Tag Archives: Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben’s The Stranger, Netflix

Safe, the UK-set drama created by Harlan Coben, did great guns for Netflix when it was released a couple of years ago, so it’s no wonder that the streaming-service is hoping to repeat the success with The Stranger, all of which you can binge from Thursday, January 30th. If you’re reading this in 2022, you’ve probably seen it already. 

But this time, the series is based on one of Coben’s own novels. Richard Armitage stars as a man whose life is turned upside down when a woman approaches him in a bar and reveals to him a devastating secret about his wife – and it’s not long before he’s entangled in a conspiracy.

The Stranger is made by Red Productions, which also made the twisty-turny Safe, and adapted by British writing stalwart Danny Brocklehurst, which means Coben’s US-set crime novel has been relocated in Manchester.

Says Coben: “The Stranger was one of my most challenging novels — and definitely the most twisted. When I wrote it, I never imagined that I’d be part of a ‘Dream Team’ of extraordinary talent bringing it to life.’

The Intel: Felix Francis

Felix Francis

(c) Debbie Francis

Penning thrillers has been a family business for Felix Francis. His father, of course, was Dick Francis, the former jockey who produced bestseller after bestseller set in the world of horse racing. Felix grew up listening at the breakfast table while his mother and father discussed the best way to kill a man, and has carried on Dick’s writing legacy. Front Runner is Felix’s tenth novel, and the 51st Dick Francis thriller, and it sees the return of his hero Jeff Hinkley.

We’re delighted that Felix has agreed to give us the intel on Front Runner, how he came to follow in his illustrious father’s footsteps and how technology has changed the way he approaches his horse racing thrillers…

Tell us about Front Runner…

Front runner is my tenth novel and sees the return of Jeff Hinkley, investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, who first appeared in Damage. As always, the story is set against the backdrop of horse racing but there is far more to it than that. My readers don’t need to know anything about racing in order to read and enjoy it, although they might learn a bit on the journey. It is a novel of mystery and intrigue with some unexpected surprises. Jeff is approached by the multi-time champion jockey, Dave Swinton, to discuss the delicate matter of losing races on purpose. Little does Jeff realise that the call will result in an attempt on his life, locked in a sauna with the temperature well above boiling point. Dave Swinton is then found dead, burnt beyond recognition in his car at a deserted beauty spot. The police think it’s a suicide but Jeff is not so sure. He starts to investigate the possible races that Swinton could have intentionally lost but soon discovers that others are out to prevent him from doing so, at any cost.

Your undercover investigator Jeff Hinkley was introduced in your last book, Damage – how would you describe him?

Organised, loyal, courageous. Jeff is ex-military. He was an officer in the Intelligence Corps. He served several tours of duty in Afghanistan and is not phased by situations of intense danger when he has to rely solely on his wits to extricate himself from trouble. In Front Runner, Jeff’s long-term girlfriend has left him and he is hurt and angered by her betrayal. As such, he shows a vulnerable side to his character not normally obvious in his day job.

Horse racing is still a hugely popular spectator sport, but like many sports it’s having to adapt to modern times – does that offer new opportunities for you as a writer? 

In many ways it reduces opportunities as I find it increasingly difficult to think up story lines about wrongdoing as the authorities continue to close any loophole I might find. Modern technology has made detection so much easier and more reliable. No longer can one write a “traditional” story about simply drugging a horse or switching one horse for another as drug testing and electronic chip identification methods would mean instant discovery. The routine DNA testing for parentage, dope-testing and digital scanning of horses may make racing much more honest but it doesn’t help me work out new plots!

Maybe that is why so many crime novel writers are setting their books in the past when forensic science was less restrictive to their stories. The age old Agatha Christie model of twelve people (including Hercule Poirot) staying in a remote house, where one of them gets murdered and Poirot then solves the clues, would soon unravel as a lengthy story if DNA testing had been available. It would be over before it had started. I choose to write in the ‘here and now’ so I adapt and cope with the technology, but it doesn’t make things simple.

Front runnerYou were a physics teacher and a crack marksman before you started collaborating with your father on the Francis thrillers – at what age did you realise you wanted to follow in your father’s footsteps? 

I didn’t actually decide to follow in my father’s footsteps. It was all a bit of an accident. My father’s literary agent approached me and said that, after five years of no new Dick Francis novel, people were forgetting and my father’s backlist would soon go out of print. What was needed was a new novel to stimulate interest. By this time my father was 85 and my mother, who had worked closely with my father on the novels, had died.

I told the agent that there was no chance of a new novel. He then asked if I, as my father’s manager, would give my permission for him to approach an established and well known crime writer to write a new ‘Dick Francis novel‘. I replied that, before he asked anyone else, I would like to have a go. “Write two chapters,” the agent said. “And then we’ll see.” I suspect he thought that he would then get my permission to ask the established writer. I wrote the two chapters and, as they say, the rest is history. The agent told me to get on and finish the book, and I’ve been a full-time writer ever since.

You’ve said that discussions around the Francis breakfast table could be pretty gruesome – give us an example!

My parents very much wrote the books together and they would discuss details of the plot not only at the breakfast table but also everywhere else, especially in the car. My brother and I would try to join in. How much explosive was needed to blow up an aeroplane? How can you make a hot-water boiler explode? How long could Sid Halley survive with a bullet in his guts with his blood dripping through a crack in the linoleum floor? How much force was needed to cave-in a man’s skull with a glass paperweight? Lovely stuff.

Front Runner is your 10th thriller, and the 51st Dick Francis thriller – reading them, anybody would think that horse racing is awash with crime and murder. How have the horse racing authorities reacted over the years to the Francis thrillers?

My father always used to say that there was far more skullduggery in his books than there was in real life, but people often like to think there is some question mark over racing. If a gambler backs a horse that then wins, it was the horse’s doing. But, if it loses, the gambler is apt to believe that the jockey was at fault, maybe he even ‘stopped’ it winning on purpose even though that is most unlikely to be the case. Both my father’s and my books have always received a warm welcome from the racing authorities. I believe this is because, even though we do tend to concentrate on the darker side, the books overall are very positive about racing in general. My father was inaugurated into the Cheltenham Racing Hall of Fame not for being a champion jockey, but for introducing more people worldwide to British racing through his books than anyone else.

What’s the hardest lesson you ever had to learn about writing?

It’s not glamorous, it’s hard work and deadlines are very unforgiving.

Who are the authors you admire, and why?

My father, obviously. As a teenager, I also loved books by Alistair MacLean and Desmond Bagley, wonderfully exciting stories that kept you turning the pages to discover what happened. More recently, I enjoy reading Peter James, Harlan Coben and Michael Dobbs. Sadly, when I’m actually writing, I find it difficult to read others. I am too immersed in the story that I am trying to create.

Give me some advice about writing…

Make your readers care. If they don’t care about the characters, like or dislike, then they won’t read the book. How often have you started a novel and then given up? It is because you didn’t care what happened to the characters so you didn’t bother to find out.

What’s next for you?

Book number 11. It is already under way and my deadline is next February, ready for a September 2016 publication.


Front Runner by Felix Francis is published by Michael Joseph, priced at £18.99 in hardback.

The Intel: Shari Low

Shari LowSo you’re probably hard at work thinking about what books to pack when you go on holiday. You’re thinking, glamour! You’re thinking, gossip! You’re thinking, dark secrets!

Author Shari Low and showbiz presenter Ross King have teamed up – becoming Shari King in the process – to write Taking Hollywood, a tale of scandal and secrets in modern-day LA. In the novel, three Glaswegian friends become major Hollywood players – but the events of a fateful night many years ago threatens to tear their lives apart, and a nosy investigative journalist is on the case.

Taking Hollywood is released on August 14th, so you’ve got plenty of time to pre-order it right here!

In the meantime, Shari Low has kindly taken time out to answer questions about her sizzling summer read, about the joys of writing with someone else, and working in the dead of night…

Where did the inspiration for Taking Hollywood come from?

Ross and I had talked about writing a book for years, but we thought it would probably be a biography of his extraordinary life. It was only last year that we decided it should be a novel. We met to have a chat about it and many hours (and many cups of tea) later, we had the concept, characters and storyline mapped out. We realised early in the conversation that we wanted it to be a dark blend of Hollywood drama and Glasgow crime. The book we ended up with is exactly the one we envisaged that day.

Are the characters secretly based on any real-life Hollywood stars?

Absolutely not – although we’ve taken many of the elements of Hollywood life and celebrity scandals and woven them into the story. No actual A-listers were harmed in the making of this book.

Why are we so fascinated by Hollywood scandals and secrets?

I think it’s human nature to be curious. I can sit in a café and people watch all day (in a non-stalker, non-restraining order kind of way). A fascination with celebrity just takes that a step further. It’s intriguing to see the risks and dramas that the famous indulge in and just like we all love to watch a great movie, it’s sometimes captivating to watch a scandal play out. And of course, many big names make it so easy for us to be astonished by their antics. Thank you, Charlie Sheen.

How do you write in a partnership – and avoid tears and tantrums?

Ah, pass the tissues! Actually, there was never a moment that came even close to either tears or tantrums. Ross and I have been friends for over 25 years and we are both pretty straight-talking. We also work in industries where you have to be able to take criticism and listen to the opinions of others without flouting off in a diva strop. There were a couple of lively debates, but it helped that we had exactly the same vision from day one. I’ll keep my diva strops for book 2.

What rules did you set yourself about working together?

No egos, total honesty, and we wouldn’t stop until we’d created a novel that we were both proud of. Other than that, we pretty much just took it day by day.

Taking HollywoodTake us through a typical writing day for you?

The writing content varies, depending on whether I have deadlines for my two newspaper columns  (an opinion page and a literary page). However the hours remain fairly consistent. And long. I work from around 9am until 4pm, then the next few hours are dedicated to the usual chaos of family stuff.  I’m usually back at my desk at around 9pm and work until some time pre-dawn. I’m lucky not to need much sleep and I’m very nocturnal so I work best at 3am when everything around me is silent. However, it’s a schedule that’s depressingly conducive to bloodshot eyes and wrinkles.

What’s the hardest lesson you ever had to learn about writing?

That’s such a good question and it took me a while to come up with an answer because 15 books down the line, I’m still not sure I have it sussed. Or ever will. I suppose the most significant thing I’ve learned is that I need to start trusting that it will all come together. When I’m mid-book, I’m invariably a hot mess of panic, doubt and anxiety, yet somehow, every single time it all falls into place. I’ve no idea how that happens, but my blood pressure would be a lot lower if I just had faith and confidence in the process.

Who are the authors you admire, and why?

So, so many, for lots of different reasons. I grew up on the work of Harold Robbins, Sidney Sheldon, Jackie Collins and Shirley Conran. Later, I became a huge fan of Martina Cole, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin, Denise Mina, Val McDermid, William McIlvanney, Iain Banks.

I never miss a new release from Marian Keyes or Tasmina Perry. I’ll stop, because I could honestly go on for pages, but not before mentioning that my favourite book of all time is Nobel House by James Clavell.

Give me some advice about writing…

There’s no set way to do it, just find a method that works for you, start typing and have faith. See, I’m absolutely trying to learn that whole trust thing.

 What’s next for you – will you and Ross be working together again?

Definitely! We envisage this as a five book series and we’re currently in the midst of book two. I’m due a diva strop any day now.

Crime Book Log: Nesbø, Connolly, Coben, Lackberg

With Easter approaching, some of writing big guns are cranking out product. Big product. Here are some shiny new hardbacks that are coming out on Thursday.

Polite Notice: If you’ve stumbled across this page in 2018 you may find these books have been out a long time, and are available in paperback. You may even have read some of them already.

The SonJo Nesbø. He’s good, isn’t he, with his hugely-successful Harry Hole thrillers and his terse titles like The Snowman, The Leopard and The Bat. His new one is called The Son.

The blurb just can’t make up its mind about capitalization:


Sonny is a model prisoner. He listens to the confessions of other inmates, and absolves them of their sins.


But then one prisoner’s confession changes everything. He knows something about Sonny’s disgraced father.


He needs to break out of prison and make those responsible pay for their crimes.


The Wolf In WinterIrish writer John Connolly’s first genre bending Charlie Parker novel was published in 1999. He’s now on the twelfth, called The Wolf In Winter. Parker is a private investigator who frequently butts heads with supernatural forces.

The blurb avoids local shops for local people:

Prosperous, and the secret that it hides beneath its ruins . . .

The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure. It shuns outsiders. It guards its own. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town…

But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Parker is a dangerous man, driven by compassion, by rage, and by the desire for vengeance. In him the town and its protectors sense a threat graver than any they have faced in their long history, and in the comfortable, sheltered inhabitants of a small Maine town, Parker will encounter his most vicious opponents yet.

Charlie Parker has been marked to die so that Prosperous may survive.

Missing YouOoh, look, there’s a new  Harlan Coben out. Missing You is available in hardback and on Kindle. Coben is the writer of the Myron Bolitar novels, but it’s his stand alones that really generate heat. Coben’s books are usually about Ordinary Joes who discover their loved ones have been hiding important stuff from them.

The blurb is just popping out for a bit:

It’s a profile, like all the others on the online dating site. But as NYPD Detective Kat Donovan focuses on the accompanying picture, she feels her whole world explode, as emotions she’s ignored for decades come crashing down on her. Staring back at her is her ex-fiancé Jeff, the man who shattered her heart eighteen years ago.

Kat feels a spark, wondering if this might be the moment when past tragedies recede and a new world opens up to her. But when she reaches out to the man in the profile, her reawakened hope quickly darkens into suspicion and then terror as an unspeakable conspiracy comes to light, in which monsters prey upon the most vulnerable.

As Kat’s hope for a second chance with Jeff grows more and more elusive, she is consumed by an investigation that challenges her feelings about everyone she ever loved – her former fiancé, her mother, and even her father, whose cruel murder so long ago has never been fully explained. With lives on the line, including her own, Kat must venture deeper into the darkness than she ever has before, and discover if she has the strength to survive what she finds there.

There was that rather good French movie of One False Move – if you haven’t seen it, you really should – and it looks like a US movie version is finally going to happen. Coben likes his plot-twists – don’t we all? – and talks about those and about his writing in this interesting interview.

Buried AngelsCamilla Lackberg is described as a Swedish Sensation. I’m sorry, I’m sure Camilla’s terrific, but the role of Swedish Sensation will always be reserved for Agnetha Fältskog. I’m guessing Agnetha’s not much of a crime writer though.

Camilla’s new book – hardback, kindle – sees the return of Hedstrom and Falck and is called Buried Angels.

And it has an Eastery vibe, as the blurb immediately clarifies!

Easter 1974. A family vanishes from their home on an idyllic island off the Swedish coast. They have left everything behind – including their one-year-old daughter, Ebba.

Now, years later, Ebba has returned to the island. She and her husband have suffered the loss of their only child and are looking to make a fresh start. But within days, their house is the target of an arson attack.


Detective Patrik Hedstrom takes on the investigation, aided by his wife, crime writer Erica Falck, who has always been fascinated by the mystery of Ebba’s abandonment and the family’s tragic history.

When dried blood is found under the floorboards of the old house, it seems that the cold case involving the missing family is about to be brought back to life. And soon, Patrik and Erica are consumed by the hunt for a killer who will stop at nothing to keep the past buried…

A former economist, Camilla wrote her first story at the age of four, in which Santa’s wife is beaten to death. Now that’s a crime writer.





The Intel: Adam Chase/Eve Seymour


We love writers here, and we’re keen to learn from them. Earlier in the week we reviewed Wicked Game by one Adam Chase. Turns out Mr. Chase is actually a pseudonym. EV Seymour, author of the Paul Tallis novels, was recently unmasked as Chase at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.

You know the drill with The Intel. We ask crime writers how they go about the business of getting words on a page. But  we also took the opportunity to ask Eve why she chose to go undercover for her new book about Hex, the assassin.

How has your own experience influenced your writing?

From an early age, I’ve been an observer, the typical kid sitting on the sidelines watching others.  Most writers are frustrated psychologists and I’m endlessly intrigued by the way in which human beings tick, particularly at the more extreme ends of the spectrum.  During my teens, I went through a phase of reading tomes on clinical psychology, which now I’ve written it down, makes me sound a bit strange.  I’ve outgrown it, honest!  I’m also a news junkie, always on the lookout for that odd story, the one to which I can apply the ‘What if…’ principle.

I was lucky enough to have an amazing experience a few years ago when I spent an evening at the ‘secret’ headquarters where firearms officers, security services, (UK and foreign) SAS and MOD train.  There, I was taken to a laser suite, handed a specially adapted (unloaded) Glock 17 wired to a computer, and took part in a simulated training exercise. It was scary, extremely demanding, and the debrief afterwards threw me – it’s actually quite hard to remember in exquisite detail the moments leading up to ‘an incident’.

Afterwards, I was escorted to the armoury, (although not allowed inside) and handled just about every variety of weapon I could come up with, including a Desert Eagle, Uzi, MP5, Magnum and, of course, a Walther PPK.  There had been an amnesty for illicitly held weapons just before my visit and, aside from machetes, sub-machine guns and automatics, the array of home-made and adapted weapons were worrying. The experience had a profound effect on me and made me realise the specific demands we place on those who defend us.  Professionals walk an incredibly fine line between life and death.

What comes first – plot or character?

I see these as indivisible.  Only a certain character will behave in a given way, and this will lead the plot down a particular route.  If your main character is an estate agent, he’s hardly likely to have access to weaponry, let alone use it!  This is a long-winded way of saying that character and plot work hand in glove.  However I admit that Hex rates as a complex main protagonist. His blatant moral ambiguity is what really hooked me and created a huge challenge for me as the writer:  how to make an essentially bad guy a hero?  The trick was to put him on the spot right in the opening.  It’s stretching it to say that Hex has a Damascene moment, but I needed to craft in a point where he suddenly has cause to pause and doubt the nature of what he does for a living.  Maybe, character has the edge, after all!

Take us through a typical writing day for you.Eve portrait

I’m an early riser and have been known, although not that often, to sneak out of bed around 3.00 a.m. and write like hell.  I’d add that I don’t get ‘gripped by the Muse.’  I’m a planner and I research.  This often takes the form of reading up on defence and security.  It can take months before I put a story together and write a single line.  Those days are more leisurely, but once I’m happy that I’ve got all my notes sorted, then I’ll have a slightly more disciplined working day when I write a skeleton plot-line and then, big breath, I write.  This is when the long hours kick in and I become fairly anti-social, which is only really a problem for those around me.

A typical day will start around 8.00 a.m.  I won’t eat lunch but I consume water and tea by the bucket-load and my heart-starter coffee is always at noon.  I try not to look at emails, but will usually check in a couple of times during the day and finally emerge bleary-eyed around 6.00 p.m.  It’s not always easy to switch off, but I do my best to pretend!

Who are the authors you love and why?

I’m a sucker for historical fiction and political thrillers.  I particularly admire Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden and James McGee for vivid characterization.  Michael Dobbs gets my vote for his Winston Churchill series.  Too many to mention, but I love American writers for their sheer sense of guts, pace and action.  They are the usual suspects:  Robert Crais, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, Lee Child (who isn’t American but is based there) John Hart, Robert Ludlum, Greg Hurwitz, Kyle Mills.

For me, and this is sticking my neck out, British writers tend to have what I’d describe as more ‘soul’ in the way in which they write.  To list a few:  Tom Rob Smith, R J Ellory, John Harvey, Stuart Neville (Irish), Stephen Booth, Martyn Waites and I can’t, of course, forget the great spy writers:  Frederick Forsyth and John Le Carre, Gerald Seymour and Henry Porter.  I’ll pretty much read anything that catches my eye.  I’ve just read ‘Alex’ by Pierre Lemaitre and thought it stunning.

What’s the hardest lesson you ever had to learn about writing?

Rejection.  Nobody likes it or gets used to it, but it’s part of the deal.  If you let it, it can do horrible things to your mental health.

How do you deal with feedback?

Constructively, I hope. Writing a novel is a solitary process, but once you show your work to others then feedback is important because it helps a writer hone the story.  My agent, Broo Doherty, has a keen editorial eye and I always pay attention to her comments.  Once I’ve taken these on board, a discussion follows where we bat about ideas.  The feedback process isn’t really finished because the publisher and any independent editor drafted in will also have their own ideas.  Processing feedback is part of a writer’s life and shouldn’t be something to fear.  The important point is that everyone is working together to make the novel the best it can be.

Give me some advice about writing.

  1. Read as widely as possible and try not to talk too much about your ideas to others because you may lose the original magic that made you want to write the story in the first place.
  2. You can only discover your own voice if you sing, so just get on and write!
  3. Don’t let anyone rain on your parade.  Be tenacious.  Be courageous.

What’s your best advice for an author looking to get into the market place?

Don’t rush into it.  You only have one shot, so make sure it’s a good one.  If you can afford it, use a reputable editorial consultancy to look at your work and give you an honest and constructive appraisal.  This comes with a word of caution:  do your research beforehand.  If you can’t afford it, let someone you trust (not your best friend, or your best friend’s auntie) read the work and give you straight, down the line, criticism.  Once you’ve made revisions, do everything in your power to seek representation by an agent.

The market place has never been tougher.  If an agent is prepared to represent your work, you stand a half decent chance of it being placed with a publisher.

Why did you choose to use a pseudonym for Wicked Game?

Among certain quarters, there is a perception that women cannot write convincingly and authentically about contract killers, guns, weapons, biological, or otherwise, explosions, flying off in helicopters, tearing off on motorbikes and security service issues.

Admittedly, there is a long tradition of female writers creating male detectives – P.D. James and Adam Dalgleish – but there are far fewer female writers who have male action adventure heroes as their main leads.  Added to this, I wanted to write a first person narrative because it gave me more of an opportunity to allow readers to get inside Hex’s head – important when you bear in mind that he starts the novel as a really bad guy.  At times, I felt from initial feedback that we (me and Hex) would be an impossible sell.  Hence, I reckoned, that if I couldn’t beat my male counterparts, I’d join them.

What’s next for you?

‘Game Over’: the second in the Hex series.  I’m just about to put it through its final edits.  Suffice to say, Hex’s life takes an interesting turn…

Crime Thriller Books Out This Week:

It never gets easier deciding what to read next, does it? Here are few of this week’s new releases to send you into a further spiral of indecision.

UnknownHarlan Coben‘s latest stand-alone thriller is called Six Years and is now available in hardback, paperback and as an e-book.

Coben has some interesting things to say about writing. He puts it down to three things – inspiration, perspiration and… desperation. ‘If I didn’t write?’ he asks. ‘What would I do with myself?’ He’s a prolific author because he says that if he didn’t write he’d hate himself, his life would be out of balance.

Which, of course, is why he’s so prolific. According to the official blurb, the story of Six Years unravels something like this:

Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.

But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for…but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for more than a decade, and with that fact everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life – a time he has never gotten over – is turned completely inside out.

As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart – and who lied to him – soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on carefully constructed fiction.

Unknown-3Thanks to the success of Tell No One, Coben has managed to successfully balance writing stand-alones with his Myron Bolitar series of novels. Another author who has evolved from series to stand-alone novels is Mark Billingham – although you’ll be happy to hear Tom Thorne does make a cameo in the excellent Rush of Blood, which is now out in paperback.

And Thorne’s back in Billingham’s next book – The Dying Hours, which is out next month – and there are big changes afoot for him.

Billingham‘s a big inspiration for those of us who like home-grown police procedurals, and you can read some of his thoughts on writing in this fine Guardian interview right here.

Unknown-2South African writer Lauren Beukes is gaining a big reputation for her novels, which combine thrills and fantasy, and her latest, The Shining Girls, has a genius concept – it’s about a time-travelling serial killer.

Behold the blurb:

Chicago 1931. Harper Curtis, a violent drifter, stumbles on a house with a secret as shocking as his own twisted nature – it opens onto other times. He uses it to stalk his carefully chosen ‘shining girls’ through the decades – and cut the spark out of them.

He’s the perfect killer. Unstoppable. Untraceable. He thinks…

Chicago, 1992. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Tell that to Kirby Mazrachi, whose life was shattered after a brutal attempt to murder her. Still struggling to find her attacker, her only ally is Dan, an ex-homicide reporter who covered her case and now might be falling in love with her.

As Kirby investigates, she finds the other girls – the ones who didn’t make it. The evidence is … impossible. But for a girl who should be dead, impossible doesn’t mean it didn’t happen…

The Shining Girls is available in hardback, paperback, and e-book.

imagesLiz Marklund’s Lifetime, is about what happens following the murder of Sweden’s most famous policeman and the disappearance of his four-year-old son – suspicion falls on his wife. Lifetime is the eighth novel to feature Marklund’s news reporter protag Annika Bengtzon. Lifetime is available as an e-book and in paperback.

images-1And staying in Sweden, Two Soldiers by Roslund and Hellstrom once again features their cop Ewert Grens. It’s a tale of gang warfare, and of kids drifting into criminality. Their books often feature prisons and question the nature of criminality — Hellstrom is an ex-con, and very much involved in a Swedish rehabilitation organisation. Two Soldiers is now available in all the usual formats.

So the, more books to add to the must-read pile. *rolls eyes*