Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary ** Paperback Blog Tour & Giveaway**

I was thrilled to be invited to take part in the Blog Tour to celebrate the paperback publication of Sarah Hilary's Quieter than Killing. In March 2017, I took part in the original Blog Tour for the hardback publication and was lucky enough to welcome Sarah to Books, Life and Everything to talk about 'Writing Marnie Rome' and I am taking the opportunity to share it with you again, today. If you want to see the original post, you can find it here.

I can also offer you the chance to win a paperback copy of the book. Details on how to enter are at the end of this post. (UK only)

Marnie and Noah are investigating a series of assaults. The attacks appear to be random, the targets young and old, men and women, but all were convicted of violent crimes and recently released. They are on the perpetrator's trail when outside events come to the fore. Marnie's parents' house has been targeted by a gang of youths, her tenants attacked in an apparent robbery and Marnie can't help but feel there's a connection to Stephen, her foster brother. Noah's brother Sol is about to fall foul of the gang he pretends not to be involved in. As they investigate they begin to question whether all three cases linked... after all some crimes are quieter and more insidious than killing...

Writing Marnie Rome by Sarah Hilary

Sherlock Holmes, Tom Ripley and Clarice Starling all play a part in how I write Marnie Rome. Sherlock got in first, whispering in my ear when I was ten about the appeal of a hero with hidden depths. Tom Ripley convinced me that a good character could be made better by being bad. But it wasn’t until I read The Silence of the Lambs and witnessed Clarice Starling’s unique brand of courage, full of very human cracks, that inspiration really took hold.

Looking back, it all seems terribly logical; all roads led to Marnie Rome. But there was a time when I didn’t know she existed, and a time when I thought she was a straight-die detective without secrets of any kind. Perhaps there was a clue in the way she arrived (in a story that came before my debut, Someone Else’s Skin): biker-booted, hiding behind contact lenses. It took a bit of digging to scratch beneath her surface. Marnie doesn’t give up her secrets easily and she has a talent for surprising me, which I hope means she surprises readers, too.

I don’t believe in characters who ‘write themselves’, in case you were imagining something of that sort. Sooner or later you have to sit down and write them yourself. But Marnie has a habit of standing at my shoulder as I write, and shaking her head when I get stuff wrong (such as the time I was about to give her a third cup of coffee and she pointed out that what she actually wanted was a Peroni). Conan Doyle ended up hating Sherlock Holmes, which doesn’t usually happen unless your character has taken on a life of his or her own. I can’t envisage a time when I’ll hate Marnie, but she’s certainly taken on a life that’s at least partly independent of my plans for her. In my latest book, Quieter Than Killing, she surprised me on more than one occasion.

When Someone Else’s Skin came out, someone asked me how hard it was to balance Marnie’s character traits, “She’s psychologically damaged, yet incredibly strong.” Well, I associate strong characters with survival – Marnie’s trauma made her the woman she is; not just strong but compassionate, too. My grandmother, who survived a Japanese PoW camp as a young mother, always said that the trauma she suffered made her a stronger (and better) person. So I think in my mind, the two attributes go hand in hand.

All my favourite characters in fiction are both human and unique. Flawed, yes, but in all the right ways. I like to think Marnie and Clarice Starling would get on a storm.

My Thoughts
Well I am a little late to the party here as this is the first Marnie Rome book that I have read. However, no matter, as I soon picked up on the fact that she is a feisty, complicated character. I found the novel to be full of twists and turns, set in a dark and complex hinterland of abuse, bullying and intimidation. Family life is seen as a place of danger rather than safety and innocence seems to be trampled in the dust.

    I particularly enjoyed how family relationships were stripped bare. You sense how the police partners work together at the same time having family tensions which tug at their conscience. This is a multi-layered plotline and I did have to concentrate to keep abreast with the storyline. However, you are taken to a dark world of subertuge and the depth of the plot and characterisation carries you through. 
In short: deep, dark, mesmerising- I loved it!   

About the Author

Sarah Hilary has worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. Her debut, SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN, won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015 and was a World Book Night selection for 2016. The Observer's Book of the Month ("superbly disturbing”) and a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, it has been published worldwide. NO OTHER DARKNESS, the second in the series was shortlisted for a Barry Award in the US. Her DI Marnie Rome series continued with TASTES LIKE FEAR and her fourth book, QUIETER THAN KILLING, is out now.

Follow Sarah here: Twitter  |  Website 

Thanks to Katie Brown of Headline Press for a copy of the book and a place on the tour

Giveaway (UK only)

To win a paperback copy of Quieter Than Killing, either leave me a comment below, telling me what you're reading at the moment or Follow and Retweet the pinned tweet on Twitter here  @bookslifethings (Closing date 13th October 2017)

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