Book reviews

Val McDermid’s highly anticipated 2020 ‘New Blood’ showcase is announced today

 
I’m delighted to share Val McDermid’s highly anticipated 2020 ‘New Blood’ showcase, which is announced today:

Jessica Moor (Keeper)

Deepa Anappara (Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line)

Elizabeth Kay (Seven Lies)

Trevor Wood (The Man on the Street).

T his year, Deepa Anappara has been selected for her part coming-of-age, part detective mystery Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, a heart-breaking and thought-provoking social commentary of modern India’s slums that has been recognised for the Women’s Prize. Elizabeth Kay is on the list for her explosive Seven Lies, taking domestic noir to a whole new level in a deliciously dark blurring of truth and lies, and Jessica Moore is recognised for her brutal and beautiful Keeper, the addictive literary thriller that has had everyone talking. Concluding this year’s New Blood contingent is Trevor Wood and his debut The Man on the Street, a gritty thriller set on the streets of Newcastle.

This annual curation from the ‘queen of crime’ of the hottest debut voices taking the crime and thriller by storm helps readers find new favourites, and gives a platform to new writers, with alumni including Clare Mackintosh, SJ Watson and Stuart MacBride. 

Val McDermid said: “I know exactly what I’m looking for on my quest: fresh and distinctive voices, a well-told, convincing story and the almost indefinable sense that these authors all have much more to say. Deepa, Elizabeth, Jessica and Trevor tick all of these boxes and more, and if this year’s debuts share a theme, it is the irresistible and devastating way in which crime fiction shines a light on our times: homelessness, domestic violence, child trafficking and mental health are all dissected with an unflinching gaze.”

 

Val’s event with these rising stars is traditionally the highlight of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, part of Harrogate International Festivals’ year round programme of events, and as this year’s festival was cancelled due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the showcase will be streamed on the festival’s HIF Player on what would have been the legendary weekender, Saturday 25 July 2020.

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Book reviews, Contemporary fiction, Novella

If Cats Could Talk Would They Cry? by Anatoli Scholz – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

One morning Julie wakes up to find herself transformed into a cat. Around her nothing else seems to have changed, her little Parisian studio apartment still smelling of last night’s opened bottle of Bourgogne. The world is still turning. Julie stretches and yawns and decides to take a moment to relax in her new skin. That’s when the knocks on her door begin. They come one at a time, some from her present, some from her past. Friends, family, they all confront the new feline, who has to slowly understand that this new perspective may not allow her to deal with her past as she had done before. She has to decide whether to confront it or escape it all, the city, and any remaining part of her humanity. 

A modern “Metamorphosis” that speaks to the themes of our time: isolation, identity and desperation for connection.

An entertaining novella with a philosophical outlook, If Cats Could Talk… Would They Cry introduces Julie Galles. An introvert in an extrovert’s world, Julia is stuck in a rut, until the day she wakes up as a cat. Can a feline perspective help her to reconnect with humanity?

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MY REVIEW 

One morning Julie wakes up and finds she is now a cat….a little ginger cat with white paws.

There’s no real sense of panic as she settles for a doze…..

Her friend arrives and after a brief faint, she calls Julie’s mother and they take a trip to the park. Here they meet Julie’s sister and park warden, Patrice, as they try to work out how and why Julie is now a cat.

This is a charming read, it’s a short novella but full of gentle philosophy. What it is to be human, what our lives mean to us and how we perceive those close to us.

Lovely illustrations throughout too. A gentle, thought provoking read.

Thank you to Ben at Cameron Publicity and Marketing for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.

 

Purchase link : https://amzn.to/2YapTCA 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

 

Anatoli Scholz was born in Moscow and raised in the US, Germany and Ireland. He has never lived in one place for more than two years and he speaks seven languages. He currently lives in Spain; before that he lived in Paris, in the very road where this book is set. This is his third book.