#1 – Jordan (What happened to Katie McCormack?)

The last time I saw Katie McCormack was the morning after the night before; my head was a haze of red wine, sleep deprivation, and the best night of my life.  To say I was a little confused by the reception I got when my eyes finally focused on the snarling figure standing over me, would be a fucking understatement. Katie was full of fight, and I was her next opponent.  I was not impressed; I was more a lover than a fighter.

‘You fucking fucker, how could you,’ she had yelled on repeat, in a voice that I could only say resembled a deranged animal, until the couple in the flat beneath started yelling back ‘keep the fucking noise down’ and ‘put something in her fucking big gob’.  

‘Look it just happened,’ I offered, continuing with ‘it’s no big deal.’  What the hell was I thinking? Of course it was a big deal. I had been in love with this woman since the moment she barged past me on the subway, before we were cheek to cheek in the crowded carriage on our way to Buckhurst Hill.  

‘NO BIG DEAL.  I’LL GIVE YOU NO BIG DEAL.’

‘I didn’t mean it like that babes.’  I stepped towards Katie, at the same time she aimed a fist at my face, and I’m not embarrassed to say, that it made me want her more.

Katie, on the other hand, had other ideas, and before I could get another word out, she had launched herself at me, fists and feet flying in every direction.  

‘I will NEVER forgive you!’ The venom in her words burnt through the layers of my delicate skin.  

I looked around at my tiny apartment; the floor littered with empty wine and beer bottles, discarded condoms, some still in their wrappers, a half-eaten pizza and the unwanted double duvet.  Then I saw red.

Two paracetamols, four coffees and a fried egg and tomato sandwich later, I was sat in a grey lifeless room opposite two stony faced police officers, dying to use the bathroom.

‘Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?  the one on the left said, ‘and this time, let’s not leave anything out.’

‘What you mean you want to hear all about the rude stuff?’ I said, sounding genuinely appalled.  It wasn’t like I was a prude or anything; last night had been fucking amazing and I wasn’t up for sharing the most intimate details with a bunch of strangers.  There might be only two people in the room with me, but I was certain that behind the glass mirror there were more than two pairs of eyes watching me closely. I hated the idea of being watched.  

‘You were the last known person to have contact with Katie, so we want everything you can tell us about last night, this morning, Katie, no matter how small or insignificant.’ The one on the right, a red-head with steely green eyes, piped up.  I guessed she was the one in charge. She had that air of authority. I forced myself to clear my mind and clenched my thighs together.

‘Okay I get it.  Do you mind if we take a toilet break?  I don’t think I can hold it in any longer?  It’s the effects of the beer.’ I shrug and look at the detective on the left, hoping he will understand better than Red.  

‘I could do with a coffee, how about you?’  Leftie said. I smiled, not sure if he was talking to me or Red, and waited.  I had never been in a police station before, so I wasn’t fully up on the protocol; I made a mental note to do some research when I got home.  I always liked to be prepared.

‘Fine.  We’ll take a ten minute recess.  But,’ Red looked me straight in the eyes, ‘when we return, you will start talking!’  Then she was gone, in one swift move, leaving in her wake a subtle, but, distinctive smell of orchids.  Katie loved orchids with their delicate pink flower; I could take or leave orchids.

‘I’ll find a PC to show you where the toilet facilities are.  Do you want something to drink?’ Leftie asked, with a slight softness in his voice.  

‘Just a black coffee for me, ta.  I don’t suppose I could push for some biscuits or a chocolate bar?  I’ve only had a sandwich all day.’ That wasn’t completely true, but I wasn’t going to admit that I had forced myself to eat the cold pizza that had been strewn all over the floor.  

‘Let me see what I can do.’ Leftie nodded, and ushered a young female PC in my direction; her face a little flustered which still surprises me.  I’m not what you could call a pretty face, but, according to an old girlfriend, I have this sort of vibe going on that seems to attract the chicks.  

TO READ THE REST OF THE CHAPTER CLICK HERE

 

Safe by Harlan Coben – My Review

It was about two years ago when I read my first Harlan Coben book; over the last 12 months he had become one of my favourite writers, and his style of writing is having a big impact on my own writing.

I love the way in which he has the ability to produce page turners, feeding readers clues in carefully selected stages, before the mystery/motive/suspect is, in the majority of cases, neatly tied up in the last few chapters.  I have never been able to completely get it right when it comes down to working out who the culprit is, or the motive behind the mystery, which is a refreshing change to the books (and shows) that make it far too easy for me.  That’s the kind of writer I inspire to be.

Coben’s first foray into TV was the British drama, The Five; it was  a big hit for me.  That’s why I was looking forward to seeing what his second TV masterpiece, Safe starring Dexter’s Michael C Hall, had to offer.

Having binge-watched the eight episodes – thanks Netflix! – I can honestly say it was like reading one of Coben’s books; I couldn’t wait to get to the last few episodes to find out the truth.  But I must admit I did have a few issues with the show.

So here’s a few of my thoughts on Harlan Coben’s Safe:

  1. Michael C Hall was a good casting for the widowed surgeon Tom Delaney, but I couldn’t truly get past his portrayal of Dexter.  (Sorry Michael, you will always be Dexter Morgan to me!)
  2. I wasn’t convinced with Michael’s British accent and at times it came across as slightly forced and unnatural, which was highlighted more with a mostly British cast.  He could have easily kept his American accent, just like Audrey Fleurot, with her French accent.
  3. The houses were amazing albeit a tad too clean and tidy, with the Delaney’s kitchen my favourite (but it did look a bit familiar).
  4. I liked the premise that, inside the gates, everybody seemed to have a secret, which rings true in many real life tight-knit communities.
  5.  The flashbacks throughout the episodes worked well offering the viewers vital clues without having to waste valuable viewing time – a bit like a Harlan Coben book.
  6. I did, however, note a few questionable things, and will need to watch the episodes again just to make sure of a couple of things.  I see that one of the them has already been picked up by another eagle eyed viewer.  (sorry for a being so cryptic but no spoilers!).
  7. Could Doctor Tom Delaney really go AWOL as much as he did being a surgeon?
  8. Pete Mayfield (Marc Warren) and Emma Castle (Hannah Arterton) were great supporting characters, but the long-lost father/daughter subplot was done and dusted in a split second, despite the initial build-up.
  9. The ending was a surprise but that’s the kind of twist Coben is famous for. (watch it and you’ll understand why!).
  10. Did I enjoy it?  It’s not on the same level as Coben’s, The Five, but it was a good watch.

So will you be heading over to Netflix to catch this show?

My Reading Goal for 2018

It’s the second week of June and I’ve decided to set myself a reading goal with a difference.  By the end of the year I want to have read all the books by Harlan Coben; that’s about 30 books, not including his anthologies.

There are a number of reasons why I want to focus on Coben’s books for the last six months of this year:

  • I like his particular style of writing
  • he has quickly become my favourite author in the thriller genre
  • I want to learn the craft of keeping readers gripped right up until the last page

Have you set a reading goal before?  Do you always complete it?  Or do you start off sprinting ahead only to fall at the last hurdle?

I read, on average, around 35-40 books a year, but I have never focused on one particular author, or a specific genre before; is that going to prove to be my Achilles heel?

I guess only time will tell…….

World Cup Fever

In 76 hours the World Cup will get under way with a spectacular opening ceremony at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, with one of the 32 national teams competing, destined for World Cup glory.

World Cup Fever  is everywhere – on TV, the radio, the internet, in the papers, the shops, the workplace; it might seem like overkill to some, but it’s one of those events that brings people together and gets the world talking.  I can feel the anticipation, the silent hopes, the excitement, the trepidation hanging in the air!

I’ve grown up watching the World Cup and have seen some of the best teams lift the golden trophy, twice – Italy, Germany, Brazil!  It seems that these three teams, know a thing or two when it comes to the biggest football event in history; Brazil has claimed the title five teams, with Italy and Germany close on their heels with four apiece.  I would love to see a major upset in the World Cup this time round, rather than another one of the usual suspects lifting the trophy; I don’t think I’m the only one.

Will you be following your national team with pride, or backing a wild card to make footballing history?  Or will you just be watching as a neutral, able to fully enjoy the tournament, without the emotional roller-coaster ride, that most dedicated fans will experience for the next five weeks?

Whatever your reasons, the 2018 World Cup, is sure to be a mix of magic, heartbreak, tears of joy, red cards, yellow cards, spectacular goals, disallowed goals, the goal that wins the game, and of course, plenty of tears of disappointment.

Are you ready?

Interview with Taylor Morgan, the Writer!

I know some people might think interviewing yourself a bit self-indulgent, but I feel it’s a great way for audiences to get to know you, what you’re all about, and why you write the genre that you do.

So here’s ten questions that I have put to me, Taylor Morgan, the Writer:

  1. When did you obsession with detectives and crime-fighting begin?  I can honestly say it was through TV and not books, and the 70s show Starsky & Hutch.  It had the right blend of ingredients that I have found draws me to a certain show, or a particular book; chalk and cheese partners, an informant or two, a no-nonsense captain, a murder.
  2. How many crime related shows do you watch a week?  That does depend on whether or not it’s a new show with only 6 episodes, or a new show to me with 5 seasons.  I would say on average I can watch anything between 3 & 6 crime related shows a week. that also include police or court dramas.
  3. How long have you been writing crime thrillers?  I have been writing seriously for the past ten years, but it has only been the last three years that I have ventured into the crime genre.
  4. Do you have a favourite crime writer?  If you look at my bookshelf you will see a number of books by Harlan Coben and this year I intend to read the ones that I have not yet got round to.  I think that’s about 25 books.
  5. When you watch a show, or read a book, how long does it take you to figure out the perpetrator or plot?  It’s only on a rare occasion that I have no idea as to who or why, but I do tend to have a good gut feeling for red herrings.
  6. Where do you get your ideas from?  My ideas start most of the time with a character, then I go from there; news articles, books, TV shows, and real people and situations tend to be useful when I start thinking about plots.
  7. What is your writing Kryptonite?  This is going to sound harsh but it’s people.  When I’m writing I do like to be alone and as unavailable as possible, but that can be hard to understand for some people.
  8. What are the most common things people say to you, when you tell them you are a writer?  It has to be ‘are you going to put me in your book’ which makes me laugh, but no I don’t tend to write about one particular person.
  9. Does writing energise or exhaust you?  Writing definitely energises me; the only time it has exhausted me is when I completed NaNoWriMo for the first time.
  10. How many hours a day do you write?  During the week I tend to write for 1-2 hours a day, at the weekend it can be anything from 2-8 hours.

Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed my answers.