Saturday, March 14, 2015

New Kiwi crime: VIVIENNE'S BLOG

VIVIENNE'S BLOG by Stephen K Leaton (Eunoia Publishing)

The snapshot: 
A masterpiece of chilling suspense, this psychological thriller is a mesmerising journey into the mind of a brilliant, engagingly witty, but disturbingly deceitful woman who uses an encrypted blog to communicate with her ex-lover, Callum. Haunting poetic, the ingenious plot will leave you confounded at every turn.

The book: 
Vivienne is intelligent and witty. She is also dangerous and delusional; a woman on the edge. Vivienne’s encrypted blog is written with poetic, philosophical intensity for an audience of one; her ex-lover Callum. Only he has the password, but Vivienne suspects that he won’t use it and that her blog will go unread. Vivienne’s blog entries are intriguing and alarming – alternating between tenderness and vitriol – each revealing her thoughts, inner life and obsession with Callum.

Through her blog, Vivienne reveals her precarious state of mind, as her stalking of Callum and his wife Mary eventuates in her kidnapping one of their twin boys. Vivienne is an unreliable, imaginative and cryptic narrator; alternating between truth and illusion. What does Vivienne mean when she says she is the living embodiment of the memories of “the Family,” her faerie ancestors? This fantastical illusion is hauntingly strange. Vivienne’s Blog is a mesmerising journey into the depths of a brilliant, psychotic mind. The chilling suspense of a woman’s deepening slide into delusion is riveting, keeping the reader puzzling throughout, as they seek to unravel the mystery of what is happening.

The author: 
A lawyer with some thirty years’ experience and writing under the pseudonym Stephen Leaton, the author has published many articles in newspapers and magazines. More recently, he requalified and moved into gifted education and teaching. Among other qualifications, Leaton holds a Master’s of Creative Writing with first-class honours and is in the process of completing a PhD in creative writing at the Auckland University of Technology. Leaton has since completed another novel, is working on another and has enough short stories to fill several anthologies. Among the five other members of his family – his wife, two children, and two dogs – three are also lawyers.

“It is an undeniably virtuoso effort, with plenty of skills and substance.” – David Hill, Canvas, Weekend Herald

"Leaton’s debut psychological thriller takes place in the fractured mind of Vivienne Coroth, who, believing herself a descendant of Faeries, may be plotting revenge against her ex-lover and his new wife . . . The narrator may be unreliable, but the stories she tells, as well as her own, are infinitely appealing."   – Kirkus Reviews

"One of the fascinations is – what is she remembering as real, and what is a fantasy, a psychotic memory, a deranged version of history and truth? As she seeks to both preserve her “Faerie” bloodline and to “punish” her ex-husband and his second wife, we are swept into the maelstrom of her mind – and the suspense is very, very real." - We Love Books

“Books like ‘Vivienne’s Blog’ are the reason I love being a book reviewer . . . every now and then I’ll find a piece of gold.” – Diane McCarthy, Whakatane Beacon

Out now. Available from Amazon,

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