Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Blog Tour 'Tall Oaks' by Chris Whitaker

Today I'm excited to participate in the Blog Tour of 'Tall Oaks' by Chris Whitaker. 'Tall Oaks' is a Thriller Mystery and the author's debut novel. My tour stop contains a review of the book and an awesome guest post written by Chris called 'Quitting my job to write Tall Oaks'. 

About the Book:

For fans of 'Twin Peaks' and 'The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair', this brilliant debut is dark yet hilarious, suspenseful and sad.

Everyone has a secret in Tall Oaks . . .

When three-year-old Harry goes missing, the whole of America turns its attention to one small town.

Everyone is eager to help. Everyone is a suspect.

Desperate mother Jess, whose grief is driving her to extreme measures.

Newcomer Jared, with an easy charm and a string of broken hearts in his wake.

Photographer Jerry, who's determined to break away from his controlling mother once and for all.

And, investigating them all, a police chief with a hidden obsession of his own . . .

In Chris Whitaker's brilliant and original debut novel, missing persons, secret identities and dangerous lies abound in a town as idiosyncratic as its inhabitants.  

The Facts:

Publication Date:
April 7th 2016
Thriller, Mystery
eBook (Paperback will publish in September)
Available at:

My Review:

A view weeks ago I was approached to read ‘Tall Oaks’. I never heard about this book before, but the book description and eye-popping cover really made me interested in reading this book. It sounded like an intriguing and thrilling read and as soon as it was possible I started reading.

What I love about ‘Tall Oaks’ is the way the story immediately starts from the very first page. The police investigator Jim, is listening to a tape on which a little boys mom tells him about the disappearance of her three year old son. It was an intriguing way of starting a book, and I felt like I was immediately in the middle of the story. It definitely makes you want to keep on reading.
‘Tall Oaks’ is a story in which we see the point of view of a lot of different characters, all living in the small town of Tall Oaks. All these characters are affected by the disappearance of the little boy, and they are all very different. Some characters are looking guilty just by the way they are, some characters seem normal but have huge secrets. It’s all very interesting to read.

This book was definitely a great debut novel. I loved reading about all these different characters. I usually have trouble keeping a lot of characters apart, but in this book I didn’t have that problem. These characters were all so different that I could tell them apart very soon.
The only problem was that I received an Kindle version of this book which somehow didn’t show a good ending to the end of paragraphs (or maybe it was just part of the book?). There would only be a little blank space and we would enter the story from another characters point of view. Because there was only such a little space, I didn’t always realize I was already reading another characters point of view. It was really confusing at times, but thankfully the great writing made up for this. And I seriously have no idea if it was just my kindle acting weird, or really the kindle edition.

Not only was this book, and it’s many characters intriguing and thrilling to read, it was also really funny at times. For example there is this kid who wants to be seen as a gangster, which makes him act and do the most funniest things. This author really had a way of making reading this book a really fun journey.

I would definitely recommend ‘Tall Oaks’. It’s really a fun read and from the moment you start, you just don’t want to stop.

My Rating:

'Quitting My Job To Write Tall Oaks'

I’ve always loved writing. When I was a child an author came in to my primary school to promote his latest offering and I remember thinking that he had the best job in the world, he got to make up stories for a living. It seemed like the kind of dream job so far out of reach that I didn’t seriously consider it until years later.  

After leaving school I read an article in the newspaper about a stockbroker and quickly decided it was a career worth pursuing (he had a Ferrari). So I took my FSA exams, then cold called every financial institution in London until I found a job.
Whilst I made some really great friends, and had some really great nights out (channelling my inner Wolf of Wall Street) I always knew deep down that it wasn’t what I wanted to do. Still, I stuck at it for ten years, finding that once you’ve travelled a good distance down one career path, turning around can be very a difficult thing to do.
It was when I turned thirty that I reached a crossroads. I’ve heard other authors talking about the need to write, but never really understood it until that point. It felt like the right time. I felt like I needed to write, and not just for an hour here and there, working on half-finished stories year after year. I needed to devote real time to it, to see if it was something I might be good at.

I often think about the day I quit my job. I was horribly nervous. I was walking away from a lot, ten years of groundwork had been laid and the future was beginning to look relatively  safe, financially at least. It was heart versus head.
I’d sat down with my wife,  talked it over, and we’d decided to make some sacrifices. We lowered our expenditure (no more FabergĂ© eggs for breakfast) and sold our flat and car in preparation. 
And so then I handed my notice in. It was scary, there were lots of sleepless nights, but I hoped it would be worth it in the long run. I still had a day job, trading from home, but suddenly found myself with much more time to write. And write I did. Unfortunately I wrote some of the worst fiction known to man. Page after page of it, hundreds of thousands of words that were shredded as quickly as they were printed.
I thought I’d made a mistake. I thought I’d have to head back into the city with my tail between my legs.
It was only when I gave some real thought to the type of story I wanted to write, and the type of writer that I wanted to be, that I made some progress. I began to work on the plot for Tall Oaks, aiming to write a book as much about the quirky characters in a small town as it was a crime novel with a missing child investigation at its heart. And as soon I began writing the story it felt better, something clicked and I began to really enjoy the process.
Now, having written a book I’m really proud of, I’m so glad that I made the difficult decision to follow my dream.     

The Blog Tour:

About the Author:

Chris Whitaker was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city. When not writing he enjoys football, boxing, and anything else that distracts him from his wife and two young sons. "Tall Oaks" is his first novel.

For more information about Chris Whitaker please visit him on Twitter.

I received this book from Bonnier Publishing in exchange for my honest review.

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