Today it is my pleasure to host the Blogtour for Psychosis by Roger Bray. It is a story of injustice and a heinous crime. Unfortunately to save one person the actual victim slips into obscurity, thereby leaving the actual fate of the victim unresolved.
About the Author
I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.
Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.
Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.
So here we are, two books published and another on track.
Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.
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About the book
When Hazel disappears, the police are convinced that her husband, Alex, has killed her.
Three years after his conviction for murder, Alex and his sister, Alice, are devastated when their last appeal is rejected by the courts. With nowhere left to turn, Alice must start to put her life back together.
Living in limbo herself, Alice has a chance encounter with Steve, an ex-solider turned PI who offers to look at the case files. Steve is convinced that the prosecution’s case is shaky at best, but can he find out the truth before it’s too late for Alex?
Psychosis is an example of forensics, police and the justice system fitting the evidence into the presented scenario, as opposed to the evidence leading them to the correct scenario, victim and perpetrator.
Alice is obsessed with getting her brother out of prison. She is convinced that he has been convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. She isn’t really concerned with what really happened to poor Hazel, and I think that is an important theme of the book. Often the media, the authorities and the general public are so invested in finding the culprit, that the victim becomes almost irrelevant. Instead of focusing on discovering the real where, what and why. everyone concentrates on the who they think did the deed. Lifelong sentences are handed out based on circumstantial and unsubstantiated evidence. A worrying theme in the justice system.
Alex often lacks any kind of emotional response to his predicament, and especially to the fact his wife has disappeared into thin air. No trace and no body seems to imply something more sinister than just an unhappy woman leaving for a new life and beginnings. I understand that a few years have gone by, but I would expect Alex to be a little more invested in discovering what has happened to her. Instead the driving force is his sister Alice, and later Steve, who just appears to like a mystery. A disappeared from the face of the earth kind of mystery.
The title may imply actions or crimes committed whilst someone has lost contact with their external reality, and is suffering from a severe mental disorder, but this is in fact the meticulous planning of a criminal who isn’t at their first gig. Is this a crime of opportunity, something more nefarious or merely a misunderstanding?
Bray does an excellent job of keeping the the identity of the perpetrator hidden behind red herrings and false trails of clues. It is a well-plotted crime with plenty of suspects along the way. It is a story of injustice and a heinous crime. Unfortunately to save one person the actual victim slips into obscurity, thereby leaving the actual fate of the victim unresolved.
Bray keeps the reader invested in the outcome, despite the fact the characters often appear to forget the real victim is Hazel in this scenario. Luckily the outsider Steve can look beyond the hurt feelings and the fact Alex has already resigned himself to being a widow. I wonder if you will be able to guess the who and the why.
Come back on the 15th of April for the Cover Reveal and 24th of April for the #BlogTour for The Picture by Roger Bray!