Originally published on 25th January 2011 at http://www.digyorkshire.com/HighlightDetails.aspx?Article=1095
Michael Stewart’s debut novel, King Crow, is a tense psychological thriller that mixes the two unlikely subjects of ornithology and carjacking. We meet Paul Cooper, a kid with an unusual quality: when he looks at people, he wonders what sort of bird they might be. Moving from school to school, he finds making friends difficult, until he meets tough-lad Ashley.
As Paul falls into the wrong crowd, they get into trouble, steal a car and flee to the Lake District – Ashley fears he may have killed someone, whereas Paul wants to see ravens. One of them meets a girl, things begin to unwind and their road trip makes national headlines – for the wrong reasons.
‘Could this be the modern Kes?’ asks an online reviewer. There are certainly parallels between the film and Stewart’s novel, but perhaps the best answer comes from critically acclaimed author Melvin Burgess. ‘I’ve come across nothing like it’, he writes in the blurb. ‘It’s a fantastic example of modern fiction at its innovative best…Michael Stewart is a fascinating new voice, and King Crow is a fine debut’.
Stewart is no stranger to praise – he’s a multi-award winning author of several plays, short stories and other works for TV and radio. He’s also Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Huddersfield, and Director of the Huddersfield Literature Festival.
Michael Stewart will be appearing at Waterstone’s Wool Exchange in Bradford to sign copies of his debut novel. The event begins at 12pm on Saturday 5th February.