Today I am so pleased to welcome Clare London to Joyfully Jay. Clare has come to talk to us about her release, Freeman. She has also brought along copies to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!

The Unreliable Narrator

Picture the scene: a flashback to my young(er) years, avidly reading every thriller and crime novel I could find. And then one caught my attention as being different, with a twist at the end I never saw coming. I’d met my first example of an Unreliable Narrator.

An unreliable narrator is a narrator, whether in literature, film, or theatre, whose credibility has been seriously compromised. (Thanks, Wikipedia!) The term was coined in 1961 by Wayne C. Booth in The Rhetoric of Fiction.

Wow! I didn’t even know I’d been associating with one! But it’s stayed in my mind ever since. And was that book a modern classic, I hear you ask? Depends on your point of view – it was Agatha Christie’s Endless Night, one of her non-detective thrillers. Maybe it wasn’t the first book to use the device, but it was the first one I ever read. I distinctly remember thinking: how bloody clever! Wish I could write something like that!

The other perfect example for me of an UN? Jack Reacher, the hugely popular character in thrillers by Lee Child (I’m such a fan!). Reacher is a mountain of a man, with rock-steady determination, craggy looks, and communication skills just this side of taciturn – yet, as the plot unspools, the reader realises that Reacher’s known what’s going on since page 2, and has been prepared for it since (at least) page 22. He’s a human island, sharing little with others except on a need to know basis, but he listens, he thinks, he resolves. Job done!

I wrote “Freeman” as my own (very modest) homage to both these literary influences. A man of few words and many omissions, he’s learned to hide and protect. He’s loyal and honest in his business and doesn’t lie if he can avoid it. He has his own strict code of conduct, and sense of right and wrong. But he also conducts life on a “need to know” basis, including even those he’s close to.

Frustrating to other people? Hell, yeah! “Freeman” is essentially about the man and his friends and lovers, past and present – yet we learn more about him from their reactions than his own exposition.

Like Noir fiction and Hardboiled fiction’s “tough” (cynical) narrator who unreliably describes his own emotions, Freeman has plenty of defence mechanisms. He’s intelligent, perceptive, proactive and with a strong sense of fairness. In his opinion, of course. He doesn’t often ask for help, and he’s tolerant of everything and everyone else on the planet – until something crosses the line that he thinks needs holding.

“Fuck off,” Kit snapped, the anger flaring at last. “Oh, of course, you didn’t lie, did you? That’s too obvious for you. That’s Freeman. He doesn’t lie, but he never gives away enough of the truth to incriminate himself. Keeps it all to himself. No lies, but plenty of half-truths.”

I didn’t know what to say to him. It was true in so many ways, but I’d never been brave enough to face it myself.

A UN delays the revelation until near the story’s end. A twist ending forces readers to reconsider their point of view and experience of the story. The narrator’s unreliability may never be fully revealed but only hinted at, leaving readers to wonder how much the narrator should be trusted…

And that you’ll only know if you read the book!


Amazon buy link: and available at other online bookstores in all formats.


Freeman by Clare LondonFreeman’s return to the city is quiet, without fuss. Another client: another case. He’ll source what they need and be on his way. But he’s been missed by more people than he thought: his ex-wife, his ex-lover, and his ex-business partner. And at least one of them wants him the hell gone again.

Freeman – private, controlled – just does his job. But when he strikes up an unusual friendship with the young runaway Kit, trouble comes looking for both men, ready to expose secrets that can destroy their fragile trust. Yet, for Kit, Freeman’s more than ready for the challenge.


Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.

Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her all over social media:


Clare has brought TWO copies of Freeman to give away to two lucky readers. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Monday, February 19th at 11:59 pm ET.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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