*Many thanks to A. J. Waines for my review copy*
About the book:
Where the most dangerous place – is inside your own head…
Following a London Tube disaster, three traumatised survivors turn to clinical psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby, for help – but she’s mystified when their stories don’t add up. Her confusion turns to horror when one by one, instead of recovering, they start committing suicide.
When her partner, Conrad, begins to suffer the same terrifying flashbacks, Sam is desperate to find out what is causing them and a mysterious and chilling crime begins to unravel.
Then the flashbacks begin for Sam…
The first book in the Dr Samantha Willerby Series, INSIDE THE WHISPERS is a tense, haunting Psychological Thriller that will leave your nerves in shreds.
Purchase a copy by clicking the link below:
About the Author:
*AJ WAINES is a Number One Bestselling Author with over a *Quarter of a Million* copies sold worldwide*
AJ Waines writes Psychological Thrillers and is a Kindle (KDP) TOP 10 ‘MOST-READ AUTHOR’ in UK (2016). Formerly a Psychotherapist for fifteen years, she has worked with ex-offenders from high-security institutions, gaining a rare insight into abnormal and criminal psychology. She is fascinated by secrets and lies, devious motives and anything hidden under floorboards!
*GIRL ON A TRAIN – a Number One BESTSELLER in the UK and Australian Kindle Charts*
*THE EVIL BENEATH – reached Number 1 in ‘Murder’ and ‘Psychological Thrillers’ in the UK Kindle Charts.*
*DARK PLACE TO HIDE – reached Number 1 in ‘Vigilante Justice’.*
*NO LONGER SAFE – sold 30,000 copies in the first month in 12 countries and went to Number 1 in ‘Murder’, ‘Serial Killers’ & ‘Crime Noir’, in UK & US.*
The first four books [The Evil Beneath, Girl on a Train, Dark Place to Hide & No Longer Safe] are standalones and can be read in any order. Inside the Whispers is the first in a new series, featuring Clinical Psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby.
AJ Waines has traditional publishing deals in France, Germany (Random House) and USA (audiobooks) and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal and The Times newspapers. She lives in Southampton, UK, with her husband.
Q&A with A. J. Waines
Bookish ones first:
Can you tell me a little about your journey to publication?
Having worked as a psychotherapist for 15 years, I’ve always been interested in the way people think – their secrets, motives and the lies they tell! Finding myself heading towards burnout a few years ago, I decided to use my background and have a go at writing a psychological thriller. I managed to get a top agent on the basis of that first book, although it never went anywhere in the end and is still in a drawer. With subsequent books I’ve been incredibly lucky, securing deals abroad and a strong readership on Amazon with sales in thirteen countries – although the ride never ceases to be bumpy!
What made you choose to write psychological thrillers?
I’ve always been an avid reader of psychological thrillers and having worked with ex-convicts from institutions such as Broadmoor, I wanted to use my experience of the ‘criminal’ mind in my fiction. Having said that the most interesting part for me is the ‘mystery’ element – sending the reader on a labyrinthine journey looking for clues as to what on earth’s going on! Inside the Whispers is more of a ‘why’ and ‘how dun it’, than a ‘who dun it’, because in this book, I was more interested in the motives and background to the crime and indeed whether a crime had been committed at all.
How would you describe Inside The Whispers to readers who have yet to pick it up?
It’s an intense, tormenting book introducing my new series character, clinical psychologist, Dr Samantha Willerby. She’s mystified when three traumatised survivors of the same London Tube fire turn to her for help and start recounting what happened to them – only their stories don’t add up. Much to her horror, one by one they start committing suicide. When Sam’s partner, Conrad, starts suffering the same nightmares and flashbacks, she panics – and the race is on to solve the devious mystery behind the smokescreen…
What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
As a ‘hybrid’ author (published both traditionally and independently), I love the variety involved. It’s very rewarding having control over all aspects of the publishing process, such as designing blog posters, banners and publicity and working closely with my cover designer.
What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
The uncertainty is very hard for me, as I love things to be clearcut! I also find proofreading the final copy of a manuscript really tough – I have copy-editors, beta-readers and proofreaders on the way, but in the end the final version is down to me. By that stage, the words just blur into mush and it’s so hard to spot errors.
Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?
I’m so blessed that I can earn a living from my writing and I just want to carry on until I run out of ideas. I hope to develop and improve everything I can – plotting, character development, style, pace – everything, but above all, enjoy the process.
What’s next for you?
I’ve just moved house and for the next month I’ve got workmen tramping in and out, taking windows out and decorating etc. It’s hard to work when all that’s going on, but my intention is to begin editing the next book in the Sam Willerby series, Lost in the Lake, which is due out in summer 2017.
Less bookish questions:
Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?
Hard to find just one, but I think it would have to be the book I first read when I was about eleven, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I love padlocks and keys to hidden places and cottage gardens – and there’s a beautiful transformation in the book on several levels.
Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?
Tons! Tell No One by Harlan Coben is a cracker of a read, as are The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, A Simple Plan by Scott Smith and Zoe Heller’s brilliant Notes on a Scandal. I certainly wish I’d written any one of them and more!
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
My husband is a great cook, so I love wining and dining. I also love walking anywhere where there is water: lakes, rivers, the seashore. I love films, tv dramas and reading (of course).
Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?
I like gardening, Pilates and yoga and from my therapy days, keeping a journal is key to my mental health! It helps me to stay focused, up-beat and mindful.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
I don’t go on holiday much – I get terribly sick in cars and boats etc. I love trains though and visiting Pompeii when I did ‘Interrail’ as a teenager was incredible – the way a whole city was frozen in time, engulfed by lava. New York was freezing when I visited and I spent almost the entire time in bed with flu. In Rome, last year, I picked up a stomach bug and the same thing happened, so I don’t seem to have much luck, but I’ll keep trying!
I’m vegetarian and adore Mediterranean food – anything with garlic and aubergine.
A strong Pimms with oodles of fruit!
Having read and loved No Longer Safe by A.J. Waines I was really excited to be able to read Inside The Whispers, which is the first in the new Sam Willerby series. I had read the blurb so needless to say I was suitably intrigued to see what direction A. J. Waines was going to go in this new series.
While I enjoyed Inside The Whispers, I found that at times it fell just a little flat for me. I loved the premise and I really liked Sam. I found her empathy and caring nature very endearing. I’m not used to books where the main character isn’t in mortal danger so this was quite an interesting departure for me.
Inside The Whispers is a slow-burner as regards a psychological thriller. This is by no means a bad thing. The author has paid great attention to her characters and she builds them up nicely throughout the novel. Some, like Sam, will play to the readers empathy, and others will be on the other end of the spectrum.
I don’t like discussing the plot in-depth, and here is no different. Inside The Whispers is, at times, a tense read. I enjoyed how A. J. Waines has created a foundation for the series. While it didn’t fully grab me, it is nonetheless a good start to what could be a promising series featuring Sam Willerby and I look forward to seeing what happens in the next novel.
If you enjoy psychological thrillers, and books that make you ask why as opposed to who, then I would definitely recommend Inside The Whispers!