Morning my lovelies and happy Monday. I hope you all have a lovely, sunny weekend. Today I’m delighted to be on TWO blog tours and bringing you TWO reviews! First up is for Bad Magic by A. M. Stirling – a dark and sinister thriller…..
When Richard meets his cousin Amanda for the first time in twenty years, he’s still afraid of her; she bullied him throughout his childhood and sexually abused him when they were teenagers. He owns a struggling art gallery that only survives because his wealthy grandmother pays for it. But now Amanda’s back in his life, things look set to change. She’s out to make trouble, drugging Richard with Rohypnol, faking a burglary and trying to persuade their grandmother to change her will. Richard’s heard a rumour she murdered her mother. Fearing for his grandmother’s life and his inheritance, he decides to give Amanda a dose of her own medicine.
Published in paperback and ebook formats by Wombach Press on 30th September 2019.
Please note this is an affiliate link. If you choose to purchase this book through this link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you). This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.
When Richard goes to Canada to his Aunt’s funeral he has to see his cousin Amanda, someone he’s been free of for years. Having bullied and sexually abused him when he was a young teen, Richard isn’t prepared for the fact that she hasn’t changed – and he’s still not able to stand up to her. But then he hears rumours that she may have had something to do with her Mother’s death……
Although suspicious, he returns home to the North of England and is relieved to get away from her. But then somehow Amanda has wormed her way in to his Grandmother’s affection and is moving over to the UK. Richard must now face constantly seeing the woman who has always tormented him, and the confused feelings he has for her. And when his Grandmother’s house is broken into and she starts turning against him, he realises Amanda may be up to some dirty tricks and decides to get even…….
This was a dark, but gripping story but one that won’t be for everyone. The story covers the bullying and sexual abuse of Richard as a young teen by his cousin and his complex feelings around it; but also covers adult bullying, abuse and rape. Some of the scenes are pretty descriptive so if these aspects are like to be a trigger for you, you may be best avoiding this. I definitely feel that there should be a trigger warning in the blurb for readers who may find this disturbing.
However, despite the darkness, this was a gripping thriller. I have to say I didn’t particularly like any of the characters. You start off liking Richard and feel sorry for the way he is treated by Amanda, but then you realise that he’s just as manipulative when it comes to wanting things – especially his Grandmother’s money; as well as treating his on/off girlfriend terribly. Amanda was a despicable character – a manipulative, cruel bully who uses whatever methods she needs to get her own way.
Although not particularly fast paced, the story does keep you gripped as you want to find out what happens with the characters. There are some twists and turns, and some shocking secrets that come to light. The fact that the story tells the other side of bullying, abuse and rape, with a male being the victim I felt was really important as it’s not always covered enough, and it is something that happens in real life.
Overall this was a dark and disturbing thriller, but one that, if you enjoy the darker side of a thriller, will have you turning the pages. I’ll definitely look out for more from this author.
about the author
M. Stirling has had a varied career as a freelance photographer, an artist with several national and international exhibitions to his name, and an academic. After harbouring an ambition to write fiction for far too long, he completed an MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University in 2012.
Bad Magic is his first published novel. He lives in Newcastle upon Tyne.
tour hosted by
Many thanks to Emma for inviting me on to the tour, and to the author and publisher for a copy of the book in return for an honest review. All views and opinions are my own.
Back soon lovelies….