I am delighted and honoured to be opening the Blog Tour for the wonderful Gillian McAllister and her latest psychological thriller Anything You Do Say which is available to download and buy from 19th October 2017.
I was fortunate to read an advanced copy of her book over the summer and in my opinion it’s absolutely BRILLIANT.
About the Book: McAllister’s second novel, Anything You Do Say, is an incredibly unique and intelligent take on the psychological thriller- told in two narratives (Reveal & Conceal), following two different eventualities that weave together seamlessly. Lawyer by day, McAllister blends her professional legal expertise with moral conundrums that ask the reader what would you do?
When Joanna hears the footsteps behind her that every woman dreads she makes a snap decision. She turns and she pushes, sending her pursuer tumbling down the steps to lie motionless on the floor.
Reveal – Calling 999 Joanna waits for the police to arrive. For judgement, for justice, whatever that may be. She just needs to hope her husband will stand beside her.
Conceal – She didn’t mean to do it. She was scared, she panicked. And no one saw. No one will know. If she leaves now. If she keeps quiet, and prays silently to never hear that knock on the door . . .
Here’s my 5 star review:
What a brilliant, thought-provoking and original story! Anything You Do Say is being marketed as “Gone Girl meets Sliding Doors” which possibly won’t entice you to read it if you didn’t like Gone Girl, so here are my thoughts.
Anything You Do Say is an intelligent and clever story involving Joanna who has to make a life changing decision when she pushes an unknown assailant down a concrete flight of stairs; should she call the ambulance and admit her actions or should she flee the scene and pretend it never happened.
The story really takes off after this attack and alternating between “Conceal” and “Reveal” chapters we follow the two paths Joanna has taken, both filled with guilt, lies, fear and secrets.
Throughout the book the authors knowledge of the criminal justice system was clearly evident and I felt all the emotions Joanna was experiencing in both the Conceal and Reveal stories were plausible and realistic. A really gripping thriller that certainly makes the reader think about the paths they could have chosen in certain circumstances. This is Gillian McAllister’s second novel and in my personal opinion is her best yet!
And finally….. I asked Gillian some really important questions that I am sure you have always wanted to know:
1. Do you write naked?
Wow. And the blog tour is open. No, never. The worst I get is starting to write with a coffee in my dressing gown and sort of … staying there all day.
2. What is your biggest failure?
Inability to live in the moment: forever in abject terror of future events. It’s not uncommon for me to get into bed and think: oh man, I worried all day again!
3. What is the biggest lie you’ve ever told?
I told my nursery school teacher that my father was a fireman when I was four. The lie grew and grew, as did my anxiety. In the end, it all unravelled in the nursery school car park.
4. Have you ever been in trouble with the police?
Never. I’m a lawyer!
5. Have you ever gotten into a bar fight?
6. Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
I’m going to avoid the flippant answer to this and go straight to the heart: after my book became a bestseller, I experienced pretty bad anxiety. I’m a born worrier, but this was something else. I think it was the result of years of trying to get an agent and trying to get published, and worrying after I got my deal that my book wouldn’t sell, or would be published to zero acclaim, or I wouldn’t be able to write another. Everything worked out just dandy with my debut, Everything But The Truth, but somewhere along the way my mind sort of collapsed in on itself. You would never have known it if you’d see me; I finished my third novel, I went to work, I went on holiday, I was perfectly smiley. But most of the time I was experiencing a sort of non-specific dread and occasional panic. What did I do to get out of it? Well, I faced it: painful but true. Challenging those pesky anxious thoughts got me out of it. And I’m glad I did.
7. Do you drink? Smoke?
No. I am embarrassingly pure. I’m a teetotal and I have never smoked a cigarette. My biggest vice is coffee. And baths. And spending money…
8. What is your biggest fear?
Death. Sorry. But it’s true.
9. What do you want your tombstone to say?
Author of fifty novels.
10. If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Most definitely to appear as a fly-on-the-wall in the houses of the people I know. And the people I hardly know. It would provide such fodder for the fiction I write. I would love to see what people do when they’re on their own, because I do some really weird stuff.
11. If you were a super hero, what would your name be? What costume would you wear?
Here’s a thing: I watched hardy any television growing up. I really only watched contemporary TV shows at university and beyond, so I’m shockingly ill-informed about TV. Really, I hardly know who Superman is.
12. What literary character is most like you?
No doubt, my own characters. But aside from them, probably Alice Lindgren from American Wife. Though I haven’t married a republican.
13. What secret talents do you have?
I wear a pair of pointe shoes to change lightbulbs. I can clover my tongue. I’ve got a really good memory for details, too; it often worries people. (‘But you said in 2007 that your sister’s friend was going to Barcelona, not Madrid…’)
14. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
Oban, where my first novel is set. Embarrassingly, I’ve never been.
15. If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?
Definitely an orangutan.
16. What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
To write a book that goes down in history. Not like a Dickens, or anything. But just one that people who are alive after me will remember, and hopefully talk about. Basically, I want to have a Wikipedia page.
17. If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
I like a Brooklyn twang. Everybody from Brooklyn is cool.
18. Do you have any scars? What are they from?
Three. One on my forehead from when I fell over as a child. And two on my left foot from where I had an operation to correct a foot problem I developed from (basically) too much ballet. I had the operation when I was 21 and it was the most pain I’ve ever experienced in my life.
19.What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
Imaginative – I used to call the moss that grows between concrete cracks poddystones – and anxious. And actually weirdly tidy, sadly not a trait that’s stayed with me. I had a Fisher Price garage I was very into. Even the imaginary characters in the cars there had pretty good character development arcs…
20. Do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
I am a BIG DREAMER. Epic dreams, most nights, as vivid almost as real life. I can remember some of my dreams from twenty-five years ago. I only ever had one recurring dream, after a pretty traumatic break up. Other than that they’re pretty random: night-long battles, sometimes – one featuring Robert Pattinson and I fighting evil on the top of the tallest building in Kuala Lumpur – or often such mundane conversations with friends that I struggle to put my finger on whether or not they’ve happened at all… there’s a book in that.