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First Review for "Backstory"

A novel departure!, 26 May 2012


Roman- See all my reviews

This review is from: Backstory (Kindle Edition)

I got this book for a number of reasons. Firstly, because I've read all the Farady and Winter books and enjoyed the way the series developed and grew. Secondly, I'm starting out as a writer and I wanted to find out how someone else who is successful had done it. Thirdly, just plain curious! It's not the type of book Hurley has written before and is one of a number if interesting new books since the end of the Faraday and Winter books.

Backstory tells the story of the Faraday and Winter series - firstly, how Hurley went from working on TV, to writing thrillers, to breaking into the crime genre, then the bulk of Backstory is the development of each of the novels in the series. What I really liked was finding out what sparked of the initial idea - the "lightbulb moment" and then how that was developed and tested to get to the final novel. Hurley has an amazing network who provide advice and support to his plot and character development. I was also always surprised at how he always seemed to find a specialist to provide technical advice and critique to his ideas and the little vignettes about meeting these people and on one occasion being told the person wasn't friendly, only to find an impromptu book signing waiting for him!

What comes across reading the Faraday and Winter series is how Hurley has got the detail right, not just at a pure factual level, but how he uses that detail to anchor the themes of his stories, particulalrly how thin the blue line of law and order is, the breakdown of society with its growing underclass and how the police are changing to a process driven organisation where ticking boxes seems to be more important than solving crime. The other thing that comes across is Hurley's passion in the ideas he chooses, such as the break up of Yugoslavia which forms the backstory to "Cut to Black" and greed by businessmen in "The Price of Darkness". In Backstory you see how he gets to feel what the characters feel as he meets people and uses their experience to develop the characters in the story who become real people with real depth. I

What tickled me in particular was his telling of the way that the Faraday and Winter chatracters came about and grew in the stories. Winter seemed to be a bit of an afterthought but then grew a life of his own. For me reading the books, Farady got a bit boring, but Winter, who has more front than Selfridges and a a streak of fearlessness, or perhaps just recklessness, always kept me on the page. A good result for an afterthought! Seeing this develop through Hurley's eyes was a real revalation and for aspiring authors this is something that will help understand just how characters can develop and the benefits of sometimes just "going with the flow"

So, overall a really good book on lots of levels. not just for Farady and Winter fans but as a story of his writing experience which would appeal particulalrly to aspiring authors and as a quite interesting story. Frankly for £2.54 its a bargain! 


From Roman Baczynski