ABOUT THE AUTHOR
After an MA in English, Simon Beckett spent several years as a property repairer before teaching in Spain. Back in the UK, he played percussion in several bands. He has been a freelance journalist since 1992, writing for national British newspapers and magazines. Some of his more memorable assignments have included going on police drugs raids, touring brothels with a vice unit and trying to learn how to win a gun fight in Nevada. It was a visit to the Body Farm in Tennessee that was the inspiration behind the internationally bestselling David Hunter crime thrillers, which have now been translated into 29 languages.
Simon’s novels have now sold 7 million copies worldwide, and he was the UK’s top selling author in Europe for 2009. The Chemistry of Death was shortlisted for the 2006 CWA’s Duncan Lawrie (Gold) Dagger and the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year in 2008. He has also been shortlisted twice for the Dagger in the Library award, in 2009 and 2010, when he was highly commended. In 2011 The Calling of the Gravespent nine weeks at the top of the German hardback charts, and also reached No. 1 in Austria, Switzerland and Poland.
As well as the David Hunter series, he is the author of four psychological thrillers; Fine Lines, Animals (winner of the ‘Marlowe’ award for Best International Crime Novel), Where There’s Smoke and Owning Jacob. These were recently published in Germany (as Voyeur, Tiere, Flammenbrut and Obsession) where they all were #1 bestsellers. Owning Jacob has also now been published in Italy and the Netherlands.
Simon is married and lives in Sheffield, England.
‘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, lonely part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer. Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the hedgerows and country lanes only to be caught in the vicious jaws of a 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…Superbly written, Stone Bruises is a classic nail-shredder of a thriller that holds you from the beginning. The narrative slowly, inexorably tightens its grip as the story unfurls and will keep you guessing until the unnerving and shocking final twist…
When I first heard about this book I looked up the author, there were some fantastic review, Chemistry of death stood out. I had to have a copy of the book and review it, i want to change my review pile to include more crime fiction.
Then i got the premise for the book, and i thought…Noooooooo September (at Transworld) has conned me, this is something else, this talk of a great book is all fluff to get me to read it, what is she doing to me, this is Sooooooo not my sort of book. But she was wonderfully kind enough to send me a copy and approve my net galley request, i could not let her down.
So with a heavy heart i started reading, and was instantly lost in the book. In one short evening i had read nearly half the book. I still am not sure what it was that drew me in and enveloped me in the book. The characters were so real, it was like being sat with a childhood friend as he spills out his tale of a summer gone wrong. The descriptions of France were not your classic scenes, There was no holiday romance, there was pain, fear, uncertainty, threats, hard work and reflection, and i think it was that reflection that caught me. That sudden stop of the merry go round of life, an escape from all your troubles and letting time stand still, at least until finally the clock is wound again and time starts a fresh.
The book isn’t full of surprises, i could usually spot what came next, but i don’t think its meant to hide or surprise, but to convey an odd twisted normality, that whilst the main characters issues are on hold the French families troubles still continue, in fact are exacerbated by his presence, culminating in time restarting and Seans return to the real world
absolutely everything about this book screams that i will not like it, and yet i loved it. a wonderful book that i finished before i wanted to.
I shall be reading more by this author
1. The Chemistry of Death (2006)
2. Written in Bone (2007)
3. Whispers of the Dead (2009)
4. The Calling of the Grave (2010)