Book Launch Thursday! Quentin Bates, AK Benedict, Sarah Pinborough & Steve Cavanagh

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The Ambassador of Iceland, Quentin Bates, and Mel Hudson

Last night I was invited to not one but two book events. Unable to choose between them – both were for fabulous books and great authors – I decided to try and get to both! Here’s how it went …

The first launch of the evening was for Thin Ice by Quentin Bates at the Embassy of Iceland. In the grand surroundings of the Embassy, Quentin’s agent, Peter Buckman of the Ampersand Agency, spoke about how Officer Gunnhildur’s no bullshit approach had attracted him to Quentin’s first book, and that it was one of the things that made the series a hit.

The Ambassador, H.E. Mr Þórður Ægir Óskarsson, proved he’d already read Thin Ice by saying he was pleased to note his home town – Akranes (about an hour’s drive north of Reykjavík) is mentioned three times in the story, and said that he hopes the next novel might be set there. And Quentin spoke about Thin Ice, and introduced Mel Hudson, reader of the audio books, who read a gripping extract from the story.

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Ayo Onatade and Susi Holliday in the cab

After a bit more chatting to all the fabulous crime writerly types, and a quick cup cake (made by Karen Sullivan of Orenda Books and delivered by editor West Camel) it was time for me to make a quick dash across town to the second book launch of the night.

Joined by crime writer Susi Holliday and reviewer Ayo Onatade, we flagged down a cab outside the Embassy and hoped we’d get to the next event on time.

Just a few minutes late, we piled out of the cab outside Waterstones Piccadilly, hurtled across the road, and up to the fourth floor of the bookshop to the launch of AK Benedict’s Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts and Sarah Pinborough’s 13 Minutes. It was standing room only for the panel session with AK Benedict, Sarah Pinborough and Steve Cavanagh (author of The Defence) who were all on great form talking to W!zard FM about their books and the process of writing (sadly no wizards were present).

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W!zard FM interviewing AK Benedict, Sarah Pinborough & Steve Cavanagh

Steve Cavanagh revealed that he’d not been to New York when he wrote The Defence, but got a sense of the place from films and television, and Google. This caused great surprise from the audience as he evokes such a strong New York vibe in the book – a testament to his great writing. Sarah Pinborough spoke about how writers draw on their own experiences and emotions as they write, and AK Benedict spoke about writing a character who chooses not to see (Maria, one of the main characters in Jonathan Dark or the Evidence of Ghosts, wears a blindfold after having surgery to restore her sight, therefore the way she experiences the world is though her other senses). AK mentioned that she has Synaesthesia – a neurological condition where experiencing something through one sense (for example, vision) results in an automatic experience in another (for example, sound) and that this had made describing how Maria experienced the world one of the easiest things to write about. There was then a lot of laughter as Sarah held out her arm and asked AK what she smelt like. AK sniffed her and replied, ‘the sound of A Minor’.

All the fabulous books mentioned above are out now. Here’s the blurb, and the links to buy them:

Thin Ice by Quentin Bates

Snowed in with a couple of psychopaths for the winter… When two small-time crooks rob Reykjavik’s premier drugs dealer, hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show. Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season. Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eiríkur and Helgi find themselves at a dead end investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day’s shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire. Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages…

Click here to buy Thin Ice from Waterstones

 

Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts by AK Benedict

Maria King knows a secret London. Born blind, she knows the city by sound and touch and smell. But surgery has restored her sight – only for her to find she doesn’t want it. Jonathan Dark sees the shadowy side of the city. A DI with the Metropolitan Police, he is haunted by his failure to save a woman from the hands of a stalker. Now it seems the killer has set his sights on Maria, and is leaving her messages in the most gruesome of ways. Tracing the source of these messages leads Maria and Jonathan to a London they never knew. To find the truth they’ll have to listen to the whispers on the streets.

Click here to buy Jonathan Dark or The Evidence of Ghosts from Waterstones

 

13 Minutes by Sarah Pinborough

I was dead for 13 minutes. I don’t remember how I ended up in the icy water but I do know this – it wasn’t an accident and I wasn’t suicidal. They say you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but when you’re a teenage girl, it’s hard to tell them apart. My friends love me, I’m sure of it. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t try to kill me. Does it? 13 MINUTES is a gripping psychological thriller about people, fears, manipulation and the power of the truth.

Click here to buy 13 Minutes from Waterstones

 

The Defence by Steve Cavanagh

It’s been over a year since Eddie Flynn vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn’t have a choice. Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie’s back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter, Amy. Eddie only has forty-eight hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial – and win – if he wants to save his daughter. Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his ‘client’ and ensure Amy’s safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible?

Click here to buy The Defence at Waterstones

 

DON’T MISS: CRIME SCENE the must-read magazine for all crime thriller fans

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Are you:

  • A fan of TV crime dramas like Sherlock, True Detective, Fargo and The Bridge?
  • Gripped by true crime podcast Serial and Netflix documentary Making A Murderer?
  • Excited to be reading and discovering fantastic crime thrillers and new authors?

If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes then it sounds like the new CRIME SCENE magazine is something worth you checking out.

Launched last autumn, CRIME SCENE is a quarterly magazine that explores the world of crime drama and fiction with in-depth interviews, features and analysis of new releases and established favourites within the genre.

Available both in digital download and (beautifully) glossy paper magazine format, it’s available in bookstores and via subscription (click here to go to the subscription website).

The next issue is due out next month (March 2016) and there’s lots of exciting stuff planned for it. I’m not allowed to give you ALL the details, but what I can say is that fans of the Netflix documentary Making A Murderer and crime writer Mark Billingham will be in for a big treat, and there’ll also be some sneaky peeps at the coolest crime shows coming your way.

#MakeMeADetective – Career Of Evil by Robert Galbraith is coming …

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Now if you saw my post last week calling for you to unleash your inner detective, today is the day the truth behind the #MakeMeADetective competition is revealed …

To support the launch of the latest addition to the Robert Galbraith series – CAREER OF EVIL – I’ve teamed up with those lovely folks at Sphere to recruit some dazzling new detectives. Some of the lucky people who participated in the challenge will be invited to an event in London later in October to participate in some Galbraith-themed challenges. It sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun. [For T&Cs pop over to The Crime Vault here]

CAREER OF EVIL by Robert Galbraith is out on the 20th October.

Here’s the blurb: “When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality. With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…”

To see CAREER OF EVIL on Amazon, click on the book cover below:

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#ChooseThePlot launches today!

Specsavers

Those experimental folks at Specsavers and Penguin are launching a new literary experiment today – #ChooseThePlot.

They’re inviting crime thriller fans to get involved in the creation of a new novella through the online crime community Dead Good Books.

#ChooseThePlot will use social media to get your views on the plot, steering the story for crime writers Christopher Fowler, James Oswald and Jane Casey to write. Each author will write a chapter following on from the last, shaping the story and adding their own unique take on the situations presented to them.

On 24th October, at the end of this experimental process, a digital only eBook of the novella will be available to download for free.

Penguin

To get involved with #ChooseThePlot hop on over to www.specsavers.co.uk/choosetheplot where you’ll find all the info on how to get involved and the details of how the stories are progressing.

Happy plotting!

Best Bookish Bank Holiday Ever with #PenguinJourneys #AskaPenguin

Penguin Journeys Logo

Penguin Journeys Logo

With the last bank holiday of the summer here, there’s still time to get bookish inspiration from the fabulous #PenguinJourneys team.

#PenguinJourneys strives to make boring travel-time a thing of the past by giving holiday reading recommendations from Penguin Random House UK and its wonderful authors.

If you’re looking for a recommended read, simply tweet your bookish question to the team using the hashtags #AskaPenguin and #PenguinJourneys this Friday lunchtime to receive a recommended read in book, eBook, audiobook or even perhaps a podcast format.

You can also check out the fabulous #PenguinJourneys blog pages at http://penguinblog.co.uk/ to see some of the great journeys and reading recommendations they’re talking about including some sneak previews like a fabulous extract of The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion.

If pinning is your thing, #PenguinJourneys has teamed up with authors including Clare Balding and Graeme Simsion to take you on a literary odyssey around the world. Find out more on Pinterest here: http://www.pinterest.com/penguinukbooks/pack-your-bags-for-a-literary-odyssey-with-penguin/ and explore famous literary journeys, listen to extracts from the audiobooks mapped to each voyage, and be inspired by stories from their holiday destinations.

Let’s make this the best bookish bank holiday of 2014.

Happy Reading!

Swag from Harrogate TOP Crime Writing Festival

Harrogate swag

Harrogate swag

 

 

Okay, so last weekend I went to the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate.

It was a fabulous event, and I’ll be telling you more in my blog post tomorrow, but for today I thought I’d post a photo of all the fabulous goodies I got at the event – a whole bunch of brilliant books (many of which I managed to have signed), an awesome festival goodie bag, and an amazing ‘Reacher said Nothing’ t-shirt.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you all about the event …