#BlogTour #Review – Falling Suns by J.A. Corrigan #GuestPost

I’m delighted to welcome Julie-Ann to the blog today as her book tour kicks off. This is her debut novel and will have you gripped! Julie-Ann has kindly written a guest post outlining her thoughts on the writing and inspiration behind this story which you can see below along with my review.faalling suns pre

A psychological thriller for fans of Belinda Bauer, Mark Edwards, Clare Mackintosh – a dark and brooding tale about the horrors that can lurk within a family.

Ex-DI Rachel’s small son is missing. Then his body is discovered. Her cousin Michael is found guilty of his murder and incarcerated in a secure psychiatric unit.

Four years later, now divorced and back in the police force, Rachel discovers that Michael is being released to a less secure step-down unit, with his freedom a likely eventuality. Unable to cope with this, she decides upon revenge, assuming a new identity to hunt him down and kill him. However, as she closes in on her target, her friend Jonathan, a journalist, uncovers some unnerving information about her mother and others in her family and begins to suspect that Rachel’s perception of the truth might not be as accurate as she thinks – that she might be about to murder the wrong man…

 

Falling Suns Final

  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Accent Press (14 July 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01FUI9NKY

Pre-Order – Available 14th July

Amazon

Waterstones

The Guardian Bookshop

WHSmith

About the Author

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J.A. Corrigan now lives in Berkshire, but was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. Her maternal grandad was a miner, her paternal, a baker. Her gran worked on a fruit and veg store in Mansfield’s market square.
After A Levels she completed a Humanities degree in London, majoring in History and English Literature. She then went on to train and work as a physiotherapist.
She loves to run, cook, and drink good wine. She likes to read great novels, autobiographies and a diverse range of non-fiction. Adoring travel, JA seems to be at her most creative, and most relaxed, sitting in a very narrow airline seat, going somewhere. She has been writing seriously since 2010 and her short stories have been published in various anthologies.
Her debut novel, Falling Suns (Accent Press) is a compelling psychological thriller that explores the darker side of human nature.

Falling Suns – exploring grief and guilt 

The inspiration for Falling Suns sprang from years of listening to the steady trickle of news reports concerning the disappearance of children. It seemed to me that in many of these cases the perpetrators were often to be found within the family, or a person close to the family. And there lay the skeleton plot to my embryonic manuscript.   

The mother of a missing child will always feel some guilt:and as a mother this is something of which I feel very sure.I felt that if I took this further and then gave the mother– in Falling Suns this is Rachel – a past that could possibly evoke that feeling of guilt more, I might have a strong story line.  

What I was keen to do in the novel was to instil not only the feeling of Rachel’s sense of guilt, but to also explore and show her grief; her utter desolation and sadness,and illustrating this against a backdrop of her being related to the murderer, and also her marriage collapsing.  

Women and mothers will react in differing ways to the abduction and murder of their child. One woman might spiral into despondency and quiet grief, whereas another might truly think about revenge – if they were given the opportunity.  

With Rachel I had to set up the story so that she fell into the latter category:a woman capable of retribution, and also a women who possessed all the practical tools – both mental and physical – to carry it out. And so my protagonist became an ex-police officer.   

I was very aware that Rachel needed to be related to the murderer, as this would add to her guilt and to a large extent, her grief. It would also be in keeping with the statistics. During the early part of my planning process I came across literature regarding corruption within some psychiatric hospitals in the UK and slowly I began to see a way to merge and connect the story lines.  

The most difficult aspect of writing this novel was setting the tone for Rachel’s character: she is fragile and grief-stricken, but she also holds a deep sense of purpose, a profound need to do something to avenge the death of her son. The question is: is this because of her underlying feeling of guilt concerning her son’s death or,does it illustrate a facet of her character to which the reader might be unsympathetic? This was my dilemma. However, I hope that when reading the story the reader begins to see why – and how –Rachel has become the person she is, and how she is able to go to such great lengths and effort to avenge Joe’s death. 

Ultimately, I wanted to explore Rachel’s unravelling realisation that it is not revenge that will soften her grief, but the acceptance of her own past.

My Review

I was offered this book to read/review by the author. To be honest the cover looked intriguing, the blurb caught my eye but for a debut novel I was expecting a run of the mill thriller. Oh wow, was I unprepared for the depth and tragically engrossing aspect of this book!

Rachel and Liam are a young couple with a son named Joe, all was ticking along until the day Joe was found murdered. This isn’t a spoiler because it’s the basis of the story. 

As a mother I can only hazard a guess at the despair Rachel felt, she mourns her child to such an extent that revenge is on her mind. It’s not just a random killer though, Michael is her cousin .. does this make it harder to bear?

The way this unravels is extreme, the research into the whole prison/police/psychiatric unit procedures is fantastic and makes you sense the tension, raw, guttural, sheer helplessness of her feelings as she proceeds.

The family background is complex to say the least and Rachel has to embrace her own demons. I can’t praise this highly enough, just as I thought I knew where it was going it spins out another stomach lurching drop on the roller coaster. My emotions were rocked to the core. I felt Rachel’s guilt  and grief, she not only loses her son but her marriage, just how much does one person have to endure before they snap!?

The supporting characters are all believable and add to the drama .. I can’t wait to see what Julie-Ann writes next if this is the standard of writing we can expect. Thanks so much for allowing me to read before publication 🙂 stars-5-0._V192197110_

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2 thoughts on “#BlogTour #Review – Falling Suns by J.A. Corrigan #GuestPost

  1. Great review! I was also lucky enough to see this book in proof, and found it utterly gripping. “the tension, raw, guttural, sheer helplessness of her feelings…” – you’ve said it all!

    • Thanks so much for your kind words. I have been checking out your website and can see I need to explore your books!

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