Sunday, 23 October 2016

Books to Look Forward to from Mulholland, and Hodder &Stoughton

January 2017

Cruel Mercy is by David Mark.  Three Irishmen went to America. One's dead. One's as good as. One is missing...The missing man is Valentine Teague. Petty criminal, bare-knuckle fighter - and DS Aector McAvoy's brother in law. Back home, Val's being held responsible for the blood spilt in the snowy woods of upstate New York. If McAvoy doesn't find out the truth, all hell will break loose, putting his own family in the crossfire. Investigating proves harder than he could have imagined. New York City is a different world, with different rules. Soon, he finds himself up against squabbling cops, mafias old and new, and the culmination of a crime forty years in the making. All McAvoy can do is the right thing. Even if it kills him..

A man with no identity...hunting a man without limits. When a pile of bodies is found in Paris, CIA Agent Tom Blake hustles his way onto a major case: tracking a man with enhanced abilities, the test subject of a secret government programme. There's just one problem: the man using Agent Blake's identity is not Agent Blake. He's Tom Reese. Reese is searching for his brother's killer. He stole Agent Blake's identity two months ago and has bluffed his way onto the team investigating his only lead. But his time as a CIA agent is accelerating toward its expiration date. Soon the CIA will find out that Agent Blake is in two places at once. Soon the augmented man will come looking for him. And soon both will discover that Tom Reese carries a secret even he doesn't know about. He is the last test subject of Project Prometheus.  The Prometheus Man is by Scott Reardon.

Walk Away is by Sam Hawken.  Former combat medic Camaro Espinoza is trying to put her past behind her. She knows she's done bad things - but they were always for good reasons. Then her calm, anonymous life is interrupted by a distress call from her sister Annabel. She's become trapped in an abusive relationship with petty criminal Jake Collier, and she needs Camaro's help. Camaro has always protected Annabel, and she won't stop now. But the situation is more dangerous than she realises. Jake has a sibling of his own, an ex-Marine named Lukas who is as unhinged as Camaro is uncompromising. And he and Jake are planning a much bigger crime. As the federal marshals pick up Lukas's trail, and a bounty hunter with a debt to settle closes in, Camaro's smart enough to know that standing her ground is the last thing she should do. But even with a freight train like Lukas barrelling towards her, if there's one thing she can't do, it's walk away.

February 2017

Blood Mother is by Dreda Say Mitchell. 1970s London has stopped swinging, but it's not staying still. Babs thought she had all the world ahead of her. Then she got pregnant and the father did a runner. Salvation comes in the form of a man who'll look after her. Or so she thinks. But Stan Miller is the devil in disguise...and over the next twenty years, Babs will have reason to regret she ever met him. Can she protect her family - or will he get the better of her?

Who do you believe? He said it was consensual. The woman said nothing. But Laura saw it...didn't she? In the hushed aftermath of a total eclipse, Laura and Kit interrupt something awful. Laura is sure about what happened. Later, in a panic, she tells a little white lie - and four lives are changed irreparably. When the victim turns up on their doorstep, her gratitude spills into dangerous obsession. Laura and Kit decide to run - but Beth knows they have pledged to see every eclipse together. They will never be able to entirely escape her. As the next eclipse draws near, Laura must confront the fallout from what she saw in the darkness. Confessing will cost her marriage; keeping the secret might prove fatal. But all secrets, sooner or later, will come to light.  He Said, She Said is by Erin Kelly.

Susan Bayliss became notorious when she blew the whistle on her boss, a heart surgeon at a renowned children's hospital. She accused him of negligence, operations were stopped and an inquiry launched. In the end she was the one suspended as a troublemaker. Now Dr Harry Kent, a medical examiner with the Met Police, has been called out to certify her suicide. But something about the scene is wrong. Someone held Susan down...The grieving parents of the children who died demand answers. The hospital is stonewalling. Everyone has secrets - it's up to Harry and DCI Frankie Noble to find out which were worth killing for.  A Handful of Ashes is by Rob McCarthy.

Rusty Puppy is by Joe R Landsdale.  Hap and Leonard investigate a racially motivated murder that threatens to tear apart their East Texas town. Hap, a former 60s activist and self-proclaimed white trash rebel, is recovering from a life-threatening stab wound. He's hoping to take it easy, but then Louise Elton arrives with a job...Months earlier, a bully cop pulled over and sexually harassed Louise's daughter, Charm. When he started stalking her, her brother Jamar tried to get evidence on him. The next thing Louise knew, Jamar got in a fight and was killed by local hoods. It doesn't add up: he was a straight-A student, destined for better things, until he began to ask too many questions about the racist police force. Leonard, a tough black gay Vietnam vet and Republican, joins Hap in the investigation, and they stumble upon the racial divides that have shaped their Eastern Texas town. But if anyone can navigate these pitfalls and bring the killers to justice, it's them.

March 2017

Betrayal is by Anthony Riches. Rome, AD 68. Nero has committed suicide. One hundred years of imperial rule by the descendants of Julius Caesar has ended, and chaos rules. His successor Galba dismisses the incorruptible Germans of the Imperial Bodyguard for the crime of loyalty to the dead emperor. Ordering them back to their homeland he releases a Batavi officer from a Roman prison to be their prefect. But Julius Civilis is not the loyal servant of empire that he seems. Four centurions, two Batavi and two Roman, will be caught up in the intrigues and the battles that follow - as friends, as victims, as leaders and as enemies. Hramn is First Spear of the Bodyguard. Fiercely proud of his men's honour, and furious at their disgrace, he leads them back to the Batavi homeland to face an uncertain future. Alcaeus is a centurion with the tribe's cohorts serving Rome on the northern frontier - men whose fighting skills prove crucial as Roman vies with Roman for the throne. A wolf-priest of Hercules, he wields the authority of his god and his own fighting prowess. Marius is a Roman, first spear of the Fifth Legion: a self-made man who hates politics, but cannot avoid them in a year of murderous intrigue. Aquillius, former first spear of the Eighth Augustan, like Hramn, is in disgrace for refusing to dishonour his oath of loyalty. But their paths will lead them to opposite sides of an unforgiving war. And Civilis, Kivilaz to his countrymen, heroic leader, Roman citizen and patriotic Batavi, will change both the course of the Empire's destiny and that of the centurions.

Lane Roanoke is fifteen when she comes to live with her maternal grandparents and fireball cousin, Allegra, at the Roanoke family's rural estate following the suicide of her mother. Over one long, hot summer, Lane experiences the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But what she doesn't know is being a Roanoke girl carries a terrible legacy: either the girls run, or they die. For there is darkness at the heart of Roanoke, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull, she must make her choice... The Roanoke Girls is by Amy Engel

The Legacy is by Yrsa Sigurdardottir. The only witness to a shocking murder is the victim's
ten-year-old daughter, Margret. The police turn to the Children's House for their expertise in childhood trauma. The manager Freyja doesn't much like the police - especially the detective in charge, Huldar. But she does want to help them protect Margret. And when more people die - their murders heralded by strange messages, texts, and strings of numbers - they will have to work together to crack the riddle before they become targets themselves.

April 2017

The Burial Hour is by Jeffrey Deaver, A businessman is snatched from an Upper East Side street in broad daylight - or so it appears to the eight year old girl who is the only witness. The perp leaves a token at the site of the kidnapping: a miniature noose. A crime scene this puzzling demands forensic expertise of the highest order. Lincoln Rhyme and Amelia Sachs are called in to investigate. Rhyme and Sachs' investigation takes an unexpected turn when a similar kidnapping occurs across the Atlantic in a small town outside Naples. The killer's M.O. is bizarre and frightening. Obsessed with music, the man records the final breaths of his victims, then uses their dying sounds to compose a tune. The search for the killer will become a complex case of international cooperation - yet not all is as it seems, and soon Sachs and Rhyme find themselves playing a dangerous game with shadowy parties from across the globe.

The Third Nero is by Lindsey Davis.  It is understood that a plebian aedile, thought to be Ti Manlius Faustus, has issued a formal complaint to the editors of the Acta Diurna, about the wording of a recent notice concerning his wedding. Due to health issues, queries should be referred to his wife.  In view of sensitive material contained in this publication, Our Master and God has instructed that the scrolls must be subjected to detailed scrutiny by the intelligence service. Some revelations may affect national security or be prejudicial to the safety of agents in the field. Names and other information concerning senior officials will be subject to redaction. No public statement is expected.  Information has been received that the sovereign nation of Parthia submitted a diplomatic protest about this publication, which it calls cynically Parthio-phobic, at the same time strongly denouncing recent treatment of its ambassadors in Rome and requesting the urgent return of one its citizens. The Palatine has declined to comment.  T Flavius Abascantus, freedman of the imperial family, points out that after a brief sabbatical, which he describes as a rest-break by mutual agreement, he has resumed all duties as Secretary of Petitions. He stresses that no formal charges have been laid against him and states that he has the full confidence of the Emperor. The Emperor is currently in Pannonia and unreachable.

The Binding Song is by Elodie Harper and takes you on a trip to Halvergate Prison. If you're lucky, you'll get to leave...Dr Janet Palmer has just been appointed as lead psychologist at HMP Halvergate in a remote, bleak area of Norfolk. It is a promotion, but not a comfortable one: there have been a string of suicides, and her predecessor seems to have disappeared - along with his notes. The staff are hostile, the threat of violence is ever-present, and there are rumours of a 'woman in white' stalking the corridors, punishing the inmates for their sins. Janet is determined to find out what is really going on. But the longer she stays and the deeper she digs, the more uncertain she feels. Halvergate is haunted by something. But it may be a terror worse than ghosts..

Penance is by Kanae Minato.  When they were children, Sae, Maki, Akiko and Yuko were tricked into separating from their friend Emili by a mysterious stranger. Then the unthinkable occurs: Emily is found murdered hours later. Sae, Maki, Akiko and Yuko weren't able to accurately describe the stranger's appearance to the police after their friend's body was discovered. Emily's mother curses the surviving girls, vowing that they will pay for her daughter's murder. And over the years, in unexpected ways, all of them do... Penance is a dark tale of revenge and psychological trauma

May 2017

Adrenaline-junky Simon Newman sneaks onto private land to explore a dangerous cave in Wales with a strange man he's met online. But Simon gets more than he bargained for when the expedition goes horribly wrong. Simon emerges, the only survivor, after a rainstorm trap the two in the cave. Simon thinks he's had a lucky escape. But his video of his near-death experience has just gone viral. Suddenly Simon finds himself more famous than he could ever have imagined. Now he's faced with an impossible task: he's got to defy death once again, and film the entire thing. The whole world will be watching. There's only on place on earth for him to pit himself against the elements: Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. But Everest is also one of the deadliest spots on the planet. Two hundred and eighty people have died trying to reach its peak. And Simon's luck is about to run out. The White Road is by Sarah Lotz.

The Lost Order is by Steve Berry The Knights of the Golden Circle was the largest and most dangerous clandestine organization in American history. It amassed billions in stolen gold and silver, all buried in hidden caches across the United States. Since 1865 treasure hunters have searched, but little of that immense wealth has ever been found. Now, one hundred and sixty years later, two factions of what remains of the Knights of the Golden Circle want that lost treasure - one to spend it for their own ends, the other to preserve it. Thrust into this battle is former Justice Department agent Cotton Malone, whose connection to the knights is far deeper than he ever imagined. At the center is the Smithsonian Institution - linked to the knights, its treasure, and Malone himself through an ancestor, a Confederate spy named Angus "Cotton" Adams, whose story holds the key to everything. Complicating matters are the political ambitions of a reckless Speaker of the House and the bitter widow of a United States Senator, who together are planning radical changes to the country. And while Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt face the past, ex-president Danny Daniels and Stephanie Nelle confront a new and unexpected challenge, a threat that may cost one of them their life. From the backrooms of the Smithsonian to the deepest woods in rural Arkansas, and finally up into the rugged mountains of northern New Mexico, The Lost Order is a perilous adventure into the dark past of the United States, and a potentially even darker future.

The Ultimatum is by Karen Robards. My true name is the Guardian. I was named after the Galatians for the Guardians and managers until the date set by the Father.' Bianca Saint-Yves is smart, talented, beautiful-and one of the best in the world at her profession. She's a high-end thief, a master manipulator, a card shark, a genius of disguise, conning thieves out of the money they stole and giving it back to those who should rightfully have it. A femme fatale Robin Hood, she preys on the bad and those that prey on the less fortunate. Her job will take her all over the world, turning the tables on dangerous international criminals...

An Inexplicable Abduction in Bollywood is by Vaseem Khan. Mumbai is a city that thrives on extravagant spectacles and larger-than-life characters. But, as Chopra is about to discover, even in the city of dreams, there is no guarantee of a happy ending. Rising star and incorrigible playboy Vikram Verma has disappeared, leaving his latest film in jeopardy. Hired by Verma's formidable mother to find him, Inspector Chopra and his sidekick, baby elephant Ganesha, embark on a journey deep into the world's most flamboyant movie industry. As they uncover feuding stars, failed investments and death threats, it seems that many people have a motive for wanting Verma out of the picture. And yet, as Chopra has long suspected, in Bollywood the truth is often stranger than fiction...

Crime Song is by David Swinson.  Frank Marr, a retired D.C. police detective working as a private eye, has a serious problem. He is secretly a drug addict, and his supply of cocaine is about to run out. While staking out an upscale nightclub in an attempt to identify criminals whose homes he might hit for drugs, he settles on a young college student. After spending a long night following his target, Marr returns home to find he has been burgled. Although Marr's drugs are safe, several items are missing: his .38 revolver, and his cherished music collection that includes dozens of records that belonged to his deceased mother. Marr reports the burglary to the police, but immediately begins investigating the crime himself. And then comes even worse news: the cocaine dealer Frank was following is stabbed to death in his own fortified home. Frank knows in his gut that the burglary and murder are related. With good cops, bad cops, and exceptionally dangerous drug lords on his tail, Frank is determined to find out the truth, even if it kills him. This time, it just might.

June 2017

A Game of Ghosts is by John Connolly.  It is deep winter. The darkness is unending. The private detective named Jaycob Eklund has vanished, and Charlie Parker is dispatched to track him down. Parker's employer, Edgar Ross, an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has his own reasons for wanting Eklund found. Eklund is no ordinary investigator. He is obsessively tracking a series of homicides and disappearances, each linked to reports of hauntings. Now Parker will be drawn into Eklund's world, a realm in which the monstrous Mother rules a crumbling criminal empire, in which men strike bargains with angels, and in which the innocent and guilty alike are pawns in a game of ghosts ...

Svalbard, Norway, 1977. Engineer Yuri takes the last boat to the Soviet outpost of Pyramiden, just as the sun sinks for three long months. When his ambitious assistant Semyon is found dead in a mine, the circumstances seem strange. Yuri still plays by Stalin-era rules: Don't trust anyone; Keep your head down; Look after number one. Yet is his tempestuous love affair with the fickle, brooding Anya blinding him? On an island where the vodka follows freely and anyone could be a secret agent, even the people closest to you are not always what they seem.  Currently untitled novel by Stephen Burke

Girl at Midnight by Katarzyna Bonda.  Sasha Zaluska used to be  a police officer, and an alcoholic.  But it is a different Sasha who picks up the phone in her flat in England, with her daughter asleep nearby. Yet the voice she hears takes her back to the bad days in Poland – and eventually, to the murder of a brother and sister that had been unsolved for twenty years, changing everything she thought she knew.

Fever is by Deon Meyer.  A compelling story of survival and betrayal set in a world after 'The Fever'. Nico Storm and his father Willem drive a truck filled with essential supplies through a desolate land. They are among the few in South Africa - and the world, as far as they know - to have survived a devastating virus which has swept through the country. Their world turned upside down, Nico realises that his superb marksmanship and cool head mean he is destined to be his father's protector, even though he is still only a boy. But Willem Storm, though not a fighter, is both a thinker and a leader, a wise and compassionate man with a vision for a new community that survivors will rebuild from the ruins. And so Amanzi is founded, drawing Storm's 'homeless and tempest-tost' - starting with Melinda Swanevelder, who they rescued from brutal thugs, Hennie Flaai, with his vital Cessna plane, Beryl Fortuin with her ragtag group of orphans and Domingo, the man with the tattooed hand. And then there is Sofia Bergman, the most beautiful girl that Nico has ever seen, who changes everything. So the community grows - and with each step forward, as resources increase, so do the challenges they must face - not just from the attacks of biker brigands, but also from within...Nico will find experience hardship and heartbreak and have his loyalty tested to its limits as he undergoes an extraordinary rite of passage in this new world. Looking back as he writes in memoirs later in life, he recounts the events that led to the greatest rupture of all - the murder of his father.

City of Masks is by S D Sykes.  Oswald de Lacy is far from home.  Accompanying his mother on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the young lord of Somershill Manor is forced to stay with a family friend in Venice.  When he discovers the brutally murdered body of his hot’s son, Oswald is drawn into an investigation that propels him towards the dark heart of a city ruled by ritual and fear, soon putting his own life in desperate danger.

DS Harri Jacob is by Danielle Ramsay.  First, he selects them. Strips them of their identity. Then he kills them. All for her...DS Harri Jacobs transferred to Newcastle from the Met in the hope of leaving her past behind: the moment where her stalker turned violent. He left her alive, saying that one day he would be back. And she ran. But a year later, she realises he has followed her from home. He'll prove his devotion. With blood...

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Pre-Frankfurt, Frankfurt and Other Book News

With the Frankfurt Bookfair starting today there has already been lots of bookish news emerging with pre-emptive book deals already taking place.

According to the Bookseller, Simon and Schuster won the auction for the UK and Commonwealth rights to a psychological drama by former Guardian journalist Sarah Vaughan.  Anatomy of a Scandal will be published in January 2018.

Michael Joseph won the auction rights to a new debut thriller by C J Tudor called The Chalk Man.  The book is due to be published in hardback on 11th January 2018 and according to publishing director Maxine Hitchcock in the Bookseller it has all the ingredients to become one of the great contemporary thrillers.

HarperCollins UK and Harper Collins US (William Morrow) have snapped up the rights to the debut psychological novel The Woman in the Window.  Written by William Morrow’s own vice president and executive editor Daniel Mallory it was submitted under the pseudonym A J Finn.  The film rights have already been sold to Fox 2000.

According to the Bookseller, Corvus are to publish Troll a psychological thriller by David Thorne as part of a three book deal.

If you have not heard the news already then according to the Guardian Irvine Welsh’s 2009 novel Crime is being adapted for the television. Crime is about a detective inspector who has fled to Miami following a mental breakdown. In Florida, a coke-fuelled binge brings him into contact with 10-year-old Tianna, a victim of a sex crime, which brings back memories of a harrowing child-sex murder case back in Edinburgh.

Un-agented author T A Cotterell’s debut novel has been acquired by Transworld.  What Alice Knew, will according to the Bookseller be published on 20th April 2017.

The Seven Lives of Evelyn Hardcastle a debut novel by Stuart Turton has been sold to Bloomsbury. According to Harry Illingworth of DHH Literary Agency in the Bookseller, The Seven Lives of Evelyn Hardcastle has been described as Gosford Park meets Groundhog Day, by way of Agatha Christie.
Julia Wisdom has according to Booktrade info acquired two more thrillers from best-selling Swedish writer Lars Kepler. Both thrillers will feature Joona Linna, the maverick detective first introduced in the Sunday Times Bestseller The Hypnotist.
According to World Screen Laurence Bowen’s newly formed indie company has acquired the rights to adapt the novels of bestselling author Alastair Maclean. Maclean’s best known novels include The Guns of Navarone, Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare.  The first novel to be turned into a four or six part event mini-series will be San Andreas.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Agnes Ravatn on How I Accidentally Wrote a Psychological Thriller

I was stuck. I had been working on my second novel for more than a year, but there was no progress. I did not know where my story was going, who the characters were, and every time I sat down in front of my computer to find out, I ended up on Facebook, or doing fake research for hours … or just watching movies. 

I told myself I was having really bad writer’s block, but deep down I knew very well that I just was a lazy, procrastinating Internet addict with no self-control. 

One day, I had had enough. It was a Friday in November, in the middle of the day. I had got no work done all week, and it felt like my life was over even before it had started. On impulse, I suddenly deleted my Facebook and Twitter accounts, poured down two large glasses of red wine, and called my mum and asked her if I could borrow my parent’s cabin for a couple of days. Two days later, I was on the plane. I had brought warm clothes, all my best pens, and lots of paper, while my computer was left back home in Oslo. 

I arrived the cabin in the middle of the day, made coffee, and continued working on my humorous novel about Allis who almost by mistake takes a job as a gardener without knowing anything about gardening. After a couple of hours, I left the desk and went to the bathroom: the toilet was full of large spiders! I left the bathroom in horror, only to find out that while I was working, it had become completely dark outside. I could see people hiding behind the trees outside, looking in on me. I sat down, continued writing, then birds started screeching, owls hooting.

When it was time for bed, I was paralysed, too scared to cross the floor and go into the bedroom, afraid of what could be hiding in there, while all the time telling myself how silly it was to be thirty years old and afraid of the dark.  I finally got to bed, and had constant nightmares. I suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, hearing a symphony orchestra playing outside, in the middle of the forest. I froze, until I realised it was just the sound of the river, right outside my door.

I stayed in that cabin for three weeks, alone and afraid, and when I finally returned home, I brought with me the first draft of a chilling, claustrophobic thriller. 

The Bird Tribunal by Agnes Ravatn is out now and is published by Orenda Books (£8.99)

Two people in exile. Two secrets. As the past tightens its grip, there may be no escape…  TV presenter Allis Hagtorn leaves her partner and her job to take voluntary exile in a remote house on an isolated fjord. But her new job as housekeeper and gardener is not all that it seems, and her silent, surly employer, 44- year-old Sigurd Bagge, is not the old man she expected. As they await the return of his wife from her travels, their silent, uneasy encounters develop into a chilling, obsessive relationship, and it becomes clear that atonement for past sins may not be enough…