The Picture -When Greed Turns Deadly- by Roger Bray ** Blog Tour Review**

It is great to be featuring Roger Bray's latest novel, The Picture on the blog today. 


A warehouse in Japan used as an emergency shelter in the aftermath of the 2011 Tsunami. A distraught, young Japanese woman in dishevelled clothes sits on a box, holding her infant daughter. Ben, a US rescue volunteer, kneels in front of her offering comfort. They hug, the baby between them. The moment turns into an hour as the woman sobs into his shoulder; mourning the loss of her husband, her home, the life she knew. A picture is taken, capturing the moment. It becomes a symbol; of help freely given and of the hope of the survivors. The faces in the picture cannot be recognised, and that is how Ben likes it. No celebrity, thanks not required.


But others believe that being identified as the person in the picture is their path to fame and fortune. Ben stands, unknowingly, in their way, but nothing a contract killing cannot fix.

My Thoughts

In The Picture, there is a great sense of the secrets of the past bearing down on the present like an unstoppable force. No matter how carefully events may have been covered up or hidden, the truth cannot be suppressed for ever. Ben and Paul, both ex- Policemen, are immensely likeable and their friendship has lasted over the years. With the strapline, 'When Greed Turns Deadly' there is a clue as to the stark choice which exists between selflessness and avarice. It is clear to see how an innocent picture ignites within some, a blind desire to exploit and make money - characteristics which Ben and Paul do not have. 

    In parallel with the violence and the relentless quest to take the picture's rights at any cost, there is also a subplot centred around the idea of family and belonging. There is even a touch of romance. It is certainly a crowded story which is well paced  and with some genuinely tense moments. The reader is in on the danger which Ben is in long before he is aware and this adds to the feeling of jeopardy as we anticipate his fate.  Structured into four sections, Ben's relationships and friendships are examined closely and you feel that each one embeds the characters into the plot. 

In short: A literary thriller which juxtaposes two sides of human behaviour.

 
About the Author (in his own words)



  I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and
bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.


My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.

Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.

Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.

So here we are, two books published and another on track.

Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.

You can follow Roger here: Twitter   |  Facebook   |  Website

Book links:  Amazon UK

Thanks to Roger Bray and Rachel of Rachel's Random Resources  for a copy of the book and a place on the tour!

                                Be sure to catch up with the rest of the tour! 




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