Today I am delighted to have Paddy Magrane author of Denial do a guest post for the book review cafe. Paddy’s first novel Disorder introduced an exciting new thriller series. Combining psychological suspense with fast-paced action, the Sam Keddie books introduce a flawed hero – a man of therapeutic insight and destructive personal demons. Denial is now available from AMAZON
A riot breaks out at an immigration detention centre and Zahra Idris, a terrified detainee suffering with amnesia, escapes. That evening, her solicitor is found drowned in the Regent’s Canal and her psychotherapist, Sam Keddie, returns home to find his girlfriend unconscious in the hallway, the victim of a brutal attack.
With the police drawing a blank, a distraught Sam vows to track down Zahra, convinced that the events are connected. He finds her in Amsterdam, but the pair are soon on the run through Europe, desperately trying to stay ahead of dogged pursuers. Sam must race against time to retrieve Zahra’s memories, and discover why those closest to her are being picked off, one by one.
Guest post by Paddy Magrane
‘Write what you know’ is one of the first bits of advice an aspiring writer ever receives. It’s also one of the worst. Most writers, quite understandably, assume it’s a call to action to pen a thinly-disguised autobiography. That’s all very well if you were once approached by MI6 (as spy writer Charles Cumming was) or you’re a bar-brawling, big-game hunting bear of a man, like Ernest Hemingway. But what if your life is a little more, well, domestic?
The truth behind that much misunderstood piece of advice is to pluck an area of experience and build on it. In my case, it’s my work as a shrink.
I thought a psychotherapist, with their uniquely psychological take on life, would be a really interesting protagonist. So the idea of Sam Keddie, a shrink based in North London (that’s two parts of me that have made it to the page – I once lived in Stoke Newington) was born. But that’s where the similarities end.
Now obviously I will never use my clients’ lives as material for my books. But what I am fascinated by is the sense that I am privy to thoughts, feelings and experiences that clients may never tell anyone else. And since thrillers are all about high stakes, it struck me that it would be a really interesting idea if the secrets imparted to Sam were real whoppers. Whoppers that potentially put him in genuine danger.
I also began thinking that a shrink would make a good, if unconventional, detective. While a psychotherapist may not be able to dust for prints or scan for DNA, they do know how to read people – their motivations and desires – which is key to understanding what’s behind their actions. Finally, a shrink would also be well placed to trap and ensnare a villain, using therapeutic skills to tease the truth from them.
Sam may not be able to fire a Gloch or throw a left hook, but this unconventional hero does have an interesting mind. I’ve just published number the second Sam Keddie thriller, DENIAL, and I think I’ve got the makings of a series. I hope you agree
Paddy Magrane was born in the Middle East and educated in England. A psychotherapist and journalist who’s written for the Guardian, Telegraph and Observer, he now lives in Devon. DISORDER, his first Sam Keddie thriller, was self-published in 2014 and re-released by Fahrenheit Press in December 2015. DENIAL, the follow-up, was published by Fahrenheit Press on 13th April 2016.
Links to author Paddy Magrane
You can buy both book here….