It is finally my stop on the blog tour for Dead & Talking. I have been getting quite impatient to share this book with you all. Many thanks to Des Burkinshaw and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.
If a ghost appeared from nowhere, rescued you from suicide and then ordered you to start solving crimes to help dead people, what would you do? When it happens to Porter Norton, he just wants to put his head in his hands and have nothing to do with it. But now he has to atone for the family curse that has seen all the men die at their own hands for five generations. The Gliss, the sarcastic spirit that rescues him, says he can now and see and hear the Dead – if he’s close to their remains. Porter has to use his unwelcome gift to clear up past injustices. Or else. Forced to investigate the murder of a WW1 British Tommy executed for spying in 1917, he begins to suspect the case has links to his own family history. Along the way, Porter enlists the help of a bickering group of misfits, who struggle to stay involved – because only fools believe in the supernatural, don’t they? Full of pop culture references, banter and twists, the story takes us from present-day London and Flanders to scenes from World War 1. As Porter, The Gliss, and friends, get deeper into the explosive case, they discover their own lives and sanity are at stake. An evil from WW1 pursues them all.
Dead & Talking is a tricky book to categorise. Part ghost story, part thriller, part historical fiction, and part dark comedy, this really is a book that will appeal to everyone.
Although the book does tackle the dark subjects of depression, suicide and the horrors of World War One, and does so sensitively, it also does so with a wonderful dry humour throughout. My heart broke for Max and Harry as their war story was slowly revealed to Porter and his friends, but the very next page I found I was chuckling to myself at Porter’s relationship with The Gliss (the “The” being very important!).
The group of friends that Porter discovers throughout his investigation are a strange mismatched bunch, each with their unusual quirks and foibles. I found myself almost wishing I could be part of their gang of misfits (although maybe without the murderous supernatural being stalking them!).
I loved all the references to old films, songs and musicals, although my absolute favourite moment, which made me laugh out loud was when Porter referred to The Gliss as Clarence. Just thinking about that now makes me smile all over again.
I sat down the other night thinking, “I’ll just finish off that book before I go to bed,” and then being really disappointed when I remembered that I had finished it the previous evening. I am really looking forward to the next Porter and The Gliss adventure.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born in the middle of the Summer of Love on a pre-fab council estate in Luton, teenage bitterness and a chance viewing of the Watergate movie, All the President’s Men, made him vow to become a journalist and bring down the government.
First he had to pay for his journalism course, so he became a civil servant. Literally the day he had enough for his fees, he packed it in. Twelve years on from watching the film, he was a journalist at The Times and had a big hand in bringing down John Major’s government. News ambitions sated, he packed that in too.
Several years of working for Channel 4, ITV and the BBC as a senior producer saw him working across the world, but he eventually got fed up with asking bands how the new album was coming along, and packed it in.
He set up his own production company magnificent! in 2002 and simultaneously worked on the BBC Live Events team for another 10 years. But then six years of work on the Olympics came along, so he packed the BBC in. Again.
Des has jammed with many of his heroes from Paul McCartney to Brian Wilson, Queen to Nancy Sinatra. He has interviewed many A-listers, including David Bowie, Michael Caine, John Cleese and even Noam Chomsky.
He has directed/produced a fairly long list of people – Muse, Coldplay, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, produced BBC3’s Glastonbury coverage for a couple of years, made films about leprosy in India, comedy shorts with Miranda Hart and Lenny Henry and played guitar for Chas and Dave at the Hackney Empire.
He has made 300+ short films for the Queen, MI5, the BBC, Sky, Discovery, EMI, the British Academy and dozens of authorities, charities and private sector firms. His most recent publication was a series of interviews with leading academics like Mary Beard on the state of the humanities which was published as a standalone magazine by the British Academy.
Fed up with travelling and determined to be a half-decent dad, he now works in London as often as he can. He runs the Young Directors Film School making movies with young people and is about to head up the Digital Film and Video MA at Tileyard. An avid musician and producer, he releases his third album as Romano Chorizo (he plays drums, bass, piano, guitar and really bad sax).
He hates to be pigeon-holed, thinks creativity is a learned state of mind and wishes they would teach people memory and learning techniques at school.
Dead & Talking is his first novel, the first in a series of Porter & The Gliss investigations.
Win 3 x Signed Copies of Dead & Talking (Open INT)
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Don’t forget to pay a visit to the other blogs taking part in the tour.