Source: Review copy
Publication: 14 April 2022 in p/back ebook and audiobook out now
My thanks to Random Things Tours and Orenda Books for my participation in this blog tour
Jenna is trying to rebuild her life after a series of disastrous relationships.
Luke is struggling to provide a safe, loving home for his deceased partner’s young son, following a devastating tragedy.
When Jenna and Luke meet and fall in love, they are certain they can achieve
the stability and happiness they both desperately need.
And yet, someone is watching.
Someone who has been scarred by past events.
Someone who will stop at nothing to get revenge…
Dark, unsettling and immensely moving, Quicksand of Memory is a chilling
reminder that we are not only punished for our sins, but by them, and that
memories left to blacken and sharpen over time are the perfect breeding ground for obsession, and murder…
I am delighted to bring you an extract from Michael J Malone’s Quicksand of Memory. It is a tautly written revenge tragedy about secrets, lies and the past coming back to haunt you. You can read my review here. You won’t forget these characters on a hurry. I found it a highly recommended must read. Have a look at this extract and then go buy it!
Jenna had been surprised at herself after her therapy appointment. She hadn’t talked about that part of her past for ages. A memory of him popped up in her mind. Unshaven, wearing a T-shirt and boxers. Looking tired. He always looked tired towards the end. As if he’d given up. Yet when they first met he was always immaculately turned out: neat beard, expensive clothes, and shoes with a shine so deep you could use them as a mirror. And he was always the most vibrant person in the room. He was the sun around whom everyone else would orbit, hoping for a word, a nod, a smile.
She cursed herself for being an unfeeling bitch and not looking after him better. Could there really have been any other outcome? It was his fun and energy that drove her to him. When had he changed? She rubbed at the memory a little more and felt some of the emotion of that time leak into the present. She held a hand to her stomach, and a tear wound its way down her cheek.
He died just a few days after they’d split up, and she’d been tempted to use her old skills as a local journalist to find out exactly what happened. She’d done some digging and took some notes. Then, when her father died of a sudden heart attack soon after, she put the notebook away in a box somewhere and consigned that episode of her life to history. Besides, the system was happy, the people concerned were punished, and that should be the end of it. Right?
Within minutes of her appointment ending, Jemma’s phone had rung. Hazel, of course calling to find out how her session had gone.
‘Did he do any of that hypnosis malarkey with you?’ she had asked, as if both thrilled and terrified at the prospect of experiencing such a thing herself. At times they spoke almost every day, she and Hazel. Then they’d have long silences. They’d been at uni versity together, lost touch, and reconnected on-line a few years ago. But they only ever chatted to each over the phone or by messaging. Her other friends thought it strange that they never met in person, but Jenna was happy with the relationship as it was. It just sort of worked. It suited how they were with each other. Nothing was off the table, and Jenna worried that if they did meet in person they would lose some of that magic.
‘It wasn’t like that,’ she replied. ‘We just … talked.’
‘Is he hot?’ Hazel asked. ‘He looks hot in his website photo.’
Jenna laughed. ‘What are you like?’ She paused. ‘To be honest, I felt uncomfortable. I wanted to trust him. Tell him everything, you know? But something held me back.’
‘You’ll know when you’re ready,’ Hazel said. ‘And you know you’ve got me, babe. Anything you want to offload, I’m here for you.’
‘Thanks, Haze,’ Jenna replied. ‘I appreciate it.’ As she spoke she thought about the things she had always shied away from talking about. She couldn’t bear the thought of anyone knowing about that; facing the judgement in their eyes. Could she go back and discuss all that with him?
No, that was a cross she’d have to bear on her own.
Isn’t that both fascinating and intriguing? I loved this book for it’s understanding and compassion and the empathy that Michael Malone clearly injects into his character’s tricky situations as well as for the brilliantly tense and chillingly creepy plot line.
Here’s where you can buy the book. If you hurry, there’s an Easter sale on at Orenda Books, so you may get it for a bargain price!
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. Since then, he’s written two further thought-provoking, exquisitely written psychological thrillers In the Absence of Miracles and A Song of Isolation, cementing his position as a key proponent of Tartan Noir and an undeniable talent. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.
Photo c. Bob McDevitt