18 Feb 2020


Killing Them With Kindness Banner
Today I'm delighted to be sharing my thoughts on Killing Them With Kindness by Andy Paulcroft. One of several bloggers to be participating in this Book Tour capably organised by Rachel @ Rachel's Random Resources, you can find the links to the other blogs below.

Kiling Them With Kindness Cover
ISBN 978-1708450045
Deirdre Cossette is the self appointed carer for the elderly on The Avenue and all of her friends have stories to tell.

Margery, whose comfortable life was destroyed by a knock on the door.

Stan, who made a mistake as a young footballer. It cost him his friends and his self-respect.

Marina, whose slim and stylish figure hides a terrible secret from the summer of Live Aid.

And, Oliver and Archie, who have survived everything from post war homophobia to a family tragedy – and they have done it together.

Deirdre believes that everyone should have a choice. If they want to live on a diet of cakes, drink the alcoholic equivalent of a small hydrotherapy pool, or take on a toy boy lover in spite of a dodgy heart, Deirdre believes it is their right to do so. If they remember her in their wills afterwards, that’s not her fault, is it?

However, not everyone agrees with her. When disgruntled relatives from the present meet up with disgruntled ghosts from her past, Deirdre discovers the cost of being kind.
- Summary

The first thing she noticed was the voices.
- First Sentence, Prologue

The long white cashmere coat with a large swathe of a black sash across the middle portion was intended to look stylish, yet suitably funereal. As worn by a model on a Milan catwalk, it might well have done so. Unfortunately, because of the poor woman's body shape, it gave her a look of a stray liquorice allsort.
- Memorable Moment, Page 184

MY THOUGHTS ... My favourite read of 2020; OK, so read in January, arguably there wasn't a great deal of competition at that time BUT I'm confident that come the end of the year it will still be up there in my top 10 (and very possibly top 5) reads come the end of the year. Yes, I liked it that much.

Hmm! Was she merely helping people because, well, that's what good friends do OR was there something more sinister behind all of Deidre Cossette's acts of kindness? Her somewhat ambiguous morality thought provoking; was she really of the opinion that what was a life long lived without enjoyment even if that enjoyment ultimately led to your demise OR did she just want to see her 'friends' into an earlier grave?

As if I'm going to tell you. 

No, you'll have to read Killing Them With Kindness for yourself if you want to find out. But I digress.

For me, sex scenes (that's a whole other blog post) aside, 'funny' is possibly one of the most difficult things to pull off in a novel; after all what sees one person to laugh out loud may well not see the next person to raise so much as a smile and then of course what us Brits find funny, well, other nationalities sometimes just don't get it.

For me this was a really humorous novel, not always laugh out loud humorous and often full of pathos but  most definitely humorous . 

The narrative flitting between the various factions, something that can make a book feel very fragmented but in the hands of Paulcroft, expertly done, it felt as if you were saying goodbye to one friend (albeit momentarily) only to catch up with another until, returning to them once again, you got to learn more of their story. 

Yes, entertaining but there were also the serious themes that ran throughout the book; the effects of loneliness and isolation, of fitting in, of being accepted for who you are and, told through my favourite characters, the elderly Lib and Archie who together were lovingly known as 'The Lads', the struggle of young gay men when homosexuality was illegal and, in a paragraph that moved me intensely,  how that whilst today they 'didn't feel the need to be quite as discreet' ...

'Being legal was not the same as being accepted, and they decided against holding hands as they walked down the cul-de-sac. Gay liberation hadn't quite reached suburbia.' (Pg 216)

SUMMED UP IN A SENTENCE ... Everything I wanted in a book ... and more, Killing Them With Kindness saw me captivated from page one. 

Genre: Contemporary women/ Comedy drama / Gay romance / Cross genre
Publication Date: 15th November 2019
Estimated Page Count - 405
Standalone Novel

Andy Paulcroft PhotoABOUT ANDY PAULCROFT ... Andy Paulcroft grew up in Weston-super-Mare, and his love of books started when he borrowed his sister’s copy of Five Run Away Together and exaggerated a minor illness in order to finish reading it. He has since worked as a chef in France, Switzerland, Corsica and the North Highlands of Scotland before settling as a catering manager at a boarding school in Dorset. After many years of writing two to three chapters of a book before discarding it, he finally published his first novel Postcards From Another Life – in December 2017. The wonderful feeling of completing a novel was only surpassed by receiving a positive reaction from people who had read it. He retired from catering and recently published his second novel Killing Them With Kindness. He is now working on his third book.


15th February
16th February
17th February
18th February
19th February
20th February
21st February
22nd February
23rd February
24th February

Image result for name felicity


Andy Paulcroft said...

Thank you so much Felicity for that wonderful review - to have written your favourite novel of the year, even if it was only January when you read it, well - I'll take that! Andy

Brian Joseph said...

High praise indeed! The characters and situations as you describe them make this sound well worth it. This quote that you posted is s very good

Kelly said...

Your glowing review has me off to check this out more closely. Like Brian, I liked the quote you shared... had me laughing.

Kelly said...

Actually... Brian might have been referring to the second quote you used at the end. It's a good quote, but not what had me laughing. (still picturing the woman in the coat in my mind)

nightwingsraven said...

Your enthusiastic and excellent
review definitely piqued my curiosity.
And I will add this book to my list.

Kristin said...

It sounds like this novel has a little of everything. Thanks for participating!

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I love that quote about legal not meaning accepted. It's so true, but so very sad. This sounds like a wonderful book - thank you so much for introducing it to me. I love the premise, and funny IS hard to do in books, so I always love hearing a book was funny.


sherry fundin said...

glad you enjoyed it. the cover makes me think it would be a fun one
sherry @ fundinmental

Nas said...

Thanks for your awesome review!