It’s an absolute pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Law of the Heart by Boris Starling.
About the Author
Boris Starling is an award-winning author, screenwriter and journalist who has appeared on the Sunday Times bestseller list for both fiction and non-fiction. He has written seven crimes novels, five full-length non-fiction books (including, as a ghostwriter, the autobiography of British and Irish Lions rugby captain Sam Warburton) and twenty shorter non-fiction books.
He created the Messiah TV series, which he adapted from his first novel and which ran for five seasons on BBC1. His other screen credits include The Kid, The Defector and Blood Over Water. He lives with his wife, children, greyhounds and chickens in West Dorset. Follow @vodkaboris on Twitter
About the book
Their love is against the laws of a merciless state – but the heart has its own power.
For rollercoaster designer Theo, living on the edge is just part of the job. He’s used to wandering the world perfecting thrills, his heart immune to commitment. But then a commission in repressive North Korea exposes him to emotions he’s never dared to feel.
Tour guide Min has to soul that wants to soar, but she knows it’s safer to build walls around her heart and mind. Skilled inn showcasing the mesmerising beauty of capital city Pyongyang without revealing its darker secrets, she introduces Theo to a country he will never forget – and begins to question her policy of quiet compliance.
But forgetting – or pretending to – is the key to survival for Min’s formidable grandmother Cuckoo. After a devastating heartbreak years ago, she learned that passion an oppression just don’t mix. As Min and Theo grow closer and long-held secrets come to light, all three are forced to confront emotions they’ve tried to suppress. In a country where following their hearts will put them in danger, how much are they willing to risk?
First and foremost, Starling is a writer to take note of and the type of scribe to write the kind of books that burrow themselves into your mind forever. The other thing I hope resonates with readers, aside from the story that tugs at the heartstrings, is the difference between actually living in or under an oppressive regime and living in a democracy whilst having the freedom to shout about being oppressed by a regime.
The claustrophobic stranglehold the state has on Min and everyone else is the first emotion that hit me. The frustration, the fact everyone just gives up and forgets any thought of resistance, because the repercussions to friends and family are disastrous – it creates this feeling of despair. Life is only ever what is allowed, condoned and acceptable. Constant surveillance, every person a potential informer. What could the consequences be for someone who by the simple act of falling in love – could potentially ruin her life and those of others?
Both Min and her grandmother Cuckoo share more than just a deep love for each other, they share the kind of risky choices and experiences that shatters hearts, changes lives and creates wounds that never heals.
This is a contemporary read and although the heart is the very core of this premise it would be a fallacy to underestimate the scathing political and social commentary the story is driven by. I think that is the beauty of Starling’s style, the way he leads his readers as they follow the bright sparkly emotional depth and turmoil, and yet cements the same path with the oppressive regime that seeps into every pore, element and corner of this read. Sublime. I can’t wait to read more.