Today I’m happy to share my review for Marked For Life and a guest post from Emelie Schepp as part of the blog tour.
When a high-ranking head of the migration board is found shot to death in his living room, there is no shortage of suspects, including his wife. But no one expects to find the mysterious child-sized handprint in the childless home.
Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius steps in to lead the investigation. Young and brilliant but emotionally cold, Berzelius, like her famous prosecutor father, won’t be swayed by the hysterical widow or intimidated by the threatening letters the victim had tried to hide. Jana is steely, aloof, impenetrable. That is, until the boy…
A few days later on a nearby deserted shoreline, the body of a preteen boy is discovered, and with him, the murder weapon that killed him and the original victim. Berzelius is drawn more deeply into the case for as she attends his autopsy, she recognizes something strangely familiar in his small, scarred, heroin-riddled body. Cut deep into his flesh are initials that scream child trafficking and trigger in her a flash of memory of her own dark, fear-ridden past. Her connection to this boy has been carved with deliberation and malice that penetrate to her very core.
Now, to protect her own hidden past, she must find the suspect behind these murders, before the police do.
Emelia Schepp’s Marked for Life is out 6th July (HQ, £7.99)
Marked for life is book one in a trilogy by Emelie Schepp and introduces us to public prosecutor Jana Berzelius. Jana is called upon after the head of the migration board is found shot and his wife is held as a suspect.
There’s no shortage of suspects in this story and Marked For Life was a really good start to this trilogy.
Jana Berzelius isn’t your average protagonist, I can’t say I particularly liked her but I didn’t dislike her either. She was certainly interesting though, she’s cold and distant and it’s very clear from the beginning that there is something not right, something that she’s hiding and her determination really comes out. I have to say by the end of the book I had a bit more respect for Jana and you realise why she is the way she is.
This was quite a fast paced book with many different threads, quite disturbing in some parts with human trafficking and violence but that added to the intensity of the plot. There were many secrets and plenty twists and turns to keep you guessing. It’s suspenseful and kept me turning the pages and I had it finished in two sittings.
With some interesting characters and a storyline that kept me totally gripped from start to finish I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in store next in the trilogy.
Now I have a helpful guest post from Emelie Schepp for all you aspiring writers out there.
5 Tips for Aspiring Writers
1. First, you should pic a genre or a topic that you love or are dedicated to. When I began my writing career I read a lot and I have always enjoyed reading crime fiction so for me there was never any question about what genre I would choose. I began the storytelling process with only a tiny understanding of where to even begin. But thanks to all the years of reading I managed the process quite well. So you can write a book just by reading crime, romance, classics, or your favourite books, but the truth is there is much to learn about the principles of storytelling. If you are an aspiring author I can highly recommend “Story Engineering” by Larry Brooks. I also recommend “On writing” by bestselling author, Stephen King. He gives you the basic tools every writer must have.
There are of course many books where you can learn how to start a script, how to create believable characters, select the perspective and the environment. It is great to master the techniques, but don’t forget to believe in yourself while writing.
2. Second, outlining is a great tool. I love structure, so for me it is essential to construct an outline before I start writing the whole story. But even though I know where the story is going, my main character Jana Berzelius sometimes takes a path of her own, and the path she takes is almost always better than the one I first had planned for her.
3. Third, it is really good to hire a professional editor, who can help you balance plot and pacing. And it is also good allowing a trustworthy and honest friend to read the script before sending it to Publishers.
4. Fourth, it’s never fun to be refused. All authors have been rejected at some point. When rejected, try to get constructive feedback from the publisher and use the feedback when rewriting your script. Then submit it again. And again. Even Stieg Larsson (The Millennium series) was rejected.
5. Finally, never ever give up. There are many ways to publish your book. For me, self-publishing was a great experience and I still use my knowledge in marketing from my previous jobs to promote my own books.
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