International bestseller Michael J. Malone, the critically acclaimed author of A Suitable Lie and House of Spines, returns with a powerful standalone thriller about secrets, celebrity, and greed.
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job. The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went?
Any hope the furore will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press furore quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country.
While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the centre of the story, is also isolated – a child trying to make sense of an adult world…
Breathtakingly brutal, dark and immensely moving, A Song of Isolation looks beneath the magpie glimmer of celebrity to uncover a sinister world dominated by greed and lies, and the unfathomable destruction of innocent lives… in an instant.
INTRIGUING BLURB, ISN’T IT? READ AN EXCERPT BELOW TO FIND OUT MORE.
Lanarkshire, Scotland, 2015
There was a knock at the door.
Loud and firm.
‘You going to get that?’ Amelie looked at her boyfriend, beside her on the sofa, thought about the bottle of champagne she’d found hidden at the back of the cupboard under the sink, and was relieved there might be some sort of a distraction. Was he really going to do it? Now? Today?
How was she going to respond?
She shifted in her seat, and, plucking a cushion from the pile at her side, placed it over her tummy.
‘Wish you’d stop that,’ said Dave. It may have been her imagination responding to the champagne sighting, but he seemed a little on edge. ‘You’re not fat.’
‘And you’re still not going to the door,’ she replied with an inner grimace. She hated it when he did that. Read her movements and got them spot on. ‘Anyway, it’s nearly dinner time. Why are you snacking?’ she asked, looking at the giant packet of crisps beside him on the sofa. Another giveaway, she thought. He always ate when he was nervous.
‘Starving,’ he said. ‘Doing the garden’s hungry work.’ Then he laughed, leaned forward and snuffled at her neck.
Despite herself she laughed, but then pushed him away. Then felt guilty for doing so. She’d been doing a lot of that lately. Feeling guilty. About how she was treating him. ‘You okay?’ he asked, his tone all honest concern as he leaned back into his cushion. ‘Door?’ she repeated,
‘It’s probably someone trying to sell us something. Ignore it … they’ll go away,’ Dave said, brushing crisp crumbs from his jeans. ‘It’s Good Friday and nearly dinner time. Who’s going to be selling stuff at this hour?’ ‘Someone who’s desperate.’ He sat back in his seat and regarded her. ‘You okay, honey? Something bothering you?’
She crossed her arms, thinking she wasn’t ready to unburden herself in case she said something she would later regret. When they’d met she was Amelie Hart, movie star. One-hit wonder, to be precise. Against all the odds, and after a few flops, her fourth movie had hit the public consciousness and the great unwashed couldn’t get enough of her.
Her dream came true.
Except the dream came with a whole lot of baggage she couldn’t deal with. Most of which Dave knew nothing about, and that was why he couldn’t understand why she was always reluctant to answer the door.
It sounded again. Amelie turned away from it and pulled her knees up to her chest as if that might form some kind of protection.
‘Jesus, they’re not for giving up, are they?’ Dave looked over his shoulder in the direction of the front of the house. He got to his feet as if it was a huge effort. ‘I’ll get it then, will I?’ ‘Please?’
Whoever it was, Amelie hoped it was something important. Something big enough to distract Dave from asking a question she wasn’t sure how to answer.
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. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines, After He Died and In the Absence of Miracles soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber &
Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.
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Many thanks to Anne Cater @Random Things Tours for organizing this blog tour. Thanks to the author and the publisher for providing an excerpt from the book.