The Taste of Ash – A psychological crime suspense novel
What is it like to be a victim? How do you move on from losing everything? How do you cope when someone is watching your every move and you have no idea who it is - or what they are going to do next?
When Zoë Graham’s flat burns down in an arson attack she loses everything. But the man in the flat downstairs comes off much worse and a murder investigation is launched. Who started the fire and why? And who was the intended victim? Soon Zoë has reason to wonder if it was her. Feeling like a refugee, all she wants is to get back to some sort of normality and move on with her life - but someone is determined that isn’t going to happen.
An unknown stalker sends Zoë’s life spiralling out of control and she doesn’t know which way to turn, or who she can trust.
"Really gripping psychological drama; I genuinely couldn't put it down. The characters felt very normal to me - not always something accomplished in a suspense novel, where the characters can often be formulaic. I loved that they were ordinary people with typical lives who reacted to events like any one of us might..."
"Crime just ain't my genre, but I've made two exceptions recently: 'The Taste of Ash' and 'Gone Girl'. I've come to the conclusion, based on these two excellent novels, that psychological crime novels can be both satisfying and thought provoking..."
Welcome to my website.
Thank you for stopping by, whatever your reasons. I hope you find the information on the following pages useful
Let me tell you a bit about myself
I've always enjoyed getting lost in a book and read widely from across the genres. I don't have a particular type of book. I think my choices are quite eclectic - from the classics to sci-fi, adventure to crime, historical to contemporary. The only common factor of my 'favourites' is that they are all utterly engaging stories with strong and interesting characters.
As a child, my sister and I were encouraged to write reports on what we had done each day on holiday. These were usually notebooks filled with postcards, cut outs from leaflets and brief information about the places we had visited. I enjoyed doing them and later at school won prizes for my project work. It was hardly surprising then that I went on to follow a career in graphic design, getting into art college early at the age of sixteen for four years of typography, advertising and general design.
I always enjoyed English at school but going straight to art college meant I didn’t get the chance to do A-levels. However in my mid 20s I went to evening classes and did a language and literature combined course - and that was the start of my love of creative writing. After the course I joined a creative writing class, and one term in entered a short story writing competition with one of the major national writing magazines. To my surprise, I won first prize and that proved to me that I had some talent. The creative writing course I was on was very gentle in it's critiques so I joined Havant Writers' Circle. I also felt short story writing wasn’t enough and set about writing a novel. It was a steep, long learning curve.
The genre for my books is psychological suspense. As a child I thoroughly enjoyed books such as Enid Blyton's Adventure series where the children had to work out what was going on and get themselves out of danger. Perhaps this is the root of my decision to write in the genre I do. I like to explore how ordinary people cope when they are thrown into extraordinary situations, when crime infringes on someone's life and where, through no fault of their own, a character is forced to confront situations they have no idea how to deal with.