Welcome to my stop on the Strange Ink blog tour! I have a guest post to share with everyone concerning great crime reads. Gary Kimble’s Strange Ink is a chaotic blend of the bizarre, humanity, ancient magic and Australian politics. It was a challenging read but I thought it was cool, dark and had fantastic imagery. I hope you enjoy the post and please make sure you check out the other stops on the tour as well.
20.09.2018 / Titan Books / Psychological Thriller – Horror / Paperback / 400pp / 978-1785656439
Target Audience: Readers who like dark and twisty narratives focused on secrets, revenge and ancient magic.
About Strange Ink
When washed-up journalist Harry Hendrick wakes one morning with a hangover and a strange symbol tattooed on his neck, he shrugs it off as a bad night out. But soon more tattoos appear: grisly, violent images which come accompanied by horrific nightmares – so he begins to dig deeper. Harry’s search leads him to a sinister disappearance, torment from beyond the grave, and a web of corruption and violence tangled with his own past. One way or another, he has to right the wrongs.
About Gary Kemble
Gary Kemble’s award-winning short fiction has been published in both magazines and anthologies, and his non-fiction has appeared in newspapers, magazines and online. Born in England, Gary now lives in Brisbane with his wife and kids, where he is the Social Media Co-ordinator for national news broadcaster ABC News. Strange Ink is his first novel.
Guest Post: 5 Crime Novels You Should Read Right Now by Gary Kemble
Resurrection Bay, Emma Viskic
When one of Caleb Zelic’s childhood friends is murdered, the private investigator goes on the hunt for his killer. This sounds like well-trod ground for a crime writer, except Caleb has been profoundly deaf since early childhood.
This isn’t tokenism – as part of the research process for Resurrection Bay, Viskic learnt Auslan (Australian sign language) and consulted with members of the hearing loss community.
But as Viskic told Better Reading, Caleb’s deafness is an important part of who he is, but it isn’t all he is.
His deafness makes him very observant, and a bit of an outsider, but in a lot of ways he’s more affected by people’s reactions to his deafness, than his deafness itself. One of the reasons he’s so reluctant to reveal his deafness is because he’s so often treated with pity or irritation when people find out.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson
I loved the depiction of investigative journalism in this book – it was something I tried to draw on in when I wrote Strange Ink. Computer research, examining microfiche, trawling through old photos, and hitting the road in search of sources who could help Mikel in his quest for truth.
I also love stories of redemption – it was great seeing Mikael get his revenge.
And the character of Lisbeth Salander makes the Millennium trilogy one of my favourite crime series.
The Broken Ones, Stephen M Irwin
Irwin’s second novel takes place in a world where suddenly, for no apparent reason, spirits manifest in the world of the living. Every person has a ghost that follows them around, watching them, silently judging them. In some cases a dearly departed relative, in other cases a sworn enemy, or friend, or total stranger.
The world Detective Oscar Mariani inhabits has a worn-down, post-apocalyptic feel to it, which really appeals to me.
As Detective Mariani hunts a ritualistic serial killer, he has to deal with mundane and supernatural threats – everything from someone trying to burn him alive, to a giant bird-like creature attempting to scissor off his head with its razor-sharp talons.
(This book had an unintended influence on Strange Ink – I was originally going to feature Brisbane’s iconic St Brigid’s church as a key location. But when I saw Irwin had used the red brick monolith, I switched to the Paddington water tower).
The Student, Iain Ryan
You can almost taste the dust between the pages of this one. The Student is set in a semi-rural university town west of Brisbane. Think Breaking Bad meets Wake In Fright.
Ryan does a fantastic job of capturing the sordid characters – boozy jocks, two-bit dope dealers, menacing bikers. It feels real.
I also like that The Student is set in 1994, before everyone was just one emoji-laden text away.
If you like your crime stories gritty and grimy, you can’t go past this one.
You Were Never Really Here, Jonathan Ames
I do like myself a brutal revenge story. The protagonist of this novella, former FBI agent and Marine Joe, chooses the humble hammer as his weapon of choice. And that sets the tone as he seeks retribution after a relatively routine job to rescue a teenage sex slave is derailed by crooked cops brandishing silenced Glocks.
I’m really looking forward to the follow-up.
Award-winning author Gary Kemble’s debut novel, Strange Ink (Titan Books) is out now.
Thank you to Gary for a great list of must reads. I have added them all to my TBR and hopefully will get round to tackling them all in the future. Strange Ink is definitely a unique read and I recommend it to all those readers who appreciate bizarre and unusual narratives. Gary has a lot to say about the world and his novel seemed like the perfect medium to get his message across. Give it a go if you like something a little more challenging. Thanks for coming by, I hope you enjoyed the post.