A Deep Q&A with Richard E. Rock

I was really lucky enough to grab a quick Q&A session with the author of Deep Level, Richard E. Rock, and began my grilling as soon as I finished the last page of Deep Level. Literally, I grabbed my phone and typed “WTAF?!” and went off on a tangent about the ending, and then the entire book! I loved the book so much but was left with so many questions, poor Richard ! I’m not sure he knew what had hit him when my name flashed up on his screen! But here it is, the most interesting discussion I have had this year!

MR- How did you come up with the idea of Deep Level? Are you in to urban exploring yourself or is it something you’ve stumbled across and been inspired by? 

RR- It all started with a nightmare. I dreamt I was being pursued through dark tunnels by a silent, steamless, driverless Victorian engine. It was horrifying. In another part of the dream I was being stalked by a demonic presence. If I let it get too close cobwebs would form over my eyes and I would feel my life-force ebbing away. I woke up in the morning and thought, “That was amazing!” so I wrote down all the details before they faded away. And that’s how Deep Level was born.

MR- How did you find the process of having this idea, starting to write it down and going on this big journey to have it published? Is there any advice you would give a budding writer? 

RR- I originally wrote it as a short story. As soon as I finished it I thought all the ingredients were there to make a good novel, so I got to work. I read up on urban exploration and watched loads of videos on YouTube. There’s a lot of fascinating stuff out there, including one doc specifically about hauntings in the London Underground. I didn’t send Deep Level off to any publishers or agents straight away. It ended up sitting in my hard drive, forgotten about, for a couple of years. When I got furloughed from work I suddenly had the time to look into getting it published. The third one I sent it to, Darkstroke Books, came back to me very quickly with a yes, so I got lucky. The advice I would give a budding writer is the same advice I would give my younger self if I could go back in time: if you want to be a writer, surround yourself with other writers. Join a writing group and go to book launches and events. I really do believe that creativity begets creativity, and my writing didn’t take off until I joined a writing group.

MR- Do you have a specific writing process? Is there anything you need to do in order to get started, like sitting at a window with a coffee or going for a spooky walk somewhere off limits?

RR- I am catastrophically disorganised, so I don’t really have any processes or rituals. My writing space is a tip with notebooks and stationery everywhere. I tend to jot ideas down as they come and when I have enough of them to suggest a story I start trying to mould them into shape. I never know how a story is going to end when I start work on one, I just see where the ideas take me. I like that, though. It’s exciting.

MR- There are four very different characters with very very different lives in Deep Level- how much of these characters are based on the personalities of yourself and the people around you and how much have you created from your own mind?

RR- When I wrote the original short story there was only one character, Rich. When I expanded it into novel form I knew I had to have a supporting cast, and so Rosalind, Syeeda and Ffion were born. However, Rosalind didn’t stay supporting for long and, for me at least, became the heart and soul of Deep Level. She’s definitely my favourite character. They all have elements of myself in them. Rich works in a bookshop. I’ve done that. Ffion is a cinema usher. I’ve done that. Syeeda gets a job in radio. That’s what I do now. And Rosalind? She’s an archivist and that’s what my mother does. You could say that I’ve been researching this book for my entire professional life! Also, there are bits of various friends and acquaintances mixed in there too. Rosalind’s love of ska and resemblance to Pauline Black from The Selector came from a former girlfriend. In my head, Rich resembles a chap I used to work with in the bookshop. Syeeda has quite a bit of someone I know in her DNA, as does Ffion.

MR- Down on the train tracks among the carriages just before the Deep Level, we briefly learn of a person whose been living and hiding among the forgotten carriages and is possibly the person who helps Rosalind- is this the man from the flashback who was taken to and escaped from the “Club” this man? Has he somehow been cursed to live forever and guard the bricked up tunnel? 

RR- Without giving too much away, the lost soul living in the abandoned carriage is just that. He’s someone hiding from the world for reasons of his own. However, I love the thought that there may be more to him than that and now my head is spinning with ideas and possibilities. That would a great angle for a return to the Deep Level in a future book.

MR-Are we ever going to learn about how the Deep Level came to be abandoned and who bricked up the tunnels and why? 

RR- The reasons are hinted at in the book, specifically in the scene where Rich meets the old man in the pub. It would be fun to expand on that in a future story, so watch this space!

MR- When creating the dust-making shadow creature that preys on the group when they enter the Deep Level, what did you envision it looking like and the way it moved and sounded, was there anything in particular that helped you form this “thing”? And will we ever know what it actually is and why it likes and also how it makes people in to piles of dust?

RR- I glimpsed the tunnel dweller in my nightmare, so that’s where the inspiration came from. It was humanoid but tall and spindly like a spider. Also, it had glowing eyes. I’ll admit that the glowing eyes thing is a bit corny, but that’s what happened in my dream so I went with it.

Everyone knows that dark caves are crawling with rats and spiders, so making it arachnoid in its appearance and movements made perfect sense. Also, a lot of people have an extreme phobia of spiders so I couldn’t have envisaged a better monster for my book!

The dust is to do with time. When the tunnel dweller gets close to someone he feeds off their life-force. They shrivel and die and end up just as they would if left for thousands of years: as a pile of dust.

MR- What does 2021 have in store for you and your writing? 

RR- Hopefully a lot!

I’m in the editing phase of my next novel. It’s a sci-fi horror concerning UFOs and aliens, so it’s very different from Deep Level. It’s about two shipwrecked refugees, sisters, who wash up on an east African island where incredible experiments have been taking place. The only person who can save them is a lowly slacker who lives half a world away in the US.

It’s a not a ‘hard’ sci-fi novel, though. It’s actually set in 2018! But again, the ideas for it came to me a series of nightmares and anxiety dreams.

Also, I’ve completed a Victorian vampire novel which I’d like to develop into a series. Believe me when I say I’m just getting started!

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Richard for doing this Q&A with me. Deep Level is available now in didgital and physical formats.

Guest Post written by Ashleigh Nugent for Morelli’s Reads.

LOCKS- Beyond the Binary

The growing pains of adolescence can feel like the worst of times: confusing, alienating, conflictual. In my book, LOCKS, Aeon, a sixteen-year-old mixed race boy from a leafy English suburb, finds himself in the heat of the forge.

It’s 1993, and Aeon has flown to Jamaica to escape the racism of his home town and to develop his own identity in a place where he will better fit in. Only, he doesn’t fit in. Within days of being in Jamaica, Aeon is mugged and stabbed, arrested, caged in an underground dungeon, and beaten unconscious while a gang of boys chant: ‘Fuck up the White man.’

Aeon, by the way, is based on me. I spent my seventeenth birthday in that Jamaican detention centre. When people hear me tell this story, they often offer some words of sympathy or pull a sad face. As if they think the experience may have damaged me. Or maybe they believe I was damaged from birth; a ‘tragic mulatto’ doomed to never fit in. However, when people read the book they come to understand (at least I hope they understand) that Aeon’s experience was a rite of passage, a necessary experience for him/for me to grow and develop his/our unique identity.

As I write this, in January 2021, it must seem to many that the racial divide is more entrenched than ever: Trumpism, All Lives Matter, nationalistic xenophobia and so on. And whilst I agree, these are fraught times, I would like to offer an optimistic analogy. What we are witnessing now are simply the growing pains of a culture in adolescence?

Our society is still young. The interconnected global community was only conceived 500 years ago, when western Europe started exploring the Americas, trading more in Africa, and venturing to the farthest eastern reaches.

But Europe was an angry, jealous, and violent father. Christianity had curtailed his creativity; on the Iberian Peninsula, he had been at war for 800 years; England and France had been killing each other for over a hundred years . . .

Now Europe meets this beautiful bride, overflowing with warmth, sustenance, and creative energy.

And so our society is born. Just like all babies, it only knows what it needs: ‘Feed me’ it cries, ‘Keep me warm’, day and night, with no regard for how its mother feels: ‘Love me’.

Europe, in order to control his less than willing bride and their cantankerous child, invents false doctrines that position him as the head of the family. And amongst the most pernicious of those doctrines is the pseudoscience of race.

In more prosaic terms, contemporary racism is the vestigial effect of slavery and imperialism, perpetuated to this day by outmoded oligarchs, their puppet politicians, and profiteering media moguls. Pretending racial dualism wasn’t an issue anymore was never going to make it go away. Lame phrases like post-race and colour-blind and multi-cultural were actually exacerbating the situation–you can roll a shit in glitter but it’s still gonna stink.

What we are currently experiencing is a culture in its adolescence, trying to overcome the strictures imposed by a tyrannical father and define its own identity. Those of us who remember being a teenager know that this is a turbulent, difficult, and totally necessary phase. The fact that peoples’ covert racist attitudes have been made overt is not a bad thing; it’s essential.

The conversation has now opened up. And this honest debate is the start of the growth process. And I for one hope we never again attempt to conceal this ridiculous doctrine of race in platitudinous glitter. We need to take in the extent of its odious stench, seek it out where it hides, and lovingly bleach the shit out of our floors.

And we shouldn’t expect that a culture in adolescence will never again foul our speckless veneer, or act outrageously self-serving. In LOCKS, it was Aeon’s birthright that his identity be constructed anew, around a unique framework that stands outside the momentary strictures of society.

Of course, not all adolescents do grow up. Some never survive their death-wish phase. So I cannot promise that we will live to see the end of this current divisiveness. But I do believe that we have an opportunity. And I believe that we are worthy of taking more responsibility for our own culture. And I believe that we must be honest about who our parents are and forgive them for they are growing too.

Locks~Ashleigh Nugent

What do you get when you live in Liverpool, have a Black father and a White mother in 1993? Unrelenting racial abuse, injustice, stereotyping and a vast heritage that isn’t tapped in to.

Locks gives us the character of Aeon-a 16 year old boy with parents of different colour, and his cousin Increase- his 24 year old Black cousin. The pair take a trip to Jamaica so that Aeon can discover his fathers heritage, learn about Black culture and embrace his colour. Increase isn’t so keen to explore this side of himself as he sadly lost his father in the 1981 riots. As a reader we’re soon introduced the two sides of Jamaica; the picturesque, happy tourist side, and the deprived shanty-town-like side which the tourists are told to keep away from at all costs.

Unfortunately, from early on in his arrival, Aeon isn’t seen as an exploring teenage boy whose eager to see his heritage, but is in fact seen as a White tourist and soon he falls victim to a horrific mugging, receives a stab wound as a memento and is thrown in to prison. This is when Increase is tracked down for some money owed by his younger cousin. Frightening stuff.

Sadly this isn’t Aeon’s first time on the wrong side of the law, and when he’s bailed and back with Increase, it becomes clear that the only way home is quickly but illegally.

It’s a fantastic and hard-hitting read, which is made all the more impactful by the fact that it’s based on true events experienced by Nugent himself. And what must be taken in to consideration at all times, is that 1993 is the year of the murder of Stephen Lawrence which really hit home the horrific hidden depths of racism and stereotyping that people of colour face even to this day (sadly, we are learning more and more that ethnic minorities are still being targeted with violence and horrific abuse along with LGBTQ communities, religious practices and anyone deemed “different” by society).

There is some light-heartedness added with memories of a favourite teacher (Miss Elwyn) talking about hero’s and how they start and go through their journeys. Which left me as a reader with a fond warmth for an inspiring teacher, who seems to have had a great impact on Aeon.

There were a lot of intense moments that found me feeling frustrated, angry and scared for Aeon and Increase, but I also found myself having a little giggle to myself and shaking my head at some of their antics and situations (I feel any parent reading this would likely be similar!) but this book was a huge enlightenment and should be used as an education tool in schools, colleges and communities worldwide-its a valuable resource and insight in to the injustices people have thrown at them every day. I was deeply impacted by this book and I firmly believe it’s one title everyone should read this year.

About the Author

Ashleigh Nugent left school with no qualifications and a diagnosis of ADHD, he also had three arrests before his seventeenth birthday and was released each time without charge. He cites himself as being angry, Feeling that he was a victim of racism and hating all authority.

It was at the age of sixteen Nugent went to Jamaica in search of belonging and identity; sadly he was the victim of a stabbing and mugging, and held prisoner. A year later, back in England an arrest for threatening behaviour with a knife followed.

Nugent had a lengthy criminal record by the time he turned 21 and little hope with lots of anxiety; this was the driving point behind Rise Up. Now Nugent has a 1st class degree, teaching qualifications and uses his experiences and knowledge to empower and support others.

Pigeon-Blood Red~ Ed Duncan

When I was first approached by Kelsey at Book Publicity Services before Christmas and asked if I would like to read the first instalment of a new trilogy, I snapped up the chance without thinking twice. When the book arrived (with a lovely note from Ed Duncan-the author) I scratched my head and thought “now it’s in my hands, I’m not 100% sure if I’m the right person for this. Fast forward four days after picking up the book and reading the first page (my reading has slowed down lately) and I was sadly finished with the book and wanting more!

Pigeon-Blood Red is about an enforcer for the criminal underworld, a gambler, the loan shark he turns to, a wife, mistress, Hawaiian holiday, old college friend and an extortionately beautiful Pigeon-Blood red ruby necklace.

Rico, the enforcer, faces the wrath of his employer (the loan shark) when the necklace goes missing during a car ride with a debt-loaded gambler. Rico then has to track down and follow the gambler, his wife and mistress (both very unsuspecting) to Honolulu. The wife reunited unexpectedly with her widowed college friend and the four dine together, when the friend and husbands sordid affair is aired out in the open, Rico’s plan to obtain the necklace and return to his boss begins-and goes so very wrong.

The book follows Rico on his criminal journey as well as the journey of the wife and college friend.

Pigeon-Blood Red is very well written and often the chapters are written from the view point or direction of various characters, which can be a little confusing and caused me to double back on myself a few times, but at 203 pages, the content was perfect! The descriptions of people and places alongside the atmosphere that Duncan created and places the reader right at the centre of literally made for a fast paced and enjoyable read. I’m not usually one for the criminal underworld genre but this was so good and so hard to put down! This left me wanting to know what happens next BUT is an ideal stand alone book as well.

Frankly I can’t wait to see what Duncan comes up with next!

Author Biography

Ed Duncan was a partner at a National lawn firm in Ohio where he also penned Ohio Insurance Coverage for which he provided annual editions for over four years. He is currently working on the second instalment of his trilogy. Pigeon-Blood Red is his first novel.

The Visitor~Louvie G. Tucker

I’m going to put this out there right away and say sci-usually isn’t my thing, neither are stories set in the future BUT I decided to sign myself up for this blog tour anyway to expand my genre net, and was I glad I did!! I read this book in one day! I couldn’t put it down!

The Visitor is the first book in the Corrupted Genes Series and is set in hundreds of years in the future. America is divided in to two sections Nusa and Susa; Nusa is where the genetically modified live; it’s law to have an IQ of over 120, white skin, free of disease, illnesses and disabilities. To modify these is free, however, for those who can afford it other things can be altered (for example- penis/breast size, eye colour, hair colour etc) while Susa is where the non-modified people live. The Susa’s are deemed as savage and troublemakers with darker skin, the total opposite of Nusa (noticing anything here?) .

The Visitor follows Peter Weekly, a genmod technician, and his best friend (and date organiser) Sasha. One evening Sasha goes home to find a dark skinned Susa on her bed, who runs past her and out of her apartment. But Susa’s are unrefined and monstrous, so why didn’t it attack her? After reporting the incident, Peter accompanies Sasha to the Deport station to identify the now-captured Susa.

It is at this Deport station that the Susa slaughters the officers and escapes, taking Peter and Sasha along for the wildest ride of their lives.

Yet this Susa isn’t all he seems, he has a name, no idea of what a Susa or Nusa are, nor does he know what year it is. Turns out, he’s neither of this things but is I fact an American, who was lost on a space trip to Mars decades earlier.

The only way to free him, and themselves at this point, from the Deport team, is to make a break for Canada. But it just isn’t that easy-firstly they need to cross the boarder to Susa and stay alive.

I LOVED The Visitor! I was intrigued, sucked in and total awe! Tucker has produced a well written, well paced start for what I anticipate to be an out standing series. The characters are well written, the daily thoughts of Peter and his inner turmoil over being the “perfect Nusa” and following the four golden rules and what he sees as questionable. I loved the history of The Visitor too and Sasha is such a fierce, non-conforming Nusa woman that I really look forward to having an insight to her past and her way of thinking as the books progress.

The second instalment isn’t due out until 2022 and this just devastates me-I need the next book now! I’m that hooked!

About The Author

Louvie G. Tucker lives and works in the Pacific Northwest with his wife. Born in Buffalo, New York, he’s called various U.S. states, Japan, and China home at points in his life. When he’s not working in cyber security, he enjoys rock climbing, staying up to date on current events, keeping up with his Japanese language skills, and riding his bicycle. He is currently working on the second book in the Corrupted Genes series.

Dark Memories~ Liz Mistry

Dark Memories is the third book in the DS Nikita Parekh series- I had not read the previous two before reading this and I don’t feel it entirely necessary to do so as anything that crops up from a previous novel has a brief and to the point explanation (could be an eye role inducing recap if you’re very familiar with the series, but as a newbie and someone who usually forgets previous novel plots, I found it perfect).

So how did I find reading book 3? It was so good! We start with the body of Peggy, a homeless woman, being found. Peggy is somewhat known to Nikki’s mother and soon Nikki receives copies of diary pages anonymously. Another murder takes place which feels like it’s linked somehow, and then a third murder takes place in the house of a seedy man known to Nikki’s mother who is linked to the families past and takes place opposite their unhappy and horrifically nightmarish childhood home. Under the victims body are more copies of diary entries. So now Nikki has to piece together the puzzle while trying to keep a lid on the after effects of her traumatic childhood and no longer being the lead on the investigation, it might prove tricky. She has the support of Saj, her close partner, but with media rats lurking everywhere, can she keep her personal life and history of her family from exploding in to the public eye as well as catch the killer?

Dark Memories is a novel of childhood trauma and a twisted revenge plot with some very unsavoury characters in place. It’s complex and harrowing, mostly narrated with Nikki in the lead, there are plenty of chapters with other characters leading the way which I did on occasion find confusing as I had a digital copy and I think my download messed up a bit, so character A’s time in the readers focused was immediately followed on by character B’s without a paragraph break so I had to double back on myself to make sense of the character jump-but it was well written and really sucks in the reader and emerges them in to a tale of trauma and emotions.

I really enjoyed the close working relationship between Nikki and Saj and their interactions usually bought the right amount of comic relief at the most perfect of times.

Mistry has approached a sensitive and harrowing subject with a compassion that you can only gain from in-depth research and a great deal of insight, which could possibly have been gained over years of teaching at an inner-city school (teachers are exposed to more than you think). I feel utterly compelled to read the previous two Nikki Parekh novels as well as Mistry’s previous series of crime thrillers.

About The Author

Born in Scotland but made in Bradford! Liz studied English and History at the University of Stirling where she enjoyed some of the best days of my life. Liz then moved to Bradford in West Yorkshire to complete a PGCE in Primary education at Bradford College. Here she met Nilesh, her wonderful partner, and they now have three children and two cats together as well as lifetime together and both enjoy the diversity of the city they live in.

Liz has suffered with severe depression for a number of years, and it was this that pushed her in to writing back in 2015 as a way to move forward. She also completed an MA in Creative Writing through Leeds Trinity University and was offered a two book publishing deal in 2016 (take that depression!) and since then, Liz has created some immense and wonderful characters and some unforgettable criminals within her novels.

Faking It~Portia MacIntosh

Finally I can share my thoughts on this hilarious book with you all! It is late and I’m so very sorry (blame that kick arse migraine that would just not leave!).

So here we meet Ella; dead end job that she gets the sack from right after her shabby flat above a pizza place is burnt down (okay so burnt down might be a tad dramatic, but her landlord is a cretin and overly dramatic himself). Followed by a phone call from twin sister Emma. Ella learns that the perfect, well put together, queen bee of a sister has avoided her parking fines for so long that she has a prison sentence looming over her, and not wanting to tarnish her perfect image, she begs Ella to take her place in her marriage and community while she serves her sentence in reputation preserving silence. Sounds good doesn’t it? Spending that time living a luxurious lifestyle and having a welcome break from your gloomy life. Well, not quite.

Ella is thrown in to a world of sullen, rebellious and stroppy teenagers, gossiping mothers and perfect housewives and has to run to keep up while not openly gawping at the gorgeous drama teacher . Not that easy! Especially when it’s a world you’ve never dipped your little toe in to.

Faking It is a fun and enjoyable read with plenty of laughs but also plenty of face-palm moments (oh Ella, you could have done some things very differently and had a much better outcome!) and lots of screwball humour. It’s a perfect pick-me-up read on a gloomy evening and it’s so easy to dip in and out of. And prepare yourself for a right twist at the end-it’s a tad draw dropping!

About The Author

Portia MacIntosh has been ‘making stuff up’ for as long as she can remember – or
so she says. Whether it was blaming her siblings for that broken vase when she
was growing up, blagging her way backstage during her rock chick phase or,
most recently, whatever justification she can fabricate to explain away those
lunchtime cocktails, Portia just loves telling tales.

After years working as a music journalist, Portia decided it was time to use her
powers for good and started writing novels instead.

Portia has published 16 books with HQ (HarperCollins) and Boldwood Books so far, with more coming soon.

Family~Owen Mullen

I just don’t know how to put this in to words! I liked the book a lot BUT I’d LOVE for it to be a film or series because I feel like it deserves its own soundtrack and musical scores to go with the suspense, thrills and scares of this story!

Luke Glass is released from prison after a 7 year sentence for manslaughter. Anderson, the man who died who was responsible for the murder of his sister-in-law and young niece (as well as a decent member of the family staff), and angry Luke chases him to his demise. The perfect start to a book of this genre. Luke is greeted outside the prison gates by little sister Nina (who coincidentally is stealing from their older brother, Danny, along with his accountant) and urged to go to a family “welcome home” party put on by Danny, the brother who raised them and provided for the family since their fathers early death. However, at the party all Hell breaks loose as the son of Luke’s victims orders a shoot out. Luckily, none of the Glass family (AKA Team Glass) are present or hurt. And so the story picks up pace and we see this dysfunctional family up their security to maximum level while each tries to sort and plan their own lives and ways in the world.

Here we meet bent copper DCI Oliver Stanford and his trusty Crabb and Goyle like sidekicks (had to throw in a Potter reference there because I don’t know how else to describe them!) who allow Danny to run his criminal enterprise with little to no consequence (always helps to have the police in your pocket if your going to run a criminal underworld). However, this tricky trio soon become worried and with good reason.

As a second attempt at the Glass family makes them the butt of the jokes, a gang war between North and South ensues, and Danny becomes very a ruthless and cruel along the way (with no wife and child to consider the safety of at this point, I can semi-understand his unraveling and need to keep his siblings together). However with his middle brother wanting to leave the fold and his baby sister stealing from him, is family worth fighting for abs protecting along the journey of becoming the top dog?

It was a good read but as I said earlier, I really feel these characters and their stories would really benefit their own musical scores and sound tracks! I liked the book but sometimes I found it hard to keep up with and separate their individual plots and stories on occasion making it difficult to visualise characters and surroundings. Abs some of these characters are pretty scary nutcases who deserve more focus.

About the Author

Owen Mullen splits his time between Scotland and the island of Crete. In his earlier life he lived in London and worked as a musician and session singer. He has now written seven books and his first gangland thriller for Boldwood publications is Family.

The Stolen Child~ Alex Coombs

The Stolen Child is the first book in the DI Hanlon series by Alex Coombs. It’s gritty, painful, full of conspiracy and closed ranks, disturbing and so very well written in to a superb crime novel.

The Stolen Child takes us on a journey full of stomach knots and sickening feelings in our guts as we first come to observe the retrieval of children’s bodies and DI Hanlon’s private theory, which she enlists the help of a close colleague to get to the bottom of while she’s being closely observed by some not-very-nice-people within the Metropolitan Police. One such observer turns out to be an ally right through to the very end. And the colleague? Well he ends up fighting for his life, something Hanlon takes exceedingly personally.

The crimes run deeper than children being murdered and their bodies dumped; these children are chosen specifically to cater for the sinister tastes of the powerful and wealthy, they are then taken in to captivity, abused, murdered and dumped with no evidence of who committed the atrocities. And this is where we’re introduced to conspiring law officials, low life thugs and general scumbags with too much money and not enough moral backbone.

The Stolen Child, to start with, was hard for me to read (most likely because it was so disturbing and as a parent I’m all to aware of the predatory nature of the world around us and how vulnerable children are) but as I began to stomach the grit slightly, and the theories and attack on a good and decent public server began to grip me, I really began to read a lot quicker and want to read ahead to find out what was going to happen next.

Even though I’ve only read the first book in this series, I have a feeling that with Coomb’s level of research combined with insane writing skills that readers are about to find themselves pulled into the Hanlon fan base and submerged in her dark world. If you can detach yourself from your own comfort zone and keep yourself calm while reading (I was so close to shouting at my Kindle several times and even considered throwing it out the window at one point!) then this is going to be one Hell of a ride.

About The Author

Alex Coombs studied Arabic at Oxford and Edinburgh Universities and went on to work in adult education and then retrained to be a chef. He has written four well reviewed crime novels as Alex Howard.

Murder: It’s All In Your Head~Cynthia Hilston

Holy sh*t! Where do I begin with this?! I LOVED this book and I was utterly glued to it! I devoured this book in a day and a half and can’t stop thinking about!

I don’t quite know how to describe it exactly, but it’s a murder spree that’s been going on for a century by one relentless, dark young woman. Helen’s story takes place in 1918 and we’re witness to the horrendous sexual abuse inflicted upon her by her father, living alongside her mother’s fear and hiding. Helen learns she has the ability to slip in to her father’s body, hoping to scare him in to stopping the abuse. Eventually Helen’s story ends in tragedy (to those on the outside looking in) however she moves in to the body of another young woman and continues her life as one long and relentless killing spree that seems to have no end in sight.

We also spend time in a psychiatric hospital and get to know two chaps, Jimmy and Randy, who are victims on Helen; she’s destroyed their lives and committed murder in their bodies, however, as Helen moves in to the body of Cassie, the two patients come together and learn of their tales. They have only a short amount of time to end this evil and stop Helen continuing her deathly body-hopping.

I honestly thought that the changes in timeline and body-hopping would be too confusing and that I wouldn’t be able to get to grips with it enough to enjoy the plot, but I was so wrong! It was easy to follow and actually made the entire story flow smoothly and add to the horror of Helen’s killing spree. The emotions of each of the characters-whether they were in their own bodies or not- were so clear that you couldn’t help but feel them yourself.

Truly an immense read and one for anyones TBR pile! It would make an amazing read for a book club!

Murder: It’s All In Your Head is available to purchase now from Amazon and available on Kindle Unlimited.

Author Biography

Cynthia Hilston lives in Cleveland Ohio and is a stay at home mum to three children (Cynthia, I salute you!) and spent 20 years dipping her toes in and out of the world of Fan Fiction (haven’t we all got that guilty pleasure?) and took a step back to create her own original piece of fiction. Cynthia’s hobbies are reading, watching Supernatural (wonder if she’s Team Squirrel or Moose?) and Outlander l. She loves her orange cat and drinking wine and coffee with her friends and gazing up at the stars (obviously in between parenting like a boss and writing a literary Queen!)