*BLOG TOUR* The Picture by Roger Bray
I am very happy to be taking part in the blog tour for The Picture by Roger Bray, hosted by Rachel’s Random Resources.
An emotional, powerful story about a retired Portland, Oregon Police Officer, Ben Davis, whose life changes forever in a heartbeat. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time is the beginning of a journey discovering the highs of loyalty, love and friendship and the depths people will go to for their chance of fame and fortune.
When Ben does relief work during the terrible aftermath of the Japanese tsunami he doesn’t realise how a simple act of human kindness would become a terrible catalyst, bringing out the worst in people who will use anything for their own ends.
Neither Ben nor his family and friends could know how this journey would bring love and happiness into their lives from the depths of sorrow or the strength of the bonds that develop between them.
From the devastation of the Japanese tsunami to the suburbs of Portland, Oregon, The Picture is a compelling story about a man whose family and friends are unknowingly drawn into a web of greed and murder.
When Ben Davis and his lifelong friend Paul Truscott returned from Japan they thought they would return to their normal lives. A robbery gone wrong puts Ben into hospital with life threatening injuries. As his friends rally around him Ben lies in an induced coma unaware of the gathering storm about to envelop those close to him. The lives they knew had already changed, but none of them realised how much and what was coming.
A picture, taken by a freelance photographer during the relief work, has become famous as illustrating the suffering of the Japanese people and the kindness of strangers from all over the world who rushed to their aid.
Ben didn’t want to take any celebrity from the fame believing it would betray the people they were there to help. Other people have different ideas and are determined to use the picture to further their own fame and greed and will not let anything stand in their way.
The Picture documents the story of Ben, a retired police officer who, following an act of kindness, is photographed comforting a mother with her dead baby n the aftermath of a natural disaster in Japan, this will become known as ‘The Picture’. A moment that captured both ultimate grief and simultaneously displays true human altruistic kindness. There is a need from certain sections of society to identify those in the picture, you see, their faces are covered, something Ben is keen to keep that way.
My favourite thing about this book is the characters. Ben is a loving, caring guy who has a complicated past as a police officer, he’s seen some things and this has formed who he is now. I love the fact that Ben is so well rounded, you truly believe in him, that he is a true reflection of his experiences. What the author has done here is to create a characters that is almost tangible he feels so real. There are also those who are a little more ‘black and white’; they create a real sense of danger, you, the reader, have no doubt that if they get what they want, they’ll take what they want and I loved that! I actually feared for the characters, and kudos to the author because I actually cared about them.
The concept of The picture is another reason I loved this book. I always remember the photo of Aylan Kurdi, the young Turkish boy who drowned along with his family and was found on a Turkish beach. I remember seeing this and how it made me feel. i also remember how the public reacted to this. I believe that a photograph can actually speak to you, it can be emotive, it can be heart-breaking and awe-inspiring, all at the same time. The author has used this and he has created something from it that almost anyone can relate to.
The action throughout the book is fantastic, it’s twisting, turning, and it makes you worry like hell for the main players; they are prey, and the author makes sure you know that.
This book can be dark but it is speckled with light. We see acts of true humanity, both bad and good, just one of the many reasons I loved this book.
A Note From the Author
I have always loved writing; putting words onto a page and bringing characters to life. I can almost feel myself becoming immersed into their lives, living with their fears and triumphs. Thus, my writing process becomes an endless series of questions. What would she or he do, how would they react, is this in keeping with their character? Strange as it sounds, I don’t like leaving characters in cliffhanging situations without giving them an ending, whichever way it develops.
My life to date is what compels me to seek a just outcome, the good will overcome and the bad will be punished. More though, I tend to see my characters as everyday people in extraordinary circumstances, but in which we may all find our selves if the planets align wrongly or for whatever reason you might consider.
Of course, most novels are autobiographical in some way. You must draw on your own experiences of life and from events you have experienced to get the inspiration. My life has been an endless adventure. Serving in the Navy, fighting in wars, serving as a Police officer and the experiences each one of those have brought have all drawn me to this point, but it was a downside to my police service that was the catalyst for my writing.
Medically retired after being seriously injured while protecting a woman in a domestic violence situation I then experienced the other side of life. Depression and rejection. Giving truth to the oft said saying that when one door closes another opens I pulled myself up and enrolled in college gaining bachelor and master degrees, for my own development rather than any professional need. The process of learning, of getting words down onto the page again relit my passion for writing in a way that I hadn’t felt since high school.
So here we are, two books published and another on track.
Where it will take me I have no idea but I am going to enjoy getting there and if my writing can bring some small pleasure into people’s lives along the way, then I consider that I will have succeeded in life.