Today I’m delighted to be hosting the blog tour for In the Absence of Miracles by Michael J Malone. This is an absolute must read for lovers of psychological thrillers.
In this powerful new thriller, Michael J Malone returns to A Suitable Lie territory, movingly and perceptively addressing a shocking social issue. Chilling, perceptive
and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.
John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home. Following a massive stroke, she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again. With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood.
In a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover. For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence…
‘Superb’ springs to mind when I think of how to describe this novel. It’s an absolutely chilling read and right from the moment John discovered that single, mysterious shoe I was absolutely enthralled with the story. Any parent will admit that a child disappearing is their worst fear. never knowing what happened to them? How can anyone deal with such a thing? And yet there is so much more to this story then that. The mystery surrounding the family is intriguing and throughout the novel a darkness is hinted at with whispers of memories hidden, memories that are bound to erupt above the surface leaving catastrophe in their wake.
John is an interesting character and you know that there is so much going on there, he is struggling with something but he doesn’t know what. All he knows is that drink and avoidance keep him sane. He craves normality. A good job and a woman to love but something is holding him back. The self destruct button is never far away. Life begins to spiral out of control as he begins to investigate a brother he has no memory of. So what happens when the memories can no longer be avoided, what happens when they begin to return?
This was a fantastic page turner and one that I really didn’t want to put down. Another fantastic novel from the team at Orenda Books and another author that I can add to my ‘must read!’ list.
About the author
Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.