Tuesday 3 September 2019

Blog Tour ~ Goldsboro Books Awards..


Launched in 2017, the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award is awarded annually to an outstanding work of contemporary fiction, rewarding quality storytelling in any genre. The winner of the Glass Bell will receive £2,000 in prize money, and a handmade, engraved glass bell. The jury of ten consists of team members from Goldsboro Books, DHH Literary Agency and The Dome Press. There is no fee, or limit to the number of books that a publisher may submit, allowing both established and debut authors a chance to win. The inaugural winner was Chris Cleave, for his extraordinary Everyone Brave is Forgiven (Sceptre), the moving and unflinching novel about the profound effects that the Second World War had on ordinary citizens back at home in Britain. Last year, the award went to John Boyne for his sweeping, poignant and comedic odyssey of post-war Ireland, The Heart’s Invisible Furies (Transworld).

A chilling dystopia, a ‘property thriller’ and the story of Truman Capote’s downfall are amongst the six titles shortlisted for the 2019 Glass Bell Award, which was announced at midday on Thursday 1st August.

Leading the shortlist is the international bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris, which has sold almost a million copies worldwide, and was last week announced as the UK’s fourth bestselling book for the first six months of 2019. It is up against three thrillers – the Booker-longlisted Snap by celebrated crime writer Belinda Bauer, Our House by Louise Candlish, which won the British Book Award Crime & Thriller of the Year, and M.W. Craven’s CWA Gold Dagger-shortlisted The Puppet Show. Rounding off the shortlist are celebrated debuts Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott and VOX by Christina Dalcher. 

✨✨ The Winner will be announced on the 16th September ✨✨

Here are my thoughts on one of the nominated books

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Snap by Belinda Bauer (Transworld) On a stifling summer ’s day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters wait in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to return. ‘Stay in the car. I won’t be long,’ she’d said. But she doesn’t come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

My Review..

SNAP gets off to a truly dramatic start, which sets the scene for much of the novel which, it must be said, I raced through with my heart hammering, desperate to find out what was going on and so eager to discover just a little bit more that I barely left the book alone for 5 minutes.

The characters in SNAP leap fully formed from the page, especially, Jack Bright who, at just eleven years old and with a head which is far too old for his young shoulders, takes on the responsibility of looking out for his two younger sisters in the aftermath of an appalling family tragedy. To say that that the Bright family have had a raw deal is an understatement and as the minutiae of their lives starts to be revealed so a mystery of epic proportions is revealed.

Running alongside Jack's story is that of disheveled cop DCI John Marvel who has been sent to the Somerset force in order to help out with a complex investigation to catch a thief who has, so far, eluded capture, and whose nickname of Goldilocks is particularly relevant. On the surface Jack and DCI marvel shouldn't have anything in common but eventually their stories start to merge with very interesting consequences.

In a sea of crime novels, which pretty much follow the same trajectory, SNAP stands out from the crowd and not just because the writing is absolutely crisp perfect with never a word wasted or an emotion unexpressed, but also, the rawness of its chilling edginess had me, quite literally, jumping at shadows. The precise and frightening detail which fleshes out Jack Bright's tortured character is something which will stay with me for a very long time.

There is no doubt that this author has a strong grasp of just what the reader wants from a crime thriller, a tight and taut plot-line, characters who scare you half to death, clues scattered throughout  like precious jewels, and more than enough tension to keep you awake at night. SNAP has all this, and more, in abundance, and is without doubt one of my favourite crime thrillers this year.

I've now read 4 of the 6 books which have been nominated for the Glass Bell awards and they are all worthy contenders.  I'm looking forward to seeing the winner announced on the 16th September.

About the Author


My thanks to FMcM Associates for my paperback copy of this book
and the opportunity to share the details of the Goldsboro Glass Bells Awards

Belinda Bauer grew up in England and South Africa and now lives in Wales. She worked as a journalist and a screenwriter before finally writing a book to appease her nagging mother. For her debut, Blacklands, Belinda was awarded the CWA Gold Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year. She went on to win the CWA Dagger in the Library for her body of work. Her fourth novel, Rubbernecker, was voted Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Her eighth novel, Snap, was a Sunday Times bestseller. It was longlisted for the Man Booker prize and voted Crime & Thriller Book of the Year at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Her books have been translated into twenty-one languages.

Twitter @BelindaBauer #Snap

@GoldsboroBooks #GlassBell



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