Related to: 'Dead Lions'

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.

John Murray

Jackson Lamb Thriller 6

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron

The latest instalment in the multi-award winning series: Jackson Lamb returns in the sixth novel about Slough House's misfits.(P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

John Murray

This is What Happened

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron
John Murray

The Drop

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron
John Murray

The List

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron

'Mick Herron is an incredible writer and if you haven't read him yet, you NEED to' Mark BillinghamDieter Hess, an aged spy, is dead, and John Bachelor, his MI5 handler, is in deep, deep trouble. Death has revealed that the deceased had been keeping a secret second bank account - and there's only ever one reason a spy has a secret second bank account. The question of whether he was a double agent must be resolved, and its answer may undo an entire career's worth of spy secrets.

John Murray

Down Cemetery Road

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron
John Murray

London Rules

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron

SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA GOLD DAGGER AND IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER'The UK's new spy master' Sunday TimesLondon Rules might not be written down, but everyone knows rule one.Cover your arse.Regent's Park's First Desk, Claude Whelan, is learning this the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he's facing attack from all directions himself: from the showboating MP who orchestrated the Brexit vote, and now has his sights set on Number Ten; from the showboat's wife, a tabloid columnist, who's crucifying Whelan in print; and especially from his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner, who's alert for Claude's every stumble.Meanwhile, the country's being rocked by an apparently random string of terror attacks, and someone's trying to kill Roddy Ho.Over at Slough House, the crew are struggling with personal problems: repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath. But collectively, they're about to rediscover their greatest strength - that of making a bad situation much, much worse.It's a good job Jackson Lamb knows the rules. Because those things aren't going to break themselves.******Praise for Mick Herron'The new spy master' Evening Standard'Herron is spy fiction's great humorist, mixing absurd situations with sparklingly funny dialogue and elegant, witty prose' The Times'Herron draws his readers so fully into the world of Slough House that the incautious might find themselves slipping between the pages and transformed from reader to spook' Irish Times

John Murray

Spook Street

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron

WINNER OF THE CWA IAN FLEMING STEEL DAGGER'Mick Herron is an incredible writer and if you haven't read him yet, you NEED to' Mark BillinghamNever outlive your ability to survive a fight.Twenty years retired, David Cartwright can still spot when the stoats are on his trail. Jackson Lamb worked with Cartwright back in the day. He knows better than most that this is no vulnerable old man. 'Nasty old spook with blood on his hands' would be a more accurate description.'The old bastard' has raised his grandson with a head full of guts and glory. But far from joining the myths and legends of Spook Street, River Cartwright is consigned to Lamb's team of pen-pushing no-hopers at Slough House.So it's Lamb they call to identify the body when Cartwright's panic button raises the alarm at Service HQ.And Lamb who will do whatever he thinks necessary, to protect an agent in peril . . .Preorder London Rules, the next Jackson Lamb novel, now.

John Murray

Slow Horses

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron
John Murray

Reconstruction

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron
John Murray

Nobody Walks

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron

'A first-rate modern thriller' Daily MailShortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger AwardTom Bettany is working at a meat processing plant in France when he gets a voicemail from an Englishwoman he doesn't know telling him that his estranged 26-year-old son is dead - Liam Bettany fell from his London balcony, where he was smoking pot.Now for the first time since he cut all ties years ago, Bettany returns home to London to find out the truth about his son's death. Maybe it's the guilt he feels about losing touch with Liam that's gnawing at him, or maybe he's actually put his finger on a labyrinthine plot, but either way he'll get to the bottom of the tragedy, no matter whose feathers he has to ruffle. But more than a few people are interested to hear Bettany is back in town, from incarcerated mob bosses to those in the highest echelons of MI5. He might have thought he'd left it all behind when he first skipped town, but nobody ever really walks away.

John Murray

The Last Voice You Hear

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron
John Murray

Why We Die

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron

'Herron is a stylish writer with a mordant sensibility and a deadly wit. He s also a tricky plotter' New York Times Book ReviewWhen Zoë Boehm agrees to track down the gang who knocked over Sweeney's jewellery shop, she's just hoping to break even in time for tax season. She certainly doesn't expect to wind up in a coffin. But she's about to become entangled with a strange collection of characters, starting with suicidal Tim Whitby, who's dedicating what's left of his life to protecting the pretty, battered Katrina Blake from her late husband's sociopathic brothers, Arkle and Trent.Unfortunately for Zoë, Arkle has a crossbow, Tim has nothing left to lose, and even Katrina has her secrets. And death, like taxes, can't be avoided forever.

John Murray

Smoke and Whispers

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron
John Murray

Real Tigers

Mick Herron
Authors:
Mick Herron

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.

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.

Karen Ellis

Karen Ellis is the pseudonym of Katia Lief, the author of several internationally bestselling crime novels, including The Money Kill, the fourth installment of her Karin Schaeffer series published in 2013 and nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She teaches fiction writing at The New School in Manhattan and lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Karen Robards

Karen Robards is the internationally bestselling author of over forty romantic suspense novels, which have regularly appeared on the New York Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists, among others. She is the mother of three boys and lives with her family in her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.You can find out more at www.karenrobards.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorKarenRobards or follow her on Twitter @TheKarenRobards.