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Radio 2 Book Club: False Hearts

False Hearts by Laura Lam will be featured on the Radio 2 Book Club on Monday 4 July.

The book was selected with the help of a panel made up of Reading Agency and library staff from across the UK.

We have an exclusive extract available for you to read as well as discussion questions for your reading group.

WIN 10 copies of False Hearts for your reading group when you visit our Noticeboard!

False Hearts

To save her twin, she must take her identity.

One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood. She’s then arrested for murder, the first by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, a powerful drug, and offer her twin sister Taema a chilling deal. Taema must assume Tila’s identity and gather information to bring down the drug syndicate. The police may then let her sister live. However, Taema’s investigation raises ghosts from the twins’ past…

The sisters were raised by a cult, which banned modern medicine – yet as conjoined twins, they needed life-saving surgery to replace their failing heart. And with help from co-conspirators, they escaped. Taema now discovers that Tila had found links between the cult and the city’s criminal underworld. The twins were once unable to keep secrets, but will learn the true cost of lies.

Selection panel review

Our library reading panel really enjoyed False Hearts – here are some of their comments:

“This is a brilliant book. It is a murder mystery set in the future. Think Blade Runner meets The Fifth Element meets Micky Spillane. This book is fast paced and innovative and I think something quite different. It is a police crime drama but in the future and I just could not put it down. There is a lot to discuss here.”

“I’m a big fan of both Sci-Fi and Crime, and so I lapped this up. It was engaging right from the off, brought a wonderful vision of a fairly-dystopian future with its description of advanced technologies, and I would happily have read it in one sitting. Even with the future setting it still felt real to me, with the idea of the mix of drug and virtual reality experience (as the best term I can come up with for it) seeming a natural development of how technology could develop – using this virtual world as a space where people can act out their fantasies and have the need to fulfil them diminished in real life, thus eliminating a lot of crime, just builds on the question of whether computer games can be blamed for influencing people in real life. That’s what the best Sci-Fi writers do: create a world where everything is still recognisable and believable despite being so much more advanced.”

About the author

Laura Lam was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside of the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams. She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. At times she misses the sunshine.

A word from Laura

“It’s incredibly exciting to have False Hearts chosen for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club and a giant thank you to the librarians and The Reading Agency. I moved around a lot in my youth, and in each new town one of my first stops was the library so I could walk out with an armful of books. I also worked as a library assistant as I was submitting my first novel. Libraries are so fundamental to any community and I know they helped start me on my path to being an author. I hope people enjoy meeting the twins Taema and Tila and spending time in my version of San Francisco.”

Get involved

Tune in to Simon Mayo’s Drivetime show on Monday 4 July to hear a live interview with Laura Lam talking about her book.

Have you read False Hearts yet? You can share your thoughts with us on Twitter, post a review, see what other readers thought, or add it to your group’s reading list. You can also follow author Laura Lam on Twitter.

Want to find out more? Take a look at the Radio 2 Book Club Twitter feed or find out more on the Radio 2 Book Club website.

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