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Publication date: March 11, 2021
Publisher: Serpentine Books
Length: 215 pages
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/3fhl9Cd
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/35NWnGu
Dream Job. Fresh Start. Big Mistake.
When Bella Black arrives in a sleepy Wiltshire village, it seems like the perfect place for a new start: a lovely home, exciting job and an attractive colleague or two to take her mind off her recent divorce.
When people start disappearing, she realises she holds the key to a mystery bigger than she could have ever imagined.
Who is really pulling the strings at the secretive OAK Institute?
Can anyone be trusted?
Will Bella make the right choices before its too late?
How would you feel if you found out that your movements were being constantly monitored?
What if the organization monitoring your behavior claimed that it was using the data to do good?
Would you be okay with it?
Acts of Kindness is centered around this idea.
I haven’t come across such an idea for a story, although it shouldn’t be surprising in today’s digital-first environment.
Bella Black, our protagonist, finds herself taking on the role of a young (and easily distracted) Miss Marple when she finds things amiss at her new company. Initially, she ignores the red flags and moves with the flow, choosing to take a leap of faith.
However, when she stumbles upon something sinister at a team-building event, she decides she can’t let things slide any more. The action begins and we’re taken on a ride from which we emerge breathless.
Bella’s poor sense of direction and shoulder angel (or devil?) is used to good effect to sprinkle the story with bits of humor. It helps inject a light-heartedness into the story.
I can relate to Bella’s “What Others Might Think of Her” that rears its head every time she tries to take a radical step.
Overall, Acts of Kindness is unique, funny, and provides some food for thought. It’s a good example of a serious topic that’s dealt with in a light-hearted manner without losing sight of the message.
(Thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the blog tour!)
About Heather Barnett
Heather Barnett gained a degree in English and French from the University of Leeds and has written ever since: from copywriting to stand-up comedy and sketches. She is now focusing on writing novels. Heather’s influences span Jane Austen and Douglas Adams at one end of the alphabet through to PG Wodehouse at the other.
Heather’s debut novel, Acts of Kindness, is an uplifting, light-hearted mystery. It was inspired by witnessing commuters helping a woman who’d fallen down the stairs at Paddington station; intermingled with wondering what was behind some grand stone gateposts that she used to drive past in Wiltshire.
Her second novel, Lord Seeks Wife, is a romantic comedy and will be published summer 2021.
Aside from writing, Heather’s interests are classic literature, cats and comedy.
Heather is head of marketing at an agency near Oxford and lives by the river Kennet in Berkshire.
For more information on Heather and her books, please visit her website: http://www.heatherbarnettauthor.com or join the discussion on Twitter @WritesHeather.
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What do you feel about surveillance technology?
Do the benefits outweigh the risks and the invasion of privacy?