Thursday 12 August 2021

BLOG TOUR: Half-Past Tomorrow - Chris McGeorge

Shirley Steadman, a 70-year-old living in a small town in the North East of England, loves her volunteer work at the local hospital radio. She likes giving back to the community, and even more so, she likes getting out of the house. Haunted by the presence of her son, a reluctant Royal Navy officer who was lost at sea, and still in the shadow of her long dead abusive husband, she doesn't like being alone much.

One day, at the radio station, she is playing around with the equipment and finds a frequency that was never there before. It is a pirate radio station, and as she listens, the presenter starts reading the news. But there is one problem - the news being reported is tomorrows. Shirley first thinks it is a mere misunderstanding - a wrong date. But she watches as everything reported comes true. At first, Shirley is in awe of the station, and happily tunes in to hear the news.

But then the presenter starts reporting murders - murders that happen just the way they were reported.

And Shirley is the only one who can stop them.

What did I think?

As he's a local author, I've been meaning to read a Chris McGeorge book for a while so Half-Past Tomorrow may be his fourth novel but it's the first one of his that I've read.  I always get a kick out of reading books set in the North East and I know the book's setting of Chester-le-Street reasonably well so I felt like I was walking in Shirley's footsteps.

With a storyline that sees into the future, you really do have to suspend belief when reading Half-Past Tomorrow and I'm sure I'll see loads of reviews saying that it's not very realistic.  But that's why it's called fiction, surely?  I like something a little bit weird and unexplainable now and again and this thriller with a difference certainly fits in that category.

Shirley moved to Chester-le-Street after the death of her husband and she volunteers at the local hospital radio station and has joined an embroidery group which stops her from being lonely.  Shirley is literally haunted by the death of her son Gabe as he continually appears in her kitchen and she makes him a cup of tea in his favourite mug.  So even when Shirley is alone, she still has someone to talk to.

When Shirley stumbles across a pirate radio station at work one day, she thinks the presenter has made a mistake with the date.  Surely the news isn't for tomorrow?  But when the news starts to come true and the news reports increase in severity it isn't long before the premonitions of little accidents turn into murder.  Armed with the pertinent details, can Shirley stop the crimes or will everything happen the way it has been reported?

Well I really rather enjoyed my first Chris McGeorge book.  There's so much going on to keep the reader entertained from the mystery of Gabe's death to the future murders.  There's a real sense of community in the book and you get the impression that everybody knows everybody in a small town, which they often do!  I loved the sense that anything could happen in the original and intriguing plot and I found the whole book hugely entertaining from start to finish.

So imaginative and filled with surprises, Half-Past Tomorrow is impossible to guess so just sit back and enjoy the ride.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour.  All opinions are my own

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About the author:

Chris McGeorge studied MA Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller) at City University London where he wrote his first novel as his thesis. His interests are broad - spanning film, books, theatre and video games. He is a member of the Northern Crime Syndicate, a supergroup of writers from Northern England. He lives in County Durham with his partner and many, many animals.

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