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Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns' country, just a stone's throw from the great man's cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge: Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers.Other published work includes: Carnegie's Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; and Beyond the Rage. His poetry includes: In The Raw, Running Threads and Lip Synch. Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website www.crimesquad.com. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.
Author photo © Bob McDevitt
Sneaking into an everyday life, this powerful and darkly dramatic tale smashes open the past to create a compelling read. When his mother goes into a home, John Docherty starts to sort through her belongings. The mention of a brother he knew nothing about sends his life into a downward spin. Orenda Books describe this novel as domestic noir, which is absolutely perfect. The writing is punchy tight, Michael J. Malone immediately gave me a sense of who John was as his thoughts travelled into mine. This is a book that crawled under my skin and had a good creep around. As John investigates and his every moment is consumed, his memories start to return. I knew that something was coming, the hints tripped me up and laid me flat. Challenging and emotional, In the Absence of Miracles enthrals as it corkscrews to a shocking, yet ultimately rewarding end.
Stinging, compelling, dynamic… excellent. After Paula’s husband dies she discovers she may not have known him quite as well as she thought. Life takes a vicious slap at Paula and her only chance is to come out swinging. As I read I felt as though the words were shaping into life, as though this tale could be happening right now, at this very moment. There is an immediacy, a powerful edge to the storyline that feels so very real and wonderfully different too. Glasgow sits centre stage, vibrantly punchy and full of life. Michael J. Malone has created a dramatic and thrilling family tale that just sings with intensity. I thoroughly enjoyed picking my way along the razor wire of uncertainty that my thoughts and feelings teetered on. After He Died is an explosive tale, one that takes hold, bites, and doesn’t let go.
A haunting, sinister tale, where tension coils, ready to bite, to sting and provoke thoughts. Ranald McGhie finds himself in an entirely unexpected position, having inherited Newton Hall, a family mansion he had no idea existed, however a torturous journey lies ahead. Michael J. Malone has created such a readable story, yet one that made me think, made me question my thought processes again and again. He plays with your mind, simply, clearly and so effectively. Newton Hall sits centre stage, and within the walls malevolence waits, ready to seize Ranald’s imagination, his judgment, his instinct. Loops of history swirl ever closer, entangling Ranald’s thoughts, creating a disturbance that reverberates through the pages. As icy goose bumps of awareness settled, as ‘House of Spines’ drew to a close, I found a delicious shiver of uncertainty once again trailing a path down my neck, ensuring a provocative ending to an eerie and stimulating read. ~ Liz Robinson
Unsettling, thought-provoking, and absolutely riveting. He's not even 30, yet Andy is a widower, he has a young son and a loving support network around him. When Andy meets Anna, he can’t believe that he will get a second chance at love and rushes into marriage. However he finds lies and secrets can turn inside out, trip up the unwary, cause mayhem, and change lives. The prologue sent a wave of shock scudding through me, it twisted my thoughts and set my mind on high alert. Michael J. Malone steps into an uncomfortable and distressing subject and makes it relatable, accessible, real. I felt I could reach out and touch the characters, as though they could be someone I knew, someone I cared about. Encouraging supposition to flip on its head and allowing suspicion to creep in and linger, ‘A Suitable Lie’ is a challenging and clever read. ~ Liz Robinson
You need to know who your husband really was . . . When Paula Gadd's husband of almost 30 years dies, just days away from the seventh anniversary of their son Christopher's death, her world falls apart. Grieving and bereft, she is stunned when a young woman approaches her at the funeral service, and slips something into her pocket. A note suggesting that Paula's husband was not all that he seemed. When the two women eventually meet, a series of revelations challenges everything Paula thought she knew, and it becomes immediately clear that both women's lives are in very real danger.
A terrific read. - Martina Cole. Kenny O'Neill, a villain with a conscience, returns in a hard-hitting thriller of exploitation, corruption and criminal gangs. When Kenny's cousin, Ian, comes to the aid of a fellow ex-squaddie in a heap of trouble, he gets caught up in the vicious underground fight scene, where callous criminals prey on the vulnerable, damaged and homeless. With Ian in too deep to escape, Kenny has no option other than to infiltrate the gang for the sake of his family. Kenny is an experienced MMA fighter, as tough as they come, but has he found himself in the one fight he can never win?
A Glasgow student is found dead in a city-centre alley, kickstarting a trail of brutality that drives DI Ray McBain to the very edge, staring into the abyss...The victim's family and friends are all under suspicion, and McBain has to untangle a sordid web of lies, deceit, blackmail, infidelity and cyberstalking. And when Stigmata, a deranged serial killer from McBain's tortured past, starts taking out new victims - with the suspects and McBain himself in his sights - the case gets even more treacherous. The pressure intensifies until McBain calls on Kenny O'Neill, his old underworld crony, to help watch his back. Will that be enough to stop the killing?
Funny and brutal, heartfelt and compelling - Craig Robertson. Even though he's a successful criminal, Glasgow villain Kenny O'Neill is angry. Not only has his high-class escort girlfriend just been attacked, but his father is reaching out to him from the past - despite abandoning Kenny as a child after his mother's suicide. Kenny is now on a dual mission to hunt down his girl's attacker and find out the truth about his father...but instead he unravels disturbing family secrets and finds that revenge is not always sweet. An intelligent, violent thriller shot through with dark humour, Beyond the Rage enthralls and disturbs in equal measure. With an intricate plot, all-too-believable characters and perfectly pitched dialogue, this is a masterclass in psychological crime fiction writing.
In 1920s French-controlled Algeria, Kaci is in the frame for the brutal murder of his French boss. Kaci is faced with a stark choice: name his cousin as the killer and win his freedom, or keep quiet and face 25 years' hard labour in the infamous Devil's Island penal colony. Either way, one of them is destined for the world's worst prison...a hell on earth that few men survive. The Guillotine Choice is a novel based on the true story of an Algerian man's years in one of history's most notorious prisons. A real-life Shawshank Redemption, it is an inspirational story of endurance and the triumph of dignity over despair in almost unimaginably horrific conditions.