So, I should have posted this several days ago on 29th November, but, somewhat ironically and rather regretfully, I’m posted this late due to my own shitty mental health. (I am alright, life is just currently pelting me with lots of tomatoes and the occasional bowling ball)
The plot, in a nutshell
Hadley calls Samaritans, hoping to speak to someone friendly and compassionate, a volunteer like Ant. She does get through to someone friendly, except it’s lonely Seth, who had simultaneously dialect her number, and is definitely not a Samaritans volunteer. Their paths soon become a tangled, messy mess.
Yes, it’s deliciously fucked up.
Yes, it talks about mental health, loneliness, suicide and vulnerability and the grim things rarely spoken about.
Yes, there is a massive dollop of humour spread right throughout the novel.
Yes, it twists and turns, and you rarely ‘see it coming’.
Yes, it is fast paced and punchy.
Yes, Detective Sergeant Pace would think that this book is disturbing, even if his IQ seems lower than Mr Bean’s.
Yes, it addresses the ridiculousness of people’s priorities and what they really care about.
Yes, this is the most original, refreshing crime slash mystery slash thriller since Sidney Sheldon (my first love)
But. You just don’t piss around with the image and values of something as valuable and fundamentally necessary to our individual and collective wellbeing as Samaritans is. What I found more disturbing than the warped characters and the graphic descriptions is the impression that this book could leave on potentially emotionally vulnerable people who need to reach out to an organisation such as Samaritans, but think that they will be judged and treated in the same way as certain people in the novel. I’m not being especially sensitive about this, indeed I loved many aspects of this book for its outrageousness and daring nature, but it just left me with so many questions, like how much research did the author do about Samaritans? Were they or any other mental health organisations consulted about the way that the people and topics in this book are presented?
Good Samaritans was published on 15th November by Orenda Books . Thank you to Orenda Books for the ARC and to Anne Cater for the invitation and great organisation of this Blog Tour.
Seth Beauman can’t sleep. He stays up late, calling strangers from his phonebook, hoping to make a connection, while his wife, Maeve, sleeps upstairs. A crossed wire finds a suicidal Hadley Serf on the phone to Seth, thinking she is talking to The Samaritans.
But a seemingly harmless, late-night hobby turns into something more for Seth and for Hadley, and soon their late-night talks are turning into day-time meet-ups. And then this dysfunctional love story turns into something altogether darker, when Seth brings Hadley home… And someone is watching…
Dark, sexy, dangerous and wildly readable, Good Samaritans marks the scorching return of one of crime fiction’s most exceptional voices.
Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series (Arrow). He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age 11, when his sporting career took off. He turned down a professional rugby contract to study theatre and television at King Alfred’s, Winchester, where he set up a successful theatre company.
He currently runs his own fitness and nutrition company, while working on his next thriller. He lives in Reading with his two children.