#Blogtour #Review #Guestpost: None So Blind by Alis Hawkins @Alis_Hawkins @DomePress @emily_glenister #NoneSoBlind
Release date - 15th November 2018
Book length - 456 pages
Publisher - The Dome Press
Worldwide - www.bookdepository.com
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
I want to thank Emily from www.thedomepress.com for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour and for providing me with a copy of this book for review. I also want to thank Alis Hawkins for the fascinating guest post which you can read further on.
ABOUT THIS BOOK
West Wales, 1850.
When an old tree root is dug up, the remains of a young woman are found. Harry Probert-Lloyd, a young barrister forced home from London by encroaching blindness, has been dreading this discovery.
He knows exactly whose bones they are.
Working with his clerk, John Davies, Harry is determined to expose the guilty, but the investigation turns up more questions than answers.
The search for the truth will prove costly. Will Harry and John be the ones to pay the highest price?
The beginning of a gripping new series, NONE SO BLIND by Alis Hawkins is a historical crime fiction story brimming with that extra special something that keeps you sitting up into the wee hours to devour it.
Set in Wales in 1850, a horrifying discovery awaits those who dig up a tree, for a woman's bones lies hidden beneath. A community shocked closes rank especially when a young barrister, Harry Probert-Lloyd and his clerk, John Davies, seem determined to uncover the truth. For Harry knows whose bones they are and will do whatever it takes to bring the culprits to justice.
Riveting, intricate, and completely unputdownable, NONE SO BLIND by Alis Hawkins has everything you need for a cracking mystery to tickle your senses. The characters are fascinating and watching the relationship between Harry and John was interesting from all angles.
I love historical crime fiction but there is always a worry that the setting and historical detail can become a little boring or repetitive, so I'm delighted to tell you that this is not the case with NONE SO BLIND. Every word has a purpose and a knack for sticking in your mind and I admire Alis Hawkin for this talent to transport readers back in time.
NONE SO BLIND by Alis Hawkin is a superb novel that is perfect for historical readers and crime fiction readers alike and I highly recommend it. I cannot wait for the next instalment!!
Hi Linda – thanks so much for having me on Books Of All Kinds, it’s great to be here to share a bit of how None So Blind came to be written.
Prior to writing None So Blind I wrote fiction set in the fourteenth century. I was fascinated by the way the biblical Four Horsemen – War, Famine, Pestilence and Death - hovered over the entire period. Add climate change (yes, really) regicide and revolt to the mix and I thought I’d never need to stir beyond that hundred year period for fascinating settings for fiction.
The only problem was, there was something I’d been desperate to write about ever since I was a child growing up in West Wales.
The Rebecca Riots.
And it was a problem because the Rebecca Riots didn’t happen in fourteenth century England. They happened five hundred years later and a hundred miles over the border, in mid-nineteenth century West Wales. And, quite apart from my preference for the late middle ages, that was an inconvenient setting. In bookselling terms it just wasn’t seen as sexy.
But, as I resolutely ignored the urge to write about the Riots in the quest to remain published, the crime fiction landscape continued to evolve. And, when the international success of BBC/S4C joint venture Hinterland introduced Ceredigion to a UK and Europe-wide audience, it was clear that there would never be a better time to set crime fiction in West Wales. So I decided that I would write my book about the Riots, then hurry back to the nice apocalyptic fourteenth century.
It took me a fairly predictable two years to research and write None So Blind and, though I hadn’t been under any illusion that my foray into the 1840s would be brief – historical fiction takes a lot longer to write than the more contemporary version – I hadn’t anticipated what might happen while I was there.
Because, by the time the book was done, not only had I fallen in love with my two central characters, Harry Probert-Lloyd and John Davies, I’d also fallen in love with early Victorian West Wales.
Before starting the research for None So Blind I’d known shamefully little about the area I’d grown up in and I’d been surprised to discover that the nineteenth century Teifi Valley had an awful lot in common with the late medieval period. Labourers lived in cottages that would have appalled a better-off medieval peasant, rural sanitation was non-existent, two generations of increasing poverty had left people unable to buy even things a fourteenth century peasant would have found necessary and agricultural technology had barely emerged from the Dark Ages.
But, surprising as it was to find a quasi-medieval society in the British Isles at the height of the Empire, what really fascinated me was the way in which West Wales society was in the throes of a cataclysmic, slow-motion crash with a political system in which rampant capitalism was being fuelled by previously unimaginable communication technologies (railways and the telegraph).
You can get some idea of what that crash looked like if you consider the situation in some developing countries now. The twenty-first century, cyber-capitalist, world economy exists, cheek by jowl, with abject poverty and a slowly-disintegrating tradition of subsistence agriculture.
And, then as now, society was set on its ears by such a gargantuan clash of cultures. But the impoverished tenant farmers of West Wales had neither the numbers to threaten the kind of social unrest the Chartists were agitating for in the cities, nor the vote which might have helped them choose different leaders.
Riot was the only answer and, in rapidly multiplying - and sometimes illegal -tollgates, the farmers had a tangible focus for their anger and frustration. Months of destruction and nocturnal anarchy – swiftly branded the Rebecca Riots – ensued. And the authorities were powerless to stop them.
It’s against that backdrop that my beloved Harry and John investigate the death of Margaret Jones in None So Blind. The riots may be in the past by the time blindness drives Harry home from his life in London, but their lingering after-effects are ever present and they make it difficult for Harry to get at the truth. Only his partnership with John, and the gradual revelation of secrets they are both hiding from each other, allows Harry to find out what really happened to Margaret Jones.
If you’d like to read more about the Rebecca Riots and what they looked like, follow the blog tour to www.hairpastafreckle72.blogspot.co.uk tomorrow.
Meanwhile, many thanks, Linda, for having me on Books Of All Kinds – it’s been a real pleasure to share None So Blind with you.
It was an absolute pleasure Alis, thank you!
Alis Hawkins grew up on a dairy farm in Cardiganshire. She left to read English at Oxford and has done various things with her life, including bringing up two amazing sons, selling burgers, working with homeless people and helping families to understand their autistic children. And writing, always.
Radio plays (unloved by anybody but her), nonfiction (autism related), plays (commissioned by heritage projects) and of course, novels.
Her current historical crime series featuring blind investigator Harry Probert-Lloyd and his chippy assistant John Davies, is set in her childhood home, the Teifi Valley. As a side effect, instead of making research trips to sunny climes, like some of her writer friends, she just drives up the M4 to see her folks.
Alis speaks Welsh, collects rucksacks and can’t resist an interesting fact.
For more information:
Website - alishawkins.co.uk
Twitter - twitter.com/Alis_Hawkins
Facebook - www.facebook.com/AlisHawkinsAuthor/
DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT ALL OF THE OTHER STOPS ALONG THE WAY!!
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger, wife & mother who loves all things books!
UPCOMING BLOG TOURS