House of Spines by Michael J Malone ** Blog Tour review and Giveaway**

It is such a privilege to bring you House of Spines as part of the Orenda blog tour. Michael J Malone's book has been a fantastic read and I am thrilled to be able to offer a paperback copy of the book in a very special Giveaway, Details on how to enter are at the foot of this post (Sorry, UK only)

First, here is a little bit more about this intriguing book:

 What you see isn't always real...
Ran McGhie’s world has been turned upside down. A young, lonely and frustrated writer, and suffering from mental-health problems, he discovers that his long-dead mother was related to one of Glasgow’s oldest merchant families. Not only that, but Ran has inherited Newton Hall, a vast mansion that belonged to his great-uncle, who it seems has been watching from afar as his estranged great-nephew has grown up.  Entering his new-found home, it seems Great-Uncle Fitzpatrick has turned it into a temple to the written word – the perfect place for poet Ran. But everything is not as it seems. As he explores the Hall’s endless corridors, Ran’s grasp on reality appears to be loosening. And then he comes across an ancient lift; and in that lift a mirror. And in the mirror … the reflection of a woman…

A terrifying psychological thriller with more than a hint of the Gothic, House of Spines is a love letter to the power of books, and an exploration of how lust and betrayal can be deadly…

My Thoughts 

I was hooked into House of Spines from the beginning and it held me in its grip right up to the last word. Full of Gothic overtones and with suspense built into every scene, it is just up my street. How could I not like a book which has a love of books at its centre? As for unreliable characters- well there are plenty. You really don't know what is real and what is imagined or who to trust. The house is full of secrets - or is it?

   In the central character of Ran McGhie, the author has created someone who keeps the reader on their toes. I was never completely sure whether I liked him or not. There is something unstable about his view of the world and yet when you are in the scenes with him, it all seems so believable. The past is a powerful pull on the story and what is presented as fact may not be the correct version of events. You are given glimpses into the privileged world of Ran's wealthy ancestors but can't help but question what type of people they were. 

    I loved Michael Malone's writing style. It has a fluency which seems to be effortless and he manages to paint a vivid picture in your mind of someone with a tenuous grip on reality. You learn about the characters through little details he throws in, showing a fleeting expression or a throwaway gesture. The places are vividly created and the atmosphere in Newton Hall haunts you as it does Ran. With every twist and turn, I felt more unsettled- which is precisely how the author wanted the reader to feel- totally immersed in the story.  

In short- a breathtaking leap into a Gothic Crime novel- read it if you dare!

About the Author

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. Well, a stone thrown by a catapult. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His career as a poet has also included a (very) brief stint as the Poet-In-Residence for an adult gift shop. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize (judge: Alex Gray) from the Scottish Association of Writers. Other published work includes: Carnegie’s Call (a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots); A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage and The Bad Samaritan. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number one bestseller. Michael is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website www.crimesquad.com. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller.
You can connect with Michael here: Twitter  |  Website  |  Facebook 

Thanks to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater at Orenda books for a copy of the book and a place on the blog tour. 
 
Giveaway (UK only)

 For a chance to win a paperback copy of House of Spines, leave a comment below telling me what you are reading at the moment Or Follow and Retweet the pinned tweet @bookslifethings.   For two chances to win, why not do both? Closing date is 25th September 2017.

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