Tag Archives: Only-the-Innocent

Illuminating blogger award

I’m not sure what it is about these awards that turns me into a fumble-fingered ignoramus but I inevitably mess up in some way and today has been no exception. I tried to follow the instructions to the letter and thought I’d succeeded until, shock horror, I realised I’d put my acceptance comment in the wrong award.

So before I do anything else I must apologies to Food Stories Blog for being an idiot. As Bluebottle* would say – “I feel a proper fool.”

Now that I’ve confessed I can move on to step 2 of the instructions. I’d like to thank Lord Daud for nominating me for this award.

David is one of those incredibly generous people who spend a great deal of their time helping others achieve their dreams. His most recent gift of friendship was to email me with a long list of short story competitions. He did this because he knew that I would skin a cat* forever before finding the courage to look for them myself. That gentle, not so subtle nudge pushed me into entering 2080 into not one but two competitions. I don’t expect my first short story to win anything but just entering it was a huge achievement for me and will give me the courage to enter other competitions in the future.

Now, according to step 3 of the instructions I have to reveal one thing about myself. I doubt that anyone will be surprised when I say that I’m a little challenged in the courage department. I’m a miniature tiger when it comes to defending others but I’m a chihuahua when it comes to promoting myself. This is not a good trait in someone thinking about becoming an indie author. All I can say is that I’m working on it. Baby steps so far but I am trying. So thank you David. 🙂

This is my third award and I would really like to say thank you to everyone I’ve met online but I’m limited to nominating just five bloggers. This makes things bloody hard I can tell you. In the end I decided to go with the theme of indies, so now I would like to celebrate bloggers who have shown me that being an indie author can be synonymous with innovation, beautiful prose and a level of quality that puts many traditionally published authors to shame. They’ve inspired me and I’ve loved reading their books. Thank you one and all.

Illuminating Blogger Nominees :

Candy Korman for her innovative fusion of literary monsters and crisp, modern prose.

Lord David Prosser for his gentle humour and wonderful way with words.

Rachel Abbott for her compelling thriller that took the genre to a whole new level.

Stephen Faulds for his beautiful portrayal of love and falling from grace.

M. Edward McNally for creating the kind of fantasy world I would love to live in.

 

*Bluebottle : a favourite character from the 1950’s radio show The Goons.

*Skinning a cat : procrastinating.


Only the Innocent by Rachel Abbott

The blurb that accompanied ‘Only the Innocent’ raised questions about women who commit apparently perfect, cold-blooded murder so I was primed for a story about a psychopath. The fact that this psychopath was going to be a woman merely added a touch of spice to my expectations. While the book did not disappoint me in the slightest, it did not turn out to be anything like what I was expecting.

The last thing I want to do is to spoil this story for anyone so all I will say is that ‘a woman’ did plan and commit an almost perfect murder but she was as far from being a psychopath as it is possible to get.  Psychopaths kill for a number of reasons but a lack of empathy is usually high on the list. The murderer in ‘Only the Innocent’ killed because she cared. And because every other option was closed to her.

As a writer I am capable of imagining some pretty horrific and gruesome ways of killing my characters but as a woman I have often wondered if I would be capable of killing someone in the real world, even to save my own life.  After reading ‘Only the Innocent’ I know that there is at least one situation in which I would kill. Whether I could do so with as much finesse as the murderer in ‘Only the Innocent’ I truly do not know. To be honest I really hope I am never put in a position where I am forced to find out.

Getting back to the book, the author, Rachel Abbotts, reveals the truth behind the public facade of the victim one crumb at a time and I found myself following her trail of breadcrumbs like a starving sparrow in winter, yet every new insight seemed to obscure the identity of the murderer even more. Only at the very end does she reveal not only ‘who done it’ but also how. Trust me, it’s worth the wait, however I strongly advise readers to take the time to think about the deeper issues informing the story as well. The involuntary prostitution of illegal immigrants is real and flourishing in an age when we all tend to think that slavery is a thing of the past. It exists now and will continue to exist while unscrupulous people can make a profit from the disparity between rich countries and poor.

‘Only the Innocent’ has many layers and they are all woven together with a master’s touch. The pace is always just right, the descriptions are always pertinent and necessary and the prose is clean. In short it is a very well-written, well edited, well thought out novel that really should have been snapped up by one of the traditional publishers. Perhaps they were scared off by some of the ‘adult themes’ raised by the book. If so then their loss is our gain as we can read an excellent novel at an ebook price.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. My favourite thriller/suspense/psychological novel of all time is The Blindman of Seville by Robert Wilson. I would give that book a 5/5. ‘Only the Innocent’ is not quite up to that very high standard but at 4/5 it comes damn close. I expect Rachel Abbott to be on our bestseller lists in the very near future.


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