Delighted today to be joining the October leg of the blog tour for There Was A Crooked Man, the second novel from Cat Hogan, published by Poolbeg and available now in paperback and for kindle. Here’s the story…
Scott makes enemies everywhere. Powerful people want him dead. He’s coming back to Ireland to finish what he started. But first, he must make it out of Marrakech alive.
Jen knows Scott will come back. Every day, she waits. He almost killed her last time and, fuelled by hate and arrogance, he’s not a man to ever just move on. He will kill her and he will kill her young son. But her husband and friends believe she has spiralled into paranoia.
So she knows, when he returns, she’ll face the psychopath alone.
In this powerful thriller, Hogan plunges us into the world and mind of her psychopathic killer from the first line and relentlessly tightens the tension until the very last page.
When I reviewed Cat Hogan’s first book, They All Fall Down, in September last year (you can read that review again here) I was surprised (actually I think I said “shocked”!) at the way the initially gentle story became a whole different world of evil, secrets, betrayal, violence, addiction and obsession. There’s no gentle lead-in to this one – we’re immediately re-introduced to Scott Carluccio Randall, but far away from the sleepy fishing village of the last book. He’s deeply embroiled in the world of drugs and white slavery, surrounded by villains and thugs, and within a short few pages we see that he’s become even more evil than he was at his last appearance. Marrakech is a great backdrop for the early story – and it’s wonderfully described in all its colour and chaos. But might he be a tad out of his depth this time?
And then we catch up with Jen, Andy, young Danny, and the cast of the earlier book – and my goodness, are they struggling to move forward. While we meander from home to boatyard to cafe, and meet the characters again – and feel for them as they suffer under the shadow of everything that went before – there’s an uneasy tension as we watch Scott endeavouring to escape the threats of Marrakech, in the knowledge that he has unfinished business.
This is a much darker book than the first, and the author really cranks up the tension while manipulating her excellent cast of characters. I did have some small criticism of the pacing of the earlier book – but definitely not this time, as we get inescapably closer to the inevitable explosion as each page is turned. The climax, when it comes – if you still have any nerve endings intact – is everything you want it to be, but maybe not exactly what you’re expecting.
Can this one be read as a standalone? Yes, I think it can – but you will miss some of the nuances of the relationships and the detail in the background to the earlier events. Read the first one before this one and I think you might enjoy it even more. But it’s certainly an excellent and thoroughly gripping thriller in its own right, and a superb follow-up to the earlier book.
My thanks to Poolbeg Press for my reading e-copy. Here are the other blog stops for October…
About the author
Cat Hogan was born into a home of bookworms and within spitting distance of the sea. Her father, Pat, a lightship man, instilled in her a love of the sea and the stars. Her mother, Mag, taught her how to read before she could walk. Writing, storytelling and a wild imagination is part of her DNA.
The beautiful County Wexford, Ireland is home to Cat, her musician partner Dave, two beautiful sons Joey and Arthur, and her tomcat Jim Hawkins. There they live a life of storytelling, song and adventure. The other love of Cat’s life is food. A self-professed foodie, there is nothing she loves more than feeding a houseful of friends round her kitchen table.
When she is not conjuring up imaginary friends, she can be found supporting local musicians and writers of which there is an abundance in her home town.