Blog tour: The Lizard by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart
Hey everyone, and welcome to my stop on The Lizard blog tour! I’m honoured to be teaming up with Muswell Press once again to celebrate the release of a truly gripping crime debut.
As always, I’m going to tell you a little more about The Lizard before I share my thoughts on it – trust me when I tell you this is not a book you’re going to want to sleep on.
About the book:
St Andrews University undergraduate, Alistair Haston, heartbroken by his breakup with his girlfriend Ellie, heads off to where she summers in the hope of ‘accidentally’ running into her. On a ferry from Athens he meets Ricky, a magnetic Australian, who promises him a cushy job on the Greek island on Paros. Ricky introduces him to Heinrich, a charismatic German artist living in an exquisite mansion, who uses his talent and considerable wealth to lure susceptible tourists to his home. Soon swept away in a cocktail of hedonistic pursuits, Haston sheds his conservative skin and is immersed in a sun-drenched world of sex, fine food and drugs. When the body of a missing tourist is found, however, the finger of blame points at Haston and he is forced on a desperate life or death run.
The Lizard was inspired by a solo trip which Dugald Bruce-Lockheart took in 1988, during which he slept rough on beaches and rooftops and ended up getting chased by a local gang – at knifepoint! – around the island of Paros.
As soon as I was told it was loosely based on a real experience I couldn’t resist giving it a go, even though this is not the type of book I normally pick up.
The best word to describe the first quarter of the novel is hedonistic, and it’s definitely on the racier end of the spectrum. Alistair’s ferry trip on the way to Paros is debauched, and the parties at Heinrich’s mansion spiral further out of control as Alistair films the sexual antics of the attendants. If you’re someone who is opposed to reading books which include a lot of casual sex then I would recommend staying away from this one, as it is a huge part of the novel: Alistair works recruiting models for Heinrich to paint and gets a bonus if the models sleep with Heinrich – who also pays them for the pleasure of sleeping with them – so the sexual aspects of the story are not easily avoidable.
However, things quickly go from wild to absolutely WACKY. Alistair is arrested and discovers that Heinrich hasn’t just been painting the models. They have been turning up dead, and Alistair has been set up to take the fall for their crime. He manages to escape from prison and intends on heading to the British Embassy in Athens, until he receives a picture of Ricky with Ellie. Can he save her before she becomes their next victim, without losing his own life in the process?
This novel has so many twists and turns that you feel as though you’re on a rollercoaster, and every time you think the ride is nearly over you discover a whole new stretch of track filled with loop-the-loops and plummeting drops. Your stomach will be in your throat, your heart will be racing, and it will be impossible for you to put this book down.
Meanwhile, the location is described beautifully, the vibrant nature of the Greek islands thrumming through the pages. Considering there aren’t going to be any summer holidays happening this year, this is the perfect way to get a taste of warmer climes and escape from the ceaseless rain of another British summer.
If you’re longing for an escape to the sun but have a taste for a gritty crime novel, The Lizard is the perfect combination for you. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this novel, and it’s certainly put Dugald Bruce-Lockhart on my radar as one to watch out for in the future. As far as I’m aware this is a standalone, but it has a cheekily open ending so there is the possibility that he could revisit some of the characters in the future. I for one would be completely up for that!
About the author:
Dugald Bruce-Lockhart was born in Fiji and went to school at Sedbergh in Cumbria while his parents worked abroad. After St Andrews University he trained as an actor at RADA. He has worked extensively on stage and on TV and received many accolades including a Best Actor nomination from The Stage.
He recently directed a new production of The Last Temptation of Boris Johnson by Jonathan Maitland. He appeared as Michael Gove in the original production at the Park Theatre, London. He lives in South East London.
Thanks again to Muswell Press for getting me involved in this blog tour, and to you for coming to check out my stop.
With all physical book launches and events being cancelled it’s more important than ever to support the book blogging community and to celebrate debut authors, and by reading this post you’ve done both. Well done you!
See you next time,