Simon Says » communiqué 033/July 2019

Simon Says: communiqué 033/July 2019

Hello everyone

The book I’m currently writing—and by the way, don’t expect anything until 2021—has a liar at it’s center. While everyone knows he was happy to lie, he also told the truth, occasionally. This got me thinking about how and why we lie and how we navigate around lies.

But first, a word about Clementina.


Clementina has just been reviewed by the author Charles Harris.

If you’re wondering whether Clementina is right for you, then head over to Charles’s website and read his review.

The Breaking of Liam Glass

Reviews like Charles’s review for Clementina are important, obviously, because they tell people about my book. But this review matters for me because I respect Charles as a novelist.

I really enjoyed his novel The Breaking of Liam Glass, a satire of today’s society where the death of our children on city streets is little more than a way for people to make money.

If you haven’t met Charles or heard about Liam Glass, then check out his website. You can also watch Charles talk about the background to the book.

Obviously, get hold of and read Clementina first and then read the next Leathan Wilkey novel, Diplomatic Baggage. But once you’ve done that, then check out Charles and Liam Glass.

Truth and Lies

Lies are part of our everyday currency. Sometimes we tell untruths with the best of intentions, however, usually our motives are less pure. Whether a lie then matters is a combination of many factors.

But how do we think about lies in novels which are, by definition, collections of lies?.

Killing Eve, season two

I’ve now watched the second series of Killing Eve.

Like the first series, the characters and the acting were outstanding—in particular, Jodie Comer playing Villanelle and Kim Bodnia playing her former handler, Konstantin.

While the acting was great and each individual scene was compelling to watch, the story was thin. The central premise of this second series was fairly contrived and adding more contrivance didn’t make a more satisfying story.

The stakes for the characters were manufactured. At any time, any person could walk away and it wouldn’t be obvious that there would be any real difference for that person. However, the story would have fallen apart so what I was left with had the overall feeling of a collection of internet memes strung together.

Series two ends with a whole bunch of loose ends and a cliffhanger for the next series. Having reached the end, it felt as if every plot point in the series was planned just to lead to the event that gave the cliffhanger.

And as a brief aside, the cliffhanger isn’t a cliffhanger. The person who appears to be dead isn’t dead—if she were, then there would be no series three.

As I said at the start, the series has great characters and great acting, but a weak story. If you liked the last series and are relaxed about the contrivance, you’ll probably like each individual scene, but don’t expect too much more.

Until August

That’s it until August. Try spending some of the time between now and then noting how often you feel the need to lie 😄

All the best