Author: Declan Davey
Publication Date: 11 June 2019
Genre: Adult Fiction – Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Psych Thrillers
A cat-and-mouse game of therapy takes Lily down the backstreets of her traumatic past … Peeling the layers could drag her into perilous territory. Will she find a way out from the depths of her mind?
Professionally thriving yet personally floundering, it’s clear that Lily’s mid-thirties mark a point where seeking help is essential.
The chance arises when an impromptu arrangement begins to carve a path away from stubborn memories.
Forget walking the walk, the question is, can Lily talk the talk?
✎ IF YOU LIKE INTRIGUING READS THAT … ✎
- Explore the dark corners of the human psyche.
- Immerse you in the mind of the lead character.
- Dive into a hidden world of emotion.
- Are psychologically rich and intense.
Lily has managed to make it to her thirties without getting the proper medical treatment for her mental health. During a casual conversation with her friend Zayan, Lily informs Zayan that she wants to be his first official patient once he’s a licensed psychologist. Zayan realizes this is the opportunity that he needs to get real experience for his doctoral applications, so he offers Lily the opportunity to start now since analyzing his stuffed animals isn’t really all that promising. Lily agrees. What could go wrong when you decide to divulge your deepest and darkest secrets to a friend?!
Zayan and Lily agree that she should come up with a the moniker to use during the sessions to create a true therapist/patient scenario. Lily decides to go by Madison. As Madison begins to dive deeper into her memories and psyche, we watch the downward spiral of Lily. In addition to the sessions that are held in the present time, we also experience a series of flashbacks to Lily’s childhood, which is really when the skeletons start crawling out of the closet one by one.
I don’t want to give any more away because this is definitely one of those roller coaster, downward spirals that you need to experience for yourself. This book was difficult for me to get into at first since it’s more of a slow burn at first. However, once things get going in this story, you’ll be tearing through pages and left breathless trying to make sense of everything. A true psychological thriller.
This is a wonderful debut from Declan Davey. It is evident in his writing that his background is in psychology when reading this story. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!
Thank you to the author for providing an eARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
When did you first realize that you wanted to become a writer?
When I realised I was the world’s biggest introvert – okay, a slight exaggeration! But I knew from a young age that writing suited me better than talking. The words came out easier. To give you an idea – I was one of those 15 year old’s that wrote poetry about their school crush whilst listening to Radiohead and Bon Iver albums. From a more morbid point of view, I think writing is one of the best ways to leave a personal legacy behind for family, friends and co. Also, perhaps most importantly, writing is just fun. Editing … eh, not so much.
What was your inspiration for Honey Talk?
In a nutshell: Lyme disease. Life was going well until mid-2017 when my health deteriorated. I could no longer work or continue to train as a Clinical Psychologist and had to move home. Unfortunately, the condition was misdiagnosed and it spread. I was housebound and dealing with 40+ symptoms at the worst point. The past 1.5 years have been spent in treatment and, slowly but surely, there have been improvements. The condition is around 50% better now. When enough of the brain fog went away, I decided to write a book – it was always a dream of mine and a great outlet to give me a sustaining sense of purpose.
What is your preferred genre to read for pleasure?
Well, I’m not a fussy eater and I’m not much of a fussy reader either! I’ll take it in turns to read a fiction then a non-fiction. Some personal favourites are thrillers that delve into the psychology of the characters – what they think and feel. Classics, too – my Dad has a large collection of older literature that I enjoy getting through. Germinal and Robinson Crusoe have been two recent reads. I’d like to check out some more books in the fantasy genre, so recommendations are welcome …
Did you come up your book cover design?
To me, the book cover is a story of its own. They say ‘’don’t judge a book by its cover’’ and yet people (including me!) still do it anyway. I wanted to avoid rushing the process and get it right. The top priorities were visual appeal and subtle menace, hence the combination of the honey aesthetic with the suspicious gloved hand. In addition, the theme of honey runs (no pun intended) through the plotline. Rena Hoberman at Cover Quill delivered exactly what I was looking for, so big thanks go to Rena!
If you could meet any of your writing idols (dead or alive), who would it be?
Eckhart Tolle. I read ‘’Power of Now’’ and ‘’A New Earth’’ a few years ago and they had a big impact. Once you get used to the abstract language, his writing is full of wisdom that I think can change the world for the better. His books are like being supplied with a consciousness level-up. I’d love to be a fly on the wall and see how he goes about his day – whether he is able to practice what he preaches. It seems to be an admirable way of living, but also challenging to implement on a consistent basis.
Did you have to do any research for your plot?
The core of the story is set in a rather posh county town named Lewes in East Sussex, UK – somewhere you would not expect the darker side of the human experience to unravel. It was cool to walk around the area to see the geography of the land and get my imagination working. Another important aspect to focus on was researching the symptoms and causes of certain mental health conditions and illnesses that are explored as ‘’Honey Talk’’ progresses.
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