The Thrillers That Inspired ‘Lies’ by T M Logan #blogtour

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tm-loganThrillers that inspired LIES

Who can say where stories come from? For me, they start with a tiny core, a single idea. Maybe a character or a single situation, a point of crisis or a relationship I want to know more about. Wrap a few more ideas around the core, then a few more, check its pulse to make sure it’s starting to live and breathe. Then sit down and start writing.

The core idea of LIES came to me while we were driving to Brittany for our summer holiday. I was supposed to be navigating but got so caught up with the idea – and scribbling it down in my notebook before it disappeared – that we got lost. We had to go on a bit of a magical mystery tour to pick up our route again, but the story of LIES was already starting to live and breathe (in my head, at least).

Like everyone else, though, I’ve been inspired and influenced over the years by thrillers that I’ve loved and the people who have written them. My favourite authors include Michael Connolly, Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, Tana French, Lee Child, Sophie Hannah, Bernard Cornwell, Peter Swanson, Stephen King, Gillian Flynn and Ken Follett. I’ve missed lots out, but that might give you an idea of the kind of stories that I love to read – and write.

In no particular order, here are a few of the stories that inspired LIES:

I remember being bowled over by Harlan Coben’s Tell No One. It was the first time that I’d read one of his thrillers and it featured his trademark combination of a cracking story, great dialogue, compelling bad guys and a protagonist you’re rooting for from page one. Coben is also adept at bringing in technology and making it a turning point in his story, as when the hero sees an image of his wife – supposedly dead for eight years – on his computer screen.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn was one of many great recommendations from my wife, Sally. I loved this book. The slow unravelling of the truth about Amy Dunne takes the story in ways you can’t predict. Is she alive or dead? Is her husband involved in her disappearance? Is the truth simply what we believe it to be? The blurring of fact and fiction, the creation of different versions of the truth, feature strongly in LIES.

I have lots of favourites by Stephen King but Misery is at the top. It’s so simple, basically two characters in a house for 95 per cent of the story, and yet he manages to make it utterly gripping and terrifying. Stephen King is the master at that sense of ‘creeping doom’, at building the tension slowly, as Paul Sheldon comes to realise that there is something very, very wrong with the situation in which he finds himself.

A Simple Plan by Scott Smith grabbed hold of me in such a way that it became like an addiction. A real high concept premise – three guys find a bag full of money in the woods – but so many twists and turns that it was impossible to put down. At its heart it’s about the terrible things people will do in pursuit of what they think is right, and the crimes they will justify on the way.

Last but definitely not least (and not a book, either), I tip my hat to Les Diaboliques, a French film about betrayal, obsession, and murder. Check it out if you ever get the chance. It has a killer twist – when it was shown in cinemas, a title screen appeared at the end of the movie asking the audience not to reveal it to others, so they wouldn’t spoil the surprise. I hope the twist at the end of LIES has a similar impact!

What are your favourite thrillers? Let me know @TMLoganAuthor

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WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES? 

When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s young son has an asthma attack – and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that’s when Joe receives the first message . . .

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12 Words with Matt Hilton

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Matt Hilton quit his career as a police officer with Cumbria Constabulary to pursue his love of writing tight, cinematic American-style thrillers. He is the author of the highly successful, 10 strong Joe Hunter thriller series, which includes such titles as Dead Men’s Dust, Cut and Run, Blood and Ashes, No Going Back, The Lawless Kind and The Devil’s Anvil

His latest novel Blood Tracks Introduces private investigator Tess Grey and Southern renegade ex-con Nicolas ‘Po’ Villere in the first of a brand-new series of fast-paced action thrillers.

Today on LifeOfCri.me, Matt takes on our 12 word challenge.

Rules

Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)

Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.

 

LOC: You’ve just released your latest novel Blood Tracks, what can you tell us about it?

MH: It has a female lead, who is not Joe Hunter in tights.

LOC: What was behind your decision to take a break from your serial character Joe Hunter and begin a new series?

MH: To exercise my creativity and extend my commercial viability to female readers.

LOC: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your writing career?

MH: Winning over readers who complain Hunter isn’t Lee Child/Jack Reacher.

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read this year (title & author not in word count) and why?

MH: “No One Gets Out Alive” by Adam Neville was intense and spooky and I do love a good scary story.

LOC: Describe your perfect getaway

MH: A log cabin in the Scottish highlands, preferably near a remote loch.

LOC: What is the strangest sentence you have written/read this week (limit does not apply)

MH: From my WIP: “Nicolas, I’m just shy of three hundred and fifty pounds, me; if I wore high heels I’d end up nailed to the sidewalk for the duration.”

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author C.L.Taylor you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with just a sledge, a grappling hook and some fish bones. What do you do? (12 words – minimum of one item.)

MH: Throw on furs; sit on the sledge singing White Fang the musical.

 

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Rob Sinclair talks Thrillers: Books vs Big Screen

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As part of his mini blog tour for Rise Of The Enemy, author Rob Sinclair talks to LifeOfCri.me about books and the big screen.

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Thrillers: Film versus books

I’m a huge thriller fan, whether it be books or film, and it’s probably no surprise therefore that so many of my readers have commented how they think the Enemy Series would translate so naturally onto the big screen (any Hollywood producers reading this, just give me a call). So which is best and why?

I’m not sure I have an answer to that. I love both books and films for different reasons. Books are special to so many people. With a book you transport yourself into your own world. Ok, so it’s the writer’s words you’re reading, it’s his or her characters, but those characters come to life for each and every reader and they do so in a different way. The way every reader feels about the book and the characters, how they see the setting in their heads, how they view the characters and the emotions the characters feel, is an entirely personal experience. That’s what makes a book so powerful. And as a writer, the part that I get real satisfaction from is really exploring the psyche of my characters. I like getting into their heads and drilling down to the very core of who they are. On screen, and in writing a screenplay, you just can’t get to that same depth because such a large part of the unspoken elements of the plot are purely visual.

That said, on the flip side, it’s the visual potency of films which I love. In many ways they can be a lazy alternative to books, and films definitely engage the brain in a different way than books do. But I still love them. I love the sweeping visuals that you can get, and the painstaking and gritty detail that we get to see in action scenes which has so many more levels to it than you could ever write down on a page. And films can be incredibly emotional too. We don’t get to be inside the characters’ heads in the same way as in a book – as there simply isn’t the inner narrative – but when you get a top-notch script and top-notch actors in place, there’s no doubting that you can feel a wide range of emotions watching a good film. And we feel great connections to actors and actresses because of this. It’s why they are such big A-list celebrities.

As for my own books, in many ways I think they are perhaps something of a hybrid between traditional book and film. I love both formats and have been influenced greatly by both and even though the books I’ve written are very definitely novels and not screenplays, in my head they play out more like a movie, with a big emphasis on visuals. My writing evolved in many respects as a collection of scenes, much like you’d get in a screenplay. I think that’s just the way the plots are formed in my head and the way that I translate them onto the page. I think of a scene, I flesh out the scene as much as I can in my mind, and then I write it out.

So which is best: book or film? Well, the jury is still out as far as I’m concerned. But it’s on my to-do list to re-write each of the books of the Enemy series into screenplays. I think they’d all work in that format and I’m excited to see how they look and feel. And maybe one day, when the big screen version of the Enemy series hits your local cinema, you can come and tell me which version you liked best.

image003Rise of the Enemy is available to buy now.

 

The Girl On The Train – Paula Hawkins

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“To everyone else in this carriage I must look normal; I’m doing exactly what they do: commuting to work, making appointments, ticking things off lists.

Just goes to show.”

Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’ she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

Then she sees something shocking. It’s only for a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives show only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train.

First things first, I’m simply going to say this….

Go Away and order this book now…

I guarantee when this book hits the shelves in January it is one that will be talked about just about everywhere. It’s simply that awesome. I can’t remember the last time I read a debut novel as original, gripping, and well written. I already know that I’m not going to shut up about this book for some time, and even with the wait for its release, it is one I am going to be recommending to anyone who asks me what I think they should be reading.

Published on the 15th January 2015, The Girl On The Train is epically timed for a cold, snow filled Saturday in front of the fire with some hot chocolate.  It’s dark, disturbing and totally addictive so put your feet up, get yourself comfortable and settle in for a good few hours because you will not be able to put this book down until you have finished.

I really don’t want to say too much about the plot of the book as much of its greatness is down to the magnificent way all the twists and turns unravel before your eyes as the pages pass by.

The Girl On The Train is written in one of my favourite ‘journal type’ styles, in the main from the perspectives of Rachel and Megan, although there is another point of view to be discovered, and covers the months leading up to Megan’s disappearance and those of Rachel’s search for the truth. As the narrative switches between the two timelines, what is revealed is a fabulous tale full of all of the mixed up emotions of many suburban household couples, those that often come with second marriages, divorces, affairs, unrequited loves, job loss, boredom, and motherhood.  It also has some of the most believable characters I’ve read in some time, and I felt it easy to identify with all the women involved at some point during the book.

 

A quick triple whammy…

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Love fast paced thrillers? Fancy a quick read to keep you going while you make the agonising decision of what to read next from your TBR pile? Or simply love the work of Simon Kernick and have read his entire back catalogue? Then this is for you.

Initially released one at a time over three weeks, these great little bundles of action are available now, priced 49p each.

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Dead Man’s Gift Part 1: Yesterday

MP Tim Horton arrives home to find his seven year old son has been abducted by a ruthless gang of kidnappers. All they have left behind is the brutally murdered body of the Horton’s nanny.

The gang’s demands are simple: Tim must sacrifice his own life in order to save his son’s.

It’s the ultimate dead man’s gift .

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Dead Man’s Gift Part 2: Last Night

MP Tim Horton is waiting to hear from his son’s kidnappers. Knowing he’s being watched, and too scared to go to the police, he contacts the only man who may be able to help him, his brother-in-law: an ex-soldier called Scope who has a reputation for sorting things out and getting things done .

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Dead Man’s Gift Part 3: Today

Ex-soldier Scope has less than 12 hours to find his kidnapped nephew and he’s only got one lead to go on.

The clock’s ticking and, as Scope gets to work, he soon discovers he’s up against a vicious and dangerous criminal network, and he’s going to need all his determination and ingenuity just to stay alive .

 

This is a cracking little set of novellas for all thriller lovers, is perfect for those who don’t have as much time to read as they would like, and is a small price to pay for some excellent writing.

I recommend you go pick up your set now.

Meet the detective who fuelled my obsession (a.k.a who did it for you?)

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From the age of nine I lived across the road from a public library.  As I grew up, it was where I spent most of my free hours devouring everything and anything I could.  Indeed by the age of thirteen I had pretty much depleted the entire children’s section.  Thankfully, the local council had a rule that once I reached that age I could access the adult section of the library (and indeed any others in their control), provided a written parental consent had been submitted in person by the parent.  My Mom understood my voracious appetite for books and as such was more than happy to do so.

That was when I discovered for the first time the age old delights of Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and many more.  I didn’t find them by chance, and neither did I find them by reputation.  I found them by a love of crime fiction.  A love I first felt blossom from a series of, now sadly out of print, books.  Books which I have seen go for four figures on certain auction sites that will remain nameless.

The man who truly fuelled my love of the genre was Nils-Olof Franzen, with his series of Agaton Sax books, whose English editions were illustrated by the fabulous Quentin Blake.  Of the  11 books in the Agaton Sax series, Franzen had 10 translated into English between 1965 & 1971, including amongst them, Agaton Sax and the League of Silent Exploders and Agaton Sax and the London Computer Plot.  The series was also featured several times on the BBC series Jackanory, and Agaton Sax and the Max Brothers became a four part animated series in 1972.

I mention this now, because today I got this, and although it’s been almost 30+ years since last read one of these stories, I have loved every minute of reading it.  It was as delightful piece of escapism today as it was way back then.  It’s still a great introduction to the crime genre and I’m sure the reason I have as much love for cosy crime fiction, as I do for the hard core thrillers, and well executed police procedurals, because it has a flair for it all.

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Agaton Sax and the Scotland Yard Mystery

In which AGATON SAX, Editor-in-Chief of the Bykoping Post and detective extraordinary, directs his amazing intelligence (and his editorial telescope) to the problem of who has stolen Scotland Yard’s Secret Code Register of Current Criminals … the infamous crew of the bad ship Esmeralda lose their soup … and the mysterious “Boss” gets a nasty shock to his system.

 

Now, own up, who did it for you?