Gone Astray – Michelle Davies
The Last Word Review
I am delighted to be kicking off the Official Blog Tour for the Paperback release of Gone Astray the outstanding debut novel by Michelle Davies.
The story behind Gone Astray is that Lesley Kinnock buys a lottery ticket and to Lesley and her husband Mack shock they win and not just win they actually win the jackpot. Suddenly for them and their daughter Rosie their lives will never be the same again. The impact on the lives of the family are immense and they go public with the win and realise that they have to move and now they have to leave some their friends behind.
On her return from a shopping trip Lesley discovers that her 15-year-old daughter has gone missing. Has Rosie wandered off or has she been taken and does this have anything to do with the family winning a lottery jackpot?
The plot for the story is a believable scenario and the characters just so well written into the script. At 451 pages this is no simple crime thriller. The reader is faced with many twists and turns that you may have trouble putting the book down. That’s a warning from this reviewer. For a debut crime novel it is simply superb. Davies writing is one of an accomplished writer with many books behind her not a debut which makes this something rather special. Look out for sub plots that will keep you guessing as to what really is behind Rosie’s disappearance. As for the ending. Incredible. No clues from me and not even an apology. I want you the reader to discover Gone Astray will and the writer Michelle Davies as I have a feeling that we will be hearing more from her in the future.
There are a number of questions that this book leaves you with and for one after reading Gone Astray would you go public after winning a large amount on a lottery?
I have read many crime novels over the years and many have gone on to become cinema blockbusters I rank Gone Astray up there and would make great TV drama.
Michelle has kindly written a piece (below) for this blog about what she has learnt since Gone Astray was first published.
Five things I’ve learned since being published
I wanted to write a crime novel since the age of 12, after my English teacher in my first year at secondary school set our class the task of writing a story with a mystery theme over three chapters. I loved the task, scored top marks in it, and when Mr OW (his full name was Mr Osborne-Williams, but he preferred the abbreviation, as did we) said I had a talent for writing stories, my ambition was set.
Given it was another 32 years before I actually realised it with my first novel, Gone Astray, you won’t be surprised to learn I had a certain level of expectation about what it would be like to be published. So here are five things I’ve learned so far:
* Holding a finished copy of your book for the first time isn’t as amazing as holding your first child, but it comes close. Especially if the gestation period was quadruple that of your pregnancy and at times the delivery was just as painful. Publishers really should provide gas and air for those final stages.
* You will never tire of seeing your novel on a shelf in an ACTUAL BOOKSHOP. Word of caution though: sniffing the pages, stroking the cover, or sobbing tears of joy as you clasp it to your heaving bosom will earn you strange looks and possible arrest.
* Take any advice offered by published writers – they know what they’re talking about. I’ll always be grateful to Colette McBeth, who advised me to finish writing my second novel before the first was published so I’d have the time and head-space to enjoy the moment. I did (my second novel, Wrong Place, is out on 27 February) – and therefore I did.
* Patience is a virtue. Publishing works to roughly an 18-month calendar and I’m used to working on weekly magazines with daily deadlines, so it took a while to get my head around the fact that while I got my book deal for Gone Astray in 2014 it wouldn’t be published until this year. Now I’m totally in sync with it and have the work temperament of a sloth*.
* The crime reading/writing community is the nicest bunch of people you could ever hope to meet. I’ve been overwhelmed by all the online high fives sent my way over the past few months. So it goes without saying that I’m delighted to be on this blog tour for Gone Astray and thank you for all of your support.
* Well, maybe a sloth on speed. In case my magazine commissioning editors are reading this.
Michelle Davies has been writing for magazines for twenty years, including on the production desk at Elle, and as Features Editor of Heat. Her last staff position before going freelance was Editor-at-Large at Grazia magazine and she currently writes for a number of women’s magazines and newspaper supplements. Michelle has previously reviewed crime fiction for the Sunday Express’s Books section.
Michelle lives in London with her partner and daughter and juggles writing crime fiction with her freelance journalism and motherhood. Gone Astray is her first novel.
For more information on Michelle Davies you can visit her website just use the link here: Michelle Davies
The Official Gone Astray Blog Tour 2016