To Read – March 2017

Here are some books I’m really excited to have on my TBR list for the next few months! I tried to get ahead on my Netgalley/ review books and I did but then I ruined it by requesting loads more / accepting lots more book review requests, but they all look amazing so it’s a good thing really!

Here’s what I’ll be reading this month!

The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman – Mindy Mejia


Seventeen-year-old Hattie Hoffman is a talented actress, loved by everyone in her Minnesotan hometown. So when she’s found stabbed to death on the opening night of her school play, the tragedy rips through the fabric of the community.

Local sheriff Del Goodman, a good friend of Hattie’s dad, vows to find her killer, but the investigation yields more secrets than answers; it turns out Hattie played as many parts offstage as on. Told from three perspectives: Del’s, Hattie’s high school English teacher and Hattie herself, The Last Act of Hattie Hoffman tells the story of the real Hattie, and what happened that final year of school when she dreamed of leaving her small town behind . . .

Wonderfully evocative of its Midwestern setting and with a cast of unforgettable characters, this is a book about manipulation of relationships and identity, about the line between innocence and culpability, about the hope love offers and the tragedies that occur when it spins out of control.


First Comes Love – Emily Giffin


What happens when love, marriage and children don’t come in the expected order?

Fifteen years after the tragic death of their older brother splintered Josie and Meredith’s already fragile relationship, the two sisters are following very different paths.

Hardworking, reserved Meredith thought she’d done it all the right way round – married the perfect man, had the perfect daughter – but now she’s wondering if she got the love part wrong.

Impulsive and spirited Josie has been single for years. She wants a child so much that she’s preparing to head straight for the baby carriage all on her own.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and secrets from the past surface, Josie and Meredith must come to terms with their own choices. Perhaps they’ll find that they need each other more than they know…


Everything But The Truth – Gillian McAllister


Just how much can you trust the person you love?

Everything but the Truth is Gillian McAllister’s stunning breakthrough thriller about deceit, betrayal and one woman’s compulsive need to uncover the truth

It all started with the email.

Rachel didn’t even mean to look. She loves Jack and she’s pregnant with their child. She trusts him.

But now she’s seen it, she can’t undo that moment. Or the chain of events it has set in motion.

Why has Jack been lying about his past? Just what exactly is he hiding? And doesn’t Rachel have a right to know the truth at any cost?

Black Widow – Chris Brookmyre


Diana Jager is clever, strong and successful, a skilled surgeon and fierce campaigner via her blog about sexism. Yet it takes only hours for her life to crumble when her personal details are released on the internet as revenge for her writing.

Then she meets Peter. He’s kind, generous, and knows nothing about her past: the second chance she’s been waiting for.

Within six months, they are married. Within six more, Peter is dead in a road accident, a nightmare end to their fairytale romance.

But Peter’s sister Lucy doesn’t believe in fairytales, and tasks maverick reporter Jack Parlabane with discovering the dark truth behind the woman the media is calling Black Widow…

Let the Dead Speak – Jane Casey


When eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home she finds her mother missing, the house covered in blood. Everything points to murder, except for one thing: there’s no sign of the body.

London detective Maeve Kerrigan and the homicide team turn their attention to the neighbours. The ultra-religious Norrises are acting suspiciously; their teenage daughter and Chloe Emery definitely have something to hide. Then there’s William Turner, once accused of stabbing a schoolmate and the neighborhood’s favorite criminal. Is he merely a scapegoat, or is there more behind the charismatic facade?

As a body fails to materialize, Maeve must piece together a patchwork of testimonies and accusations. Who is lying, and who is not? And soon Maeve starts to realize that not only will the answer lead to Kate Emery, but more lives may hang in the balance.

Dead Embers – Matt Brolly


An explosive fire. A double murder. And that’s just the start…

When DCI Michael Lambert is called out to an apparent house fire, he knows it can’t be routine. Instead he finds the remains of a burnt house, a traumatised child and two corpses – one of whom is a senior police officer.

Lambert’s got other problems. Anti-corruption are onto his boss. His relationships is on the rocks. He can’t get over his ex-wife and he keeps blacking out.

But when a detective has been murdered the stakes are too high to get distracted. All is not as it seems. As the investigation continues Lambert realises he is getting drawn into something altogether bigger and more terrifying than he could ever have imagined…

Trust no one.

The Missing Ones – Patricia Gibney


The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror.

The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’

When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.


Fire Damage – Kate Medina


When psychologist Dr Jessie Flynn starts counselling Sami, the four-year-old son of an injured Major, she begins to suspect that his trauma runs deeper than his family have led her to believe. Why does he refer to himself as “the girl”? And who is the “Shadowman” who instils such terror in her patient?

Meanwhile, Flynn’s former patient, Captain Ben Callan, is investigating the controversial death of an officer in Afghanistan. Shot only days before he was due to arrive home, there is only one suspect – a fellow soldier who is refusing to talk.

Flynn and Callan’s cases converge when a dead body is found washed up on a Sussex beach, revealing a connection between Sami and the dead soldier. And it soon becomes clear that what seemed to have its origins in Afghanistan began with a secret much closer to home.


What have you got planned to read this month? Are any of these books on your list?


WWW Wednesday [25 January 2017]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself – as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments. I’d love to see your answers too!

Well, as usual I’ve left it ages since the last WWW Wednesday – far more than a week’s worth, I should point out – it’s been about a month! So there’ll be plenty here!

The three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What have you finished reading?

The Book of Mirrors – E.O. Chirovici
Relativity – Antonia Hayes
The One – John Marrs (and I currently have a giveaway where you can win a paperback copy too!)

What are you currently reading?

Actually reading FOUR books this week – I usually only let myself read one at a time, but I’ve started a few paperbacks then happened to only have my kindle with me, and vice versa…

Blue Light Yokohama – Nicolas Obregon (review to follow soon)
The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion (review to follow soon)
A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson (on hold until I get other books read)
The Breakdown – B A Paris

What will you read next?

The Witchfinder's Sister - Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown – can’t wait to read this!

What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

Why not add me as a friend on Goodreads!

WWW Wednesday [18 January 2017]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself – as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments. I’d love to see your answers too!

Well, as usual I’ve left it ages since the last WWW Wednesday – far more than a week’s worth, I should point out – it’s been about a month! So there’ll be plenty here!

The three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What have you finished reading?

The Perfect Blend – Tess Masters
Sheet Pan Suppers – Molly Gilbert
The Watcher – Ross Armstrong
Little Deaths – Emma Flint
Good Me, Bad Me – Ali Land
Bridget Jones’s Baby – Helen Fielding
The Fifth Letter – Nicola Moriarty
A Boy Made of Blocks – Keith Stuart (I’d read this before but republished my review as part of the blog tour, as it’s just come out in paperback!)
The Girl Before – JP Delaney (review to follow soon)
Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough (review to follow soon)

What are you currently reading?

The Best of Adam Sharp – Graeme Simsion
A God in Ruins – Kate Atkinson

What will you read next?

I think I’ll read:

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown
The Breakdown – B A Paris

…but I don’t often end up reading what I think I will!

What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

Why not add me as a friend on Goodreads!

My January Review List

Happy New Year (and Happy Birthday to me – couldn’t resist!)

In 2017 I’m looking forward to reading a whole array of brilliant-sounding books (and I hope they live up to expectations)!

As much as I’d love to just pick a book from my bookshelf (or Kindle) at random because I fancy it at that time, I have a whole load of books that, for whatever reason (usually review deadlines etc), I prioritise each month. I do try to keep track of them all, and I’ve been really bad in the past at accepting too many book reviews or getting click-happy on Netgalley and ending up massively behind on posting my reviews because, though I love reading, sometimes life – including my job and actually seeing other people! – gets in the way.

So, here are my ‘to read’ books for January. Some I’ve already read so the reviews will be live on my blog in January (if you want to see what I thought now though, then check out my Goodreads here) but some are still to be read, so we’ll see if I manage them all!

Little Deaths – Emma Flint

The Beautiful Dead – Belinda Bauer

Watch Her Disappear – Eva Dolan

Kill the Father – Dazieri, Sandrone

The One – Marrs, John

The Fifth Letter – Nicola Moriarty

Behind Her Eyes – Sarah Pinborough

Good Me, Bad Me – Ali Land

The Book of Mirrors – E.O. Chirovici

The Girl Before – J P Delaney

What are you planning on reading / reviewing in the month of January?


WWW Wednesday [21 September 2016]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself – as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments – and I’d love to see your answers too!

It’s been a little while since I’ve last posted a WWW post… that’s an understatement actually – I haven’t posted one since 13 July! I looked back at the last one and couldn’t believe it! So I’ll pick a selection of books I’ve finished reading instead of listing every single one!

The three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?


What have you finished reading?

The Night Stalker – Robert Bryndza

Dear AmyHelen Callaghan

The Fire Child – S.K. Tremayne

Black Water Lillies – Michel Bussi

A Modern Way to Cook – Anna Jones

Courage Resurrected – R Scott Mackay

The Woman in Cabin 10 – Ruth Ware

The Last One – Alexandra Oliva

Truly Madly Guilty – Liane Moriarty

Local Girl Missing – Claire Douglas

Taste of Persia – Naomi Duguid

What are you currently reading?

The Empathy Problem - Gavin Extence

The Empathy Problem – Gavin Extence
Spoiler: I’m HUGELY enjoying this so far, so I’m almost certain it will be a good review unless the second half really lets me down – here’s hoping it doesn’t!


What will you read next?

My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
I received a physical copy of this, which is always lovely (as much as I appreciate and enjoy ebooks, to me there’s nothing like holding an actual book in my hands). I’m really looking forward to starting this.

The Perfect Girl by Gilly Macmillan
This is a Netgalley approval which I’m so excited about! I’m slowly but surely getting through my Netgalley list (except I keep seeing amazing new books and requesting more so it never really goes down! I’m determined to get it down to just a few though)

What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

Why not add me as a friend on Goodreads!

On Track For Murder by Stephen Childs

Stephen Childs [author spotlight]

BlogivalI am so pleased to today have author Stephen Childs on the blog, sharing the inspiration behind his new novel, On Track For Murder. It’s set in the 19th century and follows 18 year old Abigail as she tries to track down her father’s killer. With lots of mystery and adventure, it sounds like a great read!

It’s all part of Clink Street’s Blogival, which runs from 1- 30 June; find out more here.

On Track For Murder

Author Stephen ChildsOn Track for Murder is my debut murder mystery novel. Set in 1889 in Western Australia, the main character is eighteen year old Abigail Sergeant, freshly arrived from England with her younger brother in tow, dreaming of a better life.

My plan to author a full length fiction work was born of my own sea change. My wife and I had made the decision to leave behind our corporate executive life and head for warmer climes in search of much needed quality time for ourselves and our family. Perth, in Western Australia, became our new home. And I was instantly inspired.

Inspiration is a wonderful thing. It’s like a seed, the promise of magnificent blooms secured within. Yet without motivation and action, inspiration remains dormant; the seed stays dry in its packet. My love of storytelling had remained dormant since I was a child. Now, with time available to spend with my family, that love was to be revived.

How did it happen? We had taken a trip to a local railway museum. As we wandered around my son began regaling me with tales of exploding boilers and runaway trains. His mind was awash with fabulous stories. It took me back to my own childhood, when I would bombard my parents with equally bizarre fabrications. On that trip I spent considerable time – more than my son felt reasonable – staring at old black and white photographs: early train crews forging routes to remote outback towns, defying the harshness of the environment in their resolve to expand the colony. My interest had been piqued.

With time now my friend I set about searching the West Australian records. I was entranced. Most people know of the establishment of Sydney as a British penal colony. Yet few know of the growth of Perth and Albany as essentially commercial enterprises designed to secure the region for the British Empire. I couldn’t ignore this fascination. I was moved to action.

On Track For Murder by Stephen ChildsOddly, it was a diversion from Australian history that brought about the idea for a young female lead character. I was perusing old transport records when I stumbled upon a compelling historical account. Unrelated to Australian history it was the story of Bertha Benz, wife of Karl Benz, inventor of the Patent Motorwagen, the first successful automobile. Bertha had been inspired by their invention and had embarked, without her husband’s knowledge, on a mammoth 65 mile journey across Germany, taking two of her children with her. During the journey she managed to effect necessary repairs to the vehicle and arrived unscathed at her destination, hailed as a heroine. This story inspired the creation of Abigail Sergeant: a woman for whom the impending journey appears impossible, yet driven by her self-belief she manages to overcome and succeed.
I was inspired and motivated. I had my location, time period and main character. Now what to do with them?

I have always been fascinated by the way we humans communicate. As part of my work in the business world I am called upon to create and edit documents that form the basis for decision making. These need to be formed with minimal ambiguity to avoid any possible misinterpretation.

It was essentially rebellion against this premise that drove my decision to pursue the mystery genre. I love the idea of presenting readers with evidence that can be interpreted many different ways, then tempting them with side issues and red herrings. I find this freedom to explore ambiguity and misdirection incredibly refreshing. A complete turn around from my conclusive work in the business world.

Thus I had my character inspired by Bertha Benz, my time period and location inspired by the amazing Western Australian landscape, and a genre inspired by a desire to break free from the confines of business writing.

I was inspired and I had the time to sit at my computer and write. Abigail Sergeant was created and On Track for Murder saw the light of day.

I love writing. I love seeing the story unfold as I type. So I continue to write. Abigail’s next adventure is well underway. I’ve also commenced work on an audiobook version, which will be perfect for those rush hour traffic jams.

I hope you enjoy reading On Track for Murder and the subsequent tales to follow.”

On Track For Murder is out to buy now from Amazon. View it on Goodreads here: On Track For Murder

TIm Connor Hits Trouble

Frank Lankaster [author spotlight]

BlogivalI am so pleased to today have author Frank Lankaster on the blog, sharing some fun facts about himself and his new novel, Tim Connor Hits Trouble.

It’s all part of Clink Street’s Blogival, which runs from 1- 30 June; find out more here.

TIm Connor Hits Trouble10 Things author Frank Lankaster wants you to know about him

As a young boy I was a bit of a ‘goodie goodie’ – I soon lost that!

At eleven years old I was sent off to a seminary – a Catholic boarding school aimed at training priests. It wasn’t much fun and I got out quickly and in time worked out my own way of life.

The best year in my life was in Vermont, USA.

I went there on a work exchange for a year in the mid-nineteen eighties. Vermont is so beautiful and the people so friendly and open, I had the time of my life. The only bad moment was when I crashed when ice-skating on Vermonts biggest lake, Champlain, and nearly decapitated myself. Ive never been skating again!

The toughest year of my life was starting out teaching in East London.

Full of youthful idealism I set out to educate the East End! I lasted a year but did go back for a while later.

I’ve written about what I know.

They say write about what you know and as I’ve spent most of my working life to date in higher education it’s not surprising that I’ve written a ‘campus novel’. It’s not an ‘ivory tower’ novel but written for our times when going to university is less a privilege and more of a routine, ordinary experience for many young people and even hard-worked academics.

I love travelling.

My last big trip was to Cuba – it was called ‘The Revolutionary Trail’. The group followed the march to power of the legendary Che Guevara but on our way it was all music, good food and rugged, varied terrain. I’m so glad that Presidents Obama and Castro are bringing the two countries closer together. My next place to visit will probably be along the North African coast or maybe Croatia.

If I can only play one game in my afterlife it will be tennis.

This is surprising as my dad and his brother were professional footballers and I might have been one myself. But I like the individualism of tennis whether it goes well or badly, it’s down to you.

Light on a dark horse.

I’ve often been considered ‘a bit of a dark horse’ and to be honest ‘Frank Lankaster’ is a writing name to give me a ‘clean slate’ and a bit of anonymity. I’ve always secretly wanted to write fiction. A novel may be less factual than academic work but it can get closer to personal truth. It can also be funnier and Tim Connor Hits Trouble is certainly full of humour.

I believe the ‘rise and rise’ of women will continue.

Maybe creating an age of women in which personal values, including caring about and for others, as well as career satisfaction will matter more than status and earning more and more money. Women are probably the best hope for humanising a still tough and brutal world.

To me younger people from the ‘noughties’ onwards seem more relaxed about what previous post-war younger generations had to battle for.

It’s good to see many young people tolerant and at ease with cultural and sexual diversity despite financial and career access issues. Some of the strongest and most interesting characters in Tim Connor Hits Trouble are women, especially Erica, his bi-sexual and sexually imaginative partner. The novel as a whole is quite physical and that’s certainly true of Tim and Erica.

I’m funny but serious.

But then life is like that. So is my novel – ‘laugh out loud’ but find some serious drama and themes about higher education and personal relationships as well.

Tim Connor Hits Trouble

Tim Connor Hits Trouble by Frank Lankaster (published by Clink Street Publishing RRP £9.99, RRP £4.99 ebook) is available to buy online from 25th March 2015 from retailers including and to order from all good bookstores.

Declan Milling [author spotlight]

BlogivalI am so pleased to today have author Declan Milling on the blog, sharing his inspiration behind his new novel, Carbon Black, a fast-moving story of corruption and murder; definitely one to add to the TBR list!

It’s all part of Clink Street’s Blogival, which runs from 1- 30 June; find out more here.

Carbon Black by Declan Milling

So, over to Declan:

“There are two principal sources to which the inspiration behind Carbon Black can be attributed: firstly, the country of Papua New Guinea; and secondly, the issue of climate change and the role of the carbon market as a way of addressing it. Where they intersect provides the fertile ground for the story.

Papua New Guinea offers an extraordinary mix of elements as a background setting. The natural resources and biodiversity are amazing – ever heard of a poisonous bird? At least two types have been identified there! But it’s not just the variety and numbers of exotic bird and animal species: insects, spiders (including the huge bird-eating spiders), fish, coral and other species abound. Then there’s the timber, fishing and mineral resources.

But while these aspects of Papua New Guinea provide an important platform for the story, it’s not all just about the resources, the fauna and flora. The people, their customs, traditions and superstitions all add to the mix. Headhunters, sorcery and witchcraft are still prevalent.

Combine this with corrupt government officials, foreign criminals and conmen – operators on the lookout for deals – law and order problems – and throw in a health epidemic in the form of AIDS, for good measure, and the brew gets even headier. And stories abound. Cannibalism and the rituals of eating body parts of important persons.

Random acts of criminality by raskols (pidgin English for bad men), felling trees on remote roads to stop vehicles, rob and sometimes kill their occupants. The continuing adherence to cargo cult. The colourful expatriates who also contribute to this picture, as the reader of Carbon Black will discover: long term residents who have seen too much tropical sun and maybe just a little bit too much booze.

Secondly, climate change is a fact for all of us and has been the subject of fiction over the years through the cli-fi genre. These have been mainly disaster novels: Carbon Black seeks to break that mould and give climate change a different airing. The carbon market and its role in addressing climate change is a contentious subject of debate and in Carbon Black it sets the scene – the battleground between proponents and anti-market protesters.

The story draws on the international bureaucrats, governments and the resource developers for its protagonists. Areas of conflict between these parties abound: they’re all interested in climate change for one reason or another – either as climate change deniers and sceptics, or as scientists, or as professionals trying to make the carbon market work as a way of addressing the problem.

The intersection of these two sources of inspiration provides the foundation for the storyline and situation for Carbon Black. From the conference and trade fair at the start of the novel, to the climactic visit to the project sites at the end, these two elements are interwoven throughout Carbon Black.”

Carbon Black

Carbon Black is available to buy now in paperback and kindle; visit Declan’s website and don’t forget to leave a review when you’ve finished the book! 🙂

Blogival logo

WWW Wednesday [20 April 2016]

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words.

Visit her blog to take a look, and get involved too if you can, even if you don’t have a blog yourself- as she says, you can leave your answers in the post comments- and I’d love to see your answers too!

The three W’s are:

  1. What have you finished reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?


What have you finished reading?

The Shadow Hour by Kate Riordan – really enjoyed this novel, but then I am a sucker for historical time-slip novels! Read my review here.

Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner: i absolutely LOVED this novel, and looking forward to reading future books in this new series. “Fans of well written, authentic crime/ police novels: this is definitely for you” – read my review here.

The Son in Law by Charity Norman – this was a book club choice (mine this month!) and one we all hugely enjoyed. It’s introduced me to Charity Norman’s books, as I hadn’t read any others by her before, and now I hope to read more of them! Read my review here.

What are you currently reading?

The People VS O.J Simpson by T.H. Johnson – due to other review copies taking precedence I still haven’t got too far with this – but hope to soon!

Scarlet Widow by Graham Masterton – I’m not too far into this yet but really enjoying it. It’s the first novel set in the 18th century that I’ve read in quite some time, and I’m finding the writing really engaging. I know he’s written other series which are quite different to this one, but haven’t read any of them myself.


The Weekend Wives by Christina HopkinsonWhat will you read next?

The Weekend Wives by Christina Hopkinson – this looks like a light-hearted, funny read that’s proibably just what I’ll need after some heavier reads. It looks like it’s had mixed reviews so I’m interested to see how it is!

What have you been reading recently? Any exciting books you’re looking forward to reading next?

If you do your own version of this tag please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to read your answers too!

Why not add me as a friend on Goodreads!

The Billion Pound Question by David York

[Author spotlight] David York, with tips on writing!

The Billion Pound Question by David York

Today I am excited to have a guest post written by David York, author of The Billion Pound Question. Here’s a synopsis of the story, and then read on for some of his great tips on writing for aspiring (or existing!) writers!


The unexpected death of reclusive businessman Tony Latimer in a plane crash after Christmas brings together an unusual mix of strangers from his unorthodox extended family. Their widely varied backgrounds in different countries and occupations, some legitimate, others very definitely not, contribute to the complex plot that emerges as the legalities of the intestate death are unravelled and Tony’s heirs move on with their lives and careers.

Frank Latimer, Bo Sung and Emily Tang are old school friends who have no idea that their families and fates are so closely connected, along with Thomas Latimer, until the aftermath of Tony’s death unites them again.

This family saga traces several generations of inter-related families in the UK, China and Hong Kong and examines in detail the logistics of drug smuggling, high finance and international relations. This fast-moving story comes to its conclusion with an exciting finale in a land-locked West African country.

The Billion Pound Question

[The Billion Pound Question – by David York]

My own life has included working in eighteen different countries, which has caused considerable disruption to what has turned out to be a happy family life. Whilst discussing an event that I and my youngest son had been involved in, we could not remember where we were when this event occurred. My son exclaimed that I must write about our family history to resolve future discussions, and I enjoyed doing just that and found writing quite easy. From this I was emboldened to try writing a novel. All fiction writers use their own life experiences, and those of other people who write or broadcast theirs, and that is just what I have done. I found it quite easy to start writing with only the haziest outline.

A tip that I would pass on to any aspiring writers is to create a list of characters and their details as you create them. I find that this is essential, as is a list of chapters and even paragraphs as the writing progresses. It was fascinating to resolve a dead end in the story by just creating a new character or killing off one already established.

The Lucky Banker, my first novel, established a billion pound fortune for a man who never married and whose illegitimate children, conceived at the request of their four different mothers, were never legitimised. His death in a plane crash without leaving a will raises a question regarding the beneficiaries who will inherit his billion pound fortune. The dead Billionaire journeyed in his life time from being a rather selfish loner, which helped in the accumulation of his wealth, to a generous guardian of a large happy family. My second novel attempts to relate the journey of two families from similar late nineteenth century poverty in Manchester, to their coming together as already wealthy beneficiaries of the Billionaire’s fortune.

The paternal Grandfather’s family reacts to poverty by justifying criminality, but with their own set of moral values. The maternal Grandmother’s family takes the Christian route, but never the less is drawn into illegality when their service to Britain’s intelligence services leaves them no choice. A Chinese family is drawn into the saga when the Manchester Methodist Missionary saves two boys from starvation. The older boy rises to become a highly placed communist party security official and over the period of his adult life he comes to recognise the similarities between Communism and Methodism, with a slight preference for Methodism as it seeks to achieve its aims peacefully.

Three beneficiaries meet when two of them start attending a British Public School at the age of eleven. The descendant of the Chinese official joins them under the guardianship of the third beneficiary who is older. During their successful time there and at Manchester University they become good friends and gradually work out their family relationships. Graduating some years before they receive their inheritance they are all drawn into their families illegal activities started by their previous generations, and they prosper, but not without considerable moral anxiety. Attitudes to; the European Union, the rise of Chinese Communism and its entry into world trade, the control of the worlds drug and other dangerous substances, the rise of modern terrorism, and the worlds refugee crisis; are all interwoven into the characters activities and thoughts.

With their inheritance after tax and their business success, the friends and their families control more than two billion pounds, but a series of tragedies forces the current generation to dig deep into the previous generation’s mistakes. This leads them into dangerous conflict with terrorism before they finally resolve to use their wealth for the good of all. My first novel ended in tragedy, but this one ends happily, but with just a hint that a third book could revive the dark side of the future?

For more information about ‘The Billion Pound Question’ please visit:

See other books by David York on Goodreads.

Definitely one to add to your ‘To Read’ list!

The Billion Pound Question