Friday, 24 January 2020

#BlogTour The Black Ditch by Simon J. Lancaster


Today it's my turn on the BlogTour The Black Ditch by Simon J. Lancaster.

Enter the Giveaway below to Win a signed copy of The Black Ditch, and for your name to be used for a character in the sequel (Open Int)
About the Author
Simon J Lancaster is the author of The Black Ditch, the first in the Laurie Sterne trilogy of dystopian future thrillers. Prior to writing novels he was a national newspaper journalist in London, as well as a music critic and private pilot. He has written short stories and plays and, after reading extensively about climate change, concluded that the fantasy gun-play of contemporary-set action novels would be the lived experience of our coming world.

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About the book
Laurie Sterne feels like he’s been cut adrift in space. His father has been shot dead, caught in the crossfire of a gangland war that has also claimed his boss’s life. Laurie is a refugee who lost his adoptive mum years before and doesn’t know where he was born, let alone who his birth parents were. But he’s not alone in the world: someone is trying to kill him.

This is London, 2050, a dumping ground for climate refugees and dissidents. Gangs rule, murder goes unpunished and the police make sure you can’t escape.

In his struggle to stay alive, he finds an ally: his former boss’s secret daughter. But with the killer predicting his every move, is the man without a past being betrayed by the woman who seems to offer him a future?

Review
When you suddenly realise that 2050 sounds really far into the future, ergo flying cars and space stations on Mars, but in actual fact it's only 30 years from now. The scenarios the author paints aren't unrealistic given that they are grounded in part in reality.

The beginning of the story is perhaps the strongest part and is incredibly astute when you draw comparisons to what is going on in certain parts of the world at the moment. The abysmal treatment of illegal and refugees in the US. The way the children have been separated from their parents and imprisoned. That cruelty is echoed in Laurie's story.

He fears being caught and taken by the authorities, despite being legal - at least he thinks he is. The truth turns out to be a little more complicated, and it leaves one heck of a mark on the young child.
Fast forward to 2050 and Laurie the grown man is the stooge of a bigwig criminal. The kowtowing has never really left him, perhaps it's residual fear left over from his childhood.

It's a dystopian post-apocalyptic read rooted in modern day fears. Lancaster uses politics and environmental concerns in our era to create a fictional scenario, which sails rather close to a worst case scenario.

The strength of the first few chapters isn't quite mirrored in the rest of the book. It's easy to be swept up in the violence, confusion and lack of rational in the future, as opposed to capturing the essence of the child and place, and transporting it throughout the book.

Buy The Black Ditch at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

Enter the Giveaway to Win a signed copy of The Black Ditch, and for your name to be used for a character in the sequel (Open Int)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.*

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