When CTG met … Andy Martin writer of REACHER SAID NOTHING (and Lee Child!!)

Andy Martin is the Cambridge academic who sat behind Lee Child as he wrote the 20th Jack Reacher book – MAKE ME. Andy observed Lee’s process, his routine, and (amongst other things) the amount of cigarettes he smoked and coffees he drank. For a huge Reacher fan like me, it sounded like the perfect way to spend seven months. I wanted to know more; what was it like to be there as the story was created? How did it feel to be writing a book about the making of MAKE ME? I guess I wanted to know more about the making of the making of book – REACHER SAID NOTHING. Sure, Andy said, let’s talk. So I drove to Cambridge, and we did …

April 14th. Andy’s house. Cambridge. Afternoon.

I’m sitting at Andy’s kitchen table. Andy is making coffee – proper coffee, ground especially and everything. I have made a new friend – Waffle the dog. Waffle is super cute. The only thing is, he wants to sit on my lap, and he’s a bit large for that. Andy tells Waffle to behave. He hands me a coffee, black. It’s delicious.

In REACHER SAID NOTHING you tally up how many cups of coffee Lee Child had in a single day (19 on that occasion). What was the ratio of coffee drinking between you and Lee?

[Andy thinks a moment] About 10:1. I’d have two cups a day, Lee would have twenty. His maximum is about thirty cups though, but he doesn’t drink that many very often. In fact, the chapter with the tally [of words, coffees and cigarettes] was written by Lee – it’s Chapter 57. It was one of the rare days that he started writing early in the day, so he did the tally himself.

Very cool that he wrote a chapter in the book. Did you plan for that to happen?

No, I didn’t plan. I copied Lee’s ‘it might work out’ approach to writing REACHER SAID NOTHING – like he does with his novels. Neither of us had an idea whether the books would work out. In a way I was being Lee, but with longer sentences. It was completely aleatory – we developed the rules as we went along. Just went with it. Like Lee, I didn’t go back and ‘fix’ it – I mimicked Lee’s ‘it’s the only draft’ approach.

So how was it, getting to sit behind Lee as he wrote MAKE ME?

Well, you can see from the emails at the start of REACHER SAID NOTHING [where Andy and Lee discuss the idea of Andy watching Lee write the book] that I’m all excited, and Lee’s replies are short and terse. At that point it was all hypothetical then, when he said yes, it was like, ‘Oh blimey! I’d better do it.’

I didn’t have any idea about how it would be. It depended on him, on how much time he’d allow me to be there. As it was, it worked as I tended to drop in and drop out – there’s a line in the book where I quote Lee as saying that I managed to leave before he felt physically oppressed. [Later in the day, Lee himself says that Andy always let himself out before he felt the need to hit him!]. The amount of time that was varied; sometimes it was a few minutes, sometimes a few hours. Then we’d meet later for coffee or something.

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credit (this and above photos): Jessica Lehrman

In REACHER SAID NOTHING you talk about being a ‘participant observer’ of the making of MAKE ME, tell me more about the participant part of that.

Me being there did influence Lee in a variety of obscure ways, like certain words, and a name – the name Wittgenstein. It’s spoken by Reacher and is a nod towards me [see REACHER SAID NOTHING Chapter 62 to find out how]. I reference Wittgenstein often. It’s Lee’s code word for me.

He’s also very open to external influences. On the one hand he remembers a lot of stuff – he’s got a Velcro mind – and he also uses the things around him and puts them into his writing; like ‘bucket’ appearing on the page in MAKE ME while the cleaner is in the apartment Lee’s writing in, and ‘nail’ appearing on the page when the sound of construction nearby is audible.

When you think, why are the books so popular? I think it’s because he manages to include the experience of everyone in them. He taps into the universal in some way. You know, Lee wouldn’t like this, but I think there’s something a bit mystical about it.

Oh yes?

Well, I went to interview the real Lydia Lair [Lydia Lair is the name of a key supporting character in MAKE ME. The real Lydia Lair had won a charity auction to get her name in a Reacher novel.] Lee didn’t know her. All he had was her name. But when she read MAKE ME she was amazed – in the book, the character Lydia Lair is married to Evan Lair, a doctor. The real Lydia Lair’s first love was called Evan and was training to be a doctor, but he died in a car accident. Even though Lee had been shut away in his apartment, he’d somehow tapped into the collective unconsciousness and unknowingly included these references [for ‘collective unconscious’ see Jung’s theory]. How did he do it? There’s a mystery at the core!

As a Cambridge academic, how did writing REACHER SAID NOTHING differ from writing academic research papers?

[Andy thinks a moment. He gets up to give Waffle the dog his dinner. As Waffle eats, a cat comes to the window and peers through. It looks first at the dog, then me. It looks angry.] It reminded me of writing about Napoleon. Or surfers. Or Brigitte Bardot. It’s true, there is some literary snobbery about ‘airport books’ but I think there’s something miracle-like about best sellers. Lee’s default setting is ‘rock star’ – his books might not be Beethoven, but they are The Beatles! I was fascinated by the mystery of what he does, and how he does it.

I had a really fun experience writing REACHER SAID NOTHING versus academic papers. It’s been a broadly collaborative experience. There’s a definite benefit of being associated with Lee, which I very much appreciate – I’m kind of borrowing his readers. Or some of them! I’m hoping the book is what Reacher would do if he wrote literary criticism. I think it’s the difference between Lee and me that makes it interesting – the dialogue going on, and us each getting a glimpse into the other’s world. Maybe pulling a bit of each other’s style into each other’s work.

REACHER SAID NOTHING is all about the writing side of it. I’m now tracing the reader responses to MAKE ME.

So, you’re writing another book?

Yes, it’s about Lee Child and the readers of Jack Reacher, and is a write up of different readers’ experiences of the book and character. He means different things to different readers. Each one comes to the book from very different places, but it satisfies their very different demands. [Cue some musing from me and Andy about what needs the Reacher books satisfy for us].

credit: Dan O'Hara

credit: Dan O’Hara

I know that you’re a big Reacher fan. Have you gone back and read any of the books since writing REACHER SAID NOTHING and, if so, has the experience of watching Lee writing MAKE ME changed the way you read Reacher books?

Yes, I do go back and re-read them. I was particularly interested in re-reading WORTH DYING FOR because that’s the book set in an isolated farming community in Nebraska; it seemed the closest to MAKE ME in location – the same kind of cut-off micro-environment. [At this point we went off topic a bit, talking about the swimming scene in PERSUADER, and I learnt that Lee had been a champion distance swimmer in his youth.]

I can read the books in different ways – either looking for some specific technique, or reading them like I’m diving into the pool and letting it wash over me. I’m a bit nerdy, like a rock band fan. I know the obscure facts but I can still enjoy it. I still have the pleasure of the text. And, like every other reader, I’m thinking when’s the next one out!

Me too!

And with both of us looking forward to reading the next Jack Reacher book – NIGHT SCHOOL – out later this year, the interview was over. But the day was not. Andy and Lee were doing an event together that evening as part of Cambridge Literary Festival (Twitter @camlitfest) and before the event Andy introduced me to Lee. The three of us, along with the lovely Dan O’Hara, strolled through Cambridge (including taking a short cut through the gorgeous King’s College) to the venue, and then I got to chat with them for a bit in the green room. As you can imagine, for an uber Reacher fan like me, it was an amazing treat – in fact, I think I’m still on a high from the whole experience!

REACHER SAID NOTHING by Andy Martin is out now. It’s a fascinating book, and a real must-read for Reacher fans and aspiring thriller writers alike. Here’s the blurb: “On 1 September 1994, Lee Child went out to buy the paper to start writing his first novel, in pencil. The result was KILLING FLOOR, which introduced his hero Jack Reacher. Twenty years later, on 1 September 2014, he began writing MAKE ME, the twentieth novel in his number-one-bestselling Reacher series. Same day, same writer, same hero. The difference, this time, was that he had someone looking over his shoulder. Andy Martin, uber Reacher fan, Cambridge academic, expert on existentialism and dedicated surfer, sat behind Lee Child in his office and watched him as he wrote. While Lee was writing his Reacher book, Andy was writing about the making of MAKE ME. REACHER SAID NOTHING is a book about a guy writing a book. An instant meta-book. It crosses genres, by bringing a high-level critical approach to a popular text, and gives a fascinating insight into the art of writing a thriller, showing the process in real time. It may well be the first of its kind.”

You can buy REACHER SAID NOTHING from Waterstones here and from Amazon here

To find out more about Andy Martin, pop over to his website at http://www.andymartinink.com and follow him on Twitter @andymartinink

You can read more about Andy Martin’s experience of writing REACHER SAID NOTHING over on The Conversation here http://theconversation.com/the-man-with-no-plot-how-i-watched-lee-child-write-a-jack-reacher-novel-51220

And watch Andy and Lee Child in action last month at the Centre For Fiction Master Class here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bF5wDt_D9g

On June 20th Andy will be talking in London at the Prospect Magazine Book Club. Find out more and get tickets here http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/events/bookclub-andymartin

 

 

#CrimeFiction Event Alert: Second ‘First Monday’ coming up on 9th May at City University, London

After the stonking success of the sell-out first ‘First Monday’ crime fiction event in April the second event in the series is approaching. But, don’t be fooled, the May event is actually being held on the second Monday – 9th May – to avoid the bank holiday!

If you’ve not heard of it before, First Monday is a monthly crime fiction/thriller night held in Central London. It’s a mix between a social evening and a literary festival panel – with the panel event happening first, from 6.30pm in the College Building at City University (off St John Street, near Angel tube) and the social element taking place from 8pmish in a nearby pub.

Great for readers, writers and industry types, first Monday is an informal get together for like-minded folks to meet up, talk crime fiction, and have a few drinks! There’s a small charge for the panel part of the event – £5 which includes a glass of wine compliments of Goldsboro Books. Goldsboro Books also sell books by the authors at the event, and after the panel there’s plenty of time for signing.

Brought to you by the creative minds of the fab foursome David Headley, Harry Illingworth, Katherine Armstrong and William Ryan, along with new recruit Ella Bowman, this series of events is already set to become one of the must-attend monthly events in crime writing.

Line ups announced so far are:

Monday 9th May – Christopher Fowler, William Shaw, Jack Grimwood, and Sarah Hilary with chair: Jake Kerridge

Monday 6th June – Peter James, Sharon Bolton, Mark Hardie, and Chris Morgan Jones with chair: James Kidd

With a capacity of 110, tickets sell out fast, so to find out more and book your ticket go to www.goldsborobooks.com/events

Follow First Monday on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FirstMondayCrime/

And on Twitter @1stMondayCrime #1stMondayCrime

CTG Reviews: #REACHER SAID NOTHING by Andy Martin

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What the blurb says: “On 1 September 1994, Lee Child went out to buy the paper to start writing his first novel, in pencil. The result was KILLING FLOOR, which introduced his hero Jack Reacher. Twenty years later, on 1 September 2014, he began writing MAKE ME, the twentieth novel in his number-one-bestselling Reacher series. Same day, same writer, same hero. The difference, this time, was that he had someone looking over his shoulder. Andy Martin, uber Reacher fan, Cambridge academic, expert on existentialism and dedicated surfer, sat behind Lee Child in his office and watched him as he wrote. While Lee was writing his Reacher book, Andy was writing about the making of MAKE ME. REACHER SAID NOTHING is a book about a guy writing a book. An instant meta-book. It crosses genres, by bringing a high-level critical approach to a popular text, and gives a fascinating insight into the art of writing a thriller, showing the process in real time. It may well be the first of its kind.”

I don’t usually read non-fiction, so this book was rather a departure for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect – would it be an academic analysis of the creation of a Reacher novel? Would it be a ‘fly on the wall’ style documentary of Lee Child’s life as he wrote the 20th book? Would it be the literary equivalent of a series of ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’? The answer was: yes, yes, and hell no! (come on, the Kardashians – really??). As a massive Jack Reacher fan I knew it was a book I wanted to read. What I hadn’t anticipated was just how illuminating and thought provoking it would be for me as a writer too.

Lee Child often says in interviews that he’s not a plotter – that the story unfolds organically as he writes. In REACHER SAID NOTHING the reader gets a front row seat seeing how this method looks and feels when things are going well, and when they’re going less well. It charts the flow of ideas, the blocks and decisions, and the light bulb moments when the plot strands start to come together, in real time.

It also shows the nuances of the writing; the importance of the rhythm of the narrative, how specific words are selected, and why commas are put in (or omitted). It’s a brave choice on Lee Child’s part – to invite someone in to analyse his process and his writing – and to have them shadowing him for the best part of a year all the while knowing that they will be writing about what he’s doing. But, if you were going to trust anyone to do that, Andy Martin is the perfect person to pick. I found that, for me, some of the most thought-provoking sections of the book came when Lee and Andy discuss the choices Lee is making about MAKE ME and the thinking behind them.

The result is a captivating snapshot of the life and process of Lee Child during the writing of MAKE ME – illuminating how his life and his writing feed into each other. As a writer, it made me consider my own process – the similarities, and the differences – and was inspiring, reassuring and educational.

It’s a lesson in thriller writing – the Lee Child equivalent of Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ – distilled through the expert observations and analysis of Andy Martin. It’s an honest, access-all-areas study of a writer at the top of their game, and it’s also a damn entertaining read.

REACHER SAID NOTHING is the documentary about the making of MAKE ME. It’s the special features of the DVD box set of the novel – the behind the scenes sneaky peep.

An absolute must read for Reacher fans, and essential reading for aspiring writers too. If you’re a fan of crime thrillers this is a book you’re not going to want to miss.

 

You can buy REACHER SAID NOTHING from Waterstones here and from Amazon here

To find out more about Andy Martin, pop over to his website at http://www.andymartinink.com and follow him on Twitter @andymartinink

On June 20th Andy will be talking in London at the Prospect Magazine Book Club. Find out more and get tickets here http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/events/bookclub-andymartin

 

#GIVEAWAY: RT for your chance to #WIN a copy of #TENACITY by J.S. Law

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It’s friday, and it’s time for another competition! Today’s giveaway is for a fab crime thriller published this week in paperback – TENACITY by J.S. Law. 

Here’s the blurb: “A brutal murder. A lone female investigator. Two hundred metres below the ocean’s surface, the pressure is rising … Suicide must be investigated, especially when a Royal Navy sailor kills himself on a nuclear submarine only days after his wife’s brutal murder.

Now Lieutenant Danielle “Dan” Lewis, the Navy’s finest Special Branch investigator, must interrogate the tight-knit, male crew of HMS Tenacity to determine if there’s a link. Isolated, and standing alone in the face of extreme hostility, Dan soon realises that she may have to choose between the truth and her own survival. Justice must be served, but with a possible killer on board the pressure is rising and her time is running out …” 

You can check out my review of this great debut thriller here

*** THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED AND THE WINNERS NOTIFIED***

HOW TO ENTER …

For a chance to win one of the three copies of TENACITY that are up for grabs: all you need to do is tweet the link to this post (using the Twitter button below) OR retweet one of the CTG tweets about the giveaway. You’ll also need to follow us @crimethrillgirl on Twitter so we can send you a direct message should you win.

Rules: (1) One entry per reader (2) UK residents only – due to postage costs – sorry! (3) We will draw the winner at random (4) No cash alternative (5) The competition closes for entries at 11pm GMT on Friday 22nd April 2016 (6) The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Good luck!

The #BreakingDead Blog Tour: Corrie Jackson talks about her London – the places that inspired the book

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Today I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on the fabulous Breaking Dead Blog Tour and have Corrie Jackson take over the reins here at CTG HQ and talk about her London: the places that inspired Breaking Dead. Over to Corrie …

When it came to choosing a setting for my debut thriller, there was only one contender. Noel Coward famously remarked: ‘I don’t know what London’s coming to – the higher the buildings, the lower the morals’. From leafy squares and supercars to concrete jungles and crack-dens, London is a city bursting at the seams. Here are five of the capital’s gems that guest-star in the book.

The Covent Garden Hotel
In my novel, a grisly murder occurs on the third floor of fictional hotel, The Rose. My inspiration was this discreet establishment in the heart of the West-End. It’s a stone’s throw from where I used to work at Grazia magazine and I spent many a lunch meeting celeb-spotting at Brasserie Max (whilst hard at work, ahem). However, the sleek hotel lobby that appears in the book is based on another London institution: Claridge’s. Why the mish-mash? I have no idea; it just felt right.

Bywater Street
I wanted my protagonist, Sophie Kent, to live somewhere classy but charming. This Chelsea cul-de-sac, complete with pastel houses and shiny black railings, hits the spot. Sophie lives at number seven (my old house number in Fulham). London trivia: John Le Carre’s fictional MI6 intelligence officer, George Smiley, lived at number nine. Sophie is in good company!

Corrie Jackson
Wild Honey
The tense dinner between Sophie and her dad takes place at this Mayfair hotspot (although I renamed it L’Ondine in the book). The restaurant is within spitting distance of Conde Nast (the publisher of VOGUE, GLAMOUR and GQ) and it became our unofficial HQ when it first opened in 2007. I’m happy to say every meal I’ve eaten at Wild Honey has ended better than the one in the book.

Berkeley Square
Historians know it as the residence of two former Prime Ministers: Winston Churchill and George Canning. I know it as the setting for the annual GLAMOUR Women of the Year Awards (a celeb-packed, debauched affair). I set my fictional fashion show here but combined it with another memory. In 2011, designer Erdem held his spring/summer show in a giant white tent in the middle of Bedford Square. I reported on the backstage antics for GLAMOUR and the essence of the show appears in Breaking Dead.

Albert Bridge
Built in 1873, the bridge is nicknamed ‘The Trembling Lady’ because it vibrates when large numbers of people walk across it. I used to live in Pimlico and my running route took me along Embankment towards Albert Bridge (the same route Sophie walks in the book). My heart lifted the moment I spotted this candy-floss pink bridge dotted with twinkling fairy lights. Sophie, on the other hand, associates it with her brother’s death. Mainly because I liked the idea of her tragedy being entangled with such a beautiful landmark.

A big thank you to Corrie for making the CTG Blog a stop on her tour and talking to us about the places that inspired BREAKING DEAD. 

Intrigued to find out more about BREAKING DEAD? Here’s the blurb: “Newspaper journalist Sophie Kent is hanging by a thread following her brother’s suicide, her personal life in chaos. When the mutilated body of a Russian model turns up in an upmarket hotel on the eve of London Fashion Week, Sophie recognises her from a recent interview and knows she could have saved her. Eaten away by guilt, she throws herself headfirst into the edgy, fast-paced world of fashion with one goal in mind: to catch the killer. Only then can she piece her grief-stricken self back together. As she chips away at the industry’s glittery surface, she uncovers a toxic underworld rife with drugs, secrets, prostitution and blackmail. Battling her demons and her wealthy, dysfunctional family along the way, Sophie pushes her personal problems to one side as she goes head to head with a crazed killer; a killer who is only just getting started…”

BREAKING DEAD is out today in eBook (and will be released in paperback in September). To buy the eBook from Amazon click here

To find out more about Corrie Jackson pop over to her website here and follow her on Twitter @CorrieJackson

And be sure to check out all the other fantastic stops along the BREAKING DEAD Blog Tour …

Breaking Dead Tour Banner

 

The #TENACITY NAVAL TOASTS BLOG TOUR: Ourselves! by J.S. Law plus CTG’s review

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Today I’m thrilled to be hosting a stop on J.S. Law’s TENACITY Blog Tour. On each day of the tour, James has been introducing readers to a different Naval toast. Here’s his toast for Wednesday …

Wednesday’s Naval toast – ‘Ourselves’ (as no one else is likely to be concerned for us!)If you’ve followed my blog tour at all, you’ll know that at mess dinners in the Royal Navy, immediately after the Loyal Toast of ‘The Queen’, the youngest officer present will normally offer the traditional drinking toast of that day.
The toast for Wednesday is ‘Ourselves’ with ‘as no one else is likely to be concerned for us’ murmured after, or kept silently within. I love this toast because it reminds me that the submarine environment is one like no other, yet we often forget that. When I was on my road to publication, I once spoke to an agent who told me that he loved my writing (this was for a book before Tenacity) but that he wasn’t sure what I’d written, genre-wise. We had a few minutes left on the slot and so he asked me what I did for a living.
‘Submarines,’ I replied, feeling dejected as I realised he wasn’t going to offer representation. ‘I work on submarines.’
‘why aren’t you writing about that?’ he said, suddenly animated. ‘Write me a book about submarines and send it to me…’
As it is, I signed with a different agent, but that meeting stays with me as a reminder to never forget the obvious, never look beyond ‘Ourselves’.
I went away and wrote that novel, but it’s not about submarines, it’s just set on-board one, and I decided that if a submarine was the ultimate locked room environment then I was going to put the ultimate outsider on there, someone who wouldn’t be included in the toast ‘Ourselves’…

 

James’ debut novel – TENACITY – absolutely is set in the ultimate locked room environment. Here’s the blurb and my review of the book:

“A brutal murder. A lone female investigator. Two hundred metres below the ocean’s surface, the pressure is rising … Suicide must be investigated, especially when a Royal Navy sailor kills himself on a nuclear submarine only days after his wife’s brutal murder.

Now Lieutenant Danielle “Dan” Lewis, the Navy’s finest Special Branch investigator, must interrogate the tight-knit, male crew of HMS Tenacity to determine if there’s a link. Isolated, and standing alone in the face of extreme hostility, Dan soon realises that she may have to choose between the truth and her own survival. Justice must be served, but with a possible killer on board the pressure is rising and her time is running out …”

This debut novel from J.S. Law is a tense read from start to finish. Danielle “Dan” Lewis – a top investigator with more than a fair share of secrets hidden in her past – is brought in to investigate the alleged suicide of a member of HMS Tenacity’s Ship’s Company. Right from the get-go it’s clear that the odds are stacked against her – Tenacity’s men are a close-knit team and they don’t want anyone – especially a woman – poking around in their business.

Despite the hostility towards her, Dan presses on with the investigation. Master-At-Arms John Granger lends his support (although there are unresolved tensions between the pair that make for a tricky working relationship) and it seems that the investigation will manage to move forward. Then Tenacity gets the order to dive, and Dan has to continue the investigation on-board beneath the ocean’s surface. As she studies the nuances of the case and interviews the men, Dan begins to uncover the lies and secrets hidden within Tenacity’s history, and the danger that might still lurk within.

Like the novel’s title suggests, Dan is a tenacious lead character and someone that, as a reader, I found it easy to root for. She’s a survivor of injustice, using her own experiences as fire to fuel her unrelenting determination to achieve her goal – utterly focused on searching out the truth, even when it puts her own life in danger.

As an ex-submariner, author J.S. Law’s detailed knowledge of the Navy and submarines shines through to make for a highly authentic and atmospheric setting. The uniqueness of the tightly sealed environment of HMS Tenacity is made increasingly claustrophobic through the ever-increasing build-up of jeopardy.

Gritty, super-charged with tension and claustrophobically atmospheric, TENACITY is a real page-turner of a read.

You can find out more about J.S. Law by popping over to his website here and following him on Twitter @JSLawBooks

TENACITY is out in paperback tomorrow (21st April). You can buy it here from Waterstones. Or here from Amazon.

And don’t forget to check out all the other fabulous stops along the route of the TENACITY NAVAL TOASTS Blog Tour …

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#InHerWake Blog Tour: CTG reviews In Her Wake by Amanda Jennings

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Today I’m delighted to be hosting a stop on Amanda Jennings’ blog tour for the stunning psychological thriller In Her Wake.

What the blurb says: “A perfect life … until she discovered it wasn’t her own: A tragic family event reveals devastating news that rips apart Bella’s comfortable existence. Embarking on a personal journey to uncover the truth, she faces a series of traumatic discoveries that take her to the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, where hidden truths, past betrayals and a 25-year-old mystery threaten not just her identity, but also her life.”

This is a remarkable book. Part psychological thriller, part coming-of-age story, it entices you in with a gloriously rich web of secrets and mystery, and holds you spell bound right through to the final heart-wrenching revelation.

Bella is an intriguing character. Shy and subdued, she seems to have let others dictate how things will be her whole life. But when her mother dies, a chain of events are set in motion that will rock the foundations her life has been built on, and cause her to question who she is and what she wants. Determined to find out the truth, she leaves her husband and her job and travels to Cornwall in search of the only people who can help. As she adjusts to life outside of her sheltered existence she starts to uncover not only the devastating lies and secrets that have kept her prisoner since she was a child, but also something inside her that she has never felt before – independence.

Beautifully written, In Her Wake is a story of toxic relationships, family betrayals and self-discovery. It’s both gritty and tragic, and achingly emotive and heart-warming. In short, it’s a stunning must-read of a novel.

To find out more about Amanda Jennings hop over to her website here and follow her on Twitter @MandaJJennings

In Her Wake is out now. You can buy it from Waterstones here; Goldsboro Books (Hardback Limited Edition) here; or Amazon here

And be sure to check out all the other fabulous stops on the In Her Wake Blog Tour:

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