Posts Tagged ‘Yeovil Literary festival’

Tim WeaverWhat RemainsWhat Remains is the 6th book in the David Raker series about a missing person investigator. It is a haunting, intriguingly dark novel. I was lucky enough to attend Tim Weaver’s author talk at the Yeovil Literary Festival in October when he said he was trying something different in this novel, although he didn’t say what it was. I think it’s the fact that Raker who has always been such a loner now has a ‘sidekick’ for much of the early part of the story in the shape of ex-cop ‘Healey’. Yes, this book is big on single second names. But if you are a Raker fan, read it for yourself and see what you think is different.

In What Remains both Raker and Healey are haunted by the horrible murder of two children and their mother, described in the opening pages of the book. It affects both men deeply causing them to skim the depths of depression and as such they are often not best placed to support each other. But this is riveting and disturbing stuff. Raker and Healey’s turmoil is our turmoil as Healey self destructs pulling Raker down with him. The novel has a strong sense of brutal realism as it touches on themes of homelessness, depression and mental illness. With a plot that twists around shocking and surprising events and clever misdirection.

The novel is written in such a way that you don’t need to have read the earlier Raker stories to follow and enjoy it. Weaver drops the back story into the action in a subtle and unobtrusive way. But if you have read the other books in the series, What Remains provides a satisfying resolution to a plot thread that runs throughout the series.

In conclusion, this is a complex satisfying crime novel worthy of a five star review. It won’t disappoint fans of Raker and if you haven’t come across him before then this is as good a place as any to start – then go back and read the earlier books.

 

 

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Life Writing with my friend Christine Partington

Life Writing with my friend Christine Partington

So many events in the South West I was spoilt for choice. But I chose Sherborne, Yeovil and Bristol. All very inspiring in their different ways. At Sherborne I had a chance to discuss the outline of my new novel with festival ‘Writer in Residence’ Diana Cambridge. Talking it through has really fired me up to get down to writing it. Attending Sophie King’s Life Writing workshop produced more ideas to develop the plot as well as providing a fascinating afternoon listening to the other participants.

Author chat with Yvonne Payne

Author chat with Yvonne Payne

In Bristol I went to the Book Bazaar and Seminars. Learnt loads from Lucienne Boyce’s informative talk on researching historical settings, was inspired by Ira Rainey’s book ‘From Fat man to Green Man’ and enjoyed a lovely chat over hot chocolate with author Yvonne Payne, about the importance of place in writing. Something which is very obvious in her novel ‘Kritsotopoula’ set in the Greek village where she lives. We also talked about book launches. Very useful as mine for Revenge Ritual is all fixed for the 17th of December. More about this later.

In Yeovil, the talks ranged from the full on battle charge of Andy McNab to a quieter but informative chat from Tim Weaver on the latest novel in  his ‘David Riker’ series ‘What Remains’. It was a very helpful discussion on writing serial characters. I shall remember Tim’s comment ‘What happens in the first book of the series will have a long term effect in future books’ but also ‘that the character needs to abide by the rules of the world of the series that the author creates, or readers will be disappointed.’ So far I’m half way through ‘What Remains’ and I can see what he means already. I’ll be reviewing Tim’s book in my next blog post.