As I may have mentioned, my first novel was called Past Presence, and is available to purchase at Amazon on the Kindle.  (

However, two other people wrote books with the same title, and since it seemed like a good random reason to pick up books, I thought I’d buy the other two, and see what they were like.

I D Hamilton wrote one ( which begins with a pornography ring decades ago getting busted, and sets the scene subtly for the causes of pain that is to come.  When that pain comes, it’s delivered with such an awful inevitability that it feels like a slow-motion car-crash.  The scenes from this story have stayed with me.  Definitely recommended.

There is also one by Gaye Newton ( which opens to a woman remembering a terrifying event from her past.  So often these kinds of things end up with an anti-climax as the event isn’t as bad as it would need to be, and things just don’t fit together.  In this case it does, and it’s well worth it.  My only complaint was more sadness than complaint – I bought a second-hand copy, and it turned out to have been signed by the author with a personal message to someone who encouraged her during writing the book.  I find it sad that I now have it.  It won’t be changing hands again any time soon, though.

As a random reason to buy books, it paid off.  Two marvellous books.