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When Things are Alive They Hum Extract

When Things are Alive TheyOn the book tour for ‘When Things Are Alive They Hum’ by Hannah Bent. Sit back and enjoy an extract from the book.

When things are alive, they hum. You can hear it if you put your ear to the chest of an animal or if you lean close close close to a plant. My own hum goes dum dum da da dum da dum. This is the sound of my heart talking to me. I hear it best when I am in my favourite place: on the landing at the top of the stairs, where it is quiet and the wood feels smooth under my feet. My toenails sparkle with glitter nail polish, the same colour that my Marlowe used to paint on for me.

I look up and out, through the windows and over my dad’s garden, which is on top of a cliff that touches the wide sea. The water is black from the night and the moon is orange and furry and full. In the glow of its strange light, I see birds flying low and slow.

The birds are fighting the wind.

You can buy ‘When Things are Alive They Hum’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Sometimes People Die by Simon Stephenson

Sometimes People Die‘Sometimes People Die’ is the latest book by Simon Stephenson.

The year is 1999. Returning to practice after a suspension for stealing opioids, a young Scottish doctor takes the only job he can find: a post as a senior house officer in the struggling east London hospital of St Luke’s. Amid the maelstrom of sick patients, over-worked staff and underfunded wards a darker secret soon declares itself: too many patients are dying. Which of the medical professionals our protagonist has encountered is behind the murders? And can our unnamed narrator’s version of the events be trusted?

Set in Scotland, the story is seen through the narrative of a man called Doc. He’s been given a second chance of a career, after battling a drug addiction. He’s settling into his new life and routine as well as as new girlfriend. But when an elderly woman dies on his shift, Doc finds himself the prime suspect. The story is set in 1999, the hospital is overrun with patients and under-run with staff and this crime thriller reads like an memoir as Doc is the suspect in the case but is also trying to continue with his job.

The story travels at an interesting pace, packed with medical procedures and jargon as well as a whodunnit, and with the inclusion of famous medical serial killers, this book was fascinating to read.

A fun and twisty story, ‘Sometimes People Die’ is cleverly and wittily written with compelling characters and an atmospheric setting that made for gory and gripping reading.

You can buy ‘Sometimes People Die’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Diseased By S.M. Thomas

The Diseased‘The Diseased’ is the latest book in the ‘Paige Hanson’ series by S.M. Thomas.

Paige Hanson wakes up to a question that turns her stomach; “Where is your husband?” As she struggles to grasp the wisps of memory returning to her she begins to realise that there’s more at stake than Leo’s whereabouts. With no other leads in their investigation the State turns on Paige, painting her as the number one suspect in her husbands disappearance. She’s left with no choice but to turn towards the teachings of the one person she swore never to become in order to prove her innocence and, along the way, begins to realise that some questions are best left unanswered.

The story is seen primarily through the eyes of Paige, who’s husband has disappeared and she has no idea where is he or what has happened to him. Set in a dystopian time where where there is Earth 1 and Earth 2, there is little freedom and strict rules. Paige has to live under surveillance from the government as they believe she’s behind Leo’s disappearance but she’s also a key part in finding a cure for the virus that has the world in lockdown.

The story is a bleak and dismal one, that’s not far from ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. In a world, where there’s little hope but is plagued by lies and betrayal. Paige is under extreme pressure, under the watchful eye of her mother-in-law Regina who never approved of her and her own vigilante mother who never lived by the new world rules, preferring to do her own thing.

The story flows in a fast pace and with it being the first book in a series, it really sets the scene and atmosphere of the story.

The characters are an interesting mix of personalities, from the loyal committed residents to those who live their lives in secret, hidden from laws and judgment.

An interesting story that unsettlingly isn’t too far from real life with viruses and lockdowns, ‘The Diseased’ is a tense story about trying to live freely in a controlled world.

You can buy ‘The Diseased’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Blame Game By Sandie Jones

The Blame Game By‘The Blame Game’ is the latest book by Sandie Jones.

What the back cover says –

There are two sides to every story.
He came to me for help with his marriage.
I was alone and afraid. She was there when I needed to talk.
I needed to make him understand that he had to get away.
I knew what I needed to do. I just couldn’t do it on my own. I trusted her.
Now it has gone too far. And I can’t tell anyone what I have done.
Now I have nowhere to turn and I just pray they find me before she does.

You can buy ‘The Blame Game’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

The Velocity Of Blood By MJ Williams

The Velocity Of Blood‘The Velocity Of Blood’ is the debut novel by MJ Williams.

Jack Tolleson has done nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing. But that doesn’t stop him being viciously bullied. Online and offline. Twenty-four hours a day. Every day. Every. Single. Day. One day in October, dehumanised and stripped of his very identity, he breaks. Jack wants revenge. Carefully calculated revenge. Justice. Jack is willing to do whatever it takes to get even. He’s going to do something that’s never been done before. And when he’s done, you’ll remember his name. You’ll remember his name for the rest of your life…

This book is a stark and dark look into bullying and what drives a quiet and sociable person to suddenly purchase a gun and kill his fellow classmates.

Jack is like any other teenage boy, he enjoys sports, does well at school but he’s overweight and one day when he buys diet soda instead of regular soda, he becomes the subject of bullying in such a horrendous way. He becomes nicknamed Shamu, the famous whale who killed an instructor at Seaworld and his classmates even go as far as wearing pin badges that say ‘Save the World’. He’s bullied online and in the classroom and it genuinely makes for torturous reading, the extent his classmates go to, to make him feel like social outcast and a pariah.

The story flows between the past tense, the moments leading up to Jack’s decision to seek his revenge, his mother’s narrative living with the aftermath and a podcast called ‘Killing Time’ which discusses his actions.

This book is not for the faint hearted, it’s dark, gritty and really explores gun crime, school massacres and just what it takes to push a person to their limit. My heart went out to Jack, he’s kindhearted and even though his classmates torture him, he still reaches out to help. His mother is oblivious to his pain as he hides it is so well. I was disgusted with the behaviour of his classmates and I’m just thankful that I’ve grown up in a time, when social media and mobile phones weren’t so prevalent.

I also sympathised with Jack’s mother, left behind and having to deal with opinions and threats from the town as well as not knowing until it was too late the terrible suffering her son felt and what forced him to take such extreme actions.

The narrative from the duo presenting the podcast was particularly annoying, but I think this was the author’s intention. They were cocky, arrogant and pretty much just slagged Jack, they weren’t sympathetic to his ordeal and were just two jocks fooling about.

This book is incredibly detailed and researched and the author really gives an insight into the American gun laws and the workings of the dark web, that assisted Jack with his task.

Hard hitting, addictive and incredibly sad, ‘The Velocity of Blood’ is about one boy trying to fit in, only to be turned against with such tragic consequences.

You can buy ‘The Velocity Of Blood’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.