As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Orenda Books, 6 October 2016. ISBN:
Abuse within marriage has been very much in the news lately, largely
because of the radio story which has been hitting the headlines; but Michael J
Malone’s chilling psychological drama puts a different twist on it.
been tragically widowed before he was thirty, Andy Boyd never thought he’d find
love again. But then he meets Anna. Unfortunately she is not all she seems; her
own past has left her damaged, as Andy begins to discover when they have been
married only a few hours.
Over the next few years, Andy’s entire life takes a downward spiral as Anna
not only corrodes his confidence and ability to concentratebut also drives a wedge between him and his
family. Like many people, I have often wondered why abused spouses don’t simply
walk away, but this novel makes it very plain that sometimes it just isn’t that
Domestic drama of this kind could become a little repetitive, and to
avoid this pitfall Malone weaves another strand through the heartrending
accounts of violence and denigration. Money has been going missing at the bank
where Andy is a manager, and as the powers-that-be launch their investigation,
in addition to the treatment meted out to him at home, he also has to deal with
his immediate boss, who is not only inefficient but thoroughly disagreeable as
The resulting tale makes for a gripping read based around well-drawn
characters it’s easy to care about, though it’s not without a few flaws. Malone
is an award-winning poet, so the quality of the writing is impeccable –
occasionally, perhaps, a little too much so; stopping to admire a beautiful
phrase or image can hold up the narrative as effectively as wincing at an
unfortunate one. And if Malone believes a two-year-old remains unaffected by
tensions at home, he can’t know many two-year-olds.
But these are minor points; taken overall, Michael J Malone has done a
grand job of raising consciousness about a very human issue without resorting
to preachiness. It just goes to show that fiction is an excellent medium for
illustrating big truths.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Michael J Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns'
country, just a stone's throw from the great man's cottage in Ayr. Well, a
stone thrown by a catapult, maybe. He has published over 200 poems in literary
magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland
and Markings. Blood Tears, his debut
novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge:Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association
of Writers and when it was published he added a "J" to his name to
differentiate it from the work of his talented U.S. namesake. He can be found
on twitter - @michaelJmalone1
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.