Till death do us part…
After leaving her marriage to jealous, possessive oncologist Maxwell, Lily and her six-year-old son have a second chance at happiness with headteacher Sebastian. Kind but vulnerable, Sebastian is the polar opposite of Maxwell, and the perfect match for Lily. After a whirlwind romance, they marry, and that’s when things start to go wrong…
Maxwell returns to the scene, determined to win back his family, and events soon spiral out of control. Lily and Sebastian find themselves not only fighting for their relationship, but also their lives…
Chilling, dark and terrifying, Do No Harm is a taut psychological thriller and a study of obsession, from one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.
3 books that influenced me as I wrote Do No Harm
You could say I’m OBSESSED with crime fiction, which is why I spend all my time both reading it AND writing it!
My latest novel, Do No Harm published by Orenda Books, has just the hit the shops (both real and virtual). I like to IMMERSE myself in my subject/theme as I write and edit, so I thought I’d offer some insights into my top 3 on my reading list for obsession and stalking. Enjoy!
1) Misery by Stephen King (1988). No list on obsessive stalkers can miss out Annie Wilkes, the epitome of a writer’s ‘number one fan’! Its influence on the genre, especially those stories where protagonists are taken hostage, is massive! I first read the book as a teen and was shocked by its violence: Annie’s murder of the state trooper with the lawnmower, plus her attack on Paul’s feet, are vomit-worthy. The 1992 movie misses out the first and uses a hammer (instead of a saw), but still manages to be absolutely terrifying and nausea-inducing. This is largely thanks to Kathy Bates’ impressive performance, which won her an Oscar.
2) Notes On A Scandal by Zoe Heller (2003). As anyone who follows me online knows, I love a story with complex female lead … and this novel has TWO of them! Protagonist Sheba’s self-destruction is epic and places right into the vicious hands of the cold and calculating Barbara Covett. What I loved here was the insight into Barbara’s thought processes, especially the justifications she makes for what she does. The 2007 movie adaptation was very well done but being a film, inevitably lacked the same kind of razor-sharp psychological insight. It is of course still worth a watch for the performances from powerfhouses Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench, who were perfect in the roles.
3) The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins (2015). Rachel, the ‘girl on the train’ is not often billed as a stalker in book reviews … but I would say she definitely is! Rachel is totally obsessed with the handsome Jason and his wife Jess, whom she sees every day in the houses next to the rail line. To her, the pair represent to her the perfect relationship that she once had, or seemed to, before it imploded spectacularly. What’s more, she has all the markers of a stalker not willing to take responsibility for her behaviour: she is missing chunks of her life, thanks to alcoholism? CHECK. Rachel is obsessed with her ex-husband? CHECK. She is bitter about her old life and how she has been replaced? CHECK. She might go out of her way to find out the truth, but just because her intentions are good does not mean her behaviour is normal! Though I felt the mystery element was undercooked, I enjoyed this novel a lot. In comparison, the 2016 movie missed the mark for me, even though Emily Blunt is a favourite actress of mine. But you can’t win ‘em all!
Lucy V. Hay is a novelist, script editor and blogger who helps writers via her Bang2write consultancy. DO NO HARM is out now and her crime debut for Orenda Books THE OTHER TWIN, has been featured in The Sun and Sunday Express Newspapers, plus Heatworld and Closer Magazine. Check out all her books, HERE.