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

Mark Novak's greatest mystery might just be his own ...Private Investigator Mark Novak's relentlessness as an investigator has been his professional calling card and curse, but the one case he has couldn't bring himself to pursue is the one closest to his heart: that of his wife's death.Returning to the scene of her murder, a country road outside Cassadaga, Florida, he uncovers disturbing leads that show how her murder might be connected to Novak's own troubled youth in Montana. The investigation leads him back to the mining towns of Montana which he thought he'd left behind forever. On returning, he discovers there are more than just bad memories to be found when you go digging up the past. Novak faces an adversary more frightening than he's ever known, and a secret that has wended its way through his entire life: from the caverns beneath Indiana to the abandoned streets of a southern gothic town to the darkest corners of the Northwest. Novak is about to discover that evil and heroism are inextricably and tragically linked.

Hodder & Stoughton

Last Words

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

Still mourning the death of his wife, private investigator Mark Novak accepts a case that may be his undoing. On same day his wife died, the body of a teenage girl was pulled from the extensive and perilous cave system beneath Southern Indiana. Now the man who rescued the girl, who was believed to be her killer, begs Novak uncover what really happened. The only problem is in small-town Midwest, cold cases stay cold.Garrison is much like any place in America, proud and fortified against outsiders. So Mark is forced to delve beneath the town's secrets, and more frighteningly match wits with the man who knows the caverns better than anyone. A man who seemed to lose his mind. A man who seems to know Mark Novak all too well.(P)2015 Hachette Audio

Hodder & Stoughton

Those Who Wish Me Dead

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

When Jace Wilson accidentally witnesses a brutal murder, his life is changed forever. An ordinary teenager growing up in Indiana, Jace is suddenly forced into the Witness Protection Program and given a new name and history. Taken in by a couple ho run a wilderness program for young boys, Jace finds himself hiking through the Montana mountains, tortured by his memories and by the fear that he'll never be safe again.The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are two of the most heinous criminals the country has ever known. Jace was the one person to catch them in the act, and he slipped through their fingers. Now they've tracked him down and are making their way across the country, ruthlessly slaughtering anyone who gets in their way.

Hodder Paperbacks

Envy the Night

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

It's been seven years since Frank discovered his father's dark secret: that he was a U.S. Marshal a contract killer who committed suicide to avoid prosecution. Now Devin Matteson the man who betrayed his father - drawing him into the killing game and then handing him over to the FBI - is coming home to the Wisconsin lake that was once hallowed ground for both families. But this is a homecoming Frank knows he cannot allow.But when Frank arrives at Matteson's old cabin he finds only a strange beautiful woman and a nervous man with a gun; Matteson is nowhere to be seen. When a pair of deadly assassins arrive on the scene the sensible thing would be for Frank to contact the police but Frank's father was nothing if not a good teacher and his son a willing pupil . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

The Silent Hour

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

When private investigator Lincoln Perry starts receiving letters from Parker Harrison, a convicted murderer, he ignores them. Then Harrison turns up at Lincoln's office begging for help.Twelve years ago, Harrison was enrolled in a programme for paroled murderers run by Joshua and Alexandra Cantrell. One day, the couple vanished. No one has seen them since and their multimillion-dollar lakeside house is now a ruin. Harrison wants to find Alexandra.Lincoln has no desire to work for a murderer, but when Joshua Cantrell's body turns up and he discovers that Alexandra was born into one of Cleveland's foremost mob families, he agrees to investigate, despite his misgivings.Soon Lincoln is immersed in a family mystery that challenges his abilities as an investigator and has him looking over his shoulder at every twist and turn . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

The Prophet

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta
Hodder Paperbacks

A Welcome Grave

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

Lincoln Perry was once a rising star on the Cleveland police force, until he was kicked out after he got in a fight with Alex Jefferson, the millionaire his fiancée left him for. When Jefferson is tortured and murdered, it isn't long before the police are at Lincoln's door asking questions.Things go from bad to worse when Lincoln agrees to do a favour for Jefferson's widow - to track down the dead man's son who has unknowingly inherited his millions. What should be a routine search for a missing person ends with the son's body lying in the morgue and Lincoln in jail.Lincoln realises that Jefferson's millions are the target of a thirst for revenge that hasn't been satisfied by blood. But soon Lincoln is being pursued by a pair of deadly assailants and under pressure from the police, who are determined to put him back behind bars, if he survives long enough to make it there . . .

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 Paperbacks

The Ridge

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta
Hodder Paperbacks

The Cypress House

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta
Hodder & Stoughton

So Cold The River

Michael Koryta
Authors:
Michael Koryta

Ali Knight

Ali Knight has worked as a journalist and sub-editor at the BBC, Guardian and Observer and helped to launch some of the Daily Mail and Evening Standard's most successful websites. She lives with her family in London.Visit Ali's website to find out more about her and her psychological thrillers at www.aliknight.co.uk and follow her on Twitter www.twitter.com/aliknightauthor.

Catriona McPherson

Catriona McPherson was born in the village of Queensferry in south-east Scotland in 1965 and educated at Edinburgh University. She left with a PhD in Linguistics and spent a few years as a university lecturer before beginning to write fiction. The first Dandy Gilver novel was short-listed for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger 2005 and the second was long-listed for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award 2007. In 2012 DANDY GILVER AND THE PROPER TREATMENT OF BLOODSTAINS was nominated for a Historical Macavity Award. Catriona writes full-time and divides her time between southern Scotland and northern California.www.dandygilver.comwww.catrionamcpherson.comwww.twitter.com/CatrionaMcP

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.

Elin Hilderbrand

Elin Hilderbrand grew up in Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, where she was a teaching/writing fellow. She now lives with her husband and their three children on Nantucket, Massachusetts, where her novels are set.You can follow Elin on Twitter @elinhilderbrand or find out more on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/ElinHilderbrand.

Fergus McNeill

Fergus McNeill has been creating computer games since the early eighties, writing his first interactive fiction titles while still at school. Over the years he has designed, directed and illustrated games for all sorts of systems, including the BBC Micro, the Apple iPad, and almost everything in between.Now running an app development studio, Fergus lives in Hampshire with his wife and teenage son. EYE CONTACT is his first novel.You can visit Fergus's website www.fergusmcneill.co.uk, find him on Facebook www.facebook.com/fergusmcneillauthor or follow him on Twitter twitter.com/fergusmcneill.

Gerald Seymour

Gerald Seymour exploded onto the literary scene in 1975 with the massive bestseller HARRY'S GAME. The first major thriller to tackle the modern troubles in Northern Ireland, it was described by Frederick Forsyth as 'like nothing else I have ever read' and it changed the landscape of the British thriller forever.Gerald Seymour was a reporter at ITN for fifteen years. He covered events in Vietnam, Borneo, Aden, the Munich Olympics, Israel and Northern Ireland. He has been a full-time writer since 1978.

H.B. Lyle

H.B. Lyle lives in South London with his partner and their twin daughters. After a career infeature film development, he took an MA in creative writing, followed by a PhD, at the University ofEast Anglia, an experience which led to the creation of The Irregular. He also writes screenplaysand teaches undergraduates.