Blog Tour and Book Review – “Blind Justice” by Alex Tresillian – Seeing is Deceiving #LoveBooksGroupTour

blingd justice

THE NEW NIALL BURNET THRILLER!

Synopsis supplied by the publisher:

Superstar Paralympian Fiona Mackintosh Green retires from the track to set up Forward Roll, a charity helping disabled people achieve self-respect through sport. But is she all she seems? How is her charity spending its money?

Niall Burnet, visually impaired journalist, is sent in undercover to find out. What he discovers is a trail of illegal performance-enhancing drugs that leads from the charity to its major backer, global pharmaceutical giant Prince Rajkumar.

All too soon, Niall finds himself surrounded by key players who will stop at nothing to protect their interests. When a former athlete is found dead, he knows that one wrong move could be his last…

Book info:

Publication Day: 5th July 2018
Publisher: Urbane Publications
ISBN: 978-1911331117
Pages: 336
Category: Fiction, Genre: Conspiracy Thriller | Political Thriller | Action Thriller

Buying links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2vU1bdE
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2HFMNep
Foyles: http://bit.ly/2HE6cfD
Waterstones: http://bit.ly/2HLBe1t

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Blind Justice pin

Review:

This is the sequel to Eyes of the Blind, Alex Tresillian’s first novel about journalist Niall Burnet.  I have not read the first and feel that this can easily be read as a stand alone tale, but those of you who have read my reviews in the past will know that I personally prefer to have read books from number one. Personal preference!  In this case the storyline from the first book does continue into this novel, and whilst there is sufficient explanation to be able to easily follow, I would always recommend reading book one!  However the opening scenes set in Telford draw the reader into the plot, slowly allowing a catch up on the story of Niall and Miranda before the new investigation commences.

When this book popped onto my radar I was excited to read and review something that has different types of disability at the fore and keen to understand how the author would incorporate them into the storyline.  It would have been easy to have the disability element as a token nod, but I don’t believe that this is how the author constructs this story as the visual impairment of Niall and the new sight of girlfriend Miranda are central to the plot – as they would have been in the first book too.  However this is dealt with in a very matter of fact way, allowing us into Niall’s world as a blind man but more importantly into his world as a journalist – no saccharine coating in sight (no pun intended).

The introduction of Paralympian Fiona is handled differently as she is a celebrity as a result of her disability and her sporting success, but her disability is written about sympathetically without it enveloping her whole character.  As a relatively new wheelchair user, I was able to relate to certain elements very well.  These aren’t a major part of the storyline, neither should they be, but the descriptions of the lay out of her office furniture and the adapted shower room all rang bells with me – as did her need for help to get into her evening dress!  The public face and the private face are elements that anyone with a disability/chronic illness can relate to – no one wants the lack of dignity that can come with wheelchair use being played in public.  This is demonstrated so well as Fiona explains how she manages her bladder – as a young woman she wishes to have as much control over her body functions for as long as possible, and if this means “toiletting” every hour in order to avoid accidents, but also to avoid a catheter then so be it.  Again this is something that I relate to personally, as someone with a neurogenic bladder who tries to avoid self catheterisation!

I have to applaud the author for recognising that disabled people have sex lives!  This may seem a very odd thing to draw from the book, but there does tend to be a fear and embarrassment of recognising those of us with disabilities and chronic health as being sexual beings.  I’m not going to give any spoilers about specific relationships in the book, but will say that the growing attractions and feelings are described sensitively and with the focus on the emotions of any growing relationship, not on the abilities of either party.

The characters are all really different and make for an interesting cast as their back stories and current stories start to intertwine the more that Niall investigates.  Niall himself is loved by some of this cast and yet reviled by others, particularly some who have known him many years.  I actually admire Niall for sticking to his beliefs for right and wrong – most of the time! – and for striving for justice.  He certainly doesn’t take the easy route, extending himself beyond the original journalistic brief to expose the sports charity, when he realises that he could be onto a much greater story – the involvement of a major pharmaceutical giant in doping in athletes.  As an ambitious journalist, of course he is following the bigger scoop – but his human side is shown as he refuses to write an expose on the small sports charity that he believes can still do much good.  Niall is a flawed character in so many ways, but this makes him human.  He has mixed emotions about Miranda gaining her sight – envy, guilt, fear, delight – all swirling around inside him like a pressure cooker, yet he is unable to acknowledge most of them far less verbalise them.

Miranda, in contrast,  at times is a rather pathetic figure in the way that she comes across.  I think my feelings toward her were something of disbelief and anger that she is so apathetic about the miracle of gaining her sight, but it is only as the story progresses that I realised how hard it must be to suddenly be living in the sighted world after 30 years of being “cocooned” by both her lack of sight and her family’s protectiveness.  The descriptions of managing public transport in London for the time alone are beautifully written – navigating the underground for the first time is a challenge for anyone, but for a young woman who has never been able to see before this represents a whole visual stimulus overload!  Miranda is the character who grows the most throughout the book.  She is neglected by Niall on the move to London and this pushes her to examine what she wants from her life.  She feels unskilled and at sea in the sighted world, yet she knows she wants a purpose.  Her crippling anxiety both holds her back and drives her forward.  by the time I reached the end of the book, my opinion of her had changed completely.

The backing cast include Fiona’s chauvinistic sports coach husband – described perfectly to elicit strong feelings of dislike in the reader; Zoltan, Miranda’s knight in shining armour; the men, including Miranda’s father, who form an “old boys’ network” at the centre of the other charity in the story and believe that they are untouchable; the strong Dame Hillary, brought in to overhaul the British association for the Blind yet finding herself drawn in to conspiracies and secrets; and finally the cast of workmates at the Sports Charity, all with their unique insights into the organisation.

The theme of drugs in sports is very topical and the investigation at the heart of the novel is fast, gritty, at times uncovers a seedy, dark underbelly that is unpalatable yet fascinating.  The different attitudes to what constitutes “cheating” are interesting and the author indirectly asks the question “what is a level playing field?”.  Morals, greed and money, dreams and aspiration, drive and ambition – all are central to the plot.

There are loose ends at the end, and whilst this is not a criticism as real life does not come gift boxed, I do want to know what happens to certain characters……and I hope that these incomplete tales mean that Mr Tresillian is planning for a return of Niall in a third book.  I guess that this tells you how much I enjoyed it!! 4 stars

Thankyou to Kelly at Love Books Group for including me on this tour and to Urbane Publications for sending me a copy of the book.  Please note that all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

Alex grew up in rural England with a dream to write for a living which never quite came true. He has enjoyed incarnations as a theatre publicity officer, restaurant manager, teacher, teacher trainer, and curriculum developer. Along the way Alex wrote five plays that were performed by students including one, Never Mind the Rain Forests, that was enthusiastically reviewed (3 stars) at the Edinburgh Fringe. Another, Gavin’s Kingdom, received a professional workshop production at the Birmingham Rep. Plays Into Shakespeare, a book for English and Drama teachers that introduced students to the characters in Shakespeare’s plays through short modern-English ‘additional’ scenes, was published by First and Best in Education in 2007.Alex Tresillian Author Image

Alex moved to Abu Dhabi in 2008 with a Lebanese international education company that had a contract to train English teachers and develop curriculum materials. Latterly moved to their Academic Development office in Beirut and wrote two series of books for students from ages eight to sixteen – one on grammar and one on the art of writing. He is now living with his wife of many years in Worcestershire, his children pursuing careers in education, fashion, charity fundraising and web development in places as disparate as Beijing, London and Chesterfield. Alex also enjoys writing stories for his young grandchildren.

Social Media Links for Alex

Website: https://urbanepublications.com/authors/alex-tresillian/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alex_Tresillian

 

Monday Magic – Inspiring Blogs for You! Henley, World Cup & Dysautonomia!

Phew…it is hot here!!  I know that I shouldn’t complain about the heat – but for me it really does make certain health issues a lot more exciting!!  All you POTSies out there will know what I mean!  This weekend has been all sport….Wimbledon tennis, Grand Prix, Henley regatta and not forgetting the World Cup football!

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Monday Magic Inspiring Blogs for You! Henley

I actually managed a trip to Henley in my role as chair of my old school’s Friends committee – we represent old boys and girls and parents.  We jointly host an annual lunchtime drinks gathering for past and present rowers from the school, but this year there was a clash with a little England football match taking place in Russia.  Henley Regatta is one of the last bastions of the old world – that is the world with a definite dress code and very limited technology.  So no smart phones, social media, electronic score boards or…..TV screens.  This year the committee actually made the announcement that gentlemen were allowed to remove jackets in the Stewards’ Enclosure due to the heat!

 

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The traditional scoreboards still in use at Henley (courtesy of Henley Royal Regatta website)

 

The day was sweltering, yet we still received many visitors to our pitch in the Henley Cricket Club – it was lovely meeting so many young people who love their sport and working within a team to represent their schools/clubs/countries.  Whilst rowing is a sport that probably is still not readily available to all, don’t be fooled by these photos of an elite occasion – the early morning starts on a freezing winter day, sitting in a boat somewhere on a river…..and the training is hard.

 

My partner in crime on Saturday, my old teacher Nick, was secretly pleased that I couldn’t cope with the heat for too long….because it meant that we skipped a trip to the Stewards’ enclosure and snuck away early.  Guess what we were home in time for?!

Hubby and the politics student were running the penalty shoot out at the primary school fete on Saturday – I have never seen hubby contact someone as quick as he did after England beat Colombia (Yes, on penalties!) to “advise” the fete organisers that they should change the opening times.  So we arrived home to a husband sitting in front of the big projector screen, unable to move after a couple of hours in goal, and 20 minutes in to the football.  I sat down and have struggled to remain upright ever since.  Something very strange with dysautonomia is that your body is unable to regulate temperature changes, so yours truly is dripping one minute and then covered in goose bumps & shivery the next!

daphne_is_freezing_by_hunterxcolleen-d758qyx

The excitement in England at the moment is reaching fever pitch – again we are witnessing young men who are passionate, talented and want to play as part of a team.  They seem to respect each other and respect their manager.  I bet Gareth Southgate didn’t reckon that this World Cup would send him into the stratosphere of fashion icon though – those waistcoats have apparently driven up sales across the nation!

man wearing blue vest coat and white long sleeved shirt

Waistcoat fever is Coming Home! Photo by Royal Anwar on Pexels.com

It has taken me all day to write this so apologies for mistakes today!  I have a mixture of chronic illness posts, a great post from a student nurse (I guess I would say that) and a new blogging tag from Em at The Pickled Blogs project which you should all take a look at!  Sit back with a cuppa – or in line with Henley and Wimbledon a glass of Pimms – and enjoy!

henley

Who is that woman with the stick on the end of the shot?? With current and past rowers from the school sporting their boat club blazers – I did manage to jump out of the wheelchair for a few minutes!

 

https://thecounterfactualbrain.wordpress.com/2018/07/01/responding-to-the-migraine-pose/

https://youngsickinvisible.wixsite.com/blog/single-post/2018/07/09/Common-Misconceptions-About-Mental-Health

https://thefrozenmind.com/coping-chronic-illness/

https://chronicallyglutenfree.com/2017/09/organic-does-not-equal-gluten-free/

https://emlinthorpe.com/2018/07/06/pickledblogs-pickledblogproject/

https://heartofastudentnurse.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/day-6-nhs-30-day-nursebloggers-challenge-what-i-fear-in-the-future-of-nursing/

https://chissecretdiary.wordpress.com/2018/07/08/slighty-disapointed/

https://www.ajourneythroughthefog.co.uk/2018/07/a-girl-behind-dark-glasses-book-a-review-from-a-fellow-me-sufferer/

https://autonomicrn.com/2018/07/05/love-and-loss/

https://talkaboutpopmusic.com/2018/06/24/new-playlist-summer-hits-of-the-80s/

As ever please like, comment and share posts for these bloggers!

Have a great week – and if you are following enjoy the football on Wed!

Claire x

Bank Holiday Monday humour: I Should Have Googled how to Play Soccer

This is so funny that I have to share it with you – just as Sick Christine shared it with me.  Hot Mess Memoir you have really cheered my day…..

 

I Should Have Googled How To Play Soccer

I can barely move my legs; they hurt so bad. This is somewhat of a wake up call that I need to A. continue my diet and B. exercise. Tonight was our parents vs. kids soccer game with my 8 year old-C. I decided to go all out so I hit the thrift store yesterday and scored an old-school pair of shorts and an Ohio State Soccer t-shirt for $4.50. I finished off the look with a thick white headband from The Walmart.

The Soccer Game

hot mess soccerAfter arriving at the field, I asked my friend to take this picture. Do you like it?

Find the rest of the post here: I should have googled how to play soccer