Not only have I read some wonderful books published by Red Door, but I adored The Italian Gardener by Andrew Crofts, my review of which can be found here, so that when Emma Finnigan got in touch to ask if I’d like a copy of Andrew’s latest book, What Lies Around Us, I simply couldn’t resist.
It was a wonderful surprise to open What Lies Around Us and find myself quoted at the beginning!
Published by Red Door on 13th June 2019 What Lies Around Us is available for purchase through these links.
What Lies Around Us
It is possible that since this book’s publication you will have heard that I have died in ‘suspicious circumstances’. Obviously I hope that will not be the case, but I believe it is worth taking the risk in order to get this story out there.
Why would one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful billionaires offer a British ghostwriter a million dollars to write the autobiography of Hollywood’s biggest star?
Only once he is living and working among the world’s richest and most beautiful people does the ghost realise that there is way more than a publishing deal at stake.
The ghostwriter must face the dark underbelly of the tech industry. He must face corruption and manipulation, come to blows with people who will do anything to remain at the top of their game and uncover the dark truth behind what it really means to be an influencer . . .
What Lies Around Us takes the reader into a world of myth-makers and power-brokers and reveals who is really running the world. Who is telling the stories and controlling the way we all think with a mixture of old media, social media and fake media?
My Review of What Lies Around Us
Ghost writer Andrew Crofts has a new project in an offer he can’t refuse.
What a clever, engrossing and unsettling read What Lies Around Us is. Andrew Crofts opens the story in dramatic style and ensnares the reader into a conspiracy of fake news, manipulation and obfuscation so that it’s impossible to detach yourself from his words. The author makes himself, his characters and his readers complicit in a worldwide web of deceit and intrigue so that I finished the book feeling once again that I am incredibly ignorant and unthinkingly accepting of what does indeed lie around me.
At times the narrative feels more like a transcript as many conversations are described and this adds to the authenticity of a ghost writer conducting research for a book which is the central premise of the story. I loved the references to Andrew Crofts’ The Italian Gardener and to publishing in general so that not only is What Lies Around Us a cracking story, but it provides an insight into the research processes of a ghost writer and to the publishing industry as a whole. I felt quite sorry for even the largest publishing houses and have developed an even greater respect for what they have to do to be a success.
What I also found fascinating was the recurrent image of food, meals and eating which would suggests nourishment and sustenance and yet at these times some of the most wicked and disturbing control and confession takes place so that What Lies Around Us seems to shake the very lifeblood of humanity. Polite conversation is juxtaposed against startling action and revelation.
I also have to say something about the overall quality of the book. Not only is the writing superbly crafted, taut and controlled, but the cover image is perfect for the narrative. Along with the writing, the sunspots in the tweet photographs suggest that we become blinded by what we perceive or are told, and that there may well be someone taking a photograph of us at any point so that we lose our security and true identity, with social media affecting our lives way beyond our control. The lightening strikes suggest the power that lies behind social media and public control, along with the more menacing aspects of the read. So many disquieting themes remain with me having read What Lies Around Us that I think it will resonate with me for a very long time.
What Lies Around Us is a thought-provoking exploration of morality, social media, corruption and power so that it packs an intellectual punch at the same time as being an intriguing and entertaining story. I have no idea who I might trust as a result of reading What Lies Around Us and I really recommend you read it for yourself. If you haven’t yet discovered Andrew Crofts’ elegant and sophisticated prose, you’re missing a stunning treat.
About Andrew Crofts
Andrew Crofts is a ghostwriter and author who has published more than eighty books, a dozen of which were Sunday Times number one bestsellers. He has also guided a number of international clients successfully through the minefield of independent publishing.
Andrew’s name first became known amongst publishers for the stories he brought them by the otherwise disenfranchised. Travelling all over the world he worked with victims of enforced marriages in North Africa and the Middle East, sex workers in the Far East, orphans in war-torn areas like Croatia and dictatorships like Romania, victims of crimes and abused children everywhere. He also worked with members of the criminal fraternity.
As well as using traditional publishers to reach readers he has also experimented with e-books, publishing, Secrets of the Italian Gardener, a novella which draws on his experience amongst the powerful and wealthy, and The Fabulous Dreams of Maggie de Beer, (a prequel to his traditionally published The Overnight Fame of Steffi McBride, now filmed and appearing in episodes on YouTube’s This is Drama channel).
His books on writing include Ghostwriting, (A&C Black) and The Freelance Writer’s Handbook, (Piatkus), which has been reprinted eight times over twenty years.