I am sharing my thoughts on “Stench” by AB Morgan as part of the Blog Blitz by Sarah Hardy at Bloodhound Books. Many thanks for my copy that I received via NetGalley. Stench can be purchased from Amazon UK in paperback and eBook format.
Rory Norton didn’t always make his living as a motorbike instructor and he went to great lengths to leave his past life behind, to start again.
He thought he had succeeded, until the body of a missing woman is discovered under the floor of his cottage. Only then do the guilt and shame of his wife’s mysterious, untimely death and the accusations about his connection to the missing woman combine to break him.
The question is not how the missing woman died but why, and who is responsible?
Sometimes the truth stinks.
Ali Morgan is an author I am becoming quite familiar with as I have taken part in a few of the Blog Tours for her books. She is becoming an author that I agree to reading without paying too much attention to the book, now I know that sounds bad but it isn’t really, what I mean is she is an author I will read as I know I will get a story that I will enjoy. Stench is no exception.
I thought the title was a bazaar choice as I started this story, but by the end I realised actually it is a really good choice of title, there are various meanings behind the title and it makes perfect sense. The author has used the various different threads for this story and from the smell of the noxious fumes from the neighbour and the fishy smell of something not being right as the plot unfolds you start to see a link, this does continue with a character as well, but I’m leaving it there for now.
The characters did take a little while to get used to but as you start to get familiar with their roles you soon recognise them. The timeline for this is not a standard one, it does flicker and change but as you realise how this style works it makes for a really enjoyable read. I think this also adds to the story as you get to witness different perspectives and this adds to the story. You begin to realise there is a lot more going on than you first think. Anna has her own story to tell and she decides she wants to learn how to ride a motorbike, walk in Rory an instructor who gets to know Anna. Through the story you get to learn about these two characters and what makes them tick. It is not straight forward and they both have things in their pasts that still haunt them.
Ali has a background in that she really does bring into play with this story. There are Mental Health aspects within this story and the author has used her experiences of the system to show how quickly things can spiral out of control when someone does not get the treatment they need. It is a side to the Mental Health Service that we are aware, the under-funding, the out of hours service and general inadequacies, now I do mention this as it plays a part in the story but the author has got the balance spot on for me, incorporating a problem into a story without going over the top and coming across as preaching.
I thought this story was an addictive, absorbing and an insightful read. It has elements that I found fascinating and I liked the pacing of it, not all action and rush, but slower and deliberate that fitted in with the mystery element of the story. Another great read and a book I would definitely recommend as one for those who like a psychological mystery, crime and suspense read.
About the Author:
Married to an overgrown child with a beard and too many motorbikes, Alison Morgan lives in a corner of a field in North Bedfordshire and is making the most of a mid-life crisis. The Morgans are determined not to grow old gracefully or to be seen wearing beige and can be found exploring life through a love of live music, anything with an engine, the sea, mountains, rugby, proper pubs and fascinating people.
Alison worked for the NHS for nearly thirty years, twenty of those within mental health services, at the front line. She eventually became the manager of a countywide community service for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Much to her frustration, her heart decided to develop an electrical fault, which forced her to sit down for more than five minutes and her career juddered to a halt. Not one for thumb twiddling, she took up position in front of a computer with a plan to write a set of clinical guidelines for assessment of psychosis but instead a story, which had been lurking in her mind for several years, came tumbling out.
Her first two novels, A Justifiable Madness and Divine Poison, were inspired by her career as a psychiatric nurse and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Then she stepped sideways and wrote a gritty psychological thriller, The Camera Lies. All published by Bloodhound Books, Alison’s novels have received excellent reviews and inspired many an interesting debate. Above all, they are entertaining reads and, despite dark subjects, will raise a smile.
Twitter: @AliMorgan2304 / LinkedIn: Ali Morgan
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