As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Quercus Books, 26 July 2018.
of last year’s runaway bestsellers in the thriller genre was J.P. Delaney’s The
Girl Before - an intriguing exploration of obsession and deceit. Now he is
back, intriguingly with a novel he first published more than a decade ago under
a different name. He says he considers that book was a ‘flawed offering’. He
has therefore rewritten the story from scratch, using some of the original
scenes but with many more different ideas that evolved into a new plot, new
characterisation and a new structure. The result is Believe Me, a psychological
thriller so full of ingenious twists and switchbacks that you end up
questioning everything you are reading.
Star player in this intriguing novel
is Claire Wright, a British drama student in New York without a Green Card. She
takes the only job she can: working for a firm of divorce lawyers posing as an
easy pick-up in hotel bars to entrap straying husbands.
One of her targets then becomes a
suspect in a murder investigation and Claire is asked to use her acting skills
to help lure their suspect into a confession. But right from the start she has
her doubts about the role she is being asked to play - is Patrick Fogler really
a killer, or the only decent husband she has ever met?
Claire Wright is an intriguing
character and extremely well written – it’s not that often a male author
portrays a female character so well. She is needy, craves an audience, yet she
knows her own faults and what drives her, and this made me fully invest and
believe in her. She is dark, complex, damaged. She constantly changes the face
she presents to the world, and changes her personality at will. She is
interesting and made me want to turn the pages.
Patrick Fogler is a Columbia
University professor specialising in the poetry of Baudelaire. Is he a murderer,
as the New York Police Department believe and want to prove? Or a man for
Claire to fall in love with? Or both? What about Claire – could she be the
murderer the NYPD is looking for? In this novel, the unreliable narrator trope
is taken to the next level. Everyone lies. Everyone tells the truth. Our
expectations of the characters are swayed this way and that as Claire and
Patrick engage in their dangerous danse
And the poetry of Baudelaire, more
specifically his Les Fleurs du Mal, is central to the twisty plot and echo
through the novel – some are graphic and brutal, some erotic, so reader beware,
there are some disturbing scenes.
Believe Me is a sleek, stylish and
stylistic novel, in parts confusing and needing a very large dollop of
suspension of disbelief. It won’t be for everybody. But for me, it had great
power and kept me reading throughout the night.
JP Delaney is the pseudonym of an author who has previously
written award-winning fiction under other names.
Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly
acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It was about a gang of children
who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she soon realised Enid Blyton had
cornered that particular market. So she wrote about the Wild West instead. When
she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk show
presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also
some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true journalistic
style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and got
creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She formed
WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message across
using their life stories. Now she is writing psychological suspense, drawing on
her experiences in journalism. The Bad
Things by Mary-Jane Riley was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads. Her
second book, After She Fell, also
published by Killer Reads, is out on April 28th.