Today it’s my turn on the BlogTour Love’s Long Road by G.D. Harper. It’s a contemporary read with noirish crime vibe.
About the Author
“I was placed third in the 2015 Lightship Prize for first-time authors, won a 2016 Wishing Shelf Award Red Ribbon, been shortlisted at the UK Festival of Writing for Best First Chapter, longlisted in the 2017 UK Novel Writing Competition.
In 2017, I was one of twelve authors selected for Authors in the Spotlight at the Bloody Scotland book festival in Stirling, showcasing who they considered to be the best emerging talent in crime fiction, and was the only self-published author to be chosen. I have spoken at numerous other book events, including Blackwells’ Writers at the Fringe at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; a stand-alone slot at the Byres Road Book Festival in Glasgow, and the Aye Write! Book Festival, also in Glasgow.
I went to Glasgow University in 1975 and lived in the city’s West End, the time and place for the setting of the majority of Love’s Long Road.”
About the book
Glasgow, 1975. How do you cope when your boyfriend kills himself because of you?
When Bobbie Sinclair’s boyfriend commits suicide and blames her, she vows never to love again. Instead she chooses to lead a double existence, kind-hearted by day and promiscuous by night. She increasingly struggles to maintain the balance between light and dark and soon finds herself sucked into the world of a controlling and ruthless crime lord from which she must escape.
Set against a vibrant but seedy 1970s Glasgow backdrop, Love’s Long Road plots Bobbie’s desperate plight. Starting a new life but constantly afraid of her past catching up with her, she battles danger, adversity and drug addiction on the long and perilous road back to love.
Love’s Long Road is about dealing with the guilt of terrible events in your past and the risk of being corrupted by the world around you; it is a story that captures to perfection what it was like to be young and single in the 1970s.
I felt the most poignant moment, and indeed the driving force of the story, is based on the guilt Bobbie feels. Towards the end the event that precedes the downwards spiral of the main character is put into a different light. It changes the perception of everything, which is in fact a learning moment and should be an overall eye-opener.
Suicide is an emotional topic. It destroys families, relationships, mental health and memories. It is a time-bomb that leaves waves of destruction in its wake long after the actual person has chosen to take their life. Those who are left behind often battle with many unanswered questions. Did I miss some sign? Wasn’t I listening properly or paying attention? And the most important question of all..why?
Bobbie’s story starts with the why, which she answers by giving herself the entirety of the blame, despite the fact suicide is a singular decision made by that person. Of course there are exceptions to that scenario – people can also be driven to suicide.
Bobbie embarks on a journey of self-punishment and self-hatred. She has no self-worth and believes she is no longer capable of having a loving relationship. All of these things lead her into a world where boundaries become skewed and wrong decisions have real life consequences.
I’m going to flip the script here and say that it’s also important to view Bobbie from a different point of view. She is self-absorbed, the narrative is always me, me, me and never what about the world or those around me. Let me just put this out there – what if the suicide wasn’t the catalyst and just merely another blip on a path she would have walked along anyway.
It’s a contemporary read with a noirish crime vibe. It’s fair to say that it’s very much a grim read, however it is absolutely in keeping with the urban Glaswegian feeling of the 70’s.
The sequel to this book is A Friend in Deed, which is set around Bobbie’s best friend Duncan and Michael’s story is told in Silent Money.
Buy Love’s Long Road at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Matador; UK ed. edition pub date 28 April 2016. Buy at Amazon com.