OUR KIND OF CRUELTY by Araminta Hall
I had the pleasure of meeting Araminta Hall (left) recently at a publisher’s ‘do’ and so I was doubly delighted when a copy of Our Kind of Cruelty arrived at Fully Booked Towers. It is due to be published later this year, and it concerns a couple, Mike and Verity, whose relationship features a deadly game called the Crave. Mike describes the rules:
“The rules of the Crave were very simple. V and I went to a nightclub in a pre-determined place a good way from where we lived, but entered separately. We made our way to the bar and stood far enough apart to seem that we weren’t together, but close enough that I could always keep her in vision.”
Verity basically makes herself very visible, catching the eyes of any lone male who might be interested, and then drawing him into her web with her stunning looks and overt sexuality. Then, the game kicks in:
“We have a signal: as soon as she raises her hand and pulls on the silver eagle she always wears around her neck I must act. In those dark throbbing rooms I would push through the mass of people, pulling at the useless man drooling over her, and ask him what he was doing talking to my girlfriend.”
When the relationship eventually sours, and Verity needs to move, she finds to her cost that the perverse twist in her relationship with Mike cannot be simply cast off like an unwanted piece of clothing.
Sounds a cracker, doesn’t it? The bad news is that you will have to wait until May to get your hands on a copy, but I can guarantee it will be worth the wait.
GIRL ON FIRE by Tony Parsons
I may as well continue the shameless name dropping and say that I was lucky enough to meet Tony Parsons (right) too, at the same Cornerstone event where I met Araminta Hall. He was full of fascinating background information about the mysterious and hidden world beneath The Old Bailey in London – the setting for an earlier DC Max Wolfe novel, The Hanging Club. Now, Max Wolfe returns with another London based case, but this time the stakes have ratcheted even higher. There is a very heated argument playing out on social media just now about what kind of city London has become, with acid attacks, knifings and terror threats becoming – some would say – commonplace. As topical as you like, Girl On Fire has terrorists using a drone to bring down an aircraft on a crowded London shopping centre, and in the ensuing chaos, Max Wolfe finds himself in clear and present danger. The book is due out in March, but I am going to pull rank and read my copy in the next few days. Why? Four words sum up Mr Parsons – top books, top bloke.