Tuesday 1 September 2020

BLOG TOUR: A Song of Isolation - Michael J Malone

Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job. The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went?

Any hope the furore will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press furore quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country.

While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the centre of the story, is also isolated – a child trying to make sense of an adult world…

Breathtakingly brutal, dark and immensely moving, A Song of Isolation looks beneath the magpie glimmer of celebrity to uncover a sinister world dominated by greed and lies, and the unfathomable destruction of innocent lives… in an instant.

What did I think?

Any story involving child abuse is difficult to read, but Michael J Malone turns the subject on its head in A Song of Isolation by focussing on a different side of the story: that of the person accused of these terrible acts.  Michael J Malone leaves no stone unturned as the catastrophic effects of such a damaging accusation are portrayed.  It's a book I couldn't put down and I felt simultaneously completely devastated and absolutely furious by events in the story.

Amelie and Dave are reevaluating their relationship when Dave is arrested for child abuse.  Amelie is a film star, but her career was cut short after a stalking incident which made Amelie decide to leave the bright lights behind and move to Scotland, where she met Dave.  It is devastating for Amelie to hear the accusations levelled against Dave but she decides to stand by her man during the court case, despite the vitriol that is aimed against her by the public and the press.

Dave's guilt or innocence aside, there is another victim in this story: Damaris, the 11 year old neighbour of Amelie and Dave.  Whether Damaris was telling the truth or not became irrelevant for me: either something terrible had actually happened to her or she was made to believe something had.  Either way, her life was changed irrevocably and she has to live with it for the rest of her life.  Although it's such a difficult storyline, Michael J Malone handles it sensitively whilst not shying away from the subject matter.

Heartbreakingly devastating and completely compelling, A Song of Isolation is another outstanding novel from Michael J Malone.  Very highly recommended.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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About the author:

Michael Malone is a prize-winning poet and author who was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. Blood Tears, his bestselling debut novel won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. His psychological thriller, A Suitable Lie, was a number-one bestseller, and the critically acclaimed House of Spines, After He Died and In the Absence of Miracles soon followed suit. A former Regional Sales Manager (Faber & Faber) he has also worked as an IFA and a bookseller. Michael lives in Ayr. 

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