Rory Norton didn’t always make his living as a motorbike instructor and he went to great lengths to leave his past life behind, to start again.
He thought he had succeeded, until the body of a missing woman is discovered under the floor of his cottage. Only then do the guilt and shame of his wife’s mysterious, untimely death and the accusations about his connection to the missing woman combine to break him.
The question is not how the missing woman died but why, and who is responsible?
Sometimes the truth stinks.
I would like to thank the author, Bloodhound Books and blog tour organiser for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Having read two of AB Morgan’s previous books, I was looking forward to reading Stench and I am glad to be able to say that I loved it. With each book she writes the author’s style builds and develops.
Its strongest point lies in the way she uses her mental health knowledge to frame her story and its characters. We have within the novel a character who has a mental health background and another with severe psychosis. It all feels real and frightening because of the authority behind the writing of the characters. As you read you can feel the rising panic and it leaves you feeling on edge. My worry for those involved was mirrored in the reactions of a group of friends who are battling against agencies whose incompetence threatens the lives of those they should be caring for. You can taste the paranoia imbued on the edges of your senses and it gives Stench a edge of legitimacy missing from so many novels that include elements of mental health.
The characterisation is perfect because of the above. Both the main characters are written in such a way, you can’t help but care for them. Rory Norton himself starts off as a motor bike instructor, but as the layers of his story are peeled away, we discover more about him. His past is revealed to us, bit by bit, and it is fascinating. While the missing woman of the story is so lost and damaged her betrayal is all the more painful to me.
Stench is a brilliant read. It left me feeling shaken and unnerved. Within the thriller genre it fits into a niche of its own, not just because of the authority behind the writing but the brutal honesty in which mental health is dealt with. Actions have consequences and those consequences can have a lasting effect. AB Morgan weaves this into her story with great skill. The twist and turns are balanced perfectly and I never saw them coming!
I can’t wait to read her next offering.
You can by Stench from Amazon.
About the author
Married to an overgrown child with a beard and too many motorbikes, Alison Morgan lives in a corner of a field in North Bedfordshire and is making the most of a mid-life crisis. The Morgans are determined not to grow old gracefully or to be seen wearing beige and can be found exploring life through a love of live music, anything with an engine, the sea, mountains, rugby, proper pubs and fascinating people.
Alison worked for the NHS for nearly thirty years, twenty of those within mental health services, at the front line. She eventually became the manager of a countywide community service for people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. Much to her frustration, her heart decided to develop an electrical fault, which forced her to sit down for more than five minutes and her career juddered to a halt. Not one for thumb twiddling, she took up position in front of a computer with a plan to write a set of clinical guidelines for assessment of psychosis but instead a story, which had been lurking in her mind for several years, came tumbling out.
Her first two novels, A Justifiable Madness and Divine Poison, were inspired by her career as a psychiatric nurse and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour. Then she stepped sideways and wrote a gritty psychological thriller, The Camera Lies. All published by Bloodhound Books, Alison’s novels have received excellent reviews and inspired many an interesting debate. Above all, they are entertaining reads and, despite dark subjects, will raise a smile.