Tuesday, 10 September 2019

CHILLS AND DYSTOPIA

I'm delighted to be reviewing two books this week: OVERDRAWN a thought-provoking dystopia by N.J Crosskey and VIOLET a chilling and suspenseful horror story by Scott Thomas.



Overdrawnby NJ Crosskey is an original and compelling dystopia, based on a chilling but plausible premise.
The novel is set in a near-future UK, where austerity is the rule, national health care is extinct and aging has become such an inconvenience that euthanasia is viewed as a patriotic act. It's a hostile, uncaring place where the length of your life is determined by how much you can afford to pay to keep yourself alive,
 The story follows two main characters: senior citizen, Henry whose beloved wife is gradually slipping away from him due to the ravages of dementia, and Kaitlyn, a young woman who sacrifices everything to keep her comatose brother’s life support switched on.
  The two characters meet and form an unusual business alliance that they hope will produce the funds to keep their loved ones alive. 
Crosskey beautifully develops the growing relationship between Henry, his wife and Kaitlyn, who has been virtually deprived of a loving family.  The bonds they forge are beacons of hope  and reminders that—even in such a cruel world—lost souls can come together and find comfort in their mutual pain.
The world the author brings draws us into is disturbing but unsettling in its familiarity, but I would have appreciated a little more world building, in terms of detail and description, to give a more vivid sense of the place. 
In the end, however, Crosskey delivers a very satisfying and tender story that shows us no matter how bleak our future might be, love will still triumph over all.
A previous reviewer remarked that this book should be developed into a TV series. I second that opinion. Overdrawn would make great viewing! 

Thanks to Legend Press for sending me an advance copy to review!

Nicola Crosskey
VIOLET by Scott Thomas


This exquisitely written second novel by Scott Thomas, author of the incredible horror novel, KILL CREEK, breathes new life into a familiar horror trope, the “imaginary friend” story. Thomas manages to straddle the line between literary and commercial appeal with an intense study of human grief that is also truly chilling.
After her husband is killed in a car crash, Kris Barlow returns with her eight year old daughter to her childhood home, a place of sad, painful memories, to recover from the grief that has shattered their lives. Soon, however, she discovers the town of Pacington is a sick, haunted place and the run-down house holds secrets Kris has tried to forget.

What follows is an intense and detailed journey into the impact of grief as well as the incredible power of the bond between mother and daughter. The author develops fresh, original characters, exposing their flaws and weaknesses and avoiding tired stereotypes. Suspense slowly builds as the narrative flips back and forth from the present where Kris attempts to deal with the trials of a decaying house, a daughter preoccupied with a strange, new "friend", and a town filled with odd, haunted souls—to a past that is lonely, dark and increasingly disturbing . The settings are so gorgeously portrayed in such lush  detail, reading the book is as vivid as watching the movie. I found myself totally immersed in Kris’s world as the story gradually and ominously builds towards an inevitable but shocking climax.
Scott Thomas

















THE TESTAMENTS by Margaret Atwood


 It's tough to step into a bookstore this week without being greeted by shelves filled with the stark green, white and navy cover that graces Atwood's highly anticipated latest novel. I'm looking forward to reading it and will be reviewing it next blog.
Happy Reading!

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