Published by Twenty7/Bonnier Zaffre
Ebook: 17 January 2017 | Paperback: 4 May 2017
For my turn on the Lies blogtour today, I have a great guest post from T M Logan (I have a favourite – no 6 made me crack up) but I would love to see others’ choices). My review is at the end of the post.
15 weirdest stories I wrote as a science reporter at the Daily Mail
by T M Logan
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to write. That writing journey led to my debut thriller LIES – but along the way I also spent eight years as a newspaper reporter.
As a journalist I spent three years working at the Daily Mail in London, the majority of that time as the paper’s science reporter. Science at the Mail was a fairly broad brief, including everything from health and nutrition to animals and the environment, psychology, genetics, space, archaeology and technology. It also included the ‘weird/wacky/won’t fit anywhere else’ category of stories.
I learned a lot there about writing for the reader, bringing stories to life and making my copy as clear and crisp as it could be. I wrote a lot of serious stories, but a fair number of weird ones too (for some reason the weird ones are much more memorable). I still have them all, in large hardback-bound cuttings books compiled by the Mail library staff and sent to me some years after I left when they were having a clearout. So here’s a small slice of weirdness to give you a taste of science reporting at the Mail – with real headlines:
1. ‘How to tell if your boss is a psycho’
Is your boss two-faced, remorseless and lacking in personal depth? Does he or she take credit for others’ work? Fake sincerity with great conviction? Watch out – you could be working for Hannibal Lecter.
2. ‘Can stress make you look and feel younger?’
Adheres to one of the universal rules of tabloid headlines: if it ends with a question mark, the answer is almost always a resounding ‘No’.
3. ‘Of mice, no men’
The end of fatherhood? Meet Kaguya the mouse, born with two mothers and no father thanks to genetic engineering. Apparently this is some people’s worst nightmare. Not Kaguya, obviously. She seemed quite pleased.
4. ‘WWW.C – computer that lets you surf the net while you’re on the loo’
A portaloo with a computer in it. Or something. Complete with waterproof keyboard, web addresses printed on the toilet paper and a quote from the inventor that included the words ‘logging on’. Ugh.
Scientists splice DNA from both species together to produce silk that’s five times stronger than steel. Kind of like Spiderman but with less jumping off buildings. And more goats.
6. ‘What’s up doc? GOK*’
The secret language of doctors and the acronyms they write on patients’ notes, to pass on an ‘unofficial’ diagnosis to colleagues. From GOK (God Only Knows) to FLK (Funny Looking Kid), PFO (P***ed, Fell Over), LOBNH (Lights On But Nobody Home) and GPO (Good for Parts Only).
7. ‘Let’s face it, we really do look like our dogs’
Do we? Do we really though? Well, erm… no (apart from some poor dog-owning celebrity singled out by the picture desk).
8. ‘Could a simple pill really cure shopping addiction?’
No. Just no (see no.2 above). I suspect cutting up the credit cards might be more effective.
9. ‘The day the Earth nearly caught fire’
An asteroid nearly hit the Earth and wiped us out. Except it didn’t. Because it missed us by 75,000 miles (and no-one noticed).
10. ‘Euro-wasps invade’
If there’s one thing worse than being stung by a wasp, it’s being stung by a French wasp. Sacre-bleu!
11. ‘A lift at lunchtime’
Instead of popping out for a Boots meal deal at lunch, how about the latest in plastic surgery – a one-hour breast enlargement procedure? No? I thought not.
12. ‘How would your pet rate on an IQ test?’
I’ve scored my cats on this. Let’s just say they won’t be appearing on Mastermind any time soon (or maybe they just couldn’t be bothered).
13. ‘Blob from the deep’
A 40ft blob of gelatinous stuff washed up on a Chilean beach. Was it a brand new species? An alien? Lord Lucan’s life raft? No-one had any idea (but it made a great picture).
14. ‘A word in your ear from the fingerphone’
A prototype wrist-mobile that transmits voices through bone, so to hear a call you have to stick your finger in your ear. Rather than, well, putting the phone to your ear. Like with an actual phone.
15. ‘A superhighway for aliens?’
A strange moment in my journalistic career. I rang around various astronomers who explained that the ‘UFO lights’ in the picture were not actually aliens but a quirk of the camera lens. I told the newsdesk the aliens story was not true. The response was: ‘Can you write it as if it is true?’ Hmm…
Which one is your favourite? Let me know @TMLoganAuthor
About the book:
WHAT IF YOUR WHOLE LIFE WAS BASED ON LIES? A gripping new psychological thriller of secrets and revenge, perfect for fans of Harlan Coben and Tom Bale
When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in.
And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.
But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s young son has an asthma attack – and Joe must flee in order to help him.
When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.
And that’s when Joe receives the first message . . .
From the moment that Joe Lynch followed his wife’s car to a hotel car park, this book had me hooked.
Joe wasn’t intending to follow his wife. He was driving his young son home when William spotted his mother’s car. Joe decided to follow and surprise her. However Joe was the one that ended up with the surprise!
This story tells of how one split second decision can completely change your life and turn it on its head. When you realise that the foundations of your safe and comfortable life are built on a lie and you are helpless as it falls to dust around you. Add in the complexities and dangers of social media and you have one heck of a twisted story.
I raced through Lies at every opportunity and didn’t want to put it down. I took an instant liking to Joe and was rooting for him all the way. He was an ordinary husband with an ordinary job who loved his family and he certainly didn’t deserve the whole heap of trouble that landed on his head. There were times when I was berating him for being too trusting and perhaps, rather naïve but then if you had no reason to suspect someone you would trust them.
This was a cracker of a read with some excellent characterisations and as you may have guessed from the book description and tagline, has many twists and turns. I’m not going to say what or where they are – you need to read it for yourself but if you like a fast paced story that will take you on a rollercoaster of a read, then this is a book that I have no hesitation in recommending. I really enjoyed this debut thriller and can’t want to see what the author comes up with next.
My thanks to Bonnier Zaffre for the Netgalley ARC to review.
About the author:
TM Logan was born in Berkshire to an English father and a German mother. He studied at Queen Mary and Cardiff universities before becoming a national newspaper journalist. He currently works in communications and lives in Nottinghamshire with his wife and two children. LIES is his first novel – published on January 17th 2017 (ebook) and May 4th 2017 (paperback).