Suicide Thursday by Will Carver

Today I am delighted to join the blog tour for the brand new novel from Will Carver, Suicide Thursday. You are always guaranteed a unique read when pickling up a book by Mr Carver and this did not disappoint. My thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invite and to Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books for the advance copy. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source; Advance Reader Copy
Release Date:

About the Book

A disenchanted man struggles to get beyond the first chapter of the books he’s writing, and to separate fact from fiction in his own life. His friend’s suicide changes everything … The mind-blowing, heart-rending new thriller from cult bestselling author Will Carver.

Eli Hagin can’t finish anything. 

He hates his job, but can’t seem to quit. He doesn’t want to be with his girlfriend, but doesn’t know how end things with her, either. Eli wants to write a novel, but he’s never taken a story beyond the first chapter. 

Eli also has trouble separating reality from fiction. 

When his best friend kills himself, Eli is motivated, for the first time in his life, to finally end something himself, just as Mike did…

Except sessions with his therapist suggest that Eli’s most recent ‘first chapters’ are not as fictitious as he had intended … and a series of text messages that Mike received before his death point to something much, much darker…

My Thoughts

This book is all about endings. Or perhaps not. I mean, there is a definite ending for one of the characters, Mike, who takes the ultimate step in ending his own life, but for the protagonist of this book, Eli, his life has been typified by the inability to finish anything. He spends his life just doing things as it’s easier than the alternative, and I think we can all relate to that in some small way. Mike’s death acts as a wake up call for Eli, partly because he knows he let his friend down, but also because he knows he has to get off the treadmill, step away from his drawer of ‘first chapters’ for books that will never be written, and finally end something.

I can’t lie. Suicide as a premise for a story is always going to be a tricky one. There are many of us whose lives have been touched by suicide to varying degrees, and the impact of it cannot be underestimated. The book doesn’t seek to trivialise suicide in any way, or use it purely for entertainment, it is presented just as a fact. Mike took his own life. No more, no less. There are parts that some may struggle with, certain messages that pass back and forth between Mike and a third party, where he talks about wanting to take his own life. Some may find this in poor taste, but if you look beyond face value, beyond the obvious back and forth between Mike and a less than sympathetic other, then it may give you pause for thought. A criticism about how people act or react when folks say they are depressed? Maybe. A dig at the roll of the eyes when people talk about their ‘mental health’ because it is just the ‘buzz word of the week’ and only something that affects weak people, not someone like you? Quite probably. Cutting because you can see the truth in it, even though you wouldn’t possibly act that way yourself (obviously). Well, almost certainly that to be honest.

But this book isn’t really about Mike. It’s not really about his suicide, although that is a very key factor in what comes to pass. The book is about Eli. About how he is affected by the loss of this best friend. About how he acts, and reacts, and about his own struggles with his personality and his levels of commitment. It’s also about his partner, Jackie, who has a very complicated relationship with both Eli and Mike. It’s about Ralph, and the two Teds. About the way in which people’s lives intersect and impact upon one another in ways you don’t expect with endings you cannot predict. It’s about loss, and friendship and holding on to things for too long that just aren’t working.

This book is multi-faceted. So many things you think are real that maybe aren’t. Scenes where you will be certain that you know what is happening only to find that you have completely misjudged the situation. Misjudged a character. And character really is key in this book. If you listen to their stories just enough, you will understand the real heart of what is going on. Told through differing points of view, a series of text messages, and even passages from Eli’s ‘first chapters’, all of the information is there, sometimes symbolic, sometimes in ‘in your face’ glorious technicolor, but everything you need to decode the book is presented in Mr Carver’s inimitable, unconventional style. And I liked Eli, messy as his life is. Liked his laid back attitude, understood him perhaps a little too well, and could appreciate the way in which his internal conflict is played out on the page, his dedication to routine, just because.

If you look deep enough beneath the surface, it’s a book that forces you to re-examine your priorities and to recognise that we get just one go at life, so why waste it in procrastination and dithering. It’s complex. It’s dark. It’s pitted with humour and an overwhelming mixture of tragedy and, strangely enough, hope. It’s vintage Will Carver. Because of the subject it’s not going to be for everyone. Some may think it a touch distasteful, but then they have missed the real point of the book. It’s pacing is just right, neither too fast not too slow and it gives enough gravity to the subject matter without overwhelming the reader with doom. Like all tomes from Mr Carver, it’s certainly a book that is going to create discussion and one you won’t forget in a hurry.

What’s an even bigger mistake than not ending something you don’t enjoy? Maybe being too afraid to try in the first place?

About the Author

Will Carver is the international bestselling author of the January David series. He spent his early years in Germany, but returned to the UK at age eleven, 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, and lives in Reading with his two children. Will’s latest title published by Orenda Books, The Beresford came out in July 2021. His previous title Hinton Hollow Death Trip was longlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, while Nothing Important Happened Today was longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. Good Samaritans was book of the year in Guardian, Telegraph and Daily Express.

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