Category Archives: Crime News

The Woman In The Wood cover reveal…

It seems like forever since my last book The Bad Place came out, thanks to this darned pandemic, so I’m going to celebrate the end of lockdown by finally revealing to you the lush and evocative cover of the next Sasha Dawson thriller, The Woman In The Wood.

It’s about a former reality star who finds himself in a world of trouble when his mates get targeted by a vicious killer – what does it have to do with the disappearance of a young woman three years ago…? 

The Woman In The Wood is out on March 4th, and you can pre-order it right now from all the usual online places like Amazon.

The Bad Place ebook Is On Special Offer

Hello, everyone. What strange times we find ourselves living in. I hope you’re all keeping yourself safe and well in lockdown – until that blessed day we can all step blinking into the daylight. 

Before the world tipped on its axis, I was hoping to get back into the swing of things with some author updates. Sasha Book Two is almost, ALMOST, finished now. It’s with my publisher and we’re nearly done with the edits. I hoping to give you more details about that – a title, a cover! – very soon. 

In the meantime, if you haven’t read the first Sasha Dawson thriller, The Bad Place, I’m delighted to say the ebook is on special offer – at 99p for a limited period. A Times Crime Book of the Month, The Bad Place will transport you to the seaside for some sun, sand and sinister shenanigans – even if you can’t go there yourself right now.

You can download it right here!

The Bad Place Is Out Now!

Hi everyone, I’m thrilled to be able to tell you my new crime novel THE BAD PLACE is out now!

It’s the first in a new series about Sasha Dawson, a detective inspector with Essex Police. Sasha leads up a Major Investigation Team on the Essex coast. She’s an easy-going investigator and a harassed mum with a noisy family. I’m a little bit in love with Sasha – and I think you’ll fall for her too.

In Sasha’s first investigation she races against time to find a teenage girl who’s gone missing – and discover the connection to the notorious abductions that happened at The Bad Place…

 Here’s the blurb:

‘The newspapers called it The Bad Place. A remote farm out on the Thames estuary, where six children were held captive for two weeks. Only five came home.

That was twenty years ago. Now adults, they meet up annually to hold a candlelit vigil for their friend who died. The only rule is that no-one can talk about what happened the night they escaped. But at this year’s event, one of them witnesses a kidnapping. A young girl, Sammi, is bundled into a van in front of their eyes. 

Is history repeating itself? Is one of them responsible? Or is someone sending them a twisted message? DI Sasha Dawson, of Essex Police, is certain that the key to finding Sammi lies in finding out the truth about The Bad Place. But she also knows that with every second she spends trying to unlock the past, the clock ticks down for the missing girl…’

The Bad Place is out in hardback and as an ebook, with the paperback coming in March ’20. You can get your copy right now from Amazon and Kobo, and at your local bookshop.

I hope you enjoy it!

It Was Her is out now!


My second thriller It Was Her is available in ebook, paperback as an audio download – and right now the ebook is just £1.99 in the UK and $2.70 in the US. The second in the acclaimed Drake and Crowley series, it’s the troubled tale of a young woman who just wants to go home…

‘Twenty years ago, Tatia was adopted into a well-off home where she seemed happy, settled. Then the youngest boy in the family dies in an accident – and she gets the blame.

Tatia is cast out, away from her remaining adopted siblings Joel and Poppy. Now she yearns for a home to call her own. So when she see families going on holiday, leaving their beautiful homes empty, there seems no harm in living their lives while they are gone.

But somehow, people keep ending up dead. DI Ray Drake and DS Flick Crowley race to find the thinnest of links between the victims. But Drake’s secret past is threatening to destroy everything.’

I’m hugely excited about this new book and I really want to know what you think, so if you’re planning on reading it – of course you are! – please do read a review on Amazon or Goodreads. It really does help to introduce the book to new readers and, of course, it helps me make the next one even better!

It Was Her is available from AmazoniTunesGoogle Play and Kobo.

‘His First Lie’ Is Out Now!

My acclaimed crime debut Two O’Clock Boy has been relaunched today – March 1st – with a new title, His First Lie, and a startling new cover, courtesy of my lovely publishers Sphere. And for a short while the ebook is on sale at only 99p. If you’ve stumbled across this post in 2027, I’m afraid that offer has almost certainly expired.

I’m thrilled about this relaunch, and the bonus is that at the end of the ebook you’ll get a tantalising taste of the next book in the Drake series, called It Was Her, which comes out in May. The ebook for that is only £1.99 in the run-up to launch, so I strongly suggest that you take advantage of that offer, too.

Both covers were designed by Bekki Guyatt, and as you can see, the ‘twins’ manage to be both colourful and sinister…

image001 copy.png

Crime News: CrimeFest Bristol Giveaway

CrimeFest kicks off next week in Bristol, but this Saturday the city’s libraries will be giving away tons of free – yes, free – crime novels, including some by old friends of this blog, including Catherine Ryan Howard, GJ Minett and Robert Olen Butler.

I’m a busy man, you’ve got things to do, so let’s allow an official press release to inform us of the details without delay:

images.pngAs part of CrimeFest’s passion for promoting crime fiction, the UK’s biggest crime fiction convention has teamed up with publishers, including Headline and Orion, authors and Bristol Libraries to give away 1000 crime novels for free on Saturday, 14 May, one week ahead of the crime fiction festival. The organisers are donating to Bristol, a city that has hosted the UK’s biggest crime fiction convention for eight years. Thirteen publishers have generously donated books from over twenty authors to this crime fiction giveaway being hosted at six libraries around Bristol.

Bristol locals will be treated to advanced reader copies from bestselling authors like Megan Abbott – months before they hit the shops, as well as titles from highly acclaimed debut novelists Michelle Kirkby and BBC screenwriter Simon Booker. In addition, Allison & Busby are providing several classic titles from celebrated crime fiction writer Alexander Wilson.


The libraries taking part are:

  • Bristol Central Library, College Green BS13 5TL
  • Bedminster, St Peters Court, Bedminster, BS3 4AQ
  • Clifton Library, Princess Victoria St, BS8 4BX
  • Junction 3 Library, Baptist Mills, Easton, BS5 0FJ
  • Wick Road Library, Brislington, BS4 4HE
  • Southmead Library, Greystoke Roads, BS10 6AS

The authors and publishers taking part in the giveaway are:

  • Megan Abbott – You Will Know Me (Picador)
  • Stefan Anheim – Victim Without A Face (Head of Zeus)
  • Harry Bingham – This Thing Of Darkness (Orion)
  • A.P. McCoy – Narrowing The Field (Orion)
  • Michelle Birkby – The House At Baker Street (Pan)
  • Simon Booker – Without Trace (Twenty7)
  • G.J. Minett – The Hidden Legacy (Twenty7)
  • Robert Olen Butler – The Hot Country (No Exit Press)
  • R.M. Cartmel – The Charlemagne Connection (Crime Scene Books)
  • R.M. Cartmel – The Richebourg Affair (Crime Scene Books)
  • Michael Cayzer – 50 Miles From Anywhere (Crime Scene Books)
  • Rosie Claverton – Captcha Thief (Crime Scene Books)
  • Stephen Davis – The Tsar’s Banker (Crime Scene Books)
  • Nadia Dalbuono – The Few (Scribe)
  • E.M. Davey – Foretold By Thunder (Duckworth)
  • Catherine Ryan Howard – Distress Signals (Corvus)
  • Holly Seddon – Try Not To Breath (Corvus)
  • Anna Mazzola – The Unseeing (Headline)
  • Mark Mills – Where Dead Men Meet (Headline)
  • G.X. Todd – Defender (Headline)
  • Stuart Neville – So Say The Fallen (Harvill Secker)
  • Alexander Wilson – The Devil’s Cocktail (Allison & Busby)
  • Alexander Wilson – The Mystery Of Tunnel 51 (Allison & Busby)
  • Alexander Wilson – Wallace Of The Secret Service (Allison & Busby)

Peter James, Anne Holt, Ian Rankin and Hugh Fraser are among the top names set to speak at this year’s CrimeFest convention. Close to 500 attendees, including more than 150 authors, agents, publishers and crime fiction fans from across the globe, will descend on the city for a jam packed four days of 65 speaking events and panel discussions.

The CrimeFest programme includes a full schedule of panel events covering everything from a mock-trial debating the hotly contested conviction of Steven Avery in Making A Murderer, to panels discussing topics such as ‘Crimes Against Humanity: Terrorism, War and International Intrigue’ and ‘Deadly Dames: Women As Killers, Investigators And Victims’

Crime News… About Me.

Following tense discussions with the other Fellas on the Board, I’ve been given permission to devote a whole post solely about a matter of grave importance.


Big Vin took me aside after the Board Meeting and muttered darkly that I shouldn’t make a habit of it. Big Vin is as wide as he is tall, with a temperament that even his former colleagues in the Mexican Death Squads considered questionable, and is not a man to be crossed. I was quick to assure him that I would be succinct.

But speak about me, I shall. After all, it’s why we’re all here. It’s why I’m here, at least – you may have other reasons. All those fantastic reviews, all those great Intel interviews, all that filler stuff about telly and movies, it’s all been leading to this point in time, to this post.

Because the fact is, it looks like I’ve got me a book deal. I can announce that I’m going to be published – we’re talking Autumn, 2016 – at Sphere.

I mean, christ, Sphere, the imprint of Little, Brown.

It’s been announced in The Bookseller, so it must be true, right?

I remember many, many years ago when I was a nipper, curled up on the sofa, devouring in one sitting the novelization of The Empire Strikes Back, which was published even before the film – or, at least, before I got to see it. That was a Sphere book. I never forgot that, and now I know why.

This is all wildly exciting – for me. Perhaps for you… not so much. But I appreciate your politely asking what genre it is.


It’s a crime novel. And I can assure you, if you’re worried, that there are very few jokes in it. No funny ones, certainly. The prose, like my gums, is raw and slippery.

So that leaves us with a few decisions to make. You may have noticed that the number of posts on this site has declined over the last two or three weeks, and that will continue for the time being.

I’d very much like to continue doing the odd intel interview and suchlike, but I need to think very carefully about what to do next here. I could always pimp my book with a merciless machine-like efficiency, but we’d both get a bit bored of that pretty quickly.

However, it’s true to say I like what we’ve done with the place, me and you together, and I’m not willing to let it go without a fight. So let’s take a big breath, let’s practice our yoga mudras, and we’ll meet back here very soon.

Oh, and here’s that announcement in The Bookseller. I’ve got my own tag and everything.

TV Crime Log: Intruders, Missing, Awards

What to do, what to do…

Supersavers Crime Thriller Awards 2014The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards is on tonight. The culmination of six weeks or so of Crime Thriller Club, it’s hosted by our old friend Bradley Walsh. Because I think it’s fair to say we really don’t get to see enough of Bradley on the telly.

Among the awards up for grabs at the glamorous Grosvenor House Hotel are Daggers for the Best UK and International Crime Series, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Film, alongside prestigious Crime Writers’ Association awards, including Gold Dagger for the Best Crime Novel of the Year, and the New Blood Dagger for the Best First Novel.

Nominees for awards this year include Benedict Cumberbatch for BBC One’s Sherlock along with Matthew McConaughey for HBO’s True Detective in Best Actor. Brenda Blethyn for ITV’s Vera alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal for BBC Two’s The Honourable Woman and Anna Maxwell Martin for ITV’s The Bletchley Circle and BBC One’s Death Comes to Pemberley in Best Actress.

Filth, Cold In July and Dom Hemingway compete for the Film Dagger. The Bletchley Circle, Line of Duty and Happy Valley for the TV Dagger. Fargo and The Bridge for the International TV Dagger. And authors including Paul Mendelson, Robert Harris, Louise Penny, Greg Iles, A.S.A Harris and Ray Celestin for CWA Daggers.

The Awards are on from 9pm to 10.35pm on ITV3.

IntrudersHowever, if you need your fix of drama, there’s an intriguing new series called Intruders on BBC2 on at the same time. It’s produced by BBC America – and, I think, already recommissioned – and penned by X Files alumni Glen Morgan, based on Michael Marshall Smith’s novel of the same name.

The blurb is not quite what it seems:

Jack Whelan, a former LAPD cop with a troubled and violent history, finds the quiet, idyllic life he has crafted with his wife Amy, shattered when she vanishes.

Mysteries unfold when Amy vanishes on a business trip to Seattle and her cell phone is found abandoned in a taxi. Jack heads to Seattle to retrieve the phone and Amy, only to discover that she never checked in to her hotel. Meanwhile, Jack’s high school friend Gary begs for his help.

Nine year-old Madison starts having nightmares and behaving erratically after she sees a stranger on the beach.

Assassin Richard needs to stop a secret from leaking out, and will do so by any means possible.

The first two episodes, showing back-to-back from 9pm tonight, may be worth watching for the unlikely sight of John Simm playing a troubled LA cop. But if you like your thrillers with a sci-fi tinge, and can bear to be without your nightly dose of Bradley, it could be worth 90 minutes of your time.

The MissingThe Missing is a straight-down-the-middle crime thriller, in which James Nesbitt stars as a father obsessed with finding his abducted son.

The blurb doesn’t know when to quit:

Tony and Emily Hughes’ life changes forever when their five year-old son Oliver goes missing on a family holiday to France.

A huge manhunt led by Julien Baptiste, one of France’s finest detectives, is launched. The French police face an uphill struggle in their mission to find the young boy – Oliver seems to have disappeared into thin air. Tony and Emily are in a foreign land, they do not speak the language and do not understand the rules. As their desperation and profile of the case grows, Tony and Emily find themselves thrown into a media maelstrom, learning the hard way that not everyone they meet is willing to operate in their best interests.

Present day. Eight years on from Oliver’s disappearance and the fallout has resulted in the end of Tony and Emily’s marriage. Tony refuses to believe that Oliver is dead and doggedly continues his search to find his son. After years of searching, Tony is given new hope when a shred of evidence emerges. This reignites the interest of Julien Baptiste, the lead French detective at the time of the disappearance, who returns to Chalons Du Bois to try and finally get to the bottom of what happened to Oliver Hughes.

So the first of eight episodes — eight? — of The Missing starts on BBC1 tomorrow night at 9pm.

Good day to you.

Events News: Crimefest Award Results

CrimeFest Logo Thing

CrimeFest 2014 was delighted to announce the winners of its three award categories at the convention’s annual gala dinner this evening. The winners were:

The Audible Sounds Of Crime Award

WINNER – Robert Galbraith, The Cuckoo’s Calling, read by Robert Glenister (Hachette Audio)

The eDunnit Award for best crime fiction ebook

WINNER – Derek B. Miller, Norwegian by Night (Faber and Faber)

The Goldsboro Last Laugh Award for best humorous crime novel category

WINNER – Derek B. Miller, Norwegian by Night (Faber and Faber)

Both winners scoop the acclaimed prizes for their first crime novels, with Derek B. Miller winning two of the three awards for his genre-defying  hit novel Norwegian by Night.  

The ceremony took place at the Bristol Royal Marriott Hotel to mark the climax of a convention that saw nearly 500 crime fiction fans and authors come together to enjoy an extensive programme of panel discussions, signings and events. Highlights of this year’s convention included guest author appearances from Mark Billingham, Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Simon Brett as well as panels featuring the likes of Ben Aaronovitch, Jasper Fforde, Nicci French, Lars Kepler and Peter James.

CrimeFest co-director Myles Allfrey says of the winners: ‘For these authors to win the awards perfectly reflects the ethos of CrimeFest, the convention that celebrates both new and established talent and everything in between. We are thrilled to have them as winners and we look forward to welcoming them to a future CrimeFest.’

For the full line-up of authors visit


Audible Sounds Of Crime Award                                                                                             

The Audible Sounds of Crime Award is for the best crime audiobook first published in the UK in 2013 in both printed and audio formats, and available for download from, Britain’s largest provider of downloadable audiobooks. Courtesy of sponsor Audible UK, the winning author and audiobook reader share the £1,000 prize equally and each receives a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.


– Ben Aaronovitch for Broken Homes, read by Kobna Holdbrook-S​mith (Orion Audio

– John le Carré for A Delicate Truth, read by John le Carré (Penguin)

– Robert Galbraith for The Cuckoo’s Calling, read by Robert Glenister (Hachette Audio) WINNER

– Peter James for Dead Man’s Time, read by Daniel Weyman (Macmillan Audio)

– Peter May for The Chessmen, read by Peter Forbes (Quercus)

– James Oswald for Natural Causes, read by Ian Hanmore (Penguin)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers for the longlist, and Audible UK listeners established the shortlist and the winning title.

eDunnit Award

The eDunnit Award is for the best crime fiction ebook first published in both hardcopy and in electronic format in the British Isles in 2013. The winning author receives £500 and a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.


– A.K. Benedict for The Beauty of Murder (Orion)

– Thomas H. Cook for Sandrine (Head of Zeus)

– Sara Gran for Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway (Faber and Faber)

– Elizabeth Haynes for Under a Silent Moon (Sphere)

– Val McDermid for Cross and Burn (Sphere)

– Derek B. Miller for Norwegian by Night (Faber and Faber) WINNER

– Denise Mina for The Red Road (Orion)

– Thomas Mogford for Sign of the Cross (Bloomsbury)

– George Pelecanos for The Double (Orion)

– Anne Zouroudi for The Feast of Artemis (Bloomsbury)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers for the longlist, and a team of British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the shortlist and the winning title.

Goldsboro Last Laugh Award                                                                                                     

The Goldsboro Last Laugh Award is for the best humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2013. The £500 prize is sponsored by Goldsboro Books, the UK’s largest specialist in first edition, signed books. The winner also receives a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.


– Colin Bateman for Fire and Brimstone (Headline)

– Alan Bradley for Speaking from Among the Bones (Orion)

– Colin Cotterill for The Axe Factor (Quercus)

– Shamini Flint for A Calamitous Chinese Killing (Little, Brown)

– Carl Hiaasen for Bad Monkey (Little, Brown)

– Suzette A. Hill for A Little Murder (Allison & Busby)

– Derek B. Miller for Norwegian by Night (Faber and Faber) WINNER

– Teresa Solana for The Sound of One Hand Killing (Bitter Lemon Press)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers for the longlist, and a team of British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the shortlist and the winning title.