Author focus: Simon Lelic
31 July 2012 / 0 Comments
Our author focus this month is on Simon Lelic and his third novel The Child Who - a complex psychological thriller that revolves around the shocking murder of young girl by one of her male classmates.
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Who is Simon Lelic?
I was born in Brighton in 1976 and, after a decade or so living in London and trying to convince myself that the tube was fine, really, because it gave me a chance to read, my wife and I moved back to Brighton with our three young children. That Barnaby, Joseph and Anja's grandparents happened to live close enough by to be able to offer their babysitting services was, of course, entirely coincidental.
As well as writing, I run an import/export business. I say this, when people ask, with a wink but I fool no one: I am more Del Trotter than Howard Marks. My hobbies (when I have time for them) include reading (for which I make time, because I can just about get away with claiming this is also work), golf, tennis, snowboarding and karate. My weekends belong to my family (or so my wife tells me), as does my heart.
I studied history at the University of Exeter. After graduating I was qualified, I discovered . . . to do an MA. After that I figured I had better learn something useful, so took a post-grad course in journalism. I know, I know: so much for learning something useful. After working freelance and then in business-to-business publishing, I now write novels. Not useful either, necessarily, but fun and, in its own way, important.
About The Child Who
A quiet English town is left reeling when twelve-year-old Daniel Blake is discovered to have brutally murdered his schoolmate Felicity Forbes.
For provincial solicitor Leo Curtice, the case promises to be the most high profile - and morally challenging - of his career. But as he begins his defence Leo is unprepared for the impact the public fury surrounding Felicity's death will have on his family - and his teenage daughter Ellie, above all.
While Leo struggles to get Daniel to open up, hoping to unearth the reasons for the boy's terrible crime, the build-up of pressure on Leo's family intensifies. As the case nears its climax, events will take their darkest turn. For Leo, nothing will ever be the same again.
What the critics say
'Lelic was marked for stardom by his first two thrillers, Rupture and The Facility, and he confirms his place at the literary top table with this, his third . . . Told with compelling force, and at considerable pace, it reveals the frightening law of unintended consequences: even a good man can be destroyed by the best intentions.' Daily Mail
'Just finished The Child Who and thought it was fantastic. Absorbing, moving, hugely gripping.' Mark Billlingham, bestselling author of the Tom Thorne novels
'Pacey, surprising and well written . . .The Child Who is a quietly excellent legal thriller which, unusually, does not rely on the tension of a jury's approaching verdict. The reader knows that 12-year-old Daniel Blake has brutally murdered his fellow pupil Felicity Forbes - but not why.' The Times
'Lelic's third novel takes a hackneyed, supermarket-thriller theme - the "evil" child who kills - but approaches it so intelligently that suspicions of opportunism are instantly allayed . . . An agile, perceptive writer . . . Could this be Lelic's breakthrough book? It deserves to be.' The Guardian
'One of the most intriguing things about Lelic's intelligent novel is its steadfast refusal to take sides. Is Leo right to risk the love and respect of his own family in working out a personal agenda, however laudable? Lelic places such conclusions within the individual conscience of the reader. And that, as much as anything else, shows him as a writer to whom attention must be paid.' The Independent
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