I received an ARC of Bully Boy Blue from the author in return for an honest review.
Every aspect of Kathy’s life is dominated by her abusive bully boy husband. Now she’s pregnant and in fear for her life. Can she ever escape him?
A gripping page-turner of a psychological thriller packed with suspense. Discover John Nicholl’s chilling new short story today
The Blurb says it all… and more. The desperation, the ability to deceive, the reality of not knowing what goes on behind closed doors. Hidden truths.
This is a novella; yet the shortness of the story does not detract from its chilling quality. The portrayal of both the characters in the book are frighteningly real and disturbing; the husband who convinces the outside world that he is a caring, long-suffering man with an unstable wife, the tense, oppressed wife, yearning to escape yet fearful.
To say I loved this book might seem odd but I love this author’s writing. His style is rich in both a sense of place and in his portrayal of the characters. Both the spoken and inner dialogue is realistic and draws the reader in.
I can’t recommend Bully Boy Blue highly enough for the above reasons
I’ve also included an interview I had with John some while ago:
May I start by asking you why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I guess that given my career in law enforcement and child protection, psychological thrillers chose me. I’d like to write something light, funny and life affirming, but I don’t think it’s ever going to happen.
And how long have you been writing?
I wrote a multi agency child protection guide and articles for newspapers and a national social work magazine during my career, but ‘White is the coldest colour’ was my first novel. I began writing fiction about five years ago.
What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
I wrote ‘White is the coldest colour’ with the primary intention of producing an entertaining and original psychological suspense thriller. However, I also hoped it would play a small part in raising awareness of the risks posed by sexual predators. Reader feedback suggests I went some way towards achieving those ends. ‘When evil calls your name,’ the sequel, addresses domestic physical and psychological violence towards women, within the context of the story. Again, I hope it raises awareness of the problem to some extent.
John hasn’t said a lot about his books so I’m adding the next few lines myself. This is the blurb on Amazon for White is the coldest colour: “The Mailer family are oblivious to the terrible danger that enters their lives when seven-year-old Anthony is referred to the child guidance service by the family GP following the breakdown of his parents’ marriage.
Fifty-eight year old Dr David Galbraith, a sadistic predatory paedophile employed as a consultant child psychiatrist, has already murdered one child in the soundproofed cellar below the South Wales Georgian town-house he shares with his wife and two young daughters.
Anthony becomes Galbraith’s latest obsession and he will stop at nothing to make his grotesque fantasies reality.
The book includes content that some readers may find disturbing from the start. It is dedicated to survivors everywhere.”
Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
I spent twenty years as a social worker, which was all the research I needed. My books are entirely fictional, but they draw heavily on my professional experiences. I worked with some amazing people, some of whom have contributed to the characters I’ve created.
What do you think most characterises your writing?
I like to get inside the characters’s heads, and to portray their thoughts and feelings in addition to their actions.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
In many ways, writing ‘White is the coldest colour’ was cathartic, but it brought back some memories which were perhaps best left in the past.
Are there underrepresented groups or ideas featured if your book?
Everyone has the right to live free of the fear of oppression and violence. I think those are the key principles underpinning my novels. Both of my first two books address important social issues, and talk about subjects many in society would prefer to ignore.
And, here again, I add the blurb on John’s second book: When Evil Calls Your Name:
“When twenty-nine-year-old Cynthia Galbraith struggles to come to terms with her traumatic past and the realities of prison life, a prison counsellor persuades her to write a personal journal exploring the events that led to a life sentence for murder.
Although unconvinced at first, Cynthia finally decides she has all the time in the world and very little, if anything, to lose. She begins writing and holds back nothing: sharing the thoughts she hadn’t dare vocalise, the things that keep her awake at night and haunt her waking hours.”
What inspires you?
Family, spirituality, justice, beauty, travel, art, great writing, yoga and so much more.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I’ve been unbelievably lucky, in that the success of my first novel has enabled me to write full time. Now all I have to do is to keep writing books people want to read. I suspect that’s going to prove to be a lot easier said than done.
What are some day jobs that you have held? If any of them impacted your writing, share an example.
I tarred roads, emptied bins, and worked as a kitchen porter before moving on to police and social work. Once I qualified as a social worker, I worked for two social services departments, the child guidance service, and the NSPCC. I’ve also lectured on child protection at several colleges and universities. I like to think my woking life has helped introduce an air of realism to my writing.
How do you feel about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
The more reading options open to people the better. Ebooks are relatively cheap and accessible, and that has to be a good thing. The publishing world is changing fast, enabling writers to self publish, if they so wish, and to let potential readers decide if their work is worth buying. I’ve chosen to remain independent despite contact offers from three publishers, and I would encourage anyone considering writing a book to give it a go. It’s never been easier to get your writing out there in front of the public.
What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
I believe that reading will always be a major pastime, although the introduction as alternatives like audio books gives people a viable alternative.Both my books were recently produced as audio books, and I have to admit that I was both surprised and impressed by the additional dimensions the narrators brought to the text.
Find John here:
Buying Links: Amazon.co.uk:
White is the coldest colour: http://amzn.to/29tXtsO
When evil calls your name: http://amzn.to/29Bfy8G
Bully Boy Blue: http://amzn.to/2oc0abZ
White is the coldest colour: http://amzn.to/29x73Nf
When evil calls your name: http://amzn.to/29sIcfR
Bully Boy Blue: http://amzn.to/2oaVjYs