Audio Extract: The Lizard by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart Blog Tour #TheLizardBook @MuswellPress @DBrucelockhart

Today I’m thrilled to be the host for the the penultimate stop on the blog tour for Dugald Bruce-Lockhart’s debut novel The Lizard. I’m even more excited because in a first for my little blog I have an extract of the audiobook for you all to listen to.

But before we get to the audio I should probably tell you a little about the book and author.


ABOUT THE BOOK

The LizardSt Andrews University undergraduate, Alistair Haston, heartbroken by his breakup with his girlfriend Ellie, heads off to where she summers in the hope of ‘accidentally’ running into her.

On a ferry from Athens he meets Ricky, a magnetic Australian, who promises him a cushy job on the Greek island on Paros. Ricky introduces him to Heinrich, a charismatic German artist living in an exquisite mansion, who uses his talent and considerable wealth to lure susceptible tourists to his home.

Soon swept away in a cocktail of hedonistic pursuits, Haston sheds his conservative skin and is immersed in a sun-drenched world of sex, fine food and drugs.

When the body of a missing tourist is found, however, the finger of blame points at Haston and he is forced on a desperate life or death run.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart was born in Fiji and went to school at Sedbergh in Cumbria while his parents worked abroad. After St Andrews University he trained as an actor at RADA. He has worked extensively on stage and on TV and received many accolades including a Best Actor nomination from The Stage.

He recently directed a new production of The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson by Jonathan Maitland. He appeared as Michael Gove in the original production at the Park Theatre, London. He lives in South East London.


AUDIOBOOK EXTRACT


WANT TO HEAR THE REST?

The Lizard is released tomorrow (7th May) with the audiobook available for preorder from Audible and Google Play

Bloody Scotland Blog Tour: Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre @BloodyScotland

Today I’m very excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Bloody Scotland. Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Festival held in Stirling each September and is one my favourite bookish events of the year. For my stop on the tour I’m featuring one of the books longlisted for the 2019 McIlvanney Prize, Fallen Angel by Chris Brookmyre. It’s a wonderfully dark and gripping read all about family secrets, press intrusion and conspiracy theories, but don’t take my word for it. Read on for more details of the book and an extract that’s guaranteed to make you want to read more.


FALLEN ANGELFallen Angel

To new nanny Amanda, the Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. But like any family, beneath the smiles and hugs there lurks far darker emotions.

Sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died while they were on holiday in Portugal. Now, as Amanda joins the family for a reunion at their seaside villa, she begins to suspect one of them might be hiding something terrible…

And suspicion is a dangerous thing.

 


EXTRACT

With the aircraft at cruising altitude and a large gin on the tray in front of her, Ivy plugs in her headphones and launches the video. The drink is an indulgence so early in the day, but she’s going to need it. She downloaded the file last night and toyed with watching it then, before changing her mind and deciding it was safer to wait for the flight. The fear was that she might get so emotional that she’d change her mind about coming. This way, she’s already committed.

She is flying out of Edinburgh, as she had something she had to take care of locally before she could head off to Portugal. She will be flying back directly to London, though. The only question is how soon.

She feels a tingle in her gut, an anxiety over what she’s about to go through. She is making herself watch it, despite the pain she knows she will feel, because this is the way the world will remember him.

The clip dates from 2002. It is a segment of a now discontinued teatime chat show on Channel Four, featuring guests from all fields – politics, sport, showbiz, science – engaged in breezy discussions with a cheery presenter. The kind of thing you could tune in and out of while you chopped veg for the dinner. It was the perfect fit for the pop-psychology book Dad was plugging.

The presenter is Abby Cook. She is bubbly and attractive in a non-threatening way, someone who cut her teeth presenting zoo-TV shows for older kids. By 2002 she had moved a few hours later in the schedule, after boosting her profile with a half-naked cover shoot for FHM. She has subsequently shifted hours again, these days earning a shitload on ITV’s flagship mid-morning show, but whether late vintage or early noughties Abby, the secret of her success is the same. She has a folksy girl-next-door charm, the type of presenter whose manner comforts the target audience by giving the impression she doesn’t understand the big words either.

That was very much why it happened. Abby was out of her depth.

‘And next on the couch, someone I’m super excited to be talking to. I’m sure you all recognise none other than Jason Cale, best known these days for presenting Paradigm Shift on the BBC. But, of course, the reason I’m excited is that many of us remember Jason as Danthos, from the classic British science fiction series The Liberators.’

Ivy’s laptop screen is briefly filled by a grainy clip showing a younger Jason, stripped to the waist as he fires a laser blaster against what is supposed to be an alien landscape but was probably a quarry in Wales. It cuts back to show him on the couch for a reaction shot, a perfectly pitched combination of bashful pride and ‘surprised’ cringing.

‘Now I’m sorry to spring that on you, Jason, but the reason we showed it is of course that you are accompanied this evening by Max Temple, and Max’s wife – a little bit of trivia for you all – is Celia Wilde, who played the very sexy Kurlia alongside Jason in that show.’
There is mercifully not a clip, but merely a still showing Mum in her iconic costume, before the director displays even greater humanity in not cutting back to Dad’s face right then. Instead the camera is back on Abby.

‘Max is an esteemed psychology professor from the University of St Andrews, and he and Jason are here tonight because they have teamed up to write a book. It’s called Behind the Mask: How To Tell What People Are Really Thinking, and I’m fascinated to hear how this collaboration came about. Jason, can you tell us . . .’

Jason does most of the talking, which is for the best. He knows how to keep it light and accessible, sometimes talking over Dad when he threatens to get too technical. Dad looks like he’s merely tolerating the ordeal, waiting for it to end. He’s not actually awkward in front of the cameras, but even if you didn’t know him you’d deduce he is unused to this atmosphere of enforced joviality. Even now Ivy feels a tension every time Abby asks a question: despite knowing it never happened, she is still on edge in case Dad gets all brusque with her for being so anodyne.

However, that was very much Jason’s intention in making him part of this double act. Coming across as kind of aloof actually worked for Dad in this context, emphasising his academic gravitas in contrast to his co-author’s chatty, populist style.

Abby wraps up the discussion of Behind the Mask and they shuffle along the settee to make room for the next guest. She introduces him as Toby Cutler-Wood and informs the viewers that he is a former police detective. He is a slim, white-haired man in a three-piece suit whom Ivy suspects is affecting to look like an academic. As an ex-cop, he should have read the evidence in front of him and deduced that the presence of a genuine academic meant it was a bad night for pretending to be something that you’re not.

‘Since retiring from the police six years ago, Toby has turned his detective skills to uncovering a different kind of fraud, on a quite startling scale. Honestly, this will really blow your minds. Toby is here to tell us about The Apollo Conspiracy, his bestselling book claiming that the moon landings never happened but were actually faked by NASA.’

Toby doesn’t have Jason’s facility for banter and small talk, ploughing headlong into his pitch. The screen is briefly filled with a photograph of the surface of the moon, a lunar lander in the right of the foreground, an American flag erected to the left. Another image takes its place, of two astronauts in front of the same lander. In both images, beyond the horizon all is black, and that is what he is focused on.

‘What’s wrong with this picture?’ he asks Abby, though he doesn’t wait for an answer.
‘There are no stars! There should be thousands of stars visible. The very reason the Hubble telescope was put into orbit is that the view of the cosmos is so much clearer beyond the atmosphere, and yet in this image, supposedly taken from the surface of the moon, there is not a single, solitary star.’

He talks excitedly about how the solar wind trapped in the Earth’s magnetic field has created a series of high-radiation zones, known as the Van Allen Belts, beginning four hundred miles above the planet and extending for as much as forty thousand miles. Not only would this radiation damage the scientific instruments that would have been crucial to a moon mission, he informs Abby, but it would prove lethal to the personnel. Then he moves on to the temperature of the lunar surface, how it reaches one hundred and twenty degrees and thus would have killed the astronauts if they were exposed to it.

Ivy can’t help but smile as the camera picks up the first indicators that Dad is getting exasperated. He is squirming in his seat and rolling his eyes. As this escalates into audible tuts and sighing, Jason begins to look uncomfortable, clearly concerned that his sidekick is about to blow their media profile by demonstrating that he can’t play the game.

Abby seems genuinely gobsmacked as Toby piles on the evidence and the shocking implications begin to sink in.

Ivy recognises the response, stuff her dad would later write about: how intoxicated Abby is by hearing seemingly compelling evidence that alters something she had previously regarded as unquestionable.

‘And speaking of the surface, do you notice the dust, and the footprints in the dust? The Apollo landing module had a rocket to slow its descent, delivering ten thousand pounds of thrust, which should not only have left a scorched crater, but blown all of the dust away too. NASA faked up what they thought we imagined the surface of the moon to look like, but forgot about the impact their own vehicle would have had. They were sloppy, but the insulting thing is that they clearly think we’re all stupid.’

The focus is still on Toby, but Dad’s voice cuts across from off-camera, in a tone so familiar that sitting on a plane sixteen years later, Ivy can’t help but let out a chuckle.
‘I’m sorry, but this is just the most preposterous garbage.’

Ivy pauses the video to hand her empty gin miniature to the flight attendant. As she does so, the man in the seat next to her indicates the screen.

‘I remember that interview,’ he says warmly. ‘Guy was a legend. Shame he’s gone.’
Ivy flashes him a micro smile, a gesture of basic courtesy the brevity of which ought to convey that she doesn’t wish to discuss it further. It gives her a glimpse of how much more unbearable things would be right now if anyone knew who she was. But then, that is precisely why she went to such great lengths to alter her identity.

If anyone were to discover she is Max Temple’s daughter, they might find it incredible that she’s never seen this legendary clip all the way through. It would be like a rock star’s offspring never having heard his greatest hit.

It’s different when it’s family though. You’re not defined in each other’s eyes by the things that shape your public perception.

The evening it aired, she didn’t hear a word of it because Niamh was screaming for a solid hour, by the end of which she was crying too. There was never a good time to watch it back then: never any time. And in the years since, there have been too many conflicting emotions, too many reminders of how things were.

It’s different now that he’s gone. There are still the same conflicting emotions, but what changes it for Ivy is that nothing can change now. Max Temple can’t become anything more, anyone new. He can only be what people remember, so she can choose whichever version of him serves her best.

Back on the screen, Abby’s instincts prompt her to assert control and calmly defuse the situation. Unfortunately, these instincts were honed by years on kids’ telly and work better on pop singers and Hollyoaks actors than on academics accustomed to a certain degree of deference.

‘Now, Max,’ she says, like she’s humorously telling him off. ‘You’ve had your time, so let’s all be polite.’

‘A lot of people get defensive when you show them this stuff,’ Toby says, eyeing Dad. ‘Because it shakes their world view.’
Abby nods.

‘It may seem shocking,’ she agrees, ‘but you can’t argue with the evidence.’

An extract taken from: Fallen (Little Brown) by Chris Brookmyre

Longlisted forThe McIlvanney Prize 2019. Winner to be announced at the Bloody Scotland opening night reception on Friday 20 September. For festival tickets and information www.bloodyscotland.com

‘Addictive in the best possible way – I couldn’t stop reading but didn’t want it to end. This is a holiday read like no other, a dark novel set in the sunniest of settings, the shadow of this beautifully crafted story will stay with me for a long time’ – Lisa Ballantyne

‘Gloriously dark, deliciously twisty’ – Clare Mackintosh

‘Stunning. A dark, brilliantly written suspense chiller. Superb. One of the best writers in the business on top form’ – Steve Cavanagh


THE TOUR CONTINUES

The Bloody Scotland Blog Tour runs until the 20th September so there’s still lots of time to check out the other Q&A’s, extracts and reviews.

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The Partisan Heart: Q&A with author Gordon Kerr #blogtour @MuswellPress

Today I’m thrilled to joined by Gordon Kerr for a Q&A as part of the blog tour for his debut crime fiction novel The Partisan Heart. You can find details of this wonderful read further down but I think we’ll dive straight in and let Gordon describe it in his own words.


Q&A

For those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little about yourself?Gordon Kerr pic 2

I was born in the Scottish new town of East Kilbride but my family was originally from the Airdrie area, the men mostly generations of coal miners or steelworkers. I was the first in the family to go to university and I did teacher training after uni, but instead of occupying a comfortable seat in a staffroom, I took off to go round the world, making it only as far as the south of France where I spent the next four years, picking grapes, working on farms and selling leather bracelets in markets.

When reality beckoned, I returned to Britain, got a job in Harrods wine cellar and began fifteen years in the wine trade. I mostly did the marketing for Oddbins, travelling the world’s vineyards and distilleries for seven years with Gonzo artist, Ralph Steadman, producing images to be used in catalogues and advertising. I next moved into the world of books, marketing for bookseller Waterstone’s and Bloomsbury, the Harry Potter publisher.

I’ve been a full-time writer for fifteen years, publishing a good many history, biography and art books, but The Partisan Heart is my first venture into fiction. I live in Dorset and Southwest France.

Your new book is called The Partisan Heart, can you tell us a little about the story and the inspiration behind it?

My sister-in-law married an Italian from the Valtellina area of North Italy and we have been visiting there for decades. When we first went, there were still many of my brother-in-law’s family members alive who had fought in the war and stories would emerge of incidents that took place in that dark time. They seeped into my consciousness and a story began to form, taking place in two time frames but coalescing at the end. It features a young partisan in the last years of the war who falls in love with the wife of his commander and becomes enmeshed in intrigue and betrayal. The second part takes place in 1999 when a widower, Michael Keats, tries to find the identity of a man with whom his wife was having an affair before her shocking death in a hit and run accident.

You’re a highly regarded non-fiction author, but I believe this is your first work of fiction, why did you decide now to make the move from fact to fiction?

It began, really, as a bit of light relief in the evening after writing about China or the First World War all day but I was soon absolutely gripped by it and the story arrived almost fully-formed in my head. It would have been foolish not to write it, exhausting though it often was. But, writing is what I do, what I’ve always done and I was having a great time.

How did you find the experience of writing crime fiction? Were there any particular challenges? Did your writing process change?

The responsibility of making a complicated story with twists and turns work cohesively and ensuring that two separate and equally complex timelines make sense was both challenging and rewarding. I would lie awake in bed going through it all in my mind and inventing new situations that I had to scribble down so that I remembered them in the morning. Writing crime fiction, for me at any rate, is thrilling and compelling. It’s almost as if you’re playing a game with yourself, trying to outsmart your own mind. I’m not sure if that makes complete sense to anyone but me!

I have to confess I don’t know much about the Italian civil war, what is it about this time period that makes it the perfect setting for a crime novel?

It was a brutal time in Italian history, with family fighting against family and brother against brother. I tried to keep it very simple because although I am very conscious of writing historical crime fiction, as I was writing the book I kept reminding myself that I was writing fiction, not history – that’s my day-job, after all. The story was the main thing and the complex relationships between people.

In researching this book did you make any surprising discoveries or is there something you think not many people will know?

I learned a lot researching the book. I never knew, for instance, that Mussolini wanted to make his last stand in the Valtellina, but the Germans denied him the opportunity. As it was, he was eventually captured just fifteen miles from my sister-in-law’s house. We would drive past the spot on the way to Lake Como. It brought the history of that time very close. I also learned that, although I don’t feature any in The Partisan Heart, there were many women fighting as partisans.

If someone wanted to read more about the period are there any books, fiction or non-fiction you’d recommend?

A good general history of the Italian Resistance would be worth reading, such as Claudio Pavone’s A Civil War: A History of the Italian Resistance. Tom Behan’s The Italian Resistance: Fascists, Guerrillas and the Allies provides a good grounding in what went on back then. Ada Gobetti recorded the daily events of a woman partisan’s life in A Partisan Diary.

What are you working on next? Can we expect more crime fiction or something completely different?

Right now I’m writing a Short History of the Korean War that will see the light of day next year. When I finish that in the autumn, I will be writing a follow-up to The Partisan Heart, or, at least a thriller featuring the main character of the book. I’m concocting stories in my head in bed again!

Finally, what are you reading now?

I just finished Will Dean’s Red Snow, the follow-up to his wonderful Dark Pines. I didn’t think it was quite as good, but it was still hugely enjoyable and I’m happy to recommend his books to anyone who hasn’t read them. I’ve now moved on to All the Old Knives, by the American writer, Olen Steinhauer. It’s a tense spy thriller, written by a master of the art.


ABOUT THE BOOKThe Partisan Heart

The Italian Alps,1944. The Resistance is fighting a bitter battle against German forces on the treacherous mountains of the Valtellina. Eighteen-year-old Sandro Bellini falls in love with the wife of his Commander. No good can come of it.

London,1999. Michael Keats is mourning the death of his wife, killed in a hit and run accident in Northern Italy. His discovery that she had been having an affair devastates him and he sets out to find the identity of her lover.

That journey leads him to the villages of the Valtellina, where he becomes embroiled in a crime of treachery and revenge. The brutal repercussions of the war are still reverberating, and as Michael uncovers the truth of his wife’s affair, he reveals five decades of duplicity and deception.

The book is available now at Amazon UKAmazon US, Waterstones and I’m sure many more bookstores.


THE TOUR CONTINUES

The blog tour is nearing it’s end but there’s still plenty of time to visit the other stops to learn more about the book, the author and the fascinating history of Valtellina.

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Review: Close to the Edge by Toby Faber #blogtour @MuswellPress @Toby_Faber #ClosetotheEdge

Today I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Close to the Edge, an exciting new thriller by Toby Faber set in and around the London Underground. Before I say anything else I want to say a big thank you to Muswell Press and Brownlee Donald Associates for inviting me on to the tour and sending me a copy of the book.


THE BOOKClose to the Edge

Morning rush hour on the London tube. Laurie Bateman is on her way to work when she witnesses a terrible accident. Only later does she realise that what she has seen is potentially much more sinister.

Compelled to investigate, Laurie breaks into the Underground at night to look for clues. The ambush comes out of nowhere, forcing Laurie to flee for her life through pitch black tunnels and deserted stations.

The hunter has become the hunted.

.


MY REVIEW

The London Underground is truly the star of this new thriller by Toby Faber as it makes the perfect setting for an original and engaging story. I was hooked from the first page until the very last.

The story follows Laurie, who on the way to work one morning witnesses a man falling in front of a train. When the police decide to write it off as a suicide despite Laurie’s statement she starts to reexamine what she saw and begins an investigation of her own into who he was and just what happened on that platform. When she makes some unexpected discoveries odd things start to occur in her own life and it seems that someone may not want her to uncover the truth.

I have to admit this story did not go in the direction I was expecting. There are elements to it that are predictable and which I guessed but there were a lot more that I really didn’t see coming and as someone who reads a lot of thrillers I loved that. I’m not often a fan of the amateur detective story, I can never understand why they don’t just go to the police, but in this case it works incredibly well and I enjoyed following Laurie’s methodical research and investigation.

Laurie makes for a great main character and I really liked how she developed and grew over the course of the story. In the beginning she seems very flat, going through the motions at work, no real friends other than her flatmate/cousin and no romantic prospects. Seeing someone killed by a train is obviously horrifying and extremely traumatic but it seems to shock her out of the daze she’s been living in. As she begins to investigate her interest and passion spreads to more than just getting to the truth and it is wonderful to see her start to live her life and take pleasure in things.

I also have to say how much I loved Laurie’s dad as a character and the relationship between them was portrayed incredibly well. It’s rare to see father/daughter relationships in books so it made for a welcome addition to the story.

The real highlight of this story for me however was the setting. Faber has a real gift for description and the story is full of those little details that bring places and situations to life. I’m not sure whether he’s drawing from his own experiences (he has had a rather varied career) or extensive research but it all felt very authentic and believable. It does feel like you’re very much in each moment experiencing everything Laurie does, whether that’s running through underground tunnels in the dead of night, exploring abandoned stations or even just doing every day things like enjoying a family lunch, fighting with spreadsheets at work or galloping across a field on a horse (ok those last two are probably just me).

As there is a lot of detail and character development I wouldn’t necessarily say it was a fast paced read but there is still plenty of action and quite a few scenes that had me absolutely gripped. There were also a couple of scenes that I found very uncomfortable to read, some of that is down to my own issues but there is one scene in particular I think most will find disturbing.

Overall this is a really enjoyable read and it’s clear that a lot of work has gone into getting all of the details just right. It’s unexpected and has just enough twists to keep you guessing till the very last page.


ABOUT THE AUTHORRelated image

Toby Faber was a banker and management consultant before joining the family firm in 1996. He was MD of Faber for four years and remains on the board; he is also chairman of Faber Music. He has written two highly praised works of non-fiction, Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, this is his first novel. He lives in London with his family.


THE TOUR

The blog tour is on until the 19th so make sure you check out all of the stopsthumbnail_Blog Tour_FB_v04.jpg

Meet The Author: Ruth Ware #BloodyScotland #BlogTour #MeetTheAuthor @BloodyScotland @RuthWareWriter

Today I’m thrilled to be taking part in the Bloody Scotland Meet the Author Blog Tour. Bloody Scotland takes place on the 21st-23rd September (next weekend) in Stirling and promises to be a lot of fun. For my stop on the tour I’m delighted to feature the wonderful Ruth Ware who is appearing at the festival on Saturday the 22nd September with Mel McGrath and Caroline Mitchell (tickets available here).

You can find more details on Ruth’s latest book The Death of Mrs Westaway, together with information on Bloody Scotland and the other stops on the tour further down but I’ll stop my rambling and let Ruth do the talking.


Meet The Author: Ruth Ware

Ruth WareI’m pretty sure most people will have heard of you but for those who haven’t can you tell them a bit about yourself?

Ha, it would be nice to think so but I refer you to Ian Rankin’s anecdote about getting barred from his own event! Well, I am the author of four psychological crime thrillers, In a Dark, Dark Wood (death on a hen night), The Woman in Cabin 10 (death on a cruise), The Lying Game (death at boarding school) and The Death of Mrs Westaway (which despite being the only one with death actually in the title, is about a woman conning a family of strangers out of their inheritance). Their style can probably be conveyed most economically by telling you that the two authors I’m most frequently compared to in reviews are Gillian Flynn, and Agatha Christie. If you can imagine a point somewhere between those two styles, that’s me!

Your latest book, The Death of Mrs Westaway is getting great reviews (and deservedly so). Can you tell us a little about it and where you got the inspiration for it?

Thank you so much! That’s nice to hear. As usual, the points of inspiration are too many and various to sum up, it would take a novel to list them all, but the core is probably my main character Hal, who is a cynical tarot reader (she does not believe in the power of the cards, but uses her cold reading skills to tell her clients what she thinks they want to hear). Hal is in dire financial straits when, out of the blue, she receives a letter telling her that she’s inherited a substantial bequest. Although Hal knows the letter has been sent to the wrong person, she sets out to claim the money.

I think Hal came about from the fact that I had written three novels essentially about ordinary women in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are caught up in extraordinary events, but they are basically just ordinary, well meaning people. With my fourth book I knew I wanted to do something very different, so I set about creating a character who has her own agenda, someone who sets out to commit a crime, and in doing so sets the whole mechanism of the plot in motion. That was Hal.

You’re appearing at Bloody Scotland with Caroline Mitchell and Mel McGrath can you tell us a little about your event? What should we expect?

Gosh, well, that’s a question, I honestly don’t know! We all know each other, so knowing Caroline and Mel, I am sure we’ll have a good laugh, but we haven’t prepared anything. The event title is about family (a theme all our novels share) so I’m sure there will be some discussion of how toxic those ties can be and why it’s such fertile ground for crime novelists, but knowing crime events, I imagine that will just be the starting point.

What do you look forward to most when attending a book festival?

Meeting readers and other authors. The crime community is astounding in its enthusiasm and generosity, and every festival reminds me of how lucky I am to be part of this brilliant landscape.

For those attending your event, are there any questions you always hope you’ll be asked or any you dread?

None that I dread really – I often get asked about progress on the film adaptations of my books (the first three have all been optioned for either film or TV) and the truth is that anything I know is either already out on the internet and well known, or else confidential so I can’t share it, which means I spend a lot of time shrugging and apologising for not being able to tell the audience anything! My favourites are always the questions I didn’t see coming.

You’ve had a lot of success with your writing but what has been the highlight of your career so far?

Probably getting on the New York Times bestseller list. I still pinch myself when I think of that moment – it was the first time I think I really realised that this book was going to be read by a lot more people than my friends and family.

If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice what would it be?

Have faith – and have a bit of confidence in your work. I spent a lot of time writing and not doing anything with the manuscripts, because I didn’t think they were good enough. I don’t regret that exactly, all those unpublished books were a good apprenticeship, and it meant that when I did finally pluck up the courage to sub to agents, I had confidence that I had written 100,000 word manuscripts many times, and could do so again, even if this one didn’t sell. But it would have been nice to have a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel.

What are you working on at the moment? What can we expect next from Ruth Ware?

Another book – obviously! Deep in writing book 5 at the moment, but it’s at the ugly duckling stage so I can’t talk too much about it.

Finally, what books are you currently reading or would you recommend?

Currently reading Red Snow by Will Dean. If you like Nordic Noir novels with dogged, complicated women at their heart, this will be just your cup of tea.


The Death of Mrs WestawayThe Death of Mrs. Westaway

THE BLURB : From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, and The Lying Game comes Ruth Ware’s highly anticipated fourth novel.

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it.

Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

BUY IT HERE: Amazon UKWaterstonesAmazon USBook Depository


About Bloody Scotland

Bloody Scotland established itself as the leading Scottish International Crime Writing Festival in 2012 with acclaimed writers Lin Anderson and Alex Gray at the helm, then joined by Craig Robertson and Gordon Brown. Based in Stirling, Bloody Scotland has brought hundreds of crime writers new and established to the stage with always enthusiastic attendees who make the festival every bit as much as the writers do.

Priding ourselves as the literary festival where you can let down your hair and enjoy a drink at the bar with your favourite crime writer, we strive to put on entertaining as well as informative events during a weekend in September, covering a range of criminal subjects from fictional forensics, psychological thrillers, tartan noir, cosy crime and many more. With an international focus at the heart of Bloody Scotland, we are always looking to bring in crime writing talent from outside of Scotland whom you may not have heard about. You might, however, knows us for our annual Scotland vs England football cup which always draws a crowd and inevitably ends in tears for someone…

The Bloody Scotland Team 2018: Lin Anderson, Gordon Brown, Craig Robertson, Jenny Brown, Muriel Binnie, Catriona Reynolds, Bob McDevitt, Laura Jones, Abir Mukherjee, Fiona Brownlee & Tim Donald


This will be my second year at Bloody Scotland and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you’re in the area (or can make it up to sunny* Stirling) and interested in attending any of the events, you can find details in The Brochure.

(*Sunshine not guaranteed but it’s mostly indoors anyway)


The Tour

The Bloody Scotland Meet the Authors blog tour continues until the 21st September. Details of all stops and authors below.

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