Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Dystopian – Acts of Convenience by Alex Craigie

Delighted to welcome a new author to the Cafe and Bookstore, Alex Craigie and her featured book today is Acts of Convenience published at the end of November 2019.

About the book

Imagine, if you will, a near future where governments adopt policies that suit them rather than the people they were elected to represent.

Imagine a near future where old age and chronic problems are swept away with expedient legislation.

I know; it’s an unlikely scenario.

However, it’s a scenario in which Cassie Lincoln finds herself.

It’s a scenario that compels her to take action.

It’s a scenario that leads to despair and danger.

One of the recent reviews for the book.

This is a slow burner; the first third of the story sets the scene, the world that Cassie Lincoln and her family live and work in. This is a Britain that is inexorably controlled by a corrupt Government through its machinations within the National Health Service. There is an almost dystopian sense to the plot, without there having been an initial catastrophe, where the self-serving wealthy and influential people thrive and the populace suffer year by year.

I always say that I do not give spoilers in my reviews; I point out the strengths of a novel as I see them and explain why I like them. But I will also explain what doesn’t work for me. So, for the latter, I’ll say it took a second read to fully appreciate why there is a long lead -up to the action… and then there is that ‘light bulb moment’, when all the groundwork makes sense and ties in as the story progresses. And, once the action starts (at around a third into the book) there are many twists and turns to the plot.

The opening chapter is heartbreaking ( I’ll say no more but it’s our introduction to Cassie and her husband Adam in 2017). In the following chapters we follow her and her family, quite rapidly, through to 2055. And, at the same time we are privy to the conspiracies and manoeuvrings of subsequent Prime Ministers and their Governments, desperate to hold on to their power and wealth through corrupt Acts of Parliament. These are presented to the nation as strategies for the ‘greater good ‘. And any dissent is portrayed as anarchy and violent crime – and dealt with viciously.

It is to the author’s credit that, even though this is a plot- driven novel, there has been no neglect of the characters; all are well-rounded, multi-layered and grow as the story continues: some I thoroughly liked, others I disliked, some even irritated me – yet all leapt from the page as true personalities. The dialogue , both spoken and internal, excellently convey the emotions of the characters and it is obvious at all times who is speaking, even without dialogue tags.

The descriptions of the settings are well written and give a strong sense of place, a must for me as a reader; I need to see the world the characters inhabit.
Interestingly the story is written throughout in the present tense, with the third person narrator revealing the viewpoint of each of the main characters. This adds to the tension for the reader, I think.

As I said above, this is a slow-burner. But the detailed lead-up is necessary and interesting and ultimately it is well worth the wait. I have no hesitation in recommending Acts of Convenience.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Also by Alex Craigie

Read the reviews and buy the books: Amazon UK

And: Amazon US

Read more reviews and follow Alex: Goodreads

About Alex Craigie

Alex Craigie was ten when her first play was performed at school. It was in rhyming couplets and written in pencil in a book with imperial weights and measures printed on the back.

When her children were young, she wrote short stories for magazines before returning to the teaching job that she loved.

Alex lives in a small village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and knows that she and her husband are lucky to have their children and grandchildren living nearby. It’s often chaotic and noisy but these are her most treasured moments and she savours them – even if she’s reduced to an immovable heap after they’ve gone.

As an independent author, without a big publishing machine behind her, she is very grateful to all the people who have found and bought her books – and a huge thank you to those who’ve gone out of their way to write a review on Amazon or Goodreads. These reviews make a massive difference to ‘Indies’ and the positive ones encourage other readers to risk buying a copy.

She looks forward to any contact from fellow lovers of books and any honest feedback is very welcome.

Connect to Alex Craigie via: Facebook

Thank you for dropping in today and it would be wonderful if you could spread the news about Alex and her books.. thanks Sally.


43 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Cafe and Bookstore – New Book on the Shelves – #Dystopian – Acts of Convenience by Alex Craigie

  1. I usually have to rely on your wonderful weekly recap posts to catch up with your blog, Sally, but I couldn’t resist stopping by today when I saw Alex Craigie in the subject line. Trish is one of my very favorite people online, and I’ve already got this book waiting on my Kindle. After JudithAnne’s great review, I’m even more eager to get to it! I don’t usually read books that deal with political themes, having my fill of that in real life, but I’m willing to make an exception for Acts of Convenience. I’m intrigued by the approach and looking forward to reading it. Great post Sally, and best of luck with this one, Trish. Sell a million of ’em! 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

      • Trish has a heart of gold, Sally, and I’m always dreaming of a trip across the Pond to meet her and some of my other friends in that part of the world. (Including you!) If I could only BLINK myself on over, like in I Dream of Jeannie, it would be great. That bit where I’d have to (shudder) FLY across an ocean–or worse, spend days upon a ship–just doesn’t work for me. Why can’t I simply say “Beam me up, Scottie” and be there? 😀

        Liked by 3 people

    • A million? – if only!
      Thanks, Marcia. It’s a small world!
      The book spans about forty years and I’ve not specified any of the political parties because I think our current problems transcend them. They are nameless figures who make decisions based, primarily, on cost. The protagonist, her family and her friends are the ones at the sharp end of the ‘reforms’. 😦 ❤

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks for that info, Trish. I had a feeling this one would work for me, and I do have it waiting. I’m looking forward to it, because I know from our correspondence and your blog posts that you have a way with words I’ll enjoy! 🙂 ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I see I’m not the only one here in my thinking that the blurb had me chuckling at ‘I know; it’s an unlikely scenario.’ I’m very intrigued about this book, because it sounds almost nonfiction. Nice to learn about Alex, Sal. Definitely adding to my TBR. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – January 12th- 18th 2020 | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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