So, another Orenda title – and another Michael Malone title – how does this measure up to their respective impressive backlists?
Well I don’t think anyone will be surprised if I respond, “very well indeed”! Michael Malone is a writer with a highly impressive breadth of work…by that, I mean he can move from genre to genre (the first books of his I read were Glasgow crime novels, and they were great) and every book in every genre was an absolute belter.
Now he’s moved to Orenda Books, the superb boutique publishers, put his middle initial J in his name, and is writing classy relationship-based psychological thrillers which are guaranteed to keep you reading well past the hour you intended.
And this is one such book…?
It is indeed. It’s about Jenna, who’s trying to sort her life out after a series of disastrous relationships; and Luke. He’s struggling to provide a secure upbringing for his late partner’s young son, as well as developing his own counselling business – which is how the two characters initially meet (and feelings are where Malone really excels when it comes to writing, as you’ll know if you’ve read any of his books, particularly the more recent ones.) The two of them meet, fall in love, and things look good for a while.
So it’s all good…what’s the problem?
Well, in between the parts featuring Luke and Jenna another character’s point of view is shown to us – and it’s someone who very much wants this relationship to fail, due to events that happened in the past. They want revenge, and are determined to get it.
Luke and Jenna also have their various personal demons to get over – Luke trying to get over a troubled childhood by working in a business where he can help people; Jenna struggling with the ill health of her mum. Every character is multi-faceted, and that, for me, is the reason Malone’s writing stands out so much – everyone in his books are three dimensional. He has a strong understanding of how people tick.
What made this book stand out for you?
It’s mainly – as I said above – Malone’s writing. He’s wonderful at developing characters, and illustrating feelings – better than so many other writers out there. I long for the day when I see his name on the Sunday Times bestseller list! He’s also superb at the interaction between characters – the dialogue, and reactions, are so realistic. He’s just such a wonderful writer!
So your final word on Michael J Malone would be…
If you like relationship-based psychological thrillers, with skilled writing, please do give him a whirl. He’s so adept at describing characters he even has you feeling sympathy for the person seeking revenge! It’s intelligent, and identifiable with, and hugely enjoyable – storytelling at its very best – as you’d expect from Orenda!
Miss this one at your peril!
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BLURB: Scarred by their pasts, Jenna and Luke fall in love, brimming with hope for a rosy future. But someone has been watching, with chilling plans for revenge … An emotive, twisty, disturbing new psychological thriller by the critically acclaimed author of A Suitable Lie and In the Absence of Miracles.
Jenna is trying to rebuild her life after a series of disastrous relationships.
Luke is struggling to provide a safe, loving home for his deceased partner’s young son, following a devastating tragedy.
When Jenna and Luke meet and fall in love, they are certain they can achieve the stability and happiness they both desperately need.
And yet, someone is watching.
Someone who has been scarred by past events.
Someone who will stop at nothing to get revenge…
Dark, unsettling and immensely moving, Quicksand of Memory is a chilling reminder that we are not only punished for our sins, but by them, and that memories left to blacken and sharpen over time are the perfect breeding ground for obsession, and murder…
With thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on this Blog Tour, and to Anne and Orenda Books for organising my ARC. This is a completely unbiased review.