It is always a pleasure to take part in a blog tour for one of my favourite Scottish authors, Michael J Malone. Thanks to the author and the publisher for the ARC of In The Absence of Miracles, and to Anne of RandomThingsTours for inviting me to take part. I’m sharing my spot today with my #Twinnie, Noelle, over at Crimebookjunkie, so don’t forget to check out her review too!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
A young man discovers a family secret that turns his world upside down in this dark, emotive, shocking psychological thriller by number-one bestselling author Michael J. Malone
John Docherty’s mother has just been taken into a nursing home following a massive stroke and she’s unlikely to be able to live independently again.
With no other option than to sell the family home, John sets about packing up everything in the house. In sifting through the detritus of his family’s past he’s forced to revisit, and revise his childhood.
For in a box, in the attic, he finds undeniable truth that he had a brother who disappeared when he himself was only a toddler. A brother no one ever mentioned. A brother he knew absolutely nothing about. A discovery that sets John on a journey from which he may never recover.
For sometimes in that space where memory should reside there is nothing but silence, smoke and ash. And in the absence of truth, in the absence of a miracle, we turn to prayer. And to violence.
Shocking, chilling and heartbreakingly emotive, In the Absence of Miracles is domestic noir at its most powerful, and a sensitively wrought portrait of a family whose shameful lies hide the very darkest of secrets.
Michael J Malone has done it again. He’s only gone and broken me with his latest novel, In the Absence of Miracles. Given the reviews I’ve read so far, I reckon he is going to have to set up a retreat for emotionally distraught readers! This man writes so emotively, so eloquently and with absolute conviction that I am always immediately drawn into and immersed in his books for the whole read. And this was no exception to that rule!
I could almost hear the alarm bells ring as John Docherty ventures up into the loft of his childhood home and the cleverly crafted storyline will have your heart pounding and your eyes welling all the way up to the last page. There is so much I want to say about this book but there is so much I can’t say for fear of spoilers. So just pick up the book, buckle up and prepare yourself for an emotional rollercoaster!
In the Absence of Miracles is full to the brim of secrets, lies and tensions. A whole warehouse of cans of worms are opened in this novel and as John seeks to discover the truth he is faced with a series of faces from the past. I didn’t know who to trust as John fought desperately to keep his head above water as his life unravelled before him.
John Docherty stole the show for me; the sheer emotion seeped from this character and flowed out of the pages. I felt everything he was feeling and watching him was like watching a car crash and unable to step in and help him and as each secret was uncovered and each truth revealed my heart broke just a little bit more.
Once again Michael J Malone takes a subject that would be so easy to sensationalise, but he manages to bring a depth and sensitivity to it through his writing. So while it will shock and rock you to the core, it is never gratuitous and it will always make you think. Poignant, raw and breathtaking, In The Absence Of Miracles will break your heart but it will also leave you with a sense of hope.
Mr Malone, you have nailed it sir!
Don’t forget to check out what the other bloggers are saying:
In The Absence of Miracles is available to purchase from:
About the author
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. Other published work includes
Carnegie’s Call; A Taste for Malice; The Guillotine Choice; Beyond the Rage; The Bad Samaritan and Dog Fight. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines and After He Died soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber)
he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr.