Former Durban journalist, Lizzy Moore’s debut novel The Man on the Middle Floor has made it to number 4 on the UK’s best selling fiction chart and was Book of the Month in GQ.
Debut thriller novel, The Man on the Middle Floor, written by former Durban journalist, Lizzy Moore (author name Elizabeth Moore), has been making waves on the UK book scene, reaching number four on the best-selling fiction chart - and film rights are under negotiation.

It was also Book of the Month in GQ magazine and TV presenter, Piers Morgan, has been tweeting about it.

In South Africa for the last few weeks to release the book here, Moore said making it so high into the UK fiction charts was “incredulous”.

“I didn’t expect it at all and am thrilled by everything that has happened, from talking at festivals to the book tour and film. It’s all been beyond my expectations.”

Moore and her husband, Gerald and son, Tommy, 20, lived in Mount Edgecombe before going to the UK five years ago.

Describing the book’s plot, she said it is a thriller set in London in a Victorian house which has been converted into three flats.

“There is a middle-aged retired policeman, Tam, who lives on the ground floor and is confused about his place in society. Nick, a young man on the autistic spectrum, lives on the middle floor and is obsessed by the routine which governs his life, until one day on his walk in Richmond Park he is confronted by something he doesn’t like, with terrifying consequences. Karen, a scientist, lives on the top floor and has three children but no maternal instinct, and as the book unfolds, we begin to see how disconnected they all are from each other, from society and from life. The Man on the Middle Floor is a whydunnit rather than a whodunnit, a tale of our times and a lesson in the consequences of a broken society which doesn’t talk anymore.”

Moore said she started writing the book after completing a writing course with Gillian Slovo and “kicking around some ideas” with a friend before getting down to writing.

“I wanted to write a crime thriller because I think it’s the best genre for demonstrating human beings’ motivations and drives. I am fascinated by where morality ends, and evil begins. I think anyone is capable of anything if they’re pushed hard enough or grow up in an extreme enough atmosphere.”

She has already written another book, The Making of a Sociopath, which is currently being edited and will be released next year.

“The book market is huge in the UK, although publishing is in a strange moment. Amazon and Kindle have been huge influences, and publishing houses tend to put out the same safe books, which they hope will sell. So I was very lucky to keep my strong characters and unusual story.

“My advice to aspiring authors would be to write. The best thing about living in South Africa for me was that I wrote every day, often three different articles for websites and something for a magazine (The Ridge Magazine, The Mercury and other news publications as a freelance writer), as well as newspapers here and in SA, so it limbered up my fingers nicely for the novel, that daily discipline. If you can, write every day, at least try to get 250 decent words down and at the end of a year you’ll have a novel. Well, a first draft anyway.”

The Man on the Middle Floor is available at Exclusive Books, most good book shops and on Audible, Amazon and Kindle.