Thursday 9 November 2017

The Dying Game by Asa Avdic @asaavdic @laurabrooke59 @WindmillBooks #BlogTour

Oh, it’s really quite simple. I want you to play dead.’

On the remote island of Isola, seven people have been selected to compete in a 48-hour test for a top-secret intelligence position. One of them is Anna Francis, a workaholic with a nine-year-old daughter she rarely sees, and a secret that haunts her. Her assignment is to stage her own death and then observe, from her hiding place inside the walls of the house, how the other candidates react to the news that a murderer is among them. Who will take control? Who will crack under pressure? 

But as soon as Anna steps on to the island she realises something isn’t quite right. And then a storm rolls in, the power goes out, and the real game begins…

The Dying Game by Asa Avdic is published by Windmill Books in paperback on 2 November 2017.

As part of the Blog Tour, I am delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today. She's written a great post, telling all about her characters; Anna and Henry:

First of all, thank you for having me. Such a pleasure to be here!  
The Dying Game is my first novel and could be described as a locked-room mystery and as a dystopian novel. While it is both of those things, to me it’s also a love story - though a dark one. It’s a story about the things you do for love, which doesn’t ncessarily end happily ever after. I’d love to tell you more about two of the main characters, Anna and Henry.  
Anna is our heroine, and most of the book is told from her perspective. She is the kind of person who is her own worst enemy. She’s highly capable, almost too capable, and unable to see when she’s out of fuel. She’s dangerously absorbed in her own life, burying herself in work as a place of refuge from her mother and nine-year-old daughter who she loves but struggles to connect with. When Anna meets Henry, someone as emotionally detached as herself, she opens herself up to the possibility of love without taking risks. 
Henry seems to want nothing from her, making him the perfect partner. While this turns out not to be the case, Anna does not want to see that. To her, Henry is like a hidden treasure that only she can see, with a shimmer about him that draws Anna to him. 
Perhaps that is the kind of willing and self-inflicted blindness that all lovers experience.

Henry is our second storyteller, the one who can offer us a different perspective on Anna, allowing us to observe her from the outside as well as getting a sense of how he sees her and the others. 
Henry is Anna’s ex-colleague from her life as a bureaucrat, and to Anna, Henry is the one that got away, the lover she never had. He is a sort of emotional vampire - he is a person that has no real contact with his own feelings, so he survives on others. This is one of the reasons he is drawn to Anna, whom despite her rational and effective behaviour, is all about emotions. She feels things all the time, and she cannot hide it. Henry both hates and loves her for it. And maybe he doesn’t know himself what he wants. Whether he wants to have Anna, be like her, or punish her. 

This combination of two damaged, self-hating humans, attracted to each other but also trying to be a step ahead of one another turns out to be a poisonous combination when they meet again under mysterious circumstances on the remote island of Isola. 
Under the strains of a social experiment, how will they cope with what has passed between them, and what they are now faced with? But that’s the exciting part, they don’t know what will happen and this uncertainty in whether or not their relationship will develop into something adds another dimension to the novel. 
It might sound depressing, but surely it’s more interesting to read about things that don’t turn out as we hoped they would.

Åsa Avdic is a journalist whose career also included various TV hosting jobs. 

She currently hosts Sweden’s biggest morning current events program. 

The Dying Game is her first novel.

Follow her on Twitter @asaavdic

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