Simon Kernick is one of those writers who kept knocking on the door of the writing business, and didn’t let a few rejection slips get him down. Sure enough, he made it as a writer – and a hugely successful one at that – and you can get the ins and outs of his journey on his website here.
Kernick’s tough coppers and pwopa nawty villains have proved a big success and his latest, Stay Alive, like all the other releases, is published in hardback and kindle on Thursday.
The blurb keeps it enigmatic:
One witness: You’re on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out – and your whole life changes in an instant.
One secret: A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don’t know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She’s in terrible danger. And now you are too.
No escape: You’re running, terrified, desperate to find safety.
You know that the men hunting you have killed before.
And if they catch you, you’ll be next .
She writes terrifically about how she found her vocation in life on her website. Do go and check it out if you require a kick up the writing jacksy.
Kimberley’s now on her ninth novel about the diamond geezers and equally steely ladies in who inhabit the East End underworld. Payback is a sequel to The Feud, about sibling gangsters Vinny and Roy.
The blurb knows where you live:
Family. They’re supposed to watch your back. Not stab you in it
When the enemy is one of your own, the payback is twice as hard.
The Butler brothers are the Kings of the East End, and their motto is ‘what goes around, comes around’.
In their world, family counts; so when the truth about Vinny’s cousin’s death comes to light, it rocks the Butlers to the core. One by one, Vinny’s friends and family are turning against him…
Then, the unimaginable happens – Vinny’s little daughter Molly goes missing. She’s the one chink of light in all their lives, and the one they’d commit murders to bring back.
But is it already too late for that?
Is this Payback?
Vigilante Joe Hunter has been knocking criminal heads together across the States in eight previous books. In the ninth, The Lawless Kind, he takes on a Mexican drugs cartel. Presumably, that’s Hunter and a lady friend on the cover. He’s so tough he’s walking to Mexico.
The blurb is going to settle this the hard way:
Ex-counterterrorist soldier Joe Hunter has been called to Mexico to bring an end to a cartel that preys on the people they smuggle across the US border. Once the mission’s ended, however, Joe’s mission leader and mentor, CIA Black Ops director Walter Hayes Conrad, confesses that the bloody mission is not the real reason Joe has been summoned south of the border.
For years, Walter has kept the details of his private life – especially his family – secret from everyone, even his closest friends. But disaster has struck: his great-grandson Benjamin has been abducted, kidnapped by Walter’s sworn enemy, the leader of one of Mexico’s largest drug cartels. Walter will do whatever it takes to get the boy back. And he know Hunter is the man for the job.
But there’s one complication — the drug boss just happens to be Benjamin’s father.
Hunter is as American as you get, but what you may not know is that author of the series, Matt Hilton, is a former Cumbrian policeman and private security expert, who is practiced in the combat art of Kemp Jujitsu. He submitted his novels to publishers for 20 years, and like Kernick, he didn’t give up.
The blurb has got a stitch:
Sean is on the run. We don’t know why and we don’t know from whom, but we do know he’s abandoned his battered, blood-stained car in the middle of an isolated, lonely part of rural France at the height of a sweltering summer.
Desperate to avoid the police, he takes to the parched fields and country lanes only to be caught in the vicious jaws of a trap. Near unconscious from pain and loss of blood, he is freed and taken in by two women – daughters of the owner of a rundown local farm with its ramshackle barn, blighted vineyard and the brooding lake. And it’s then that Sean’s problems really start…
Simon is another writer who kept plugging away at publishers for years until everything came right – I fancy we’re picking up a pattern here. If you don’t mind the author himself staring at you from the wallpaper of his website, you can read his about his journey to full-time author.
This week’s book releases feature four very different detectives, who all share one thing in common – a rather unhealthy curiosity in other people’s illegal activities.
Kerry Wilkinson has lived the author, dream. His self-published Jessica Daniel novel Locked In became a runaway bestseller and the series was snapped up by Pan Books. Seven novels later, his troubled Manchester copper is still going great guns. Behind Closed Doors is out tomorrow, and there’s another on the way later in the year.
But the blurb finds his heroine in a bad way:
Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel has barely left her house in months, isolated away from friends and colleagues. She may have given up on herself but one man is sure she still has something to offer.
DCI Jack Cole gives her a chance at redemption: An opportunity to help a neighbouring force by discovering what is going on with a reclusive community living in a stately home in the middle of nowhere.
People are going missing, turning up dead with only a vague link back to the house. But can Jessica beat her own demons in time to find out exactly what’s going on behind closed doors?
You can get Behind Closed Doors on ebook and in paperback. Kerry has some sensible advice about writing on his website – we all love some good advice – so go check that out right here.
Redemption is clearly all the rage this week, there’s more of it in A Song For The Dying. Stuart MacBridge steps away from his usual Logan McRae series to publish the sequel to his grimly violent Birthdays For The Dead, which featured dodgy copper Ash Henderson. I don’t know about you, but I love a dodgy copper – in fiction, at least. And I love a red phone box, so full marks to someone for putting one of those on the cover.
Gather round for the blurb, everyone:
He’s back… Eight years ago, ‘The Inside Man’ murdered four women and left three more in critical condition – all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside. And then the killer just … disappeared.
Ash Henderson was a Detective Inspector on the initial investigation, but a lot can change in eight years. His family has been destroyed, his career is in tatters, and one of Oldcastle’s most vicious criminals is making sure he spends the rest of his life in prison.
Now a nurse has turned up dead on a patch of waste ground, a plastic doll buried beneath her skin, and it looks as if Ash might finally get a shot at redemption. At earning his freedom. At revenge.
A Song For The Dying is released in ebook and hardback.
Harbour Street is the sixth book in Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series, about her bad-tempered Northumbrian detective. It’s now a TV series, of course, the fourth series of which is due to be aired this year – so you may want to read Harbour Street before it’s adapted.
Here’s the blurb, pet:
As the snow falls thickly on Newcastle, the shouts and laughter of Christmas revellers break the muffled silence. Detective Joe Ashworth and his daughter Jessie are swept along in the jostling crowd onto the Metro. But when the train is stopped due to the bad weather, and the other passengers fade into the swirling snow, Jessie notices that an old lady hasn’t left the train: Margaret Krukowski has been fatally stabbed as she sat on the crowded train.
Soon Vera and Joe are on their way to the south Northumberland town of Mardle. Retracing Margaret’s final steps, Vera finds herself searching deep into the hidden past of this seemingly innocent neighbourhood, led by clues that keep revolving around one street . . . Why are the residents of Harbour Street so reluctant to speak?
Harbour Street is released in ebook and hardback.
Look, you may want to smarten yourself up for the blurb:
The British Museum in Bloomsbury is home to one of the Caryatids, a statue of a maiden that acted as one of the six columns in a temple which stood on the Acropolis in ancient Athens. Lord Elgin had brought her to London in the nineteenth century, and even though now she was over 2,300 years old, she was still rather beautiful – and desirable.
Which is why Lord Francis Powerscourt finds himself summoned by the British Museum to attend a most urgent matter. The Caryatid has been stolen and an inferior copy left in her place. Powerscourt agrees to handle the case discreetly – but then comes the first death: an employee of the British Museum is pushed under a rush hour train before he and the police can question him.
What had he known about the statue’s disappearance? And who would want such a priceless object? Powerscourt and his friend Johnny Fitzgerald undertake a mission that takes them deep into the heart of London’s Greek community and the upper echelons of English society to uncover the bizarre truth of the vanishing lady…
Author David Dickinson isn’t the telly chap with the mahogany skin and exceptional hair, but he was once the editor of both Newsnight and Panorama, no less. The first Powerscourt novel, Goodnight Sweet Prince, appeared way back in 2002. Ebook and hardcover, since you ask.