In The Absence Of Miracles – Blog Tour

 

 

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Synopsis:
In this powerful new thriller, Michael J Malone returns to A Suitable Lie territory, movingly and perceptively addressing a shocking social issue. Chilling, perceptive and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets. 
John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home. Following a massive stroke, she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood. 
In a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover. For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. 
And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence… 
Book Information:
PUBLICATION DATE: 19 SEPTEMBER 2019
Published By: ORENDA BOOKS
Format: PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
Price: £8.99

 

My Review

This book threw me through a few loops, in all the best ways. Sometimes with thrillers I always try and guess what’s going on, or sometimes I become disinterested if they put too many twists. But Malone does a perfect balance of unexpected twists and reveals against the logical conclusions you expect and perhaps sometimes need in a book to further the suspension of disbelief.

John is a rather heartbreaking character, you can tell he wants to be better, that he’s struggled his whole life trying to be a guy he’s not ashamed of but there’s still something haunting him. The problem is that not even John knows what’s haunting him.

His mother has suffered a horrible stroke, his father had passed away a few years before that, and though he has a brother, Chris, he’s left to deal with selling the family house to pay for their Mother’s care.

But, John makes a chilling discovery while trying to clear out the house and it’s leading him down a path where the truth may cause more damage than the lies he’s accepted. However, he feels a powerful urge to find out more about the secret older brother he had. Is it just the familial connection that drives John, or is he hoping the truth will set him free?

This is a dark and powerful story and one that I enjoyed reading from start to finish.

You watch John in his self-destructive behaviour, you find out more about his family, and everything just weaves into a tragic form of truth.

Really, such a great story, and one that focuses on an important message, the predators aren’t always the ones that we assume, and money often speaks louder than words to a lot of people who do things that seem monstrous.

Definitely, a four cups of coffee read for me, I actually plan to reread this one soon, it was too good not to, and if you enjoy thrillers then I highly recommend this.

Thank you to Anne Cater and Orenda books for a copy of this to read and review honestly as part of the tour.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, Drugs and Alcohol Abuse, and Child Abuse. This includes abuse of a sexual nature.

*Apologies on a late post, suffering my third day in a row of migraines!*

 

About the Author

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Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr. 

 

About the Publisher
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Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.

Publisher Links

Website | Twitter

 

The Rest of the Tour

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The Closer I Get – Blog Tour

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Tom is a successful author, but for the first time in his life, he has writer ’s block. His main distraction is an online admirer, Evie, who simply won’t leave him alone. Evie is smart, well read and unstable; she lives with her sick father and her social media friendships are not only her escape, but everything she has. When she’s hit with a restraining order, her world collapses, whilst Tom is free to live his life again, and to concentrate on writing.
But things aren’t adding up. For Tom is also addicted to his online relationships, and when they take a darker, more menacing turn, he’s powerless to change things. Because maybe he needs Evie more than he’s letting on.
PRAISE FOR THE CLOSER I GET
‘A terrifying portrayal of the online world and the blurred lines into real life, the characters are top notch, the writing sublime, and the storyline chillingly plausible. This is dark twisty fiction at its very best.’ -Susi Holliday, author of The Lingering

‘The kind of book you read in one breathless gulp.’ – Cass Green, author of Don’t You Cry

Danger is just a like away…

Book Information:
PUBLICATION DATE:
11 JULY 2019
PAPERBACK ORIGINAL
| £8.99 | ORENDA BOOKS

 

My Review

This was certainly a solid read as far as thrillers go. Fatal Attraction meets social media, haha, I loved it. A little too plausible and creepy which is what made it such a good read. Tom is a man who likes flattery, it’s a vice of his and it leads to him indulging an online friendship with Evie. [Please note that though I mentioned Fatal Attraction there is no romantic relations/relationship between Tom and Evie] It starts out innocently enough, but when Tom realizes he’s in over his head, it’s a bit too late.

In enters Tom going to the police to file for harassment and eventually to Evie being found guilty and slapped with a restraining order. It’s clear that Evie’s mind is different, her logic not that of what you would assume of a ‘normal’ person, but, does all the blame rest on Evie?

Tom finds out the hard way what keeping secrets can mean.

All the while trying to escape Evie, Tom’s thoughts keep leading him back to her, he’s a writer, he has writer’s block and possibly a source of inspiration now. But what happens when secrets unravel and the truth works against the author?

I loved how Tom was not just a clearly innocent character, he didn’t deserve harassment and I do respect his decision to go to the police in a world where we sometimes judge men for not being able to ‘handle’ women on their own or are seen as weak for going to authorities. What made Burston’s tale so creepy was that it was just that believable.

Tom used people, and when called out upon it, it doesn’t seem to phase him. He’s not here to be the innocent victim, in fact despite being a victim of harassment, Tom strongly hates being labelled as such.

I had no sympathy for most of the characters, which was refreshing, sometimes you just want to dislike people [or maybe that’s just the Slytherin in me] and this gave me the perfect opportunity to do so.

He wrote with a talent for giving you characters you just weren’t sure were right or wrong and with a pacing that left you wondering just when everything would ‘hit the fan.’ I really didn’t want to put the book down once I started it, and that ending! Oh, that ending!! Brilliant and so unexpected!!!

I would say more, but, spoilers. If you enjoy thrillers and are looking for a creepy and fun summer read I would strongly suggest Paul Burston’s The Closer I Get.

PS: You may be afraid to use Twitter after reading this.

Thanks to Anne Cater, Orenda Books, and Paul Burston for a chance to read this chilling thriller and to honestly review it!

 

About the Author

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Paul Burston is the author of five novels and the editor of two short story collections. His most recent novel The Black Path, was a WHSmith bestseller. His first novel, Shameless, was shortlisted for the State of Britain Award. His third novel, Lovers & Losers was shortlisted for a Stonewall Award. His fourth, The Gay Divorcee, was optioned for television. He was a founding editor of Attitude magazine and has written for many publications including Guardian, Independent, Time Out, The Times and Sunday Times. In March 2016, he was featured in the British Council’s #FiveFilms4Freedom Global List 2016, celebrating “33 visionary people who are promoting freedom, equality and LGBT rights around the world.” He is the founder and host of London’s award-winning LGBT+ literary salon Polari and founder and chair of The Polari First Book Prize for new writing and the newly announced Polari Prize.

 

About Orenda Books

Orenda Books is a small independent publishing company specialising in literary fiction with a heavy emphasis on crime/thrillers, and approximately half the list in translation. They’ve been twice shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Best Newcomer Award at the IPG awards, and publisher and owner Karen Sullivan was a Bookseller Rising Star in 2016. In 2018, they were awarded a prestigious Creative Europe grant for their translated books programme. Three authors, including Agnes Ravatn, Matt Wesolowski and Amanda Jennings have been WHSmith Fresh Talent picks, and Ravatn’s The Bird Tribunal was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, won an English PEN Translation Award, and adapted for BBC Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime. Six titles have been short- or long-listed for the CWA Daggers. Launched in 2014 with a mission to bring more international literature to the UK market, Orenda Books publishes a host of debuts, many of which have gone on to sell millions worldwide, and looks for fresh, exciting new voices that push the genre in new directions. Bestselling authors include Ragnar Jonasson, Antti Tuomainen, Gunnar Staalesen, Michael J. Malone, Kjell Ola Dahl, Louise Beech, Johana Gustawsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir and Sarah Stovell.

Orenda Books Twitter

 

The Rest Of The Tour

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