After the Interview is the second novel by A A Abbott. Abbott is the pen name of author Helen Blenkinsop. Helen was born in London but came to Birmingham to study and never went home! Helen is at the moment working on a new novel which is out in August.
"After years working in London and Birmingham, I’m now living in a Regency square in Bristol – quiet, reflective and creative.
I find offices fascinating, with their secret projects, pecking order and water cooler gossip. That’s why I write about office life – with added thrills. Look out for my new thriller, The Bride’s Trail, this summer. Do take a look at my other books, After The Interview and Up In Smoke – they’re sheer entertainment!" (taken from the author's website)
The Mobile Library Reading Group have read After the Interview and give it a 5* rating. A A Abbott read from her new novel out in August and answered lots of question about the writing process and what inspires her to write.
Review of After the Interview : Janet J
Jes was a high flier who was a whizz at technology. He had built up his copy with Mark (who kept calling him mate) who was the financial manager of the company. Mark’s mate Boris was brought into the company to implement a tax dodge for the company, GardNet, and restructure the company thus saving a fortune. Boris had worked in the City for some time but he was never a 24/7 guy. He liked to be paid well for his talents and decided that working for Jes, although stressful, was worth the angst. Boris’ girlfriend Melissa was a beautiful blonde who had studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire and was totally committed to her music. They all lived in London. Boris did not particularly like music but was enamoured with this girl. Problems started when preparing for their marriage and Boris went on his stag do. Boris managed to bed a woman who took selfies and showed them to the world. At Boris and Melissa’s wedding Boris decided that the person blackmailing him over the photos was none other than an old friend Lee. Boris decided to, on his wedding day to get rid of Lee Potter, his friend, by getting him to choke on his own vomit – not a pretty sight. In the meanwhile Jes met Melissa and fell under her spell, doing everything he could to help and protect her after she found out about Boris’ philandering. Jes even stopped being a workaholic in order to return to the home he shared with Melissa – no man hath greater love!! Boris and Melissa split and Boris managed to abscond with £80 million. Andrew, who was trying to thwart Jes because of a slight at an interview, then became the CEO OF Jes’s old company invited Melissa out - obviously one thing led to another - and Melissa and Andrew became an item. The Polish janitor, Szymon, gave an added dimension, even to the extent of winning an accumulator on the horses of 3100K. There is so much more. In just 187 pages there is a script for a TV series.
‘After the Interview’ drew the reader into a fast-moving environment which encompassed the City, the need to always keep face, the speed of getting things done, the need to keep moving on, the amounts of money which could be moved around Europe if not America, an autistic child Gerald (a geek) brought up by a single minded woman who made Gerald’s love of trains, music and technology a way of life as he grew up and Andrew who became Jes’ business adversary. Jes was not a people person which enabled the story to be set. Andrew was the exact opposite. Andrew got his people to develop a work life balance, was a complete work workaholic, knew exactly what he wanted when he wanted it and could bear a real grudge for a long time, never forgiving a slight. The social implication of Szymon’s lifestyle in London as opposed to his home in Warsaw was interesting because the menace of the man was evident even to his last meeting with Boris which was so unexpected. The author kept a close eye on her characters and moved them expertly round the chess board.
An unexpected ending – very much a love story – and, more importantly, it had a happy ending for the good guys, not something that readers are used to in the twenty first century. The bad guy ends up in skip – and why not!! Did enjoy that it was set in the Jewellery Quarter with a meal at Purnell’s, against the backdrop of St. Paul’s. Set in the financial heart of the City, with obscure innuendo and some gratuitous violence.