Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!
I am delighted to bring to you an author Q&A featuring my favourite new Thriller novelist J.S. Monroe! He’s published by the lovely Indie Publisher from the UK Head of Zeus – of whom, gave me a happy surprise bit of #bookmail last year when I realised I was receiving “Forget My Name” by post! The novel came with a postcard and a keychain – what awaited inside was a curiously spun Thriller which at times I felt might be too shocking to finish and which ended up being one of my favourite new discovers of 2019!
I have a rather short-list of Thriller novelists I enjoy reading – Mr Monroe has joined their ranks because he gives you a wicked good chilling read *but!* in a style & rhythm you can handle without feeling *pushed!* too far afield from your general zone of comfort for these kinds of suspenseful driven plots! He knows how to take you to the brink of where a Psychological Thriller can go & then happily bring you back – through a cunningly brilliant plotting, a character centric story-line and leaves you with just enough breath you haven’t withheld to turn the very last pages to see how it all concludes! This is what I love seeking out in Thrillers and I am thankful to say Head of Zeus has happily published an author I can truly embrace and appreciate reading!
It was a pleasure of joy when I received the news I could host his new release whilst it was on a blog tour this January, 2020! The audiobook and print releases are forthcoming – my regional library has his audiobooks and I cannot wait to submit a purchase request for this novel!! Eek. I honestly haven’t been this itchy to read a Thriller in a long, long time!
However, as a tie-in to the conversation I am about to share – have you noticed how the topic of Dopplegangers is catching on in media & other outlets? There is even a cleverly spun documentary about how TikTok users are taking their celebrity-look-alike status to a new stratosphere whilst at the same time there is a group of individuals who are scouring the internet (using I believe it was reverse photo searches) to find out if people who approach them to do this kind of deep dive search have a potential ‘twin’ somewhere out in the world.
All of which brings me to the topic of the hour! Mr Monroe’s next Thriller discusses the topic of auto-identifers and the unique modern twist on realising the old saying “You remind me of…” has new meaning in a world where there really ‘are people who can look, talk and utitlise your mannerisms’ in a way which can trick others into believing they are actually ‘you’. A bit of a reverse of the plot in the Cyper / Techno Thriller film I always loved “The Net” (starring Sandra Bullock) – where she was the victim of mistaken identity but wasn’t the exact match to the other person – they just erased her files and inserted new ones. So, similar but different!
Except before we dive straight into what I asked and what he revealled – let me refer back to why I heart reading Thrillers as a genre and what it is about Mr Monroe’s signature style which held me anchoured to his pages!
Why I love Thrillers & “Forget My Name”:
Contemporary Thrillers are ones I love to find new voices in fiction as it is a niche of literature I am most curious about reading. Even if this particular niche of Lit has the tendency to push me outside my zones of comfort as a reader!
Thrillers are tricky. Perspective is everything. If your not looking at it the right way, you’ll going to find yourself seeing it through altered eyes and therefore altering how the story is meant to be interpreted. The key is to hold on tight and let the story unfold one trepiderious page turn after another!
Mr Monroe has a unique style of how he begins to taunt you a bit with the suspenseful arc of his novel whilst he gives you just enough to chew on to re-contemplate everything you’ve just read! He pulls you through the narrative as if you only have the information the characters have themselves – meaning, the reader is blind to both the truth of the situation and the set of circumstances that led-in to this story. He even switches it up a bit by having you re-think what you think about when it comes to the foundations of the Psychological Suspense genre itself – for a girl who cut her teeth on Hitchcock and classical horror films which were the founding origins of this genre in motion pictures, I must credit Monroe with a seemingly benign yet altogether sinister approach which leaves you rooted in the pages of his novel!
Even when you realise you are more confused than ever about what actually is going on – Monroe has this way of giving you a wicked good read where you feel motivated to turn the pages! Such as the moment when Tony’s wife Laura has felt she can’t deal with the situation anymore involving the mysterious stranger, she takes off for an unexpected holiday; to be with her parents and take some downtime. Meanwhile, Tony doesn’t waste time to re-enter into Jemma’s life – to insist she is re-invited to stay with him and almost pretend as nothing was kicked up between them. And, that is the moment where I questioned everything all over again! Why was he so insistent? What changed his mind and how does this all lead back into the lost identity of Jemma? As you can see Monroe wants you to think about this plot… but are you ready for when he starts to twist it to where you might not wish to turn the next page? Ah, but that is the question isn’t it! How far can you read before you instinctively are unsure if you want to know the conclusion?
Mr Monroe keeps you on the edge of the book – you want to read this in one sitting but if you find yourself unable to do that like I had myself – take your time with the story. You’ll appreciate it more because this is one riddler of a puzzle to sort through! It has different sides of a mirror if you think about it – how the image in the mirror is reflected depends greatly on your point of view and the perspective of the clues, facts and events which lead you to see what you perceive but is that the way in which Monroe wants you to see it? That’s the question truly.
Sorting out Monroe’s layered psychological Thriller is what keeps you turning the pages and questioning the maddening plot straight through to the very last chapter where you’ll run out of questions and be left with a #SpookyReads kind of a Thriller resting on your shelf. It is only then where you can replay the novel back round – re-seeing what you missed the first go-round and understanding Monroe’s style as you re-think everything over again!
-quoted from my review for Forget My Name
Did I grab your eye and attention?
Sound like the kind of thrilling read you’re seeking?
Be sure to brew your favourite cuppa and enjoy this delightful convo we shared!
The Other You
by J.S. Monroe
Kate used to be good at recognising people. So good, she worked for the police, identifying criminals in crowds of thousands. But six months ago, a devastating car accident led to a brain injury. Now the woman who never forgot a face can barely recognise herself in the mirror.
At least she has Rob. Young, rich, handsome and successful, Rob runs a tech company on the idyllic Cornish coast. Kate met him just after her accident, and he nursed her back to health. When she's with him, in his luxury modernist house, the nightmares of the accident fade, and she feels safe and loved.
Until, one day, she looks at Rob anew. And knows, with absolute certainty, that the man before her has been replaced by an impostor.
Is Rob who he says he is? Or is it all in Kate's damaged mind?
Places to find the book:
Add to LibraryThing
Also by this author: Forget My Name
Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Crime Fiction, Thriller
Published by Head of Zeus
on 6th February, 2020
Published By: Head of Zeus (@HoZ_Books)
The stories by J.S. Monroe I’ve been intrigued by:
Forget My Name (see also Review)
Available Formats: Hardcover and Ebook
Converse via: #TheOtherYou, #Contemporary #Thriller