The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.
The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES T. D. Griggs's New Book:
THE END OF WINTER
THE END OF WINTER
Author: T. D. Griggs
T. D. Griggs won second prize in the 2013 RUBERY INTERNATIONAL BOOK AWARDS
'Clever, incisive, sharp as a well-honed blade, T.D. Griggs brings us another intricate, beautiful thriller. It's his people that make these great: deep, rich and characterful. Miss it at your peril!' M. C. Scott, bestselling author of the Rome Series
DO YOU EVER REALLY KNOW THE ONE YOU LOVE?
Surgeon Michael Severin flies to disaster areas all over the world - floods, earthquakes, fires. He is good at his work, decisive, courageous and skilled - a natural rescuer.
He learns the cost of his successful life, however, only when he returns home early from an assignment to find his wife Caitlin dying from a brutal assault in their London home. His world shattered, Severin sets out to unravel the tangled skein of events which led to the tragedy.
He finds more questions than answers. Who is the strange young woman who comes to his home one night, knowing more than she ought to? Who was sending Caitlin childish pictures of a mysterious house in the woods?
In following these trails Michael Severin comes to know his dead wife as he never knew her in life. And he discovers that a man can be equal to any tragedy, except his own.
London smelled of diesel and of the yellowing leaves of the bay trees, awaiting some signal to fall. Despite the lateness of the season the city was teeming and vibrant. I felt a little high: the buses were a violent red, the parks splashed with garish flowers. The whole place seemed electric with energy, like a vast turbine churning out power and noise. I walked up to Victoria Tube Station, dug out my Oyster card and took the Circle Line to Notting Hill Gate.
Twenty minutes later I was standing at the railings opposite the house. I saw that the skylight in Caitlin’s eyrie was open, which meant she was almost certainly home. I crossed the street and climbed the steps and quietly let myself in. I closed the door behind me. It was cool and peaceful inside the house after the din of the city. I stood for some moments in the hallway savouring the familiar pattern of light and shade and the friendly smells of the place – herbs, coffee, cut flowers from the market.
My voice echoed up the polished hall. She did not answer. The house was silent. More than merely silent. It was mute. I stood quietly for perhaps half a minute, trying to deny what I already knew, that something was out of place. The house felt tense and watchful, as if it were observing me and not the other way around. I took a few steps and something on the floor at the foot of the stairs caught my eye. A scatter of pink petals, bruised and crushed. I stooped and picked them up. They were cool in my palm, not yet discoloured. A geranium, like the ones from the tub outside the front door.
I walked to the foot of the staircase and went up three steps. The bare wooden treads were smudged and dirty. There was the slightest susurration from above. At first I thought it came from the traffic outside, but now I could tell that it was a faint lilt of music, drifting down from the attic. If there was music, she had to be in the house. My heart began to thump. eHe He
IIII dropped my bag and ran up to the first landing, checking automatically in the bedroom. The room was clean and bright and normal, the bed neatly made, clothes folded on a chair. I came out onto the landing.
A litter of broken glass and terracotta and earth and smashed chunks of marble and scattered CDs shining in rainbow colours at the far end of the little landing. The floor was sticky under the soles of my shoes. I stared at her and forgot to breathe until the pain in my chest forced me to. I was aware that an alarm was screaming somewhere in my mind, a purely mental alarm, and that there were well rehearsed responses to this alarm which I had made a thousand times before, efficiently and coolly. I was not responding now.
Caitlin lay with her legs splayed impossibly up the sweep of the stairs. She looked smaller than I knew her to be. Her dress was rucked up and under it her legs were bare and white, and this made her look coltish and vulnerable. Her head lolled over the bottom step and her face was turned towards the wall. A slick pool had gathered under her and had spread over the boards.
I knelt beside her and touched her neck, tentative, disbelieving. Her flesh was warm and there was the faintest pulse and this warmth and flutter threw the switch in me. I could not reach her properly on the stairs and I pushed the litter from the landing and moved her and settled her on the boards, knowing I had no choice and no time. Where my hand cradled her head I felt something like broken china move under her scalp.
I heard myself talking to her, baby-talking, crooning, my voice coming from further and further off as I worked – two breaths, fifteen compressions, two and fifteen, two and fifteen. The muscles of my upper arms began to burn with the effort, but she would not breathe. Twice more I felt for the flutter of her pulse. Once it was there, and once I was no longer sure. Two and fifteen. Again. Again. My movements were becoming clumsy, and sweat began to run down the line of my jaw and drip onto her, but she would not breathe.
The nearest phone was in the bedroom, not five yards away, but I dared not leave her for the time it would take to call help. Two and fifteen. Again. I could no longer find a pulse, but I did not stop. There was always the chance that she would start to breathe, for just long enough to keep her brain alive. Or that someone would call by, and I would be able to shout for help through the door at them. I knew that she would never breathe, and that no-one would call, but I had to believe in these things all the same. And after a while even this shred of faith ceased to matter. Nothing mattered except to keep working, in a delirium of exhaustion which no longer had anything to do with hope, just with a dogged refusal of one part of my mind to accept what the other part knew perfectly well.
I crossed a boundary at some point, I was not entirely sure when. But I knew that time had passed and that I was no longer labouring over her, but cradling her there, rocking her and stroking her cooling forehead. There was a flatness about her body that I recognised, a total relaxation which had begun to mould her flesh onto the boards of the landing and to smooth the small lines of her face and neck.
I got up then. I must have been there for a long while, because the muscles in my legs screamed. I took off my jacket and folded it and pillowed her broken head on it even though I knew she was dead. I stood back from her. My clothing was wet and heavy on my belly and thighs where I had held her against me. The wet cloth grew cold and I was distantly conscious that this was disgusting, and acting on some echo of training I walked quite calmly to the bathroom and stripped off and stuffed the soiled clothes into a linen basket. Then I washed myself and crossed into the bedroom and found some fresh clothes and dressed again.
Somewhere in this process I got lost for a while. I stood in the centre of the bedroom just looking around, perhaps for a couple of minutes, perhaps for longer. There on the wall was Caitlin’s Grandma Lavinia in her sepia photograph from the 1920s, trying not to laugh as she perched on her bicycle. And Beamish the bear, his one eye fiery in the lowering October sun which fell through the double windows. I stepped across and sat on the bed and idly stroked his nose. Beamish had been Caitlin’s bear since her earliest childhood and was worn bald by her affection. I stroked him again. I looked around again as I did so. The room seemed quite normal in its component parts, but it did not quite fit together. I could not place it, but I had the impression that there was something I had forgotten to do, something important.
Far across London a police siren wailed on its way to some more routine emergency. I stood up and crossed the room and snatched up the bedside phone.
Psychological Crime Novels
Tim Griggs - Writer
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T. D. Griggs's psychological crime novel Redemption Blues went into six languages and sold a million copies across the world. This was followed by The End of Winter and The Warning Bell (this latter written under the pseudonym Tom Macaulay). His fourth novel, Victorian epic Distant Thunder (by T.D.Griggs, Orion Books, 2012), was published last year.
Redemption Blues has just become available in the USA for the first time, initially as an e-book.
It will soon be followed by the first US e-book release of End of Winter. Print copies will also be available soon.
Tim Griggs has written extensively as a freelance for magazines and papers including a long-running column on innovation in The Australian. He holds a BA in English from Leeds University, and a Masters in Archaeology from University College London. He was British born and raised, holds dual Australian and UK citizenship. Tim speaks French, German and basic Spanish.
“I've always been a lucky guy.
I was very lucky indeed to know from the start exactly what I wanted to do: I wanted to tell stories.
That's partly because my Dad was a published writer back in the 1950s. He wrote novels about wholesome teenagers on camping holidays who unmask spies in creepy houses on cliff tops.
The equivalent kids today, presumably, would be impersonating vegetarian vampires so they can score with chicks.
I was also driven by a yearning for adventure. I longed for a world in which intrepid chaps wrestled endangered wildlife and won swordfights with scoundrels. I hope some of that love of adventure has found its way into my books.”
Tim also works as a corporate writer, undertaking editorial projects for major companies, universities, and government bodies, and contributes articles to magazines and newspapers in the UK and abroad.
His novel Redemption Blues has taken second prize in the International Rubery Book Awards. It is a contemporary tale of love, tragedy and hope.
Author's Book List
Set at the end of the nineteenth century, this sweeping, epic love story traces the doomed relationship of two young people against the backdrop of a British Empire bracing itself against political opposition. As a boy, Frank had to leave his beloved India when his mother was assaulted by a British officer and accidentally shot when Frank tried to intervene. After his father dies of shame and a broken heart, Frank must make his way to England, sustained only by the determination to revenge himself on the man responsible for destroying his family as soon as he's old enough to become a soldier himself. Grace is the privileged daughter of an industrial magnate, but following her heart and her head makes her a champion of those oppressed by masters of the empire like her father, and so she too finds she has lost her family. As the pair fall in love, there is only one thing standing in the way of true happiness - Frank's vow of revenge…
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The Warning Bell
France, 1944. Pilot Officer George Madoc is tasked with a covert mission to the occupied coast of Brittany: under cover of night, he must ferry a French secret agent - an assassin - across the St Cyriac Shoals. It is an encounter that changes him for ever. Over sixty years later, his son Iain is offered the key to the mystery which has forced a wedge between him and his father. George`s wartime launch has been found and the past is coming back to life. Iain travels to France, desperate to discover the truth, but the village of St Cyriac will not give up its secrets easily. For some, the past is still dangerously alive, and Iain may pay the price of uncovering it…
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CHRISTMAS, and it’s the end of the road for Matt and Lauren Silver and their tempestuous marriage. Rock star Silver has been touring abroad once too often, neglecting Lauren and their twin daughters, Gudrun and Freya. In a desperate attempt to put things right, he cancels his tour and comes home - but instead of the reconciliation he longs for he triggers a tragedy which will shatter all their lives forever. In a terrible accident Gudrun is killed and Silver vanishes, assumed dead. In fact, badly injured, he disappears into the shadows of underworld London, desperate, traumatized, and unable to face what he has done. Lauren is crushed by guilt, and her surviving daughter Freya is so emotionally scarred that no-one can reach her.
No-one that is, except Inspector Sam Cobb, the detective sent to investigate the tragedy - a man with scars of his own. He reluctantly enters the Silvers’ bleak world, but when he does he brings hope. Hope of recovery. Hope for the future. Hope of redemption.
Matt Silver, meanwhile, disfigured and desolate, has found comfort of a kind, thanks to the humanity of new and unexpected allies. Despite himself he has begun to heal, to grow stronger. To think of emerging from the shadows.
And because of this, for Sam Cobb, Lauren and Freya there will come a time when hope alone is not enough.
‘An excellent read and Griggs keeps us guessing right up to the great twist at the end.' The Times
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