Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Lange and Short of Crichton

I first met Charles Ardai, publisher of the wonderful Hard Case Crime [an imprint at Britain’s Titan Publishing] at The Shamus Awards 2008, held at Westminster Hall [the last resting place of Edgar A Poe] during Bouchercon Baltimore. We found ourselves on the same table, and I got to thank him for the wonderful books he was bringing back into print as well as the new material he was bringing out. This included my delight in Russell Hill’s dark novel Robbie’s Wife which stunned me. During dinner I discovered that Ardai and I were both businessmen, and both of us shared a passion for crime and mystery novels.

That night I was in for another surprise. I discovered that Ardai was in fact a writer using the pen-name Richard Aleas, and he won the Shamus Award that night for his novel Songs of Innocence!

Charles Ardai is a man full of surprises, publishing Stephen King’s Joyland earlier this year, and bringing lost classics back into print. I recently heard that he and his team have some classics from the late great Michael Crichton coming out this autumn.

So without further ado, we have the inside information for you, and currently Shots are negotiating with Titan Publishing, to secure a full set of them for a special competition, so keep checking Shots Mag……….

Rare Crichton Thrillers in Print and e-Book Editions

Long before he wrote Jurassic Park, before he scripted blockbuster movies like Twister, before he created the groundbreaking TV series ER, Michael Crichton was an honours student at Harvard Medical School – and writing paperback suspense novels on the side, under the top-secret pen name “John Lange.” Now, Hard Case Crime is bringing all of John Lange’s work back into print for the first time in decades – and the first time ever under Michael Crichton’s real name. [Binary; Grave Descend; Scratch One; Easy Go; October 2013, paperback & e-book, £7.99] 

Lange wrote eight books between 1966 and 1972… and then vanished. Forty years after “John Lange” was born, Michael Crichton chose Hard Case Crime to bring him back, personally re-editing two of the Lange books, even writing new chapters for one of them – all still under the cloak of the Lange identity. The project was interrupted by the author’s unexpected death in 2008 from cancer, just months after the second revived Lange novel returned to bookstores.

“Michael was one of the most imaginative and talented suspense writers who ever lived,” said Hard Case Crime founder and editor Charles Ardai, who worked closely with Crichton on editing the Lange books. “These early novels show his ingenuity and creativity at full blast and they read like a rocket. I defy anyone who picks up one of these books to put it down unfinished.”

Four novels are published in paperback and e-book in October 2013.

BINARY: A terrorist mastermind and a federal agent wage a battle of wits and of nerve when the villain plots to unleash poison gas on San Diego, killing one million people…including the President of the United States.

GRAVE DESCEND: A diver in Jamaica, hired to search the wreck of a sunken yacht, uncovers secrets deeper and darker than the waters in which the ship rests.

SCRATCH ONE: On the French Riviera, a case of mistaken identity could cost an American lawyer his life when a group of international assassins confuse him for the secret agent sent to take them down.

EASY GO: Can an Egyptologist and his band of thieves find a lost tomb buried for centuries in the desert – and get away with its treasure?

Four more thrillers, ZERO COOL, THE VENOM BUSINESS, DRUG OF CHOICE and ODDS ON will be published in November 2013.

More information available from >

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