Tuesday 20 February 2024

Random Stairs

I've been reading Matthew Tait's work for years now, and I've watched him grow as a writer, as he takes his fiction to deeper and ever stranger places. When he asked me to write a few words of praise about Deception Pass, I didn't hesitate for a second, and when he got in touch again with Random Stairs, I stepped forward. Today, in thanks (absolutely unnecessary but so greatly appreciated) I received a print copy of Random Stairs and I can't wait to see where it leads me this time. If you haven't discovered Tait, you're missing out on a unique imagination. Don't wait - just take that first step and make your way up... or is it down? 

Buy Random Stairs here.

Read my praise here.

Thursday 14 December 2023

Review: The Final Twist

A fair-play murder mystery that has been cleverly conceived and written according to the rules of the genre is a story that has already ticked the most important boxes for the puzzle-loving armchair detective. Martin Livings has taken the challenge of solving a puzzling murder one step further with The Final Twist, giving us the perfect setting - a Rubik's cube competition - and several layers of mystery to peel away. We have an intriguing cast of characters, including Western Australia's most brilliant cube experts, but first and foremost is our young and enigmatic protagonist Xavier Delajandro, but just call him X.

Recommended reading for the fan of the short, sharp mystery novel. Like a double espresso, Martin Livings' puzzle is to be enjoyed quickly, taking just a moment or two where needed to contemplate its intensity and complexity, and if you have a nose for mystery, you might just work out the who and the how before X exposes the solution.

What kind of puzzle will X solve next? Our thinking caps are on, Martin. Let the games begin! 

Find this review on Goodreads.

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Review: Mandate Thirteen

Mandate Thirteen is promoted as being a gritty dystopian thriller for fans of Children of Men, A Handmaid’s Tale, and The Running Man, and so it is, particularly the former. In fact, I could be coaxed into claiming that it's a superior novel to the P. D. James classic in many ways. Joseph Dowling shows us a near-future dystopian Britain (well, England, more specifically, as you'll discover) in which birth rates are dwindling and fertile girls are in demand. It's not a new theme in dystopian fiction, but the author spins his own yarn and does so admirably well, spoiling the reader with prose that is both eloquent and punchy, believable characters with strengths and flaws, settings both familiar yet disconcerting as we travel from London to Scotland, and along the way, plenty of edge-of-your-seat tension and raw-knuckle action. This is a novel about societal breakdown, but the key to the story is family, love, and survival. Above all, it's about a father's fight to take care of his daughter. Mandate Thirteen is a tale of dystopian action and adventure that's worthy of inclusion on the bookshelf of any fan of the genre. I'd certainly consider it an honour to hear that my post-apocalyptic novel, Flicker, has Mandate Thirteen as a neighbour on your bookshelf, Dear Reader.

Find this review on Goodreads.

Monday 11 September 2023

Cover Reveal: Flicker

In a world without hope, can deliverance from tyranny be found in the head of a matchstick?

I've been keeping you in suspense long enough. It's time for the cover reveal!

Drum roll...

And here it is! I hope you're blown away by my very own cover design for Flicker, my post-apocalyptic novel due out on November the 11th. It's going to set your world ablaze!

The Kindle pre-order deal is now open - just $1.99 instead of the RRP of $3.99. 

Thursday 31 August 2023

Flicker is coming!

In a broken world, lighting a match is an act of rebellion...

It's been a long time coming, my post-apocalyptic novel first started during the covid lockdowns here in France, and after setting it aside, revisiting it, and tweaking it, over and over again, it's almost ready to be unleashed. Those of you who have been reading my work for some time (thank you, loyal fans) will know that I've always had a predilection for the short story. But this novel, set in a ruined world, is a story that requires a grander scale, with worldbuilding, a large cast of characters, epic battle scenes, and plenty of fire. The final draft clocks in at over 100,000 words and is receiving the final spit and polish...but don't worry, a suitable layer of grit and grime will be kept. It will be published through Black Beacon Books on November the 11th. The cover design is in the final stages of preparation and will be revealed as soon as the paperback proof gets the green light. A Kindle pre-order deal will then be set up.

Has that got you fired up? Are you ready to join Flicker and Flame in a fight to survive against the odds in a post-apocalyptic world?

About Flicker:

This is the story of Flicker, a pyromaniac whose only escape from the emptiness and oppression of life in a post-apocalyptic world is to set fire to luxury automobiles. Armed with a hammer and jerry can, he wages a one-man war against the Overclass, partisans of the failing regime struggling to hold the reins since The Breakdown decades earlier. He can’t remember his family, and his friends have disappeared without a trace. His only companion is fire, that mesmerising force of glorious destruction. It alone gives meaning to his existence...but one night, he goes too far and unwittingly chooses a target best left alone. As tracker drones swarm, he finds himself running for his life, and a chance encounter with a kindred spirit changes his fate. They flee the city and venture into the wilderness beyond the ring road for the first time. Out there in the abandoned countryside, they will discover new communities, make new friends and enemies, and ultimately find themselves...and they will seek the answer to that terrible question: What is happening at the regime’s dreaded seaside resort, The Esplanade? In a world without hope, can deliverance from tyranny be found in the head of a matchstick?

Flicker is a tale of survival against the odds in a brutal world, of loss and self-discovery, and of love and solidarity, but most of all, it's a story about fire, that double-edged sword that both cleanses and destroys.