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COMPETITION . . . Win the new Tom Thorne novel!

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First up, read my review of Their Little Secret. Back in the day when I was too busy earning a living to be able to spend time on a book review website, I had to get books from my local library. One of the authors I revered the most was Mark Billingham, and my joy at finding an unread Tom Thorne novel on the ‘B’ shelves of the Crime Fiction section was genuine.

I’ll be quite blunt now. Running this website doesn’t bring in any money, and the only costs to me are the postage when sending out competition prizes. BUT – and it’s a huge BUT – publishers and publicists trust me with their books, and I have a lovely To Be Read pile thanks to their generosity. Occasionally, I’m able to read a book on my Kindle while still having a print copy of the novel in question. Then, I usually offer the untouched book as a competition prize. So who fancies Their Little Secret?

Ican’t make it too random, so here’s a little decider. You can answer by email to fullybooked2016@yahoo.com putting Their Little Secret in the subject box. Alternatively, you can follow Fully Booked on Twitter, and send me your answer as a private message. Don’t just Tweet the answer, as you will give the game away! Tom Thorne loves his music, but which genre is he most likely to put on his CD player at the end of a long day, when he slumps on his sofa with a beer in hand? Make your choice and let me know your answer. The competition will close at 10.00pm UK time on Sunday 12th May, and a winner will be drawn from the digital hat.

Tom Thorne’s favourite music is ….?

Baroque

or is it …

Death Metal

or could it be …

Country

or how about …?

Celtic

 BEST OF LUCK – AND HAPPY READING!

COMPETITION . . . Win the new Bryant & May novel!

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PRIZE DRAW . . . Win Hugh Fraser’s Stealth!

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THIS IS PRETTY MUCH THE STANDARD REACTION from those in the know when some foolish functionary in a 1960s London gang decides that Rina Walker is a fragile female who can be taken out of circulation. Rina is a born killer, with fists, firearms, blades – or anything that happens to be handy.

NOW SHE IS BACK in the fourth novel of Hugh Fraser’s popular series. If you would like to win a copy of Stealth (published by Urbane on 8th October) you have three ways to enter the prize draw.

Email

Simply email me at fullybooked2016@yahoo.com, and put ‘Stealth’ as the subject

Twitter

Retweet or like one of the posts about Stealth on the Fully Booked Twitter feed (image link below). These regular posts will link directly to the review of the novel.

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Facebook

Just click the ‘like’ option on the Fully Booked Facebook page, (image link below)

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Competition closes at 10.00pm GMT on Sunday 7th October. The winner will be notified via social media.

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PRIZE DRAW …Win Chris Nickson’s The Hanging Psalm

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I YIELD TO NO-ONE in my admiration of Chris Nickson and his Leeds historical crime novels, and so it is with a heavy heart that I am launching this competition to win a prize that is so gorgeous, I am tempted to assume an alias and enter the draw myself.

THE HANGING PSALM is a dark and brooding novel set in Georgian Leeds, and is a tale steeped in revenge, murder, astonishing period detail and a certain amount of social anger.

MAY I SUGGEST two small steps? First, click the blue link to read my review of The Hanging Psalm. Then, email me at fullybooked2016@yahoo.com – no need to do any more than put ‘The Hanging Psalm’ in the subject box. Alternatively, if you are a Facebook user, go to the Fully Booked Facebook page and ‘like’ the post about this competition. The image link below will take you straight there.

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PROBABLY EVEN EASIER, if you belong to the Twitterati, is to either like or retweet my daily posts about this competition. Click the little blue bird below to go the Fully Booked Twitter timeline.

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ENTRIES please by 10.00pm GMT on Sunday 30th September. The winner will be drawn from the Fully Booked digital hat, with United Nations observers present to ensure fair play. One entry per person only, please, and I will let the lucky winner know sometime on Monday 1st October.

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BODY AND SOUL . . . Between the covers

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A police detective may like to think he can just walk away from the job that has consumed most of his adult life. He is entitled to believe that a new life in a remote Cornish cottage will wash away the blood of the countless victims whose cases he has investigated, and wipe the images of their broken bodies from his eyes. If anyone is entitled to joys of retirement, it is Frank Elder.

But being a copper isn’t the only thing he has walked away from. There is the wife who betrayed his trust, but more crucially there is the daughter, Katherine whose own life has been fractured, partly by her parents falling out of love, but more savagely by the fact that she herself was at the heart of one of Elder’s cases, when she was abducted, abused and violated by a psychotic killer.

Body and SoulWhile Elder whittles away his time helping out the local police force with difficult cases, and his wife gets on with her own life, Katherine is eking out an existence in a North London flat share, trying to hide the scars – both real and figurative – of her abduction. She has taken to modelling for life drawing classes in an effort to pay the rent independent of her mother’s generosity, and this has led her into a relationship with a highly respected artist whose career is on a definite upward surge.

When the artist is found brutally murdered on the floor of his studio, Elder is drawn into the case, first as a suspect himself, albeit briefly, but then in defence of Katherine who the police, in the absence of any other suspects or motives, have decided is a person of interest.

What follows is a multi-faceted precious stone. We have a police procedural, viewed largely through the eyes of the investigating officer in London. We have a whodunnit? with a clever set of misdirections – and clues both false and real. We have John Harvey’s quietly elegant prose, clever observation of character and deep sympathy for decent but flawed individuals who have made wrong choices in their lives. But then – and it is an explosive “but then” – something happens, something unthinkable, something potentially life-changing for Elder and his family, and the whole focus of the novel swings violently in an unforeseen direction.

In my mind I am moving this fine novel from the shelf marked Crime Fiction to the place where I put memorable books that leave a lasting impression. Call them literary fiction if you will, but names and categories aren’t worth a penny piece. Body and Soul is an elegy on everlasting themes that have seared the hearts of great writers down the years. It is about death; it is about regret and longing; it is about duty, loyalty and people who do what they think to be right despite a chorus of lesser mortals who are chanting, “leave it – forget it – don’t get involved.”

john-harveyBody and Soul also takes an unflinching look at how love in itself is sometimes not enough – or possibly too much. I read elsewhere that this is to be John Harvey’s last novel. If this is the case then regret is permissible, but dismay would be churlish. We can only thank John Harvey (right) for his matchless legacy. Body and Soul is published by William Heinemann, and is available now.

HOWEVER – and here’s a thing – if you would like a hardback copy of this brilliant novel, I have one (just the one, sadly) up for grabs. The winner will be decided by a draw from a proverbial hat (actually a random number generator, but scrupulously fair!) How do you enter? Dead easy, and you have three ways to enter.

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  • On Twitter, just click the ‘heart’ box under one of the many posts about this book. My Twitter name is @MaliceAfore

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  • On Facebook, go to the Fully Booked page and ‘Like’ the post.

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JUST A FEW TaCs:

(1) One entry per person, please.
(2) The competition closes at 10.00pm GMT on Sunday 13th May.
(3) Because of postage costs, the competition is open only to readers in Britain, the Irish Republic and mainland Europe.

COMPETITION . . . Win a signed copy of The Tango School Mystery

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THE FULLY BOOKED HAT may be a digital one, but if you enter the latest prize draw, your name will be in there, and you may be the lucky person to win a signed copy of the latest Crampton of The Chronicle novel by Peter Bartram.

I’m a huge fan of Bartram’s writing. I love his easy and fluent style, with its occasional sharp edge. Being an elder statesman (well, maybe just old) I enjoy thinking, “ah…yes!” when he throws in the odd cultural reference to what life was like in the 1960s. I’m also a sucker for whodunnits, and I try my damnedest to follow the clues – and ignore the many red herrings – with which Bartram teases his readers.

The Tango School Mystery starts with Crampton’s gorgeous Australian girlfriend having more blood in her rare steak than even she bargained for, and continues by taking us on a whirlwind journey through an England where memories of WW2 – and the strange tale of British fascism – are still very raw.

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YOU HAVE TWO (equally easy) WAYS TO ENTER.  Firstly, email me at:

fullybooked2016@yahoo.com

Put the word “Crampton” in the subject box, and you are good to go.

Alternatively, go to the Fully Booked Facebook page and simply “like” the post about this competition. Clicking the Facebook logo below will take you straight there. The competition closes at 10.00pm GMT on Thursday 26th April 2018.

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PHILIP KERR . . . 1956 – 2018

philip-kerrDUE TO THE AWFUL NEWS that Philip Kerr has died, the current prize draw for a copy of Greeks Bearing Gifts will be suspended for the time being. I will be writing a tribute to Philip, one of our finest writers, in due course. The competition will be re-run later in the year. People who have already entered will have their names carried forward.

PRIZE DRAW . . . Win PANIC ROOM by Robert Goddard

The FULLY BOOKED competitions attract many entrants, and the prizes are always brand new editions of top quality crime novels by the best authors. The most recent winner is Stephen Fraser of Linlithgow, and he has a spellbinding Tom Thorne novel, from Mark Billingham, on its way to him now. The latest book on offer is another cracker. You can read our review of Robert Goddard’s thriller Panic Room by clicking the image below.

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WHO WANTS TOM THORNE? . . . Prize Draw

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TOM THORNE, ANYONE …? Our February giveaway is a crisp new paperback edition of Mark Billingham’s hard-hitting Love Like Blood. Now, read carefully, because this is is a pretty difficult competition. Here’s what you must do. I’ve broken it down into easy steps. Ready?

  1. email Fully Booked at fullybooked2016@yahoo.com
  2. Put the words ‘Tom Thorne’ in the subject box

ALTERNATIVELY

1. Go to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FullyBooked2017/
2. Click ‘like’ on the feature for the competition.

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Phew! Seriously though, it’s that easy. The competition closes at 2200 hrs on Sunday 4th March. One entry per person, naturally, and I will draw the winner’s name out of the digital hat and let them know the good news!

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