I don’t often write book reviews in this blog. I love reading and I love sharing details of books that I’ve enjoyed. But the truth is that I don’t read as many books as I used to. Life has just been too busy.
This week, three events coincided.
First, I listened to a podcast about living a balanced life, where I learned that I should spend some of my time doing stuff that I loved doing, completely disconnected from work and family. If I wasn’t sure what that meant, I should think back to when I was a child, and revisit what I loved then. I thought about this, and remembered that when I was aged between 10 and 18, I loved burying my head in a book for a full 8 hours at a time. I realised that I hadn’t done that for ages.
Second, a book arrived in the post: it was titled Poison Sky, sent to me by a local friend, Paul McNeive. It’s the second thriller he’s written, and I had enjoyed the first one. He’d sent me a copy of this new book because he had given me mention in the acknowledgements at the back: apparently, it was a throwaway comment that I had made while having a coffee with Paul that set him off on the track that led to the premise of this book. This intrigued me: how had he used the information I’d given him?
Third, I had a day without deadlines yesterday. So first thing, I picked up Poison Sky, and I read the first two chapters.
Seven hours later, I’d finished the book.
I had loved it, from start to finish. It’s one of those compulsive page-turners. Each chapter leaves you wanting to know more, wanting to find out what happened next. I’d find myself looking ahead to the next chapter, to see how long it was. And often, it was only two or three or four pages. So I found it impossible not to read the next chapter. And the next chapter. And the next chapter. And so it was that I devoured the entire book in one sitting. And it was very enjoyable.
It’s a thriller, set in New York, and so I really can’t divulge too much about it, or I will spoil the fun of reading it. Suffice to say that Paul writes well, so the text flows easily: there aren’t any clunky bits of English that make you sit up and go “nahhhh”. The characters are strong and engaging. Paul introduces some interesting philosophical ideas as well as the main plot of his story (for example, the idea of the value of lateral thinking when trying to solve tricky problems). The story isn’t about animals, but a lovely lurcher has a starring role, and a vet even makes a cameo appearance.
The Kindle version of Paul’s book costs just €4.99. Or of course, you can buy the hard copy too, on Amazon for €12.99.
If you have a space of a few hours in your life, and you want to escape into a different world in your head, then do give Poison Sky a go. And please let me know what you think in the comments below.
Good luck Paul – I think you are going to crack the big time with this one.