Related to: 'If She Wakes'

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

How it Happened

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

'How it Happened is precise and thrilling with an offbeat charm. Koryta in his finest moments is reminiscent of Stephen King . . . Terrific' Metro'A remarkable achievement that rises high above the genre' Nelson DeMille'And that is how it happened. Can we stop now?'Kimberly Crepeaux is a notorious jailhouse snitch and opioid addict whose petty crimes are well known to the locals in her rural Maine community. So when she confesses to her role in the brutal murders of Jackie Pelletier and Ian Kelly, the daughter of a prominent local family and her sweetheart, few believe her story.Except FBI interrogation specialist Rob Barrett. He knows that Kimberly's story - a dope-fuelled hit and run followed by a violent stabbing - is how it happened. But one thing remains elusive: where are the bodies? Barrett stakes his name and reputation on the truth of Kimberly's confession, only to have the bodies turn up two hundred miles from where she said they'd be, shot in the back and covered in a different suspect's DNA. The case is quickly closed and Barrett forcibly reassigned. But for Howard Pelletier, the tragedy of his daughter's murder cannot be so easily forgotten. And for Barrett, whose career may already be over, the chance to help a grieving father may be the only one he has left.How It Happened is a frightening, tension-filled ride into the dark heart of rural America.

Hodder & Stoughton

Rise the Dark

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta
Hodder & Stoughton

Last Words

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta
Hodder & Stoughton

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta
Hodder Paperbacks

Envy the Night

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta
Hodder Paperbacks

The Silent Hour

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta
Hodder Paperbacks

A Welcome Grave

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta
Hodder & Stoughton

The Prophet

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

Two brothers with a shared tragic past, caused by a two-second decision that haunts them both. One decides to avenge it. The other, to forgive. Both will pay for their choices - more than they could ever imagine.When he was a teenager, Adam Austin made a decision that led to the death of his little sister.His brother Kent learned to forgive her murderer but he never forgave Adam.Twenty years later, Kent is the coach of the successful high school football team in Chambers, Ohio and Adam is the town's bail bondsman - someone people turn to when they need help.When the girlfriend of one of Kent's star players asks Adam to track down her father who has just been released from prison, Adam agrees. Days later, she is murdered at the address he gave her.Overwhelmed by guilt in this horrifying echo of the past - Adam is determined to atone for his mistakes.But this is a game outside of the brothers' control. And every decision they make is matter of life and death . . .THE PROPHET is the story of family, of guilt and redemption. Epic in its page-turning power, building suspense all the way to its viscerally compelling climax.

Hodder Paperbacks

Sorrow's Anthem

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta
Hodder Paperbacks

Tonight I Said Goodbye

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

Investigator and former Marine Wayne Weston is found at home, killed by a single gunshot wound to the head, the gun still lying in his right hand. There is no sign of his wife and six-year-old daughter.The police believe Wayne Weston killed his family before turning the gun on himself. Weston's father is convinced his son was murdered. He turns to Lincoln Perry, former cop, now private investigator, for help.All the evidence supports the police's conclusions, but as soon as he starts asking questions, Lincoln hears rumours of gambling, extortion, and links to Cleveland's Russian mob. When the FBI asks him to back off, followed by a second murder, Lincoln is more determined than ever to uncover the truth, even if that means putting himself in danger . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

The Ridge

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

There is a lighthouse in Blade Ridge, Kentucky. Hundreds of miles from the sea, it illuminates nothing but the desolate, wooded hills around it. For many years the lighthouse has been a source of amusement - until its eccentric builder is found dead and his belongings reveal a bizarre and macabre local history. When her husband died, Audrey Clark swore to carry on his work of building a big-cat rescue centre. Now she is ready to move sixty-seven lions, tigers and other species into a shelter next to the lighthouse - despite some troubling developments near her new home. For deputy sheriff Kevin Kimble, a man on the brink of a very dangerous relationship, the odd beacon seems to contain disturbing proof that a long-held secret was somehow known to others. Events convince Kimble that his secret is connected to the ridge, and that a terrifying evil might be on the other side of the divide between dark and light.

Hodder & Stoughton

The Cypress House

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

Arlen Wagner has seen it in men before - a trace of smoke in their eyes that promises imminent death. He is never wrong. When Arlen and his young companion Paul Brickhill are stranded at the Cypress House with a hurricane approaching, Paul won't abandon the boarding house's enigmatic mistress Rebecca to face the storm alone. But Arlen's gift warns him that if they stay too long, they may never leave.

Hodder & Stoughton

So Cold The River

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

Ninety-five-year-old millionaire Campbell Bradford is dying.His family have hired ex-filmmaker Eric Shaw to make a documentary about him, but Campbell's childhood is shrouded in mystery. The only clues to his past are the name of his hometown and an antiq

Allen Eskens

Allen Eskens is the USA Today bestselling author of The Life We Bury, The Guise of Another, The Heavens May Fall, and The Deep Dark Descending. He is the recipient of the Barry Award, the Rosebud Award, and the Silver Falchion Award, and has been a finalist for the Edgar Award, the Thriller Award, the Anthony Award, and the Minnesota Book Award. His debut novel, The Life We Bury, has been published in 16 languages and is being developed for a feature film. Eskens lives with his wife, Joely, in out-state Minnesota, where he has been a practicing criminal defense attorney for 25 years.

Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is a British crime and historical novelist, winner of the Cartier Diamond Dagger (for lifelong excellence in the genre) and the triple winner of the Historical Dagger. His books include the Sunday Times bestsellers The Ashes of London and The Fire Court, the international bestseller The American Boy (a Richard and Judy selection); the Roth Trilogy (filmed for TV as Fallen Angel); the Lydmouth Series; the William Dougal Series, The Anatomy of Ghosts, shortlisted for the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, and The Scent of Death. He lives on the borders of England and Wales. He reviews for the Spectator and The Times. For more information about Andrew Taylor and his books, see: www.andrew-taylor.co.uk or follow him on twitter: @andrewjrtaylor

Angela Clarke

Angela Clarke is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the Social Media Murders series. Her debut Follow Me was named Amazon's Rising Star Debut of the Month, longlisted for the CWA's Dagger in the Library, and shortlisted for the Good Reader Page Turner Award. Angela has appeared on CBS Reality's Written In Blood, on stage for BBC Edinburgh Fringe and on BBC News 24's Ouch comedy special Tales From the Misunderstood, at Noirwich, Camp Bestival, Panic! (in partnership with the Barbican, Goldsmiths University and the Guardian), at City University, at HM Prisons, and she hosts BBC 3 Counties Tales From Your Life, and the Womens' Radio Station Three Books show. She won the Young Stationers' Prize 2015 for achievement and promise in writing. A sufferer of EDS III, Angela is passionate about bringing marginalised voices into publishing. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Antonia Hodgson

Antonia Hodgson's first novel, The Devil in the Marshalsea, won the CWA Historical Dagger 2014 and was shortlisted forthe Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year, the John Creasey Dagger for Best FirstNovel and the HWA Debut Crown. It was also a Richard & Judy and WaterstonesBook Club selection. Her second book, The Last Confession of Thomas Hawkins, was published in 2015 to widespread critical acclaim.Antonia was born and grew up in Derby and studied English at the University ofLeeds. She lives in London, where she works as an editor. 2

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.

David Mark

David spent more than fifteen years as a journalist, including seven years as a crime reporter with the Yorkshire Post - walking the Hull streets that would later become the setting for the Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy novels.He has written eight novels in the McAvoy series: Dark Winter, Original Skin, Sorrow Bound, Taking Pity, Dead Pretty, Cruel Mercy, and Scorched Earth as well as two McAvoy ebook short stories, A Bad Death and Fire of Lies. Dark Winter was selected for the Harrogate New Blood panel and was a Richard & Judy pick and a Sunday Times bestseller. In 2018 it was adapted for the stage at the Hull Truck Theatre and had a sellout debut run. David has also written The Zealot's Bones, a historical crime novel published under the name D.M. Mark.He lives in the north of England with his family.

Dominick Donald

Dominick Donald was brought up in Britain and the US before studying at Oxford University. Stints as a soldier, a lecturer, a UN official and an editorial writer, plus a War Studies PhD, led eventually to political risk analysis for a large London firm, which he left in 2016 as its Head of Geopolitics. He has written editorials for The Times and US business magazine Red Herring, and reviews for the Guardian and the TLS. Now a freelance writer and political risk advisor, he is married with three children and lives on the Oxfordshire-Wiltshire border.