Monday, February 15, 2016

Seb Kirby Brings Readers Extraordinary Psychological Thriller -

He told me his name was Josh Healey and that he was a clinician attached to the Trauma Ward. “It’s good to see you’re looking stronger today.” 
“You mean you’re surprised I’ve made it.”
“Don’t think that way. But if you mean you were badly injured, close to death, then I’d have to say yes.”
 I struggled to understand. “What happened?” 
“You don’t recall?”
 “There’s nothing. Nothing. Until I wake up here.” 
“They pulled you out of the water, from North Dock at Canary Wharf. A near drowning.”
 “Some kind of accident?” 
“No, you’d been beaten, before you entered the water. That’s the cause of the bruising and swelling to your arms, chest and abdomen.” He looked away. “Best not to dwell on that now. You’ve been in deep shock. But you’re now in recovery. The coldness of the water helped, I’m sure. Slowed the possibility of neurological damage. And we’ve restored your electrolyte balance. Your prognosis is good.”

 “How long have I been here?” He looked at the chart. “Three days.”
 “And where is here?” He smiled to reassure me. “We’re a few miles away from Canary Wharf, in Hammersmith Hospital.” 
“What was I doing there, at Canary Wharf?”
 “That’s what we’re hoping you’ll tell us. Once you’re better.” He took a step back. “No need to worry about this now, build your strength, give it time.”


Each Day I Wake

By Seb Kirby

Then it came.
 The first memory. Clear, straight from nowhere, like a bright light piercing the darkness. 
I’m seeing it, living it. It’s me, looking on, seeing myself doing all this. I’m with a woman. She’s young, just turned nineteen, pretty. Cathy. Smart, sexy. We’re talking about our meeting in a pub and how I brought her to this place. This dark room with wood paneled walls covered with books. Making love to her. 
My adultery. No, I’m not that kind of person. Not the kind to lie to my wife. I have a wife. I have a wife. Yet here I am with Cathy. Something intense. Something I don’t want to see. Something I don’t want to have to recall. 
My hands round her throat, squeezing the life out of her. Watching her body go limp.

I met Seb Kirby through reading Take No More which was an exciting thriller ride into the art world... But this latest book, with the psychological framework has moved him into an area in which he has excelled! Let me say right upfront--Wow! You've got to check this one out if you are into psychological thriller/suspense!

The book opens with the main male character in the hospital with almost total amnesia. I say "almost" because while he sleeps he remembers--he remembers beautiful women who are taken to a place which appears to be a library. The man and young girl have sex, but the man then strangles the young girl. Is this a scene from his own memory? He doesn't believe he would commit adultery... but how can he have these memories?

 It was hard to imagine waking up and not knowing who you are... The police sent an officer, but could tell him nothing--no witnesses had been found but they did find that he was full of narcotics... Did he know anything about that?

But then to begin having dreams--dreams so real that it seems you are the person watching young women being murdered--would be absolutely terrifying! 

It was his wife that had been looking for him, Janet Markland, who told him he'd been gone from home for 10 days. His name was Tom and the woman, who he didn't recognize, told him she was looking forward to taking him home...

Janet told me my name is Tom Markland. By next month we’ll have been married for five years. I’m a reporter, working for The Herald, making a name for myself as an investigative journalist. We don’t have children yet, though we’re trying. It sounded as if she was speaking about someone else. But I trusted her. 
She was all I had. It must be me. I had to listen and learn these things about myself. Then, and only then, would I find a way to recall it all. “Where do we live?” 
She didn’t show any surprise at my question. “I told you that, dear. In Lichfield.” She paused and squeezed my hand. “Mr. Healey says you’re making good physical progress since they admitted you and you can go home in a few days provided you take complete rest. You can see the house then. It will help you piece things together.” 
I held on to those words.

Even coming home did not help, however. Tom didn't remember anything, but his wife began to share about their life and tell him small things that might bring back memories, even their favorite song had not yet done it, however.

But he did have another dream. This time the girl's name was Margot... and the script went as before, except this time, he could see something different. On the arm of the man was the tattoo of a red rose!

Tom hurried to the mirror in the bathroom. No! He didn't have any tattoos... Tom was not the man in his dreams!

With relief so real, he was now able to consider what he should do about what he was experiencing. His psychologist was not too helpful in this regard.

Thinking he was feeling better, he decided to go for a walk, without telling his wife...He knew where and what locations he passed, even though he didn't recall when he saw them, but then a flash of memory and he was back in the water, afraid of dying... Fortunately a man stopped to check if he was alright and it broke his flashback sufficient to allow him to deal with it... But it made him just that more determined to find out what had happened! Who had caused him to be in the water around the Wharf?

Back home, watching television, he saw her--Cathy! It was a news item about the girl in the first dream--about Cathy who was missing from her home and her mother was making an appeal. He called his wife to watch and told her it was one of the girls he'd dreamed about, but his wife was hesitant to support his involvement, remembering that his psychologist believed they were false memories...

Tom had not been impressed with his psychologist and was not about to share anything further about his dreams... He was ready to act; he would talk to the police... But he knew that they would naturally suspect him...and that he would continue to work to discover who had tried to kill him...and see if and how it was connected to the murder of the young women in his dreams...

The added dimension of the main character not having his personal memories increases the suspense for readers since we are finding out only what is occurring within the limitation of Tom's knowledge. The story captured my attention immediately and kept me enthralled until the final page. One interesting method by which the author brings clues is that Tom's wife had kept a scrapbook of Tom's news articles...By that he was able to learn much about his career and he then discovered he had moved into a new area--securities fraud--that he'd not been involved with in the past...

Another dream--this time he watches Rebecca die...and notices more about the hands of the murder--his fingers did not match Tom's. Now he was positive he was not that man. And the only way to clear himself was to find the murderer...

I loved this one. Kirby's rhythm of inserting dreams along with Tom's finding out more about his past, claims full attention to determine who the criminal(s) might be... A captivating and compelling read!

Her client was a killer. He had killed and would kill again. When she first met him she was attracted to him. That was the mistake she regretted now with all her heart. He was so likable, so respectful, so different from most of her clients. To be honest, for a short while, she’d fallen head over heels for him. To be honest, she still loved him in some way she knew she could never shake. Even when their pillow talk, as he would call it, turned to what she convinced herself were his fantasies about killing young women. And even if she did consider telling someone, he could always demonstrate his power over her because he had made it impossible for her to go to the police. She depended on him. More than she could say. More than she would admit to anyone, more than she could admit to herself. He was the one who provided her with the heroin that fed her habit. The real thing that had kept her sane when she did what she had to do in this life in which she found herself. She shivered.
She thought of the John Lennon song. Cold Turkey. Yes, it had her on the run. She hated herself for being this weak but she knew she would never be able to tell anyone about those girls. There were times when the way he looked at her made her think she might be next. But the only thing that mattered now was that he’d soon be here bringing her next fix with him.


Seb Kirby is the author of the James Blake Thriller series (TAKE NO MORE, REGRET NO MORE and FORGIVE NO MORE) and the Raymond Bridges sci fi thriller series (DOUBLE BIND). Look out for the new stand alone psychological thriller EACH DAY I WAKE, available from September.
He says: "I've been an avid reader from an early age - my grandfather ran a mobile lending library in Birmingham and when it closed my parents inherited many of the books. From the first moment I was hooked. Now, as a full-time writer myself, it's my goal to add to the magic of the wonderful words and stories I discovered back then. 
"I've been fortunate to travel widely and I now draw on that experience in my writing. Favourite places (in no particular order) include: Venice, Florence, San Francisco, San Diego, Boston, New York, London, The English Lake District, Lisbon, Crete....."

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