Related to: 'Bad Boy'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

Many Rivers to Cross

Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson
Hodder & Stoughton

Careless Love

Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson

The twenty-fifth instalment of the Number One Bestselling DCI Banks series'Robinson remains the master of the police procedural.' Mail on Sunday'Robinson is prolific, but with each book he manages to ring the changes.' Guardian*****A young local student has apparently committed suicide. Her body is found in an abandoned car on a lonely country road. She didn't own a car. Didn't even drive. How did she get there? Where did she die? Who moved her, and why?Meanwhile a man in his sixties is found dead in a gully up on the wild moorland. He is wearing an expensive suit and carrying no identification. Post-mortem findings indicate he died from injuries sustained during the fall. But what was he doing up there? And why are there no signs of a car in the vicinity?As the inconsistencies multiply and the mysteries proliferate, Annie's father's new partner, Zelda, comes up with a shocking piece of information that alerts Banks and Annie to the return of an old enemy in a new guise.This is someone who will stop at nothing, not even murder, to get what he wants - and suddenly the stakes are raised and the hunt is on.

Hodder & Stoughton

Sleeping in the Ground

Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson

The twenty fourth instalment in Peter Robinson's Number One Bestselling Banks Series. A terrible crime. No obvious motive. Banks is on the case.The Alan Banks mystery-suspense novels are the best series on the market. Try one and tell me I'm wrong. - Stephen King'Top-notch police procedure' - Jeffery DeaverA shocking mass murder occurs at a wedding in a small Dales church and a huge manhunt follows. Eventually, the shooter is run to ground and things take their inevitable course.But Banks is plagued with doubts as to exactly what happened outside the church that day, and why. Struggling with the death of his first serious girlfriend and the return of profiler Jenny Fuller into his life, Banks feels the need to dig deeper into the murders, and as he does so, he uncovers forensic and psychological puzzles that lead him to the past secrets that might just provide the answers he is looking for. When the surprising truth becomes clear, it is almost too late.

Hodder & Stoughton

When the Music's Over

Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson
Hodder & Stoughton

No Cure For Love

Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson

Before you discovered DCI Banks, Dectective Arvo Hughes was on the case in this vintage standalone crime thriller from Peter Robinson.In 1990s Los Angeles, the beautiful star of a hit TV cop show is being sent strange letters.At first, Sarah Broughton dismisses the letters as the ramblings of a lonely fan. But when the letters take on a disturbing tone and Sarah discovers a body in the sand outside her Malibu beach house, the experts are brought in.Working as a detective in the LAPD Threat Management Unit, Arvo Hughes has seen it all before: stalkers, love obsessionals, erotomaniacs - willing to kill themselves and their supposed love objects over their devotion. He knows the language they use and the patterns they follow.But there is no pattern to follow here. Dealing with a highly unpredictable but extremely violent killer, Arvo feels certain Sarah's stalker must have met her before. But with the squeaky-clean star doing all she can to keep memories of a shady history locked away, Arvo must delve into her past himself.(P)2015 Hodder & Stoughton

Hodder Paperbacks

Abattoir Blues

Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson

Two missing boys.A stolen bolt gun.One fatal shot.Three ingredients for murder.When DCI Banks and his team are called to investigate the theft of a tractor from a North Yorkshire village, they're far from enthusiastic about what seems to be a simple case of rural crime. Then a blood stain is found in an abandoned hangar, two main suspects vanish without a trace, and events take a darkly sinister turn.As each lead does little to unravel the mystery, Banks feels like the case is coming to a dead end. Until a road accident reveals some alarming evidence, which throws the investigation to a frightening new level.Someone is trying to cover their tracks - someone with very deadly intent . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Children of the Revolution

Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson

Ex-college lecturer Gavin Miller is found dead; his distorted body strewn across a disused railway track near his home. There's no sign of a struggle, and no concrete evidence except for one distinguishing package: £5,000 of cash, tucked inside the man's pocket. But when DCI Banks delves into Miller's past, he uncovers a troubled existence tarnished by accusations of abuse and misconduct which throws up an array of puzzling questions.What really occurred at the college where the victim used to teach?How was he embroiled in political activism at Essex University, over forty years ago?And what links him to an upstanding pillar of the community, who also harbours a dark secret from her past?One thing is clear: someone will stop at nothing - even murder - to prevent Banks from discovering the truth . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Watching the Dark

Peter Robinson, Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson, Peter Robinson
Hodder Paperbacks

Before the Poison

Peter Robinson, Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson, Peter Robinson

The Number One bestseller and winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Besy NovelAfter years of Hollywood success composer Chris Lowndes wanted only one thing: to take his beloved wife home to the Yorkshire Dales.But Laura is gone, and Chris is on his own.He welcomes the isolation of Kilnsgate House, and the beauty of the dale. And it doesn't surprise him that a man died there, sixty years ago.That his wife was convicted of murder.That something is pulling him deeper and deeper into the story of Grace Elizabeth Fox, who was hanged by the neck until she was dead . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

The Price of Love

Peter Robinson, Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson, Peter Robinson
Hodder & Stoughton

Friend of the Devil

Peter Robinson, Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson, Peter Robinson
Hodder & Stoughton

All the Colours of Darkness

Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson
Hodder Paperbacks

Piece of My Heart

Peter Robinson
Authors:
Peter Robinson

As volunteers clean up after a huge outdoor rock concert in Yorkshire in 1969, they discover the body of a young woman wrapped in a sleeping bag. She has been brutally murdered. The detective assigned to the case, Stanley Chadwick, is a hard-headed, strait-laced veteran of the Second World War. He could not have less in common with - or less regard for - young, disrespectful, long-haired hippies, smoking marijuana and listening to the pulsing sounds of rock and roll. But he has a murder to solve, and it looks as if the victim was somehow associated with the up-and-coming psychedelic pastoral band the Mad Hatters.In the present, Inspector Alan Banks is investigating the murder of a freelance music journalist who was working on a feature about the Mad Hatters for MOJO magazine. This is not the first time that the Mad Hatters, now aging rock superstars, have been brushed by tragedy. Banks finds he has to delve into the past to find out exactly what hornets' nest the journalist inadvertently stirred up.

Chris Ryan

Former SAS corporal and the only man to escape death or capture during the Bravo Two Zero operation in the 1991 Gulf War, Chris Ryan turned to writing thrillers to tell the stories the Official Secrets Act stops him putting in his non-fiction. His novels have gone on to inspire the Sky One series Strike Back. Born near Newcastle in 1961, Chris Ryan joined the SAS in 1984. During his ten years there he was involved in overt and covert operations and was also sniper team commander of the anti-terrorist team. During the Gulf War, Chris Ryan was the only member of an eight-man unit to escape from Iraq, where three colleagues were killed and four captured. It was the longest escape and evasion in the history of the SAS. For this he was awarded the Military Medal. He wrote about his experiences in the bestseller The One That Got Away, which was adapted for screen, and since then has written three other works of non-fiction, over twenty bestselling novels and a series of childrens' books.

Claire Askew

Claire Askew is a poet, novelist and the current Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh. Her debut novel in progress was the winner of the 2016 Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, and longlisted for the 2014 Peggy Chapman-Andrews (Bridport) Novel Award. Claire holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and has won a variety of accolades for her work, including the Jessie Kesson Fellowship and a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award. Her debut poetry collection, This changes things, was published by Bloodaxe in 2016 and shortlisted for the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award and a Saltire First Book Award. In 2016 Claire was selected as a Scottish Book Trust Reading Champion, and she works as the Scotland tutor for women's writing initiatives Write Like A Grrrl! and #GrrrlCon.

Douglas Lindsay

Douglas Lindsay was born in Scotland in 1964, at 2:38 am. Thirty-five years of little note ensued, before the world heralded the publication of his first book, The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson, which was adapted was adapted for the screen starring Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone and Emma Thompson. As he was leaving the house to undertake a public engagement for the first time, his wife kissed him on the cheek and said, 'Whatever you do, don't be yourself...' Sadly, Lindsay continues to ignore her advice to this day.Lindsay worked at the Ministry of Defence for over ten years and is married to a diplomat. He has lived in Dakar, Belgrade, Warsaw and Tallinn, an experience that inspired Song of the Dead. He now lives and writes full time in Somerset with his wife and their two children. Find him on Twitter at @DTSLindsay.

Erin Kelly

Erin Kelly is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Poison Tree, The Sick Rose, The Burning Air, The Ties That Bind, He Said/She Said, Stone Mothers and Broadchurch: The Novel, inspired by the mega-hit TV series. In 2013, The Poison Tree became a major ITV drama and was a Richard & Judy Summer Read in 2011. He Said/She Said spent six weeks in the top ten in both hardback and paperback, was longlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier crime novel of the year award, and selected for both the Simon Mayo Radio 2 and Richard & Judy Book Clubs. She has worked as a freelance journalist since 1998 and written for the Guardian, The Sunday Times, Daily Mail, New Statesman, Red, Elle, Cosmopolitan and The Pool. Born in London in 1976, she lives in north London with her husband and daughters. erinkelly.co.uk twitter.com/mserinkelly

Graham Norton

Graham Norton is one of the UK's best loved broadcasters. He presents The Graham Norton Show on BBC1 and has a weekly show on BBC Radio 2. He is the winner of nine BAFTA awards. Born in Dublin and raised in West Cork, Norton now lives in London. His debut novel Holding was a commercial and critical success, winning Norton the Irish Independent Popular Fiction award at the Bord Gáis Irish Book Awards in 2016.

Jill Dawson

Jill Dawson is the author of the novels Trick of the Light, Magpie, Fred and Edie, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, Wild Boy, Watch Me Disappear, which was longlisted for the Orange Prize, The Great Lover, Lucky Bunny, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Crime Writer, which won the East Anglian Book of the Year. An award-winning poet, she has also edited several poetry and short story anthologies.Jill Dawson has held many Fellowships, including the Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia. In 2008 she founded a mentoring scheme for new writers, Gold Dust. She lives in the Cambridgeshire Fens.www.jilldawson.co.uk

John Simpson

John Simpson has been the BBC's World Affairs Editor for more than half his fifty-two year career. In his time with the BBC, he has reported on major events all over the world, and was made a CBE in the Gulf War honours list in 1991. He has twice been the Royal Television Society's Journalist of the Year, and has won three BAFTAs, a News and Current Affairs award and an Emmy. He lives in Oxford.