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Stone Bruises by Simon Beckett
  

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A dark tale that unfolds in two time frames in France and London. The French strand centres on an odd farming family who set traps to stop anyone breaking into their property. Our protagonist gets caught in one. The London strand is his previous life and portrays the reason why he is on the run in France. They are both pretty grim tales, tense and involving with some very unpleasant people.

If you like Simon Beckett you might also like to read books by Denise Mina, Mo Hayder and Kathy Reichs.

Synopsis

Stone Bruises by Simon Beckett

'Somebody!' I half-sob and then, more quietly, 'Please.' The words seem absorbed by the afternoon heat, lost amongst the trees. In their aftermath, the silence descends again. I know then that I'm not going anywhere...Sean is on the run. We don't know why and we don't know from whom, but we do know he's abandoned his battered, blood-stained car in the middle of an isolated part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer. Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the parched fields and country lanes but his leg is caught in a vicious animal trap. Near unconscious from pain and loss of blood, he is freed and taken in by two women - daughters of the owner of a rundown local farm with its ramshackle barn, blighted vineyard and the brooding lake. And it's then that Sean's problems really start...This nail-shredder of a thriller - like the fiction of Nicci French or Gillian Flynn - holds you from the beginning, tightening its grip as the story unfurls and shocks you with its final twist.

Reviews

'A gripping psychological thriller' -- DAILY EXPRESS


About the Author

Simon Beckett

Simon Beckett is a freelance journalist and writes for national newspapers and colour supplements. He is married and lives in Sheffield.

Simon Beckett questions

1. Who or what influenced you to write The Chemistry of Death?

The idea came from magazine article I was writing about the National Forensic Academy in Tennessee, an organisation that gives highly realistic forensic training to US police detectives and crime scene investigators. Part of the course involved several days at a place called The Body Farm. It’s a world-famous training ground for forensic anthropologists and the like, and is unique because it uses real human cadavers for its research. The detectives had to carry out what are known as ‘body recovery’ exercises – locating graves where supposed murder victims were buried. Even though it was staged, the bodies were real and it was treated like an actual crime scene. It made a lasting impression on me, and formed the inspiration behind the book.

2. Is Dr David Hunter’s character based on fiction or someone you know?

No, David Hunter is entirely fictional. Having said that, the forensic techniques he uses are all real, and based on information from actual forensic anthropologists.

3. What do you love most about writing?

On a good day it’s a completely absorbing process. You look at the clock and find a few hours have gone by without your realising. And there’s an undeniable buzz when people read something you’ve written, and you know it does exactly what you wanted it to. On bad day… well, let’s not even talk about that.

4. What do you consider most difficult?

Starting a new novel – or any piece of writing come to that – is probably the hardest part for me. At that point you know all the hard work is still to come, and 100,000 words can seem like an awful lot when you’re still on Chapter One.

5. Do you write full time now? What jobs have you held in the past?

I’ve written full time for around twelve years now. I tend to split my time between novels and freelance journalism. I find the two complement each other pretty well, provided you organise your time properly. Before that I had a fairly varied career – everything from property repairs to playing in a band.

6. How did you first get started writing?

Good question. It’s something I’ve always been interested in, but I only really started to think of it as a potential career when I went to work in Spain. I was teaching English, but I used to write in my spare time. It took me about six years before I was finally published, though, so it was hardly an overnight thing.

7. How did you first get published?

I didn’t have an agent, so I started submitting my manuscript around publishers myself. After countless rejection slips it was picked out of the slush-pile, and within 48-hours I’d got myself both a book-deal and an agent. A real water-shed moment.

8. Where did you grow up, how did this place influence you?

I grew up – and still live in – Sheffield. It was a fairly ordinary working class background, at a time when the city was still dominated by the steel industry. But I can’t say it consciously influenced my writing – I don’t set my novels here, because I think it’s difficult to be objective about somewhere you know well. But other writers have no problem with that, so it’s just a case of different strokes, I suppose.

9. What can we expect next?

I don’t want to give away too much at this stage. But let’s just say we probably haven’t seen the last of Dr David Hunter.

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Book Info

Publication date

11th September 2014

Author

Simon Beckett

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Author's Website

www.simonbeckett.com/win/

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Publisher

Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group) an imprint of Transworld Publishers Ltd

Format

Paperback
384 pages

Categories

Crime / Mystery
eBook Favourites

Crime & mystery
Thriller / suspense

ISBN

9780857502582

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