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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

‘Killer Move’ by Michael Marshall

Published by Orion, 
11 October 2012. 
ISBN: 978-1409135999 (PB)
Bill Moore works for Shore Realtry. He has a good job selling condos in the Florida Keys.  He is happily married to Stephanie, who is successful in her own right.  They have a beautiful home, but Bill has a five-year plan to achieve super success, and the five-year plan is now in its sixth year. Bill decides to be pro-active and arranges a meeting with his immediate boss Tony Thompson to jig things up a bit. Things go reasonably well.

Returning to his office Bill finds a card on his desk, black with white lettering, just one word printed ‘Modified’. He mentions it to his colleague Karen who says it’s probably an advertising gimmick.  He drops it in the bin and doesn’t give it a second thought. But odd things begin to happen to him, at first he manages to deal with the fall-out, but slowly Bill’s good life begins to spiral out of control.

Unbeknown to Bill there are two fractions at work and neither are initially aware of the other, but Bill is caught in the cross-fire.  Eventually, with people dying around him, in order to survive he has to fight back. 

This is a terrifying story, and with the technology available today quite possibly happening, hopefully, to a lesser degree.   I do not want to spoil the convoluted, fascinating plot, but sufficient to say, it is a real heart in the mouth page turner.

The story is narrated in the first person by Bill Moore, but interspersed by the third person narrative of a man bent on revenge.  Of course there is a moral, Bill was struggling to climb the ladder of success, earn more money, and be ‘someone’ in his chosen way of life.  But now an unknown hand is trying to take from him all that he had. Can Bill Moore stem the tidal wave of events that is engulfing him? Can he save the life he has built up with Steph, of which he now realises the value – but is it too late?

Scary but compulsive reading, this book is highly recommended.
Reviewer: Lizzie Hayes

Michael Marshall was born in 1965 in Cheshire, UK. Michael spent much of his early life abroad, growing up in the United States, South Africa and Australia before returning to England. He read Philosophy and Social and Political Science at King’s College, Cambridge. During his university days, he became heavily involved with the famous Cambridge Footlights as writer and performer, including participating in international tours. Before becoming a full-time author, Michael co-wrote and performed two award-winning series of BBC Radio 4’s cult comedy And Now, In Colour. Since the first of his 10 novels was published in 1994, he has earned widespread recognition, huge sales and international accolades. His fourth novel The Straw Men became a massive international bestseller, featuring on the Sunday Times, New York Times and European bestseller lists. Further titles released under Michael Marshall name include The Lonely Dead, Blood of Angels and The Intruders (currently in development with BBC Worldwide in LA).
He is also an accomplished and award-winning short story author, the only person ever to win the British Fantasy Award for short story four times. He has won many other awards, including the August Derleth and Philip K. Dick for Only Forward, six British Fantasy Awards, the International Horror Guild Award, and the Prix Morane in France. Travelling frequently between Los Angeles and London to work on screenwriting projects, Michael has homes in Brighton, England, and Santa Cruz, California. He lives with his wife, Paula — a medical herbalist — and their seven year old son.

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