Julia Wallis Martin, The Long Close Call

£60.00

Julia Wallis Martin has suffered personal loss twice over – her mother was “glad to be out of it” when her daughter was only 17 – and she lost her husband in a car accident when she was 20. Nevertheless, her search for answers led her to publish several original and notable psychological suspense novels. “The Long Close Call” (2000) was a bestseller and followed the success of “A Likeness in Stone” (1997) and “The Bird Yard” (1998). Leading author of psychological suspense Val McDermid provides the appreciation.

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Elizabeth George, famed American police procedural novelist of the Inspector Lynley stories once said that “J Wallis Martin is writing the best English suspense novels out there. The Long Close Call gripped me from the first page and held me until the final word” (jacket blurb). Julia Wallis Martin is the author of only four crime novels to-date. All of them different, yet all dealing with the edge of people’s lives.

Julia Wallis Martin has suffered personal loss twice over – her mother was “glad to be out of it” when her daughter was only 17 – and she lost her husband in a car accident when she was 20. Nevertheless, her search for answers led her to research various conditions that later gave her the essential inside knowledge, knowledge that gave weight to exploratory psychological suspense novels. A Likeness in Stone (1997) and The Bird Yard (1998) both received attention and the former was adapted for television. Her books build with menace and suspense. She has been working on her PhD and it hoped that she will return to the ranks of women crime novelists.

Plotline: When Robbie McLaughlan, a Flying Squad officer with London’s Metropolitan Police, shoots and kills a robber during a bank raid, his private and professional life begin to fall apart. The family of the dead man discovers McLaughlan’s identity, and abducts his young son with the intention of luring McLaughlan to his death. But McLaughlan is a man with a secret and, long estranged from his own father, he ultimately has no option but to turn to the man he despises, for only he can possibly help him.

A Long Close Call (2000) sold very well on publication. It had a run of 85 numbered and signed copies and contained an appreciation by one of Britain’s leading writers of psychological suspense, Val McDermid. The featured image is of the deluxe presentation copy. If of interest ask about it.

 

5.00 out of 5

1 review for Julia Wallis Martin, The Long Close Call

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rating by Val McDermid on July 8, 2012 :

    Extract from the Appreciation by Val McDermid

    The psychological thriller has opened up the doors of the human condition in a way that few forms of fiction have achieved, and Julia Wallis Martin is one of a handful of writers who hold up a mirror to our untidy lives and show us some of the fractured truths hidden in the shadows over our shoulders. Wallis Martin has also turned her back on the traditional series novel, preferring to address a fresh group of characters and new terrain with each of her books. But one theme that runs through A Likeness In Stone, The Bird Yard, and now The Long Close Call is that of characters who have been emotionally abandoned by those who had a duty of care. It’s a rich and challenging seam for a writer to explore, because these characters have unpredictable responses to situations. For the writer, the task is to wrong-foot the reader’s expectations, but to do it in a way that seems entirely credible when we look back at the information we have in our possession. Over the course of only three novels, Wallis Martin has become an expert in delineating the lives of these damaged souls, bringing them to life with an insight and compassion that fixes them in the hearts of readers long after the book has been closed. She does this in a clear and limpid prose that is always understated, never overwritten. Like all of the best writers, she leaves a space between the lines for our own imagination to do its work. Now crime fiction enters its third century, it has found a new maturity and an ability constantly to reinvent itself. As long as writers of the calibre of Julia Wallis Martin choose to enter the field, it is clear that we readers are in no danger of the well running dry.

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