Thursday, 23 May 2019

Books to Look Forward to From Quercus and MacLehose Press

July 2019

The Boy Who Fell is by Jo Spain. Kids can be so cruel. They'll call you names. Hurt your feelings. Push you to your death. In the garden of an abandoned house, Luke Connolly lies broken, dead. The night before, he and his friends partied inside. Nobody fought, everybody else went home safely. And yet, Luke was raped and pushed to his death. His alleged attacker is now in custody. DCI Tom Reynolds is receiving the biggest promotion of his career when a colleague asks him to look at the Connolly case, believing it's not as cut and dried as local investigators have made out. And as Tom begins to examine the world Connolly and his upper class friends inhabited, the privilege and protection afforded to them, he too realises something. In this place, people cover up for each other. Even when it comes to murder.

London, 1656: Captain Seeker is back in the city, on the trail of an assassin preparing to strike at the heart of Oliver Cromwell's Republic.  The Commonwealth is balanced on a knife edge. Royalists and disillusioned former Parliamentarians have united against Oliver Cromwell, now a king in all but name. Three conspirators, representing these factions, plan to assassinate the Lord Protector, paving the way back to the throne for Charles Stuart once and for all.  Captain Damian Seeker, meanwhile, is preoccupied by the horrifying discovery in an illegal gambling den of the body of a man ravaged by what is unmistakably a bear. Yet the bears used for baiting were all shot when the sport was banned by Cromwell. So where did this fearsome creature come from, and why would someone use it for murder?  With Royalist-turned-Commonwealth-spy Thomas Faithly tracking the bear, Seeker investigates its victim. The trail leads from Kent's coffee house on Cornhill, to a German clockmaker in Clerkenwell, to the stews of Southwark, to the desolate Lambeth Marshes where no one should venture at night.  When the two threads of the investigation begin to join, Seeker realises just what - and who - he is up against. The Royalists in exile have sent to London their finest mind and greatest fighter, a man who will stop at nothing to ensure the Restoration. Has Seeker finally met his match?  The Bear Pit is by S G MacLean.

Sanctuary is by Luca D’Andrea.  Marlene Wegener is on the run. She has stolen something from her husband, something priceless, irreplaceable.  But she doesn't get very far. When her car veers off a bleak midwinter road she takes refuge in the remote home of Simon Keller, a tough mountain man who lives alone with his demons. Here in her high mountain sanctuary, she begins to rekindle a sense of herself: tough, capable, no longer the trophy on a gangster's arm.  But Herr Wegener does not know how to forgive, and in his rage he makes a pact with the devil. The Trusted Man. He cannot be called off, he cannot be reasoned with and one way or another he will get the job done.  Unless, of course, he's beaten to it . . .
One wet and misty weekend in October, the Niemann family find a stranger in their garden. He is armed and tries to force his way into the house, but disappears as soon as the police are alerted. That night he's back with an impossible ultimatum . . .  Freiburg detective Louise Boni and her colleagues are put under enormous pressure. Traces of evidence lead her to a no-man's-land, and to a ruthless criminal who brings with him the trauma of conflict in the Balkans.  The Dance of Death is the third book in the Black Forest Investigation series by Oliver Bottini

August 2019

"There's something I have to explain, my love," he says, taking your hand in his. "That wasn't a dream. It was an upload."  Abbie wakes in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there. The man by her side explains that he's her husband. He's a titan of the tech world, the founder of one of Silicon Valley's most innovative startups. He tells Abbie she's a gifted artist, a doting mother to their young son, and the perfect wife. Five years ago, she suffered a terrible accident. Her return from the abyss is a miracle of science, a breakthrough in artificial intelligence that has taken him half a decade to achieve.  But as Abbie pieces together memories of her marriage, she begins questioning her husband's motives - and his version of events. Can she trust him when he says he wants them to be together forever? And what really happened to her, half a decade ago?.  The Perfect Wife is by J P Delaney 

The Washington Decree is by Jussi Adler-Olsen.  "The president has gone way too far. . . . These are practically dictatorial methods we're talking about." When Democratic Senator Bruce Jansen is elected president of the United States, it is a personal victory for Dorothy "Dottie" Rogers. She has secured a job in the White House, has proved to her Republican father that she was right to support Jansen, and is proud to see the rise of an intelligent, inspiring leader who shares her ideals. But the triumph is short-lived: Jansen's pregnant wife is assassinated on election night, and the alleged mastermind behind the shooting is none other than Dottie's own father. When Jansen ascends to the White House, he is a changed man, determined to end gun violence by any means necessary. Rights are taken away as quickly as weapons. Checkpoints and roadblocks destroy infrastructure. The media is censored. Militias declare civil war on the government. The country is in chaos, and Dottie's finds herself fighting for the life of her father, who just may be innocent.

3 Hoursis by Roslund & Hellström. The explosive third novel in the Ewert Grens-Piet Hoffmann trilogy, which began with Three Seconds.  Stockholm, Sweden. Seventy-three refugees have been found dead, suffocated in a container at Varta harbour.  Niamey, Niger. Ewert Grens arrives in a city he's never heard of, in search of a man he never thought he would see again.  Piet Hoffmann has again got himself in too deep, infiltrating a West African trafficking ring. He thinks he has two weeks to extricate himself, but will learn that his life, and that of countless defenceless people, now hangs on his actions during three desperate hours.

What will you do now?" "I shall be the hunter and not the hunted"  The girl with the dragon tattoo is finally ready to confront her nemesis, the only woman who is evidently and in many ways her match. Salander will not wait to be hunted. When she strikes it will be a double blow: vengeance for recent atrocities, and the settling of lifelong scores.  It begins with the discovery of Mikael Blomkvist’s number at Millennium magazine in the pocket of an unidentified homeless man who died with the name of a government minister on his lips.  Blomkvist, at extreme risk to himself, tracks down his old friend and will protect her as far as he can. But he is powerless to crush her enemies on his own.  And for Lisbeth Salander, the personal is always political - and deadly.  For months now Salander has been closing in on her target. She has moved from Stockholm, her hair is newly styled, her piercings are gone. She could pass for any other businesswoman. But not all businesswomen have a Beretta Cheetah beneath their jacket. They do not wield the lethal power of a hacker’s genius. They do not carry scars and tattoos to remind them that they have survived the unsurvivable.  The Girl Who Lived Twice is by David Lagercrantz.

September 2019

As the head of Swedish Intelligence in Brussels Bente Jensen has many enemies, even among those who ought to be her allies, like Jonathan Green of MI6. In a city heaving with competing espionage agencies he is the person she fears and distrusts most. She has good reason. They share a past.  Green has been part of an MI6 conspiracy to hold, interrogate, torture and kill its political prisoners in a safe house in Syria. This explosive information has been leaked to Bente by a conscience-stricken British operative. When it is clear she can expose this operation MI6 uses its full arsenal of dirty tricks to shame her, disgrace her, destroy her relationships and remove her from active service.  But Green's private life has more in common with Bente's than he acknowledges. He is far from fireproof himself. Both spies will find themselves targets of the UK establishment's precisely calculated revenge.  The Silent War is by Andreas Norman.

October 2019

Ten years have passed since the events described in The Vanishing Box. Edgar Stephens is now a Superintendent and married to former DS Emma Holmes. Edgar's wartime partner in arms, magician Max Mephisto, is a movie star in Hollywood, while his daughter Ruby has her own TV show, Ruby Magic.  The funeral of Stan Parks, aka Diablo, actor and wartime comrade to Edgar and Max, throws the gang back together. The reunion sparks all sorts of feelings. Bob Willis, now a DI, is dealing with the disappearance of local schoolgirl Rhonda Miles. Emma, frustrated by living the life of a housewife and mother, keeps thinking how much better she would run the case. She is helped by Sam Collins, a woman reporter also hampered by sexism at work. Sam notices a pattern with other missing girls. Edgar listens to the theory but doesn't give it much credence. He is preoccupied with the threatened invasion of Brighton by Mods and Rockers on the May Bank Holiday.  The case takes a more sinister turn when one of the missing girls is found dead. Then Ruby fails to turn up for a rendezvous and it becomes clear that she too has disappeared. Emma takes risks to track down the killer herself while Edgar is working flat out dealing with violent clashes between rival gangs on Brighton's seafront. With tension and anger hitting him on all sides, Edgar must keep the coolest of heads to track down the killer.  Now You See Them is by Elly Griffiths.

A Body in the Bookshop is by Helen Cox. Librarian Kitt Hartley thought her life had gone back to normal after the shocking events of Murder by the Minster. Then her friend Evie Bowesbreaks some bad news: DS Charlotte Banks has been suspended from duty, on suspicion of assaulting a suspect in a string of antique bookshop robberies.   Evie wants justice for Charlotte who she is sure was not the attacker, and how could any self-respecting librarian turn down the chance to find missing rare books? The two friends team up once again to investigate the rarefied world of York's bookshops and antiques dealers and find out just who has framed their friend. But Kitt and Evie will soon learn that there are some books people will kill for - will this story have a happy ending?

Goodfellas meets White Fang. A gripping coming of age thriller of vengeance and destiny set between Mexico City's murderous 1960s underworld and the bleak tundras of Canada's most remote province.  Yukon, Canada's far north. A young man tracks a wolf through the wilderness.  The one his grandfather warned him about:  "Of all the wolves you will see in your life, one alone will be your master."  In Mexico City, Juan Guillermo has pledged vengeance. For his murdered brother, Carlos.  For his parents, sentenced to death by their grief.  But in 1960s Mexico justice is sold to the highest bidder, and the Catholic fanatics who killed Carlos are allied to Zunita, a corrupt and influential police commander.  If he is to quench his thirst for revenge  Juan Guillermo will have to answer his inner call of the wild and discover what links his destiny to a hunter on the other side of America.  The Untameable is by Guillermo Arriaga.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

In The Spotlight - Will Dean

Name:-  Will Dean
Job:- Author
Twitter:- @willrdean
Will Dean is the author of currently two books in the Dark Pines series which have been optioned for a television series.  His debut novel Dark Pines was selected by Val McDermid for her New Blood Panel at the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival. Dark Pines was also shortlisted for Not The Booker Prize and was the Daily Telegraph Book of the Year.  Dark Pines was also selected by Selected for ITV's Zoe Ball Book Club. The next book in the Dark Pines series is Snake River that is due to be published in January 2020.
Current Book
I read Mystic River by Dennis Lehane the week before starting draft 1 of Tuva Moodyson book 4. It was a big mistake. I wouldn’t recommend reading anything that brilliant immediately before writing something new. It’s not great for your confidence.  I have a copy of My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite on my desk for when I finish this damn draft.
Favourite Book
The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I re-read it every year. A masterpiece.
Which two characters would you invite to dinner and why?
Merricat Blackwood (We Have Always Lived in the Castle) and Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of The Lambs). I’d like to watch them eat. Listen to them talk. Observe them.
How do you relax?
Reading and chopping wood.
What book do you wish you’d written and why?
The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark. Because it’s so bloody good. So unsettling.
What would you say to your younger self if you were just starting out as a writer?
Be patient. Read even more than you already do. Read more diverse books. Don’t eat the lounge food at Gothenburg Airport in February 2018.
How would you describe your series character?
Tuva Moodyson is young, deaf, ambitious, city-loving, acidic, complex, fiercely loyal, and terrified of the great outdoors. 
Red Snowby Will Dean (Published by Point Blank)
Two bodies. One suicide. One cold-blooded murder. Are they connected? And who's really pulling the strings in the small Swedish town of Gavrik?  Two coins. Black Grimberg liquorice coins cover the murdered man's eyes. The hashtag #Ferryman starts to trend as local people stock up on ammunition.  Two weeks. Tuva Moodyson, deaf reporter at the local paper, has a fortnight to investigate the deaths before she starts her new job in the south. A blizzard moves in. Residents, already terrified, feel increasingly cut-off. Tuva must go deep inside the Grimberg factory to stop the killer before she leaves town for good. But who's to say the Ferryman will let her go?
Snake River by Will Dean (Published by Point Blank, January 2020)
Snake River is the third thriller in the Tuva Moodyson series, featuring deaf reporter Tuva Moodyson. After living clean in southern Sweden for several months, Tuva receives a life-changing phone call – her best friend Tammy has gone missing and police fear she’s been kidnapped – and Tuva must return to her home town to help the investigation.
 Information about 2019 St Hilda's College Crime Fiction Weekend and how to book tickets can be found here.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Karin Slaughter In Conversation With Mark Billingham


Join us for a stimulating evening with #1 internationally bestselling author KARIN SLAUGHTER and MARK BILLINGHAM, who has just recorded his eighteenth consecutive Top Ten bestseller in the UK.

Karin will be talking with Mark about her forthcoming book The Last Widow, a gripping new crime thriller that sees the reunion of popular characters Will Trent and Sara Linton, after a three-year hiatus. 

Mark's book, Their Little Secret is the brand new thriller in the Sunday Times bestselling Tom Thorne series, which was made into an acclaimed TV series in 2010, starring David Morrissey. 

The event will last one hour and involve a Q&A along with the discussion. Once the event commences, copies of both authors' books will be available to 
purchase and have signed.

Date:- 12 June 2019
Time:- 6:30pm to 7:30pm
*The £5 ticket cost is redeemable against the cost of a book*
More information about buying tickets can be found here.

Karin Slaughter is one of the world's most popular and acclaimed storytellers. Published in 120 countries with more than 35 million copies sold across the globe, her 19 novels include the Grant County and Will Trent books, as well as the Edgar-nominated Cop Townand in the instant Sunday Times bestselling novels Pretty GirlsThe Good Daughter, and Pieces of HerThe Good Daughter and Cop Townare in development for film and television and Pieces of Heris soon to be an eight-part Netflix adaption. Karin is also the founder of Save the Librarians project - a non-profit organisation established to support libraries and library programming. 

Mark Billingham's book sales now top 5 million copies and he is published in over 25 countries. Each thriller in his series featuring London-based detective Tom Thorne has been a Sunday Times bestseller. His debut, Sleepyhead(published in 2001), was singled out by The Times as one of the novels that shaped the decade and has gone on to sell over 750,000 copies. Two of his novels, Lazybonesand Death Messageboth won the Theakstons Old Peculiar Award for Crime Novel of the Year. Mark began his career as an actor before writing for a variety of shows and then branching out into stand-up comedy. He has gone on to present, host and contribute widely on TV and radio. 

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Cain, Higashino, Lapena, Lemaitre and Mankell shortlisted for the 2019 Iceland Noir Award for translated crime fiction

The authors and Icelandic translators of the following five novels are shortlisted for the 2019 Iceland Noir Award for translated crime fiction: 
James M. Cain: Double Indemnity (Translated by Þórdís Bachmann)
Keigo Higashino: The Devotion of Suspect X (Translated by Ásta S. Guðbjartsdóttir)
Shari Lapena: A Stranger in the House (Translated by Ingunn Snædal)
Pierre Lemaitre: Three Days and a Life (Translated by Friðrik Rafnsson)
Henning Mankell: After the Fire (Translated by Hilmar Hilmarsson)

The winning book will be announced in November. 

The jury for the award is composed of Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, Kolbrún Bergþórsdóttir journalist and literary critic, and Ragnar Jónasson, crime writer.

H/T CrimeTime for the information.


The shortlist for crime writing’s most wanted accolade, the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, has been announced.

The shortlist in full:
Snap by Belinda Bauer
Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh
London Rules by Mick Herron
Broken Ground by Val McDermid
The Quaker by Liam McIlvanney
East of Hounslow by Khurrum Rahman

The shortlisted six were whittled down from a longlist of 18 titles. The prize, now in its 15th year, was created to celebrate the very best in crime fiction.

Belinda Bauer, a previous winner of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award for her novel Rubbernecker in 2014, is shortlisted with her 2018 Man Booker long-listed, Snap

Snap, which is inspired by the murder of a pregnant woman, Marie Wilks, on the M50 in 1988 (the real-life crime remains unsolved), became one of the very few crime-genre novels ever to be considered for the Man Booker prize. The judges described it as “an acute, stylish, intelligent novel about how we survive trauma.”
Bauer battles courtroom drama, Thirteen, by Steve Cavanagh, hailed by Ian Rankin for “plotting that takes the breath away.” Cavanagh is an Irish lawyer and author born and raised in Belfast. Thirteen offers an original twist on the courtroom thriller, where the serial killer isn’t on trial - he’s on the jury.

Both Mick Herron and Val McDermid were shortlisted for the 2018 Theakston Old Peculier Novel of the Year - the title went to Stav Sherez with The Intrusions

McDermid last won Novel of the Year in 2006. The No.1 bestseller and ‘queen of crime’ could reclaim the title with her latest, Broken Ground. The Karen Pirie thriller digs up a secret buried for 70 years in a Highland peat bog and has been praised for its ‘masterly handling of pace and plot.’

Her novels have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold over 15 million copies. McDermid has won many awards including in 2016 the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

Mick Herron’s widely acclaimed Jackson Lamb novels have been shortlisted twice for the Crime Novel of the Year and London Rules puts him back in the running. London Rules is the fifth outing for the misfit disgraced band of spies at Slough House with the backdrop of Brexit Britain and a terror plot. Dubbed ‘the UK’s new spy master’ by the Sunday Times, Herron’s writing was praised by critic Barry Forshaw for, “the spycraft of le Carré refracted through the blackly comic vision of Joseph Heller’s Catch-22.

The Quaker by Liam McIllvanney has already scooped the 2018 McIlvanney Prize which was named to honour his father, the late ‘godfather of tartan noir’, William McIlvanney. Liam, an author and a professor of Scottish studies in New Zealand, set The Quaker in Glasgow in 1969 drawing on the real-life, never-caught serial murderer Bible John.

The only debut author on the list is that of Senior IT Officer turned novelist, Khurrum Rahman, with his first novel, East of Hounslow.  Mixing edgy humour and pulse-racing tension, Khurrum was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Debut Dagger Award 2018. East of Hounslow follows his young hero Jay, a dope dealer who ends up reluctantly working undercover for MI5 while undergoing radical Islamist training. Khurrum lives in Berkshire with his wife and two sons.

Shortlist titles will feature in a dedicated online campaign with WHSmith and a nationwide library promotion.

The overall winner will be decided by the panel of Judges, alongside a public vote. The public vote opens on 1 July and closes 14 July at

Executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “All shortlisted authors are deserving of the title, but there’s only one Novel of the Year. The public vote will be invaluable, readers have real power, so I’d encourage everyone to make their voice heard - it’s free and simple to vote online. It will be fascinating to see which of these remarkable titles prevails, all are simply outstanding.

The winner is announced on the opening night of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, on 18 July.

The winner will receive a £3,000 cash prize, as well as a handmade, engraved beer barrel provided by Theakston Old Peculier.

The awards ceremony, hosted by Mark Lawson, will also reveal the recipient of the 2019 Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, who will join a roll-call of crime writing giants. Past recipients include Colin Dexter, Reginald Hill, PD James, Ruth Rendell, Lynda La Plante, Sara Paretsky, Val McDermid, Lee Child and John Grisham.

The award is run in partnership with T&R Theakston Ltd, WHSmith, and The Mail on Sunday.

For further media information please contact Ann Chadwick at Cause UK 07534892715

Friday, 17 May 2019

An Evening With Ben Aaronovitch - 11 June 2019

Ben Aaronovitch will be hosting an hour-long discussion, in the famous Browns courtrooms, where he will be discussing The October Man, the new novella in the Rivers of London series.

The talk with last for one hour, including a Q&A. Afterwards, copies of The October Man will be available to purchase and have signed by the author. 

*The £5 ticket cost is redeemable against the cost of a book*

The October Man by Ben Aaronvitch (Published by Gollancz)
Trier is famous for wine, Romans and for being Germany's oldest city. So when a man is found dead with his body impossibly covered in a fungal rot only found on grapes, the local authorities know they are out of their depth.  Fortunately this is Germany, where there are procedures for everything.   Enter Investigator Tobias Winter, whose aim is to get in, deal with the problem, and get out with minimum fuss, personal danger and paperwork. With the help of frighteningly enthusiastic cop Vanessa Sommer, he's quick to link the first victim to a 'drinking-and-improvement society', created by a group of entirely ordinary middle-aged men - who may have somehow accidentally reawakened a bloody conflict from a previous century.  The rot is still spreading, literally, and the list of victims and suspects ever increasing. Solving the case may mean unearthing the city's secret magical history. So long as that history doesn't kill them first.

Information about buying tickets can be found here.

Born on the Bayou: Bouchercon 2021 New Orleans

It’s been a bit of a surreal week for me, firstly after a month of sitting on my hands, I have finally been able to speak about a Crime Novel, a Thriller that has rocked me, namely the release of Thomas Harris’ sixth novel Cari Mora.

I reviewed it HERE, though my excitement is visible HERE, HERE and HERE.

Then, I heard that I am required to attend the World Crime and Mystery Convention, Bouchercon 52, Chaired by the Award Winning and Bestselling Author Heather Graham with her Colleague the amazing Connie Perry – and the team they are assembling.

Bouchercon 52, runs August 25 – 29 2021 and you can get more information HERE but bookmark that link, as more information will appear as the clock ticks toward the event.

I am most humbled, as I will be joining Jo Nesbo travelling from Europe to celebrate with our colleagues in America, the darkest edge of Literature, the Crime, Mystery and Thriller Genre.

As a former member of the Board of Bouchercon, the last event I attended was Bouchercon 2016, which was a memorable time for all who attended, and one of the biggest events that celebrated the genre. You can see what happened from the links via writer / editor Jeff Pierce HERE, HERE and from Mike Stotter HERE

It was a great time, especially as I worked very hard with the Boucheron Board co-chairing the programming for Bouchercon 2015, in Raleigh North Carolina – click HERE for memories of days now passed, and these videos HERE from The Rap Sheet.

Due to the popularity of the 2016 Bouchercon in the wonderfully weird city of New Orleans, I’d start planning soon despite it being held in 2021 as I hope to see many of my friends, colleagues and contacts down on that Bayou.

But don’t forget the prior World Crime & Mystery Events, Bouchercon 50 hosted in Dallas in 2019 more info HERE, and Bouchercon 51 in 2020 hosted in Sacramento more info HERE.  

Let me leave you with a piece of music that I am playing a great deal currently, because I love New Orleans, and my love for Dennis and Heather Graham, and Connie Perry knows no perimeter. I am privileged to have them as friends for so many years now, sharing our time and drinks on both sides of the Atlantic, first meeting at the inaugural International Thriller Writers THRILLFEST Convention held in Phoenix Arizona in 2006. My recollections of that time, a fragment torn from my memory, like Dr Hannibal Lecter’s memory palace is still online HERE

And for the couple of people seated at the back of the auditorium, here’s some information about the prolific and life-affirming Author Heather Graham HERE

And now for some Southern Comfort

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Anthony Award Nominations

Bouchercon 2019 — “Denim, Diamonds, and Death” — will present this year’s Anthony® Awards in five categories at the 50th annual Bouchercon® World Mystery Convention to be held in Dallas, October 31 to November 3. The Anthony Awards will be voted on by attendees at the convention and presented on Saturday, November 2.

The Anthony Award nominees, for works published in 2018, have just been selected by vote of the Bouchercon membership, and we are delighted to announce the nominees:

Best Novel
Give Me Your Handby Megan Abbott (Little, Brown and Company)
November Roadby Lou Berney (William Morrow)
Jar of Heartsby Jennifer Hillier (Minotaur Books)
Sunburnby Laura Lippman (William Morrow)
Blackoutby Alex Segura (Polis Books)

Best First Novel
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Doubleday)
Broken Places by Tracy Clark (Kensington)
Dodging and Burning by John Copenhaver (Pegasus Books)
What Doesn’t Kill You by Aimee Hix (Midnight Ink)
Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco)

Best Paperback Original Novel
Hollywood Ending by Kellye Garrett (Midnight Ink)
If I Die Tonight by Alison Gaylin (William Morrow Paperbacks)
Hiroshima Boy by Naomi Hirahara (Prospect Park Books)
Under a Dark Sky by Lori Rader-Day (William Morrow Paperbacks)
A Stone’s Throw by James W. Ziskin (Seventh Street Books)

Best Short Story
The Grass Beneath My Feet” by S.A. Cosby, in Tough (blogazine, August 20, 2018)
Bug Appétit” by Barb Goffman, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (November/December 2018)
Cold Beer No Flies” by Greg Herren, in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press
English 398: Fiction Workshop” by Art Taylor, in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine (July/August 2018)
The Best Laid Plans” by Holly West, in Florida Happens (Three Rooms Press)

Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work
Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving an American Obsession by Alice Bolin (William Morrow Paperbacks)
Mastering Plot Twists: How To Use Suspense, Targeted Storytelling Strategies, and Structure To Captivate Your Readers by Jane K. Cleland (Writer’s Digest Books)
Pulp According to David Goodis by Jay A. Gertzman (Down & Out Books)
Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s by Leslie S. Klinger (Pegasus Books)
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara (HarperCollins)
The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World by Sarah Weinman (Ecco)

The Anthony® Award is named for the late Anthony Boucher (rhymes with “voucher”), a well-known California writer and critic who wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times Book Review, and also helped found Mystery Writers of America. First presented in 1986, the Anthony Awards are among the most prestigious and coveted literary awards.

Bouchercon®, the World Mystery Convention founded in 1970, is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization celebrating the mystery genre. It is the largest annual meeting in the world for readers, writers, fans, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers, and other lovers of crime fiction. For more information, please visit

The honoured guests this year at Bouchercon in Dallas are Peter Lovesey (Lifetime Achievement), Hank Phillippi Ryan (American Guest of Honor), Felix Francis (International Guest of Honor), James Patterson (Distinguished Contribution to the Genre), Deborah Crombie (Local Guest of Honor), Harry Hunsicker (Toastmaster), McKenna Jordan (Fan Guest of Honor), and Charlaine Harris and Sandra Brown (Special Guests).

Cari Mora by Thomas Harris

Finally, the book reviewers can speak, for the world-wide launch of the 6th novel by Thomas Harris was hosted by Goldsboro books, in London on Tuesday 14th of May, a few days ahead of the UK and Irish release today Thursday 16th of May 2019, by William Heinemann. It is released a few days later on 21st of May in US and Canada from Grand Central Publishing. 

I was joined by Ayo Onatade and Barry Forshaw [among many others] to celebrate the release of this long-awaited book. The event was managed by Charlotte Bush with Jason Arthur of that iconic PenguinRandomHouse imprint.

Part of the launch included details of a nationwide Treasure Hunt, for Gold Bullion, mirroring the narrative of Cari Mora – the prize being a unique ‘Gold’ Edition of the Thomas Harris novel – details from The Bookseller HERE

So we were welcomed by wine and nibbles as Publisher Jason Arthur took to the microphone, which we recorded HERE and embedded below in a six-minute clip filmed in angular gonzo-vision –

And after writing peripheral information, such as this HERE, the few literary critics who were sent the book for an opinion are now able to publish their thoughts, as the embargo was lifted, today the 16th of May 2019.

So, what were my thoughts?

And presented with no spoilers -

Despite this eagerly anticipated novel being unusually concise, as it would take no more than an afternoon curled up on a sofa to consume - it cannot be labelled with that axiom “one-sitting-read”. Like a bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella (that has been aged at least ten years), it needs to be sipped slowly, as the arrangement of words to tell a story (to paint pictures in the reader’s mind) is extraordinary. However, the horrors revealed as this narrative unfurls are troubling. The story cuts jaggedly into the mind like the obsidian-edged scalpel wielded by Hans-Peter Schneider; leaving a scar, one that reverberates inside the mind like an echo, one that doesn’t decay like the ones we screamed into those caves we explored as children. The cries and horrors from this book will remain contained within the caverns of our mind, troubling us from time to time, whenever we recall being exposed to this narrative.

Read the full review from Shots Magazine HERE

I found myself shocked at many of the events that unfold, and repelled at some actions of the antagonists but it is written so well, so adroitly edited that as a reading experience it is as exceptional, as it is hypnotic.

Though dark, and very scary it has moments of great insight, but at its core it is a thriller, one that made my pulse pound and I would urge readers to look out for it, because it is so damned fine.

Though, at times I was scared as it is so very dark.

During the reading, at moments I wondered why some of us are attracted to read of such terrible things, of humans pushed into the darkest of situations. I thought of the magnetic attraction of the car crash. Sometimes we view the hidden terrors contained in existence to be thankful; other times it’s because we wish to be at the epicentre of vicarious thrills, viewed safely, existentially, from the mind.

A line from Thomas Harris’ 1999 thriller, HANNIBAL is apt.

“The exposition of Atrocious Torture Instruments could not fail to appeal to a connoisseur of the worst in mankind. But the essence of the worst, the true asafoetida of the human spirit, is not found in the Iron Maiden or the whetted edge; Elemental Ugliness is found in the faces of the crowd.”

As Dr Hannibal Lecter when visiting the exhibition in his Dr Fell disguise gained his pleasure not from viewing the exhibits, but derived it from the faces in the crowd.

I have admiration for Thomas Harris, for what he wrote in the last paragraph of his acknowledgements, his thanks to others, for when you read Cari Mora, you will understand 

“Most of all, my thanks to this place – Miami – savory and beautiful, an intensely American City built and maintained by people who came from somewhere else, often on foot.”

We present a few photographs from the launch, and would pass our thanks to David Headley and his team at Goldsboro Books for hosting the launch party, as well as Charlotte Bush for allowing us an early read, and her colleagues for fronting the launch party.