Folks, you’ve been extraordinarily generous in your comments about Strange Death. My personal favourites:
“She is similar to Lisbeth Salander, an intelligent but profoundly damaged young woman, but Fiona is less hostile and more curious, sort of a good guy sociopath.” — Audrey, Amazon.com [The best reviews illuminate something for the writer, and this one did. “less hostile and more curious … a good guy sociopath” – that’s acute, that is.]
“DON’T read The Strange Death if you have a weak heart, unless you are bent on suicide by thriller.” Peter J Earle, Amazon.com [OK, that’s not particularly illuminating, but it IS funny. I wish I’d written that . . . only not about my own book, obviously.]
“Fiona, who has only cried once in her adult life, is portrayed with great psychological depth without being dark. Even though Fiona battles with her identity and borderline psychosis, I never found her depressing. She is a strong woman. A survivor … What I found particularly clever is the way that, at times, she shifts in and out of referring to herself in the third person, showing confusion rather than describing the fog. In fact, as much as this is a story of the search for a criminal mastermind, it’s a story of Fiona’s search for her identity.” — Loretta Milan, from Literarylightbox.com [I love that, about the book being a search for F’s identity, because that’s totally true. If you read that about a book, of course, you’d think it was deadly dull, but with Fiona around – I hope – things are unlikely to stay dull for long!]
A couple of things
And in amongst the nice comments – just two things I wanted to pick up on:
A fair few of you have been upset by The Thing that happens at the end of the book. You know. With Fiona andthat guy. The one you wanted her to . . . But rest assured, I don’t want Fiona to be unhappy and alone for the rest of her fictional life. It’s just that (sorry!) I have to treat you like four-year-olds with sugar cravings. You want all the good things now and yes, yes, you can have them EVENTUALLY. But you won’t enjoy it as much if you aren’t made to wait. And, no, I’m not going to tell you how that particular storyline pans out.
You want me to write faster. Hey – I’m trying, I’m trying. Truth is, it does take at least a year to write something half-decent (and I do aim for more than half). But because there was a long pause between LOVE STORY and STRANGE DEATH, I’m making up by bringing out Fiona Griffiths #4, THIS THING OF DARKNESS, this summer – July in fact. If you’re on my mailing list (join here), I’ll let you know when the book’s out. After that, I’ll be bringing one out a year until Fiona or I run out of puff.
The British cover
The US cover is shown at the very top of this post. The British cover – same theme, not surprisingly! – is shown left.
What can I tell you about the book without giving the game away? Well, hey ho, Fiona gets assigned to the most boring job in all of policing. (She complains of becoming a “librarian of crime”.) But she pleads with her boss that she should be allowed to pursue a couple of very old, very cold, very unpromising cases on the side. Her boss is foolish enough to say yes . . . and needless to say things don’t stay boring for long.
In the shenanigans that follow, there is some water involved and some rock and a very modern twist on a classic old-style crime. Also, if any of you are thinking of setting foot on a large moving object any time when Fiona is close by . . . well, just don’t do it. It really, really isn’t safe.
Also: I’ve played a little game with some of the character names in my book. Probably 99% of readers won’t even notice, but there’ll be a tiny minority of people who do notice and have some fun figuring out exactly what I’ve been up to. I’ve also included a little set of quiz questions in the back of the book. First person to email me with a full set of correct answers can get a little package of signed books from me. Release date is 2nd July. The book will be available for pre-order very soon. Thanks for sticking with me! Oh, and do sign up to the mailing list if you haven’t already.
FREE download of “Lev in Glasgow”
Get your copy of this scintillating new story “Lev in Glasgow” – plus mystery bonus gift – absolutely FREE