S J Watson writes:
In writing Final Cut I wanted to move away slightly from the entirely domestic, urban and claustrophobic feel of Before I Go To Sleep and open the story world a little. I’m returning to my preoccupations of memory, narrative and identity, though bringing a fresh spin and new maturity to them.
The story follows a young ambitious documentary film maker whose first film was lauded and her second less so, and who is struggling with her third film. She hits on the idea of making a film about life in a small, northern village and is persuaded, against her better judgement and for reasons unknown, to film in Blackwood Bay. Once there she discovers a town shrouded in mystery and full of secrets, that threaten to engulf and ultimately destroy her. She has to dig deep to save herself, as well as the lives of others.
In researching the book, I was drawn to the idea of the way we document our lives now, on Instagram and Twitter etc., and the downsides of that, as well as the darkness that can hide in plain sight and the abuses that people can visit on their fellow humans. The sad fact is I had to tone down some of the horrific atrocities I read about, or else the book would’ve been too dark, even for me.
S. J. Watson’s first novel, Before I Go To Sleep, became a phenomenal international success and has now sold over 6,000,000 copies worldwide. It won the Crime Writers’ Association Award for Best Debut Novel and the Galaxy National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year.
The film of the book, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong, and directed by Rowan Joffe, was released in September 2014.
S. J. Watson’s second novel, Second Life, a psychological thriller, was published to acclaim in 2015.
S. J. Watson was born in the Midlands and now lives in London.
This was really interesting, playing with concepts of memory and trust. Can Alex trust her own memories or anyone else’s? Why can’t she remember why she ran away?
For such a small town Blackwood Bay bristles with secrets and mysteries, rather than everyone knowing each other’s business.
The use of anonymous snippets of phone footage to plant clues and the film Alex says she’s making bring it up to date and add another dimension.
A very clever thriller that twists and turns, with an unreliable narrator and untrustworthy characters.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.