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The Galapagan goes live :)
10th July 2015 at 2:36 pm 0
  Happy to announce my latest novel, The Galapagan, is now available on Amazon - Amazon.com Amazon.co.uk Synopsis - A dark comic thriller . . . If you save the life of a psychopath, are you then responsible for his actions? Gabriel Black yearns for normality, but love, sanity and contentment have always been denied to him by the malevolence of a psychopath, Anton Crow. Gabriel is bound to Anton by an obligation - having once saved Anton’s life, Gabriel feels a duty to stay close to Anton and protect the world from his violence. When Anton commits a murder, Gabriel realises he has failed and that he now must save himself . . . So begins a wild and riotous journey involving Anton, Gabriel, Olga - a girl with a broken heart, and Winnie - the beautiful girl Gabriel holds up to be the opposite to Anton; the girl he hopes to marry and live out a happy and wholesome life with. As they each struggle for their lives and their liberty, they reflect on questions of love, faith and destiny, and as the story spirals to a gripping conclusion, answers are revealed in dramatic and often bizarre ways.
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Double Ugly: a synopsis.
28th January 2015 at 12:37 pm 0
“A tale of bad versus evil – a psychological thriller that pits the sociopathic ex-detective Burke against a brilliant and ruthless serial killer. Will Burke be able to bring him down? And what price will he have to pay?” After fifteen dispiriting years in the force, Detective Burke suffers a catastrophe that causes him to have a heart attack and leads ultimately to a heart transplant. His police career in ruins, he invests in a restaurant, and by using his surveillance skills he gets honest feedback on the food and the service and elevates the restaurant to be the finest in Dublin. When he eavesdrops on a party of criminals he learns something that connects his recent calamity to the stirrings of his transplanted heart. As he is launched on the trail of a psychopathic killer, he learns of the killer’s victims, and confirms that he is in fact an urn to one of them. Only by ridding the world of this murderer can he do the right thing by his heart, and be finally free of his bitter regrets. Buy on Amazon.com Buy on Amazon.co.uk
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Double Ugly: some praise :)
Double Ugly: some praise :)
29th January 2015 at 11:15 am 0
DOUBLE UGLY is a noir fiction novel that is not only laced with dark comedy, but also replete with sex trafficking issues surrounded by sociopathic and religious themes. Murray skilfully keeps his third person narrative moving by offering plenty of contrast. Amid the disconcerting scenes, Murray manages to incorporate lighter moments to break up the darkness. Double Ugly, the first volume in a new series, is riveting and mind boggling, entertaining yet very disturbing. And, indeed, is destined to become a classic for noir fiction lovers! Anita Lock. San Francisco Book Review. DOUBLE UGLY by Jim Murray is captivating. It is a very well-written, fast moving crime novel. Jim Murray's narrative is dense, with many interesting unpredictable twists, and the plot's intrigue is well constructed. Murray's writing style makes it a great read for noir fiction fans! Galina Roizman. Portland Book Review. DOUBLE UGLY by Jim Murray is a mystery/thriller full of suspense, drama and horror, one the reader will ponder long after turning the last page. I found the author's writing style unique, even hard to describe, a bit quirky, dark. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed "Double Ugly" and highly recommend it to anyone with a taste for a suspenseful mystery/thriller lined with a unique twist. Sheri Bebee. Reader Views Review. DOUBLE UGLY is a disturbing psychological thriller that pits one sociopath against another, with only a thin shield of rational ethics and a bit of transplanted empathy to differentiate them - It is a lively mystery with an intriguing lead character and some interesting speculation on the purpose of ethics, morality and ambition. IndieReader Review View this book on Amazon.com View this book on Amazon.co.uk
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Brother: a synopsis
28th January 2015 at 12:56 pm 0
Dominic blames his brother, Spencer, for bringing ruin to their childhood home. He saw his baby brother as a malign force that provoked their parents to conflict and bitterness. Only once in their childhood did the brothers nearly reconcile, and that was when Spencer defended Dominic from the school bully, Lar Mangan. As the brothers grow to adulthood, Dominic’s path again converges with Lar Mangan when he joins a new company and discovers that Mangan - by now an ex-convict – is working and prospering there under a false identity. Dominic has become the possessor of a deadly secret, and as the brothers stoke up their feud, they are wary only of each other and have no sense of Mangan’s sinister schemes. They face a choice - to allow a lethal trap to close or to choose their bond over their feud - salvation over blame – and come together to defeat Lar Mangan. View on Amazon.com View on Amazon.co.uk
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Brother: some praise :)
Brother: some praise :)
29th January 2015 at 11:19 am 0
"Brother" by Jim Murray is a book that is nearly impossible to put down. Even though I spent much of my time angry and nervous reading this book, I had to know how it ended. It is a fantastic thriller full of many twists and turns. Murray has an interesting writing style that captures and engages the reader throughout the entire book. The characters are well developed, and my hatred for the villain in the book felt genuine as if he were a real person.I recommend "Brother" by Jim Murray to anyone looking for an intense thriller. Just be sure to plan on not putting the book down once you start it! Christine Watson. Reader Views. Brother is a story of revenge. A good one. It tells the tale of two brothers, Dominic and Spencer, who have been battling each other on some level for their entire lives. Murray is a master storyteller. Brother is a complex, fascinating and fast-paced story filled with well-developed, interesting characters. He skilfully weaves Dominic's memories of his difficult childhood - from what he saw at Spencer's unwelcome, family-shattering birth to the mental illness that seems to run in his family - and the events of their current-day lives with a deft hand. He explores tenuous family relationships that have been damaged by lifelong grudges, imagined slights and not-so-hidden resentments - and how they might actually be healed. Rebecca Parsons. Portland Book Review. The book [Brother] covers the life of Dominic and his relationship with his younger brother, Spencer, and to a lesser degree their parents, girlfriends and friends. There is love, betrayal, hatred, and even a little violence. It is very psychological and will keep you reading until the end. San Francisco Book Review  View this book on Amazon.com View this book on Amazon.co.uk
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The Galapagan
The Galapagan
29th January 2015 at 11:41 am 0
  The Galapagan is my next book. I am aiming to have it published by April/May, 2015. It is a black comedy based around a few individuals on the run, and while the entire country searches for them, they seek the answers to their struggles and general bewilderment in each other. A detailed synopsis is to follow, but meanwhile here is an excerpt which casts a little light on the choice of title - ‘I appreciate your sensitive choice of words, as most people simply refer to me as an idiot or a freak. But digest on this – in an interconnected world, where all the quirks of language and behaviour and appearance are steam rolled into one swathe of sameness, I am a Galapagan – I grew up in isolation; my mind and manner were self-determining. If I have developed a different beak or tail, that is no fault of mine. I had to make my best guess at how a human is or should be, and this is it.’ Gabriel indicates the length of his person with a flourish of his hands. ‘This is my best guess.’
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The Lonely Road is Not so Lonely
27th January 2015 at 2:42 pm 0
Before I took my first books online and became an Indie Publisher, I went down the route of sending my manuscript to agents and book publishers, unsolicited. As I sealed the envelope on each submission, I mused as to whether I should just address it to their slush pile, but a part of me hoped that I would have that lucky break and somehow stand out and be noticed. Mine might be that manuscript a bored publisher retrieves from the bin – as happened with William Golding . . . Every publisher he sent his manuscript to for ‘Lord of the Flies’ rejected it, as did the one who would eventually accept it. The story goes that the publisher had binned it, but while waiting for someone who was late for a meeting, he tired of staring out the window and retrieved a sheaf of A4 pages from the bin. And by this stroke of luck, a classic came into being. I assured myself that the exercise would not be utterly futile and that literary agents and publishers would actually look at my manuscript, but as they have different tastes and interests, and different priorities at different times, my carefully considered manuscript might miss the target, or the timing of my submission might be a little off, hence I anticipated the possibility of rejection letters. And as those manuscripts came home to roost as a flock of ‘Dear [INSERT NAME], Thank you for your submission of [INSERT NAME]. Unfortunately . . .’ letters, I sought assurance on the internet and practically memorised such passages as - All it takes is one rejection letter to make you an instant life member of a club whose luminaries include Walt Whitman, J.K. Rowling and Dr. Seuss. What published writer has never received a rejection letter? These are our badges of determination. Of striving. And on bad days, of lunacy. Take heart. No one’s, and I mean no one’s, first query snags an agent and a book contract. Unless of course you are Madonna, Jamie Lee Curtis or Fergie. The number of rejection letters you receive is proportional to the euphoria that will envelop you when you do get The Call. Think about it. If an agent signs you up three queries into your search, you’ll be ecstatic. And perhaps kind of blase. But get that call after slugging it out for a year or so and man will success be sweet. So sweet you can taste it even now, can’t you? I reminded myself of J.K Rowling’s initial efforts – a young reader in an agency pushed against the better judgement of her seniors, and convinced them to represent Rowling. The agency then sent Rowling’s 200-page script for her first Harry Potter book to 12 publishers, all of whom, in their infinite wisdom and esteemed judgement, turned it down. This billion dollar author was eventually picked up by Bloomsbury for an advance of just fifteen hundred pounds. Add to JK Rowling: Agatha Christie, Hunter S. Thompson, James Joyce and George Orwell, and many many more who have struggled for approval and suffered brutal rejection in their early days, and you realise that you are in great company – Stephen King got so many rejection letters that he used to nail them on a large spike in his bedroom. Margaret Mitchell got rejection letters from 38 different publishers before finally finding one to publish her novel, Gone With The Wind. William Saroyan may now be rated a literary great, but he amassed a stack of rejection slips 30 inches high — some seven thousand — before he sold his first story. So if you are going down the Agency / Publisher route and suffering a blizzard of rejection letters, take heart : ) Otherwise, go Indie, but then you have the occasional rotten review to deal with; or often enough, no sales; but more about that in other posts : )
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Saviour
Saviour
29th January 2015 at 10:55 am 0

This is a submission I did for the Powers Whiskey writing competition. The requirements were that a bottle of Powers had to be a central character, and it could not be more than 500 words. I didn’t win, but judging by the shortlist and eventual winner, it seems that they were more inclined towards stories of immigrants returned sipping a Powers with the mammy beside the turf fire. The €10k prize money would have been nice, but I did enjoy the challenge . . .

Henry stands in a corner of the descending lift. He pinches the knot of his tie - double windsor. It dismays him that he will never again have to wear it. He holds the retirement gift – a bottle of Powers . They got that bit right, he thinks, even if they hadn’t the time – the courtesy - to toast my departure. He sighs. Sure that’s just the way of it - it’s a dog eat dog world. The guy in the other corner jabbers into a mobile. Spanish. He’s a dark guy, black really, and Henry sees a suggestion of effeminancy. Effin’ something, he decides. The guy laughs, ‘Ni Hablar!’ Henry ponders the hanging jeans, the affected dishevelment. He feels the bottle in his hand - this craft that he values, this patience – and it saddens him that the standards he cherishes are mostly gone, as is he. He thinks bitterly that this guy might even be his replacement. The lift stops. The lights dim. ‘Jesus,’ cries Henry. ‘It’s a power outtage, man. Happened once already today. The whole area.’ Henry feels the old crawl of panic. He slumps to the ground. He stares at the metal plate, the brand: Otis. And he thinks: Otis, Otis Redding, died in a plane crash. The young guy is over to him. ‘It’s ok, man. It’s ok. What’s your name?’ Henry stares up at him. ‘Me - I’m Salvador Hurtado.’ ‘Henry Buttimer.’ ‘It’s cool, Henry. It’s ok.’ Salvador removes Henry’s tie and he opens the top button of his shirt. He sits beside Henry and he puts a comforting arm around him. Me - I got a thing about crossing bridges. Puts me in a cold sweat. You can imagine how fu-- . . . how inconvenient that is.’ Henry smiles. The lift flickers back to life and Salvador helps Henry to his feet. They reach the lobby and walk from the building. ‘Will you join me in a drink, Mr. Hurtado - Salvador?’ ‘Sure I will.’ Henry unscrews the cap from the bottle of Powers. They each drink a capful. ‘I retired today. Seventeen years.’ ‘Cool.’ Henry pours another capful. Salvador raises it, ‘It’ll be all good, my friend.’ They each drink a toast. ‘I still got your tie. Here.’ ‘Bin it.’ Salvador balls the tie and he tosses it into a bin. ‘You gonna be ok now?’ ‘I’m going to be fine. Thanks.’ They shake hands. And as Salvador walks away Henry feels a tight weave unravel in his chest. He feels a surging contentment and he understands that this is more – far more - than the warm course of the whiskey. It’s faith. It’s a departure – a beginning.
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