Monday 20 February 2023

"Don't Go Back" - Happy Book Birthday!

Although it doesn't seem quite possible, my debut mainstream thriller Don't Go Back, published by those fine people The Book Folks, is a year old!

A captivating thriller about a woman whose past suddenly catches up with her

When Beth receives news that a once-close friend has died, after years away she reluctantly returns to the seaside town where she grew up.

Beth becomes increasingly unsettled as she attends the funeral, encounters people from her past, and visits her teenage haunts.

She is forced to take herself back to the awful summer when she left for good. Yet it is not just memories that are resurfacing, but simmering resentments.

Someone else hasn’t quite so readily put their past behind them, and unwittingly Beth will become the key to their catharsis.

As she puts two and two together, the question is: whatever possessed her to return?

DON’T GO BACK is a truly nail-biting read that will appeal to fans of Claire McGowan, Vanessa Garbin, Teresa Driscoll, Linwood Barclay and Anna Willett.

This is the best book you’ll read all year!

* * *

The book is set in Seagrave (a British seaside town that feels very much like Great Yarmouth and is, indeed, just down the coast from Lowestoft) and told in two timelines, which were great fun to write. My good friend David Roberts & I plotted it out on one of our Friday Night Walks and I wrote it during the lockdowns (which might explain why the first draft was twice as long as the second!). The novel took a few twists and turns in its progress from idea to finished tale and the novel features tension and suspense, some scary parts, some funny bits and a few sad moments too. 

Having come out of the UK horror small press I wasn't entirely sure what to expect but the reaction has been better than I could have imagined. People - some my friends from real life (Ross Warren deserves a mention for leading the charge) and Facebook, others I had never interacted with - were hugely helpful and supportive, sharing my posts and tolerating me talking about the book a lot and letting their friends and followers know that Don't Go Back was out there.
The book has acquitted itself well over the year and, as I write this, it's sitting with 1,025 ratings on Amazon and a 4.1/5 average. I'm grateful to everyone who's bought a copy and left a rating or review (Steve Bacon posted his to his blog here). People seem to have taken well to the dual timeline which is pleasing because the writing process for that and trying to get it all tied together seemed - at times - to be a never-ending headache.

Like most writers, I create the stories because they're in my head and I enjoy the process of getting them out onto paper but to know that someone else derives pleasure from it makes all those painful parts (why won't this character do what I want her to, why isn't this part working, why on earth did I think it was a good idea to have a dual timeline?) worthwhile.
And if there's anyone you think might like a dual timeline thriller novel set in an English seaside town with some funny bits, a few scary bits, a couple of sad bits and a whole lot of suspense, please tell them all about Don't Go Back. 

Tell all your friends!