening letters containing only the phrase: ‘NOT FORGOTTEN. NOT FORGIVEN.’

DI Alec McKay is struggling to come to terms with life without his estranged wife Chrissie, and is living in isolation on the Black Isle. As a junior officer, McKay had been allocated to Galloway’s team and has bad memories of the man and his methods. Now he finds himself investigating Galloway’s death.

But when suspicion falls on him and more police officers are murdered, the pressure is on for McKay to solve the case.

Why would the killer seek revenge twenty years after Galloway left the force?

As McKay fights to link the events of past and present, he realizes that time is rapidly running out… Continue reading

The Revelation Room Re-launch

Today, I’m delighted to be able to show you the new cover for The Revelation Room, and share the first chapter with you. The book is going to be re-launched by Bloodhound Books next week:

Book Description:
Ben Whittle’s father, a private investigator, has been taken captive by a cult whilst investigating the case of a missing girl. When Ben receives a desperate call from his father asking for help he is drawn into a dark underground world.

As Ben retraces the last known steps of the missing girl he discovers his only option left is to join the cult and rescue his father from the inside.

The leader of the cult, Edward Ebb, is a psychopathic egocentric who uses his position to control his small group of followers in The Sons and Daughters of Salvation. When he initiates Ben into the group it soon becomes apparent how sick and twisted Ebb is.

Ben must find his father and the missing girl, but the odds are stacked against him and time is running out.

Can Ben rescue his father and the girl and escape with his life?
And what is the gruesome secret concealed in the Revelation Room?

The Revelation Room is the first in a new series of psychological mystery thrillers.

 

To give you a taster of the book, here’s the first chapter:

Chapter One

Geoff Whittle stood in a tree twenty feet above the ground and stared at death. Death stared back at him in the guise of an automatic rifle with sunlight glinting off the barrel. A man wearing bright yellow overalls levelled the weapon at Geoff’s head. Geoff propped his long-range camera in the fork of two branches, wrapped his arms around the trunk for support, and tried to make contact with God for the first time since his dog had got run over when he was a kid.

A short fat man accompanying the shooter asked, ‘Who are you?’

Geoff searched his mind for lies. Terror shut down his imagination. The man with the rifle had shoulder-length brown hair and a goatee beard. He also had a nasty twitch in one eye. Continue reading