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Barbara Copperthwaite

CRIME AUTHOR

Month

July 2016

BLOOD TYPE: Liz Mistry

BLOOD TYPE

“Writing gives you an excuse to delve into the darkest parts of your mind.”

CRIME AUTHORS SPILL THEIR GUTS ABOUT WRITING. Every Thursday topnotch authors of psychological thrillers and crime fiction share their writing secrets – and the secrets to their success – with you and me.

This week: LIZ MISTRY 

Tell us about yourself…Liz Mistry

I was born in a small Scottish village called West Calder and studied English and History at Stirling University before moving to Bradford nearly 30 years ago to do a PGCE. I met my husband, Nilesh at Bradford college and we decided to settle in Bradford. I have three children Ravi, Kasi and Jimi, of whom I am immensely proud.

I taught in inner city Bradford for many years and absolutely love the richness of Bradford’s diversity.

For many years I have suffered from depression, which has often debilitated me for long periods. When I decided to do the MA in Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University, I wasn’t 100% sure my mental health would allow me to complete it. Fortunately, thanks to an amazing counsellor from Bradford Primary Care Mental Health team and the support of the tutors and fellow students at LTU, I was able to do so.

How do you pick character names? Do any have special meaning to you?

I am notoriously bad at choosing character names. In the first draft of my current novel Unquiet Souls, I found I’d inadvertently named three minor characters, Billy; one was a criminal, one a baby and the other a builder. I must go into default mode with names and, so as not to stop my flow, I give minor characters the first name that comes to mind – in the first draft it doesn’t matter as you can go back and change them easily enough later. I also have a habit of, (subconsciously, I think), using the names of people around me without realising I’m doing it. That’s fine if you’re not killing… TO READ THE INTERVIEW IN FULL, CLICK HERE.

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Review: LAST TO DIE, Arlene Hunt

Last To Die, by Arlene Hunt. Review by Barbara Copperthwaite

“Stomach flipping, heart pounding, & scream out loud brilliant”

THEY SAY

He watches. He waits. He kills…

When Jessie Conway survives a horrific mass high school shooting, in the aftermath she finds herself thrust into the media spotlight, drawing all kinds of attention. But some of it is the wrong kind.

A sadistic serial killer, has been watching her every move. A skilled hunter, he likes his victims to be a challenge. Jessie is strong, fearless, a survivor, and now… she is his ultimate prey.

As the killer picks off his current victims one by one, chasing, killing and butchering them with his crossbow, he’s closing in on Jessie… But will Jessie defy the odds and escape with her life? Or will she be the killer’s final sacrifice …

A clever, dangerously twisted thriller that will have fans of Tess Gerritsen and Karin Slaughter gripped until the very last page.

I SAY

I’d lost my reading mojo when I started this book, so my expectations of enjoying it were low. I had started and abandoned a few books, unable to get into them and not sure what I was in the mood for. Then I chose Last To Die – boy, did it bring my mojo back! I devoured it, unable to put it down.

It is described erroneously as a psychological thriller, which may… TO READ THE REVIEW IN FULL, PLEASE CLICK HERE

Review: FALLING SUNS, J.A. Corrigan

Falling Suns

“There is a raw beauty to the sometimes horrifying emotions it lays bare”

THEY SAY

A psychological thriller for fans of Belinda Bauer, Mark Edwards, Clare Mackintosh – a dark and brooding tale about the horrors that can lurk within a family.

Ex-DI Rachel’s small son is missing. Then his body is discovered. Her cousin Michael is found guilty of his murder and incarcerated in a secure psychiatric unit.

Four years later, now divorced and back in the police force, Rachel discovers that Michael is being released to a less secure step-down unit, with his freedom a likely eventuality. Unable to cope with this, she decides upon revenge, assuming a new identity to hunt him down and kill him. However, as she closes in on her target, her friend Jonathan, a journalist, uncovers some unnerving information about her mother and others in her family and begins to suspect that Rachel’s perception of the truth might not be as accurate as she thinks – that she might be about to murder the wrong man…

I SAY

Wow! Falling Suns is a powerful and raw account of the impact the violent death of a child has on family and friends. The subject matter is tough, and it isn’t always easy to read, but my goodness it is always well written.

From the very first page, the characters come across with such strength – particularly Rachel, who is the missing child Joe’s mother. There is a wonderful part…TO READ THE REVIEW IN FULL, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

BLOOD TYPE: Mary Jane Riley

BLOOD TYPE

“There is no room for waffle in this genre. I try never to use three words when one will do.”

CRIME AUTHORS SPILL THEIR GUTS ABOUT WRITING. Every Thursday topnotch authors of psychological thrillers and crime fiction share their writing secrets – and the secrets to their success – with you and me.

This week: MARY JANE RILEY 

Tell us about yourself…AUTHOR MARY JANE RILEY IS INTERVIEWED BY BARBARA COPPERTHWAITE

I live in East Anglia with my television reporter husband and Golden Retriever Bella. We moved here about thirty years ago intending to stay for two years, but the place gets hold of you and now I don’t want to live anywhere else – especially anywhere there are streetlights. I was a radio presenter with the BBC and Independent radio for many years, presenting news, magazine and sports programmes – I am nothing if not versatile! In recent years I worked on the BBC News website and covered many crime stories – great for providing kernels of ideas. I have three children – they all live away from home but do keep coming back… My first book, The Bad Things, was published by Killer Reads/Harper Collins in August 2015, and my second After She Fell, in April this year.

How do you pick character names? Do any have special meaning to you?

That’s an interesting one! The names of main characters seem to come out of the ether and suit their personalities – I’m not sure how it happens, it just does – and it’s so important to get the right one, after all, you have to live with them for the best part of a year. Minor characters are more difficult and in both my books I have shamelessly stolen the names of friends and colleagues – they don’t seem to mind. Once, in the first book I wrote (that hasn’t seen the light of day) I couldn’t think of a name for a pretty important character. He was eventually called Belkin – the name on the side of my wireless router. TO READ THE INTERVIEW IN FULL, CLICK HERE

WEEKLY ROUND UP: Still celebrating!

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And there I am – in the US Top 30!

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Understandably, for me this week has been dominated by Invisible’s success. Not only has it once again entered Amazon UK’s genre bestseller’s list (in both Noir and Murder categories) but for the first time in its two-year history it has become a best seller in America!

I’m still overjoyed by this! Though I didn’t celebrate in a very roll n’ roll style, I have to admit – it was a slice of cake for me, rather than a bottle of champagne (I love cake!).

Every now and again (okay, every two hours, approximately) I  find myself checking to see if it’s still true. And there I am, still – in the Top 30 Noir best sellers in the whole vast country of America. Get me! What’s more, it’s still climbing!

Right, I’m off to have more celebratory cake. Oh, and to get writing my next book! Have a great weekend, everyone x

Joy and pain x

“Whatever success I am celebrating today, I dedicate it to everyone in sorrow today”

Today is a big day. A HUGE day. One of those ‘I’ll always remember this’ days that is full of joy.

But it is also a day that brings back memories of a very different time for me.

It is the eleventh anniversary of London’s 7/7 bombings. Thank goodness, I wasn’t involved in it, and didn’t know anyone who was. There but for the grace of God, really, because I worked in London at the time and used the Circle line every single day. Every Single. Day. But that day, I wasn’t, because I had had two incredibly traumatic events unfold in my personal life, and had taken that week off work. I won’t go into the details of what had happened, there’s no need to, but suffice to say that one of those things alone would have poleaxed anyone. Both at the same time? I was overwhelmed. I felt as if my life had completely fallen apart, and that everything – EVERYTHING – I had taken as solid and real in my life had been snatched out from under me. I was at absolute rock bottom, emotionally drained, physically a wreck. I remember curling up on the floor and sobbing, wondering if I’d ever have the strength to stand.

For a while every anniversary of the London bombings reminded me of that terrible time in my personal life. Of course, as horrific as what I was going through was, it was absolutely nothing compared to what was happening in London. With each anniversary, the pain has faded for me, and I’ve been able to carry on with my life, unlike so many people whose lives were taken or torn apart that fateful day. I’ve been lucky and never forgotten that.

Some of my dark thoughts from that time were used as inspiration for my first novel, Invisible.

And that brings me to today. This morning, I checked how Invisible was doing on Amazon – and discovered it is not only number 19 in the UK’s Kindle Noir category – but is also number 60 in America! This is the very first time it has charted in the US and I couldn’t be prouder.

Woo-hoo! I’ve become an INTERNATIONAL best seller!!!!

Then I realised what today was. And I felt incredibly proud of how far I had come. Eleven years ago I was at rock bottom emotionally. I didn’t know if I would ever feel ‘normal’ again, let alone happy. But I do – and I’ve achieved so much.

So if you’re feeling down, please, please, please remember that even when it feels endless, unhappiness is just a moment in your life. You will get past it. Hell, you might even be able to take that pain, make use of it, and create a pearl. Whatever success I am celebrating today, I dedicate it to everyone in sorrow today.

Much love xx

BLOOD TYPE: Rob Sinclair

BLOOD TYPE

“Write the slow stuff fast, and the fast stuff slow.”

CRIME AUTHORS SPILL THEIR GUTS ABOUT WRITING. Every Thursday topnotch authors of psychological thrillers and crime fiction share their writing secrets – and the secrets to their success – with you and me.

This week: ROB SINCLAIR 

Tell us about yourself…profile pic

I’m Rob Sinclair, author of the best-selling Enemy series of thrillers featuring Carl Logan; Dance with the Enemy, Rise of the Enemy and Hunt for the Enemy. Having worked as a forensic accountant for a number of years, investigating large scale corporate fraud across the globe, I took the plunge into self-publishing back in 2014 and haven’t looked back – or taken much of a break! – since. I’m now writing full time, in between looking after my two young sons and keeping the house tidy (the glamorous life of a stay-at-home dad/author!).

How do you go about plotting your books?

I hate planning. Not just in writing but in any walk of life. I have a really short attention span and am very impatient so I just like to get stuck into things. I’m very spontaneous; I’ll buy a house or a car on the spur of the moment, based on gut, and I think this attitude and outlook carries through to my writing because I never do a lot of planning before I get stuck into a new book. I find that one or two big ideas is usually enough to get started and then I really just go from there. Luckily the more I write, the more the ideas seem to come. The trickiest bit is in getting that initial idea, but you really can’t force that I don’t think – you either have an idea or you don’t. The ones I have in my head tend to come to me in a eureka moment when I’m in the midst of doing something else. Then it just takes a bit of working around in my mind – maybe over days or weeks – before I start writing… TO READ THIS INCREDIBLE INTERVIEW IN FULL, CLICK HERE.

There’s one victim of crime no one notices…

Bestseller INVISIBLE, by Barbara Copperthwaite

If you fancy a bargain, then my psychological thriller, INVISIBLE, is currently on special offer. It’s just 99p/99c – but for one week only!

Reviewers have said:

“Totally gripping and scarily believably characters. One of the most assured debuts of the year” BELLA
“Dark, gripping, twisted – we loved it!” REAL PEOPLE MAGAZINE
“This psychological thriller will stay with you for a long time after you’ve put it down” CRIME CONFIDENTIAL
“Seriously impressed. Such a powerful psychological thriller… Monumental character development” MANY BOOKS, MANY LIVES
“Totally and utterly convincing,” POSTCARD REVIEWS
“Quietly brilliant,” BY THE LETTER BOOK REVIEWS
“All-consuming. I lived and breathed this book. An absolutely gripping read, and quite unforgettable,” BEING ANNE

THERE’S ONE VICTIM OF CRIME NO ONE NOTICES…
Something is wrong. With her marriage, with her husband, with her. But as she pours her heart out to her diary, it’s clear she doesn’t know what.
Until one explosive night she finds a possible answer.
Suddenly hated and vilified by everyone, she clings to her relationship – even while wondering if she really knows her husband at all…
INVISIBLE is a stunningly powerful, gripping and original psychological thriller of subtle insight that takes you on a twisted journey through one woman’s marriage.
Perfect for fans of THE WIDOW and WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN.

Want to find out more? You can read an excerpt of INVISIBLE when you click here (UK) or click here (US).

Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you’ve already read and enjoyed Invisible, I’d love to hear from you! x

Review: THE FIRE CHILD, S.K. Tremayne

 

The Fire Child, by S.K. Termini. Review by Barbara Copperthwaite

“The sense of place was magnificent, the atmosphere was taut, but they came at the expense of characterization and plot”

THEY SAY

When Rachel marries dark, handsome David, everything seems to fall into place. Swept from single life in London to the beautiful Carnhallow House in Cornwall, she gains wealth, love, and an affectionate stepson, Jamie.

But then Jamie’s behaviour changes, and Rachel’s perfect life begins to unravel. He makes disturbing predictions, claiming to be haunted by the spectre of his late mother – David’s previous wife. Is this Jamie’s way of punishing Rachel, or is he far more traumatized than she thought?

As Rachel starts digging into the past, she begins to grow suspicious of her husband. Why is he so reluctant to discuss Jamie’s outbursts? And what exactly happened to cause his ex-wife’s untimely death, less than two years ago? As summer slips away and December looms, Rachel begins to fear there might be truth in Jamie’s words:

‘You will be dead by Christmas.’

I SAY

This is a stylish psychological thriller, with a gothic and ghostly feel to it. The set up for it is obviously a tribute to Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, but I liked that, and it moved away from that to become very much its own story.

Even from the idyllic start, there is a clever sense of tension, as the chapter headings are on a countdown to Christmas. Immediately, the reader knows something is coming, drawing ever closer…

The talent of S.K. Tremayne’s writing is obvious. If you liked the Ice Twins, you’ll know that with S.K. Tremayne what you get more than anything is a creepy… TO READ THE REVIEW IN FULL, CLICK HERE

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