I’ve had two rather special posts in the last couple of days, which is good to see, especially when one comes from America. Also, each came with some tasty ‘bits and bobs’! Neither is due out for a while, but I want to get the word out now, as they both look intriguing.
THE BLOODLESS BOY by Robert J. Lloyd
This sounds like the literary equivalent of a Restoration banquet of many rich courses, each more piquant than the preceding one – and a dramatic contrast to the grim years of he Protectorate. From that broad hint you may already have guessed that the novel is set in the London of Charles II. it is 1678, and the main character is a man of whom I first became aware while struggling to comprehend ‘O’ Level Physics back in the 1960s. We had to study Hooke’s Law (and I failed, dismally) but Robert Hooke was a polymath who has been called “England’s Leonardo“, and he is the central character of this story. He is called upon to investigate the gruesome death of a boy, found on a London riverbank, completely drained of blood. To extend the banquet metaphor, the menu includes a suspected Catholic plot, sinister foreign assassins, wild political intrigue, and a London slowly being rebuilt after the disaster of 1666. The Bloodless Boy is published by Melville House, and will be available on 2nd November. Look out for a full review when the blog tour launches.
NINETY-FIVE by Lisa Towles
Lisa Towles is a very smart lady who works in the California tech industry, and she also a fine writer. I reviewed two earlier books, The Unseen (2019) and Choke (2017) Her latest novel features a young man called Zak Skinner who is – to be blunt – something of a mess. Avoiding awkward decisions and ignoring reality are two of his predominant life-skills, and he has just solved problems he was having at New York University by running away – to the University of Chicago. Zak may not be someone on whom you would rely in a crisis, but he is not stupid, and when he discovers a campus crime scam that involves drugs, coercion and blackmail, his talent for being inquisitive unearths an even bigger criminal operation, which puts him in the gun sight cross-hairs of some very dangerous people. Ninety-Five will be available from Indies United Publishing House on 24th November, and I will write a review nearer the time.