Saturday, 20 January 2018

An Evening with Ann Cleeves and Louise Penny

Wednesday 7th February 2018
Heffers is thrilled to welcome to the bookshop two greats of the crime fiction genre - and great friends - Ann Cleeves and Louise Penny! Don't miss this opportunity to hear both authors discuss their latest novels, and their lives as bestselling writers.

Ann Cleeves is the award-winning author of the Shetland and Vera series' of crime novels, both of which have been adapted for television; the latter is now in its eighth series starring Brenda Blethyn. Ann has written 31 novels in 31 years and her latest, THE SEAGULL, is set in her home town of Whitley Bay. The recipient of the highest accolade in crime writing, the Diamond Dagger, Ann is considered by many to be the Queen of British crime fiction.

Louise Penny is the number one New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Gamache series, set in the fictional Canadian village of Three Pines. The recipient of virtually every existing award for crime fiction, her twelfth novel, A GREAT RECKONING, was awarded the prestigious Agatha Award, Anthony, Macavity, Barry and Left Coast Crime Award.

More information and tickets can be found here.

Friday, 19 January 2018

An Evening with Mick Herron at Dulwich Books

Wednesday 7th March 2018: An Evening with Mick Herron at Dulwich Books

Bestselling spy novelist Mick Herron returns with London Rules, the fifth of his acclaimed Jackson Lamb novels. Mick will be at Dulwich Books on Wednesday 7th March to discuss his writing, read from his new book and sign your copies.

Mick’s Jackson Lamb novels started with the bestselling Slow Horses. It was described by the Mail on Sunday as ‘the most enjoyable British spy novel in years' and was picked by The Daily Telegraph as one of the best spy novels of all time. The following three novels went from strength to strength and have won bundles of prizes. He himself is as hilarious and captivating as his books. Do not miss this event!  

Event: An Evening with Mick Herron
Location: Dulwich Books, 6 Croxted Rd, London SE21 8SW
Date: 7th March 2018
Time: 19.00 – 20.30
Price: £10 (admission & a glass of wine)
           £20 (admission, book & glass of wine)

London Rules by Mick Herron (Published by Hodder & Stoughton)

London Rules might not be written down, but everyone knows rule one.  Cover your arse.  Regent's Park's First Desk, Claude Whelan, is learning this the hard way. Tasked with protecting a beleaguered prime minister, he's facing attack from all directions himself: from the showboating MP who orchestrated the Brexit vote, and now has his sights set on Number Ten; from the showboat's wife, a tabloid columnist, who's crucifying Whelan in print; and especially from his own deputy, Lady Di Taverner, who's alert for Claude's every stumble.  Meanwhile, the country's being rocked by an apparently random string of terror attacks, and someone's trying to kill Roddy Ho.  Over at Slough House, the crew are struggling with personal problems: repressed grief, various addictions, retail paralysis, and the nagging suspicion that their newest colleague is a psychopath. But collectively, they're about to rediscover their greatest strength - that of making a bad situation much, much worse.  It's a good job Jackson Lamb knows the rules. Because those things aren't going to break themselves.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

The Chalk Man Cometh

I had been struggling with large reading commitments, when a proof copy of THE CHALK MAN arrived in the mail. I put it to one side [leaving it for later] due to lack of time.

The hype surrounding it – the fierce bidding war from various publishing houses, international rights, allusions to Stephen King and James Herbert, and a Crime / Horror Debut novel plucked from ‘the slush pile’, breathless ‘blurbs’ from other writers – well – the hype had the opposite effect.

Despite being an enthusiast of Horror Fiction and The Weird the hype put me off the book.

How wrong could I have been?

Massively so.

I soon discovered when I finally cracked the spine of this remarkable novel that it is extraordinary. I also received word from several of my US reviewing colleagues who were equally impressed including Larry Gandle the Assistant Editor of Deadly Pleasures Magazine [a literary critic renowned for his no-nonsense approach, and a reader who is hard to impress].

Apart from being an elegant narrative split between the 1980s and current day, it also is written with an assured voice, which contains insight, and makes one reflect upon reality, as this paragraph below illustrates.

Rather than tell you too much, why not watch the short promotional film from Penguin Randomhouse

So it was a delight to find myself invited to the launch party organised by Gaby Young of Penguin RandomHouse in Islington, North London. I bumped into celebrated writer and critic Barry Forshaw, Shots Ayo Onatade, former Chair of The Crime Writers Association writer / critic Natasha Cooper, Jon Coates from The Express among an eclectic array of guests.

So as the canapés and wine flowed, the advance word about this debut was very exciting, so we chatted to the author, the editorial and marketing team from Michael Joseph imprint at Penguin RandomHouse, and soon it was time to hear more, so we present a short clip [recorded in gonzo-style] from the party.

And we present a few photographs from the launch party.

What makes this debut so intriguing is best explained by the author in this clip

We would urge you to seek out The Chalk Man, before he knocks on your door. 

Borderland by Tim Baker

As a deadly war between rival cartels erupts in Mexico, and a shocking sequence of serial killings continues unabated, a female activist and a renegade cop form an uneasy alliance to try to bring down the narcos. Tim Baker discusses the borderland where his new epic crime thriller, CITY WITHOUT STARS, is set . . .
For a landscape so often associated with violence and crime, the border region between Mexico and the United States is surprisingly beautiful. True to the complexities of its history, the area is rich in natural diversity. There are huge dunes of “singing sands” that hum eerily in the wind, dense “sky island” type mountain ranges with a spectacular array of flora and fauna, and remote, blue-hued canyons.
This stark beauty is in contrast to the region’s narrative over the last two decades: desperate immigrants exploited by vicious people smugglers; ruthless criminals trafficking narcotics one way and guns the other; and the devastating scourge of hundreds of women kidnapped and murdered by unknown killers.
When starting out on my novel, I struggled to reconcile these contradictions until the day I came across a legend that captured my imagination. In 1911, a group of Mexican volunteers answered the revolutionary call of Pancho Villa and crossed the dunes to join his irregulars.
Only they never made it. They were found dead weeks later, their lungs full of sand despite there being no record of any windstorms. They had literally drowned in sand.
The more I thought about it, the more incredible it seemed. And yet that impossibility helped me to embrace all the other paradoxes that I would encounter researching my novel. I began to understand that the greatest wall of all is not the one that runs along a border but the one that our minds put up against stories that challenge our own sense of reality.
It was an insight that prepared me for what was to come – the realisation that in el mondo narco – the insane narco universe – anything and everything was possible, and that the writer’s duty was not to question but to embrace those extremes . . .
Tim Baker’s debut thriller, FEVER CITY, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger and the Private Eye Writers of America’s Shamus Award.

CITY WITHOUT STARS is published by Faber & Faber in January (£12.99)
In Ciudad Real, Mexico, women are being thrown into the trash - raped, murdered and mutilated. The police have reported 300 deaths of young maquiladora girls from the factories, yet not found a single clue or suspect. But union agitator Pilar knows the number of deaths is more like 800, and that the lazy and corrupt police are the least likely to resolve the situation.  Fuentes is a different kind of police officer. When his colleagues start shutting down his investigations into the deaths, he knows the roots of this mass-murder cover-up must stretch wide – into his own force. Some of his colleagues are definitely on the payroll with narco thugs like El Santo. But why is Padre Marcio, Mexico’s hallowed orphan rescuer, appearing in the investigation too?  The more Fuentes and Pilar learn, the more they find themselves in danger. Can the two of them expose the truth when so many around them want to bury it?