Thursday, 28 April 2011

Guest Blog: C J Box - Letter From Wyoming

Exclusive to SHOTS, we are delighted to announce a regular new blog series by multi award-winning US crime writer C.J. Box. In his monthly 'Letter from Wyoming', Box [or Chuck] will give us a unique personal insight into life in the great American outdoors, the landscape and the cast of real life characters from cowboys to ranchmen and game wardens that have provided the inspiration for his acclaimed Joe Pickett series.

Letter From Wyoming
By C.J. Box

The Beast

Several years ago, I was fly-fishing with some friends in backcountry Yellowstone Park. We’d secured one of the few official campsites and we had the remote area all to ourselves. After we’d pitched our tents and secured the site – meaning hoisting food twenty feet into the air a quarter mile from our camp to keep man-eating grizzly bears away – we spent the day catching and releasing magnificent Yellowstone Cutthroat trout until our casting arms were tired. Then we staggered back to camp, ate, and two of us decided to go back to the river. We knew we were foolish for fishing in the dark in strange and wild country without cell phones or radios.

The dusk sky turned Technicolor and the temperature dropped as the sun slipped behind the mountains. The stream cut deeply into the terrain and tall cut-banks obscured the view both ways. It was almost like fishing in a wide curving hallway and we couldn’t see anything up or down river. My friend was on the other side of the water.

The silence was immense as it got darker. As I cast into a riffle, I caught a smell I could only describe as musky and primitive. I looked up at my friend and he was frowning: he smelled it too. It was coming from upriver, over the high bank. We froze.

Suddenly there was an watery explosive splash no more than 20 yards upstream around the blind corner. A moment later, the current filled with feathers, a slick of blood, and dismembered pieces of a Canada goose. My friend and I exchanged worried glances and we clambered out of there, speed walking toward our distant campfire, shooting glances over our shoulders the entire way.

We never saw the bear. But I’m often reminded when I think back on the incident it is sometimes it’s the beast we don’t see that stays with us.

Corvus - the Atlantic Books imprint - is showing their undivided commitment to publishing Box in the UK with the unprecedented roll-out of a book a month featuring Wyoming Game warden Joe Pickett.


Trophy Hunt is the fourth in the Joe Pickett series, published by Corvus. The next Joe Pickett adventure Out Of Range, is published on the 1st June.
To win a copy of Trophy Hunt simply tell us the name of the first book in the Joe Pickett series. Send your answer to the Shots editor . Don’t forget to add your name and address in case you are the lucky winner. Good Luck.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Books to look forward to from Macmillan

The Unlucky Lottery is by Håkan Nesser and is due to be published in October 2011. Four pensioners celebrate the fact that they have won 20,000 kronor in the lottery. Just hours later, one of them - Waldemar Leverkuhn - is found in his home, stabbed to death. With Chief Inspector Van Veeteren on sabbatical, working in a second hand bookshop, the case is assigned to Inspector Munster. But when another member of the lottery group disappears, as well as Leverkuhn's neighbour, Munster appeals to Van Veeteren for assistance. Soon Munster will find himself interviewing the Leverkuhn family, including the eldest - Irene - a resident of a psychiatric clinic. And as he delves deeper into the family's history, he will discover dark secrets and startling twists, which not only threaten the clarity of the case - but also his life...

Following his investigations in The Holy Thief, which implicated those at the very top of authority in Soviet Russia, Captain Alexei Korolev finds himself decorated and hailed as an example to all Soviet workers. But Korolev lives in an uneasy peace - his new-found knowledge is dangerous, and if it is discovered what his real actions were during the case, he will face deportation to the frozen camps of the far north. But when the knock on the door comes, in the dead of night, it is not Siberia Korolev is destined for. Instead, Colonel Rodinov of the NKVD security service asks the detective to look into the suspected suicide of a young woman: Maria Alexandovna Lenskaya - Masha, a model citizen. Korolev is unnerved to learn that Masha had been of interest to Ezhov, the feared Commissar for State Security. Ezhov himself wants to matter looked into. And when the detective arrives on the set for Bloody Meadow, in the bleak, battle-scarred Ukraine, he soon discovers that there is more to Masha's death than meets the eye. The Bloody Meadow is by William Ryan and is due to be published in September 2011. It is the second book in the series to feature Captain Alexei Korolev.

The Lost Daughter is by Lucretia Grindle and is due to be published in August 2011. 'Her past.' Pallioti tapped the files. 'This,' he said, 'is how you'll find her.' In Florence, a young American student goes missing. At first neither Alessandro Pallioti, one of the city's most senior policemen, nor Enzo Saenz, his deputy, are too concerned. But soon the men are horrified to discover that the older man Kristen has been spending time with is Antonio Tomaselli, a member of the notorious Red Brigades. Then, before the police can get a handle on the case, Kristen's step-mother, Anna, also vanishes. Before long Enzo finds himself enmeshed in a web of false identities, betrayed loyalties, and revenge. At its centre is Anna, a woman he is increasingly drawn to, but knows he should not trust; and at stake is the life of an eighteen year old girl. With the horrors of the past rising behind him and the women's futures hanging in the balance, Enzo Saenz is on unfamiliar ground and playing the most deadly game of his life.

When newspaper magnate Richard Jewell is found dead at his country estate, clutching a shotgun in his lifeless hands, few see his demise as cause for sorrow. But before long Doctor Quirke and Inspector Hackett realise that, rather than the suspected suicide, 'Diamond Dick' has in fact been murdered. Jewell had made many enemies over the years and suspicion soon falls on one of his biggest rivals. But as Quirke and his assistant Sinclair get to know Jewell's beautiful, enigmatic wife Francoise d'Aubigny, and his fragile sister Dannie, as well as those who work for the family, it gradually becomes clear that all is not as it seems. As Quirke's investigations return him to the notorious orphanage of St Christopher's, where he once resided, events begin to take a much darker turn. Quirke finds himself reunited with an old enemy and Sinclair receives sinister threats. But what have the shadowy benefactors of St Christopher's to do with it all? Set against the backdrop of 1950's Dublin, A Death in Summer is the fourth in the Quirke Dublin series by Benjamin Black and is due to be published in July 2011.

Beneath the Dark Ice is by Grieg Beck. Terror From The Deep...When a plane crashes into the Antarctic ice in a violent storm, exposing a massive cave beneath, a rescue and research team is dispatched. Twenty-four hours later, all contact is lost. Captain Alex Hunter and his crack team of highly trained commandos are fast-tracked there to find out what went wrong, accompanied by an assortment of researchers, including petrobiologist Aimee Weir. Within the caves lies an unidentified - and unnatural seeming - substance. If it proves to be an energy source, every country in the world will want to know about it - some even kill for it. Beneath the Dark Ice is due to be published in August 2011.

Herring on the Nile is by LC Tyler and is due to be published in July 2011. In an effort to rejuvenate his flagging career, crime novelist Ethelred Tressider decides to set his new book in Egypt and embarks on a 'research trip' with his literary agent, Elsie Thirkettle, in tow. No sooner has their cruise on the Nile begun, however, than an attempt is made on Ethelred's life. When the boat's engine explodes and a passenger is found bloodily murdered, suspicion falls on everyone aboard - including a third-rate private eye, two individuals who may or may not be undercover police, and Ethelred himself. As the boat drifts out of control, though, it seems that events are being controlled by a party far more radical than anyone could have guessed.

Olympic rowing hopeful and senior Metropolitan Police officer DCI Rebecca Meredith goes out alone to train on the river in Henley on a dark afternoon in late October - and doesn't return. When a desperate search by the police and a K9 team reveals the possibility of foul play, Scotland Yard wants one of their own on the case. Detective Superintendent Duncan Kincaid, returning from celebrating his marriage to long-time partner Detective Inspector Gemma James, is called to Henley to investigate. He soon finds that the world of elite rowing can be brutal, and that Rebecca Meredith's ex-husband was not the only person with good reason for wanting her dead. Then, when a search-and-rescue team member is threatened, Kincaid realizes the case may be even more complex and more dangerous than he believed. But it is only when he enlists Gemma's aid that they find that the answers lie closer to home than they could have imagined - and are infinitely more deadly. It seems that more than one innocent life depends on their ability to track down the killer. No Mark Upon Her is by Deborah Crombie and is due to be published in August 2011.

Cold Justice is by Katherine Howell and is due to be published in July 2011. On an early morning walk, a young girl finds the body of her classmate, Tim Pieters, hidden amongst some bushes. The boy's family are desperate for answers but the killer is never found. Almost two decades later, political pressure sees the cold case reopened and Detective Ella Marconi inherits the job. Ella attacks the case with vigour, determined to shake off the memories of her last investigation, which ended with her being shot in the line of duty. But she knows it won't be easy - after all this time the murderer is probably long gone and the memories of any witnesses are fading. Georgie Riley, the girl who found Tim's body, is now a paramedic, trying to face up to her own demons. There's never been any reason to doubt her story, but when Ella receives an anonymous call insisting that Georgie has information about the Pieters' case, she decides to dig deeper. As long-buried secrets and lies finally come to light, can Ella track down the killer before more people are hurt?

Lizzie and Evie are inseparable. They walk home from school together, sleep over at each other's houses, even flirt with boys together. And they tell each other everything. Or at least, that's what Lizzie thinks - until Evie goes missing, and Lizzie suddenly realises their friendship wasn't quite what she thought. A novel about two young girls discovering their sexuality; about fathers and daughters; about family and friendship; about jealousy, secrets and lies, The End of Everything is by Megan Abbott and is a powerful reminder that things aren't always what they seem. The End of Everything is due to be published in August 2011.

Swanson and his beautiful girlfriend, CIA agent Lauren Carson, are on a mission in Pakistan when their world is turned inside out. Kyle is captured and thrown in prison. Lauren is accused of being a double agent. The one person they trust to help is the man who sent them on the black operation—Jim Hall, a legendary CIA agent, Kyle’s sniper mentor, and Lauren’s boss and former lover. But Hall has gone rogue. He is selling America’s innermost secrets to a ruthless Pakistani warlord who wants to mold al- Qaeda into a legitimate political party, and secure a nuclear arsenal. For Jim Hall, his former protégé Swanson is the final obstacle. Success or failure pivots on whether Swanson can stop the old friend who trained him to be a shooter. From the streets of Washington to the Bavarian Alps, the two snipers stalk each other in a deadly hunt that has only one possible outcome. Act of Treason is by Jack Coughlin and is due to be published in December 2011.

Ian Hunt is the police dispatcher for the small town of Bulls Mouth, East Texas. Just as his shift is ending he gets a call from his fourteen-year-old daughter, Maggie. Maggie, who has just been declared dead, having been snatched from her bedroom seven years ago. Her call ends in a scream. The trail leads to a local couple, but this is just the start of his battle to get his daughter back. What follows is a bullet-strewn cross-country chase along Interstate 10, from Texas to California. The Dispatcher is by Ryan David Jahn and is due to be published in July 2011.

After alleged serial killer Edgar Roy is apprehended and locked away in a mental facility private investigators Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are called in by Roy's lawyer-an old friend of Sean King- to look into the case. But their investigation is derailed before it begins: while en route to their first meeting with the lawyer, King and Maxwell discover his dead body. A rash of terrifying events begins to unfold and it is up to King and Maxwell to uncover the truth: is Roy a killer or not? But the more they dig into his past, the more they are bombarded with obstacles, half-truths, and dead ends that make filtering the facts nearly impossible. As each new theory brings a new revelation, King and Maxwell will be pushed to the limit. Could this deadly case be the one that leaves the duo permanently parted? The Sixth Man is by David Baldacci and is due to be published in July 2011. Also due to be published in November by David Baldacci is Zero Day.

In Moss Side, Manchester, Anders Svensson is on the trail of drug baron Merlin and his lieutenant Flow, a man so dangerous his type is said to appear only once in a decade. Svensson himself is a renegade detective with a network of informants second to none - mainly the girlfriends of gang members, who come to him for protection. Among the housing estates of Glasgow, the city with the highest murder rate in Europe, Karen McCluskey is on a one-woman mission to reform the force. And in Hackney, 19-year-old Pilgrim has made himself one of the most feared gang-members in East London, wanted for attempted murder and seemingly condemned to a life of crime. In Hood Rat these narratives interlock in a shocking expose of Britain's underworld that ranks with Roberto Saviano's bestselling Gomorrah. Hood Rat is the debut novel by Gavin Knight and is due to be published in July 2011.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Books to look forward to from Hodder and Stoughton and Mulholland Books

What’s the worst thing you have ever done? Randall Haight has a secret: when he was a teenager, he and his friend killed a 14-year-old girl. Randall did his time and built a new life, but somebody is threatening to reveal the truth about Randall. And he wants private detective Charlie Parker to make it stop. But another 14-year-old girl has gone missing. Now Parker must unravel a web of deceit involving the police, the FBI, a doomed mobster named Tommy Morris, and Randall Haight himself. Because Randall Haight is telling lies…. The Burning Soul is the latest Charlie Parker novel by John Connolly and is due to be published in September 2011.

Killing for the Company is the latest book by Chris Ryan. 2003. Invalided out of the SAS Chet Freeman makes his living in high-end security, on a temporary contract for an American corporation called the Grosvenor Group. He catches a young woman, a peace campaigner, eavesdropping on a meeting the Group is holding with the British Prime Minister. The Group's interests include arms manufacture, and what Chet and the young woman overhear seems to imply that it is bribing the Prime Minister to take his country into an illegal war. Could this possibly be true? Somebody believes that this is a secret that needs covering up, because Chet and the girl are attacked. Hunted down, they go into hiding, and a deadly game of cat and mouse begins. Nearly ten years later tension is reaching breaking point in Jerusalem. The now ex-Prime Minister is working as a Middle East peace envoy. As the city descends into anarchy and rival armies are poised to turn it into a battlefield, Chet's best buddy, Luke, is part of a team tasked by the Regiment with extracting the ex-Prime Minister. At the height of the battle Luke discovers a conspiracy far more devastating than any arms deal. Killing for the Company is due to be published in September 2011.

I see everything now. Everything the dead people see. This is where they live. It's beautiful and terrifying and all the answers I ever looked for are hovering right here in front of me in a million shadowy riddles. If you have a supernatural problem that won't go away, you need Buck Carlsbad: private eye, exorcist, and last resort. Buck's got a way with spirits that no one else can match. He was normal, once. Until he saw his parents killed by something old, and dark, and evil. Buck has spent years looking deep into the black light on the other side of death, trying to trace his family. It's dangerous, but it's his only hope of finding out what happened to them - and what made him the way he is. But now the voices on the other side are fading to a whisper, and all they'll say is that something big is coming. Then Buck takes a call from a billionnaire and finds himself plunged into the most harrowing case of his career. One that will either reveal the secrets of his life, or end it. Black Light is by Patrick Melton, Marcus Dunstan and Stephen Romano and is due to be published by Mulholland Books in October 2011.

The Revisionists is by Thomas Mullen and is due to be published by Mulholland Books in September 2011. The future will be perfect. No hate, no hunger, no war. Zed knows because he's seen it. He's from there. His mission is to ensure that history happens exactly as it's meant to. Even the terrible events. Even the one that's about to happen, the one that will destroy our civilisation for good. In present-day Washington, Zed watches as people go about their daily lives. People like Leo, a disgraced former spy; Tasha, a lawyer grieving for a brother killed in action in Iraq; Sari, the downtrodden employee of a foreign diplomat. Unlike Zed, they have no idea what difference their choices will make. The clock is ticking. But Zed has doubts. What are his superiors not telling him? What truths has he hidden from himself? And, as he becomes more entangled in the lives of those around him, will he be able to sacrifice their present for his future?

Charlie Hardie has been sent to a facility hidden in a blank spot on the map. A place where the world sends people who are too dangerous to kill. Here, they can be contained – and studied. Hardie is there as punishment for scuttling a billion-dollar deal. He’s not an inmate, though – he’s in charge. He can leave if he wants, but that means everyone in the prison dies. Including innocent guards. When Hardie realises he’s unwittingly endangered the lives of his wife and son, he vows to protect them at any cost. Even if it means blasting his way out, one inmate at a time. Hell & Gone is by Duane Swierczynski and will be published by Mulholland books in October 2011. It is the second in the Charlie Hardie trilogy.

Deployed worldwide on countless missions, Jonathan Chase, the United States' top operative, is sworn to protect and serve his country at all costs. His new target is the Zero Directorate, who have amassed a wealth of state secrets from captured, brain-washed spies - their confessions videotaped just before their execution, prepared for sale to the highest bidder. To pursue them, he must risk the most valuable asset of all: the knowledge contained in his own memories, the sum total of a life of endless, covert action. Chase is on the hunt. But the Directorate lies in wait, and the closer he gets to stopping his enemies, the closer his enemies get to their target. Assassin of Secrets is the first in the Jonathan Chase series by QR Markham due to be published by Mulholland Books in November 2011.

Matt Hilton’s Joe Hunter return’s in Dead Men’s Harvest. When Rink is ambushed by a team of highly skilled killers, Joe is pretty sure that his friend is being used as bait and the intended prey is Hunter himself. Forced to operate without official sanction, Joe penetrates the kidnappers’ lair and finds his ultimate quarry is back from beyond the grave and with a bone to pick. Dead Men’s Harvest is the sixth in the Joe Hunter series and is due to be published in August 2011.

For 140 years , Nathaniel Cade has been the President’s vampire, sworn by a blood oath to protect the President and America from their supernatural enemies. Helped by his partner, political liaison officer Zach Barrows, Cade is looking for the sources of a deadly new virus that is being used to attack armies across the world – a virus that transforms its victims into vicious animals in seconds and spreads in minutes. To ‘protect and serve’ often means settling old scores and confronting new betrayals … as only a century old predator can. The President’s Vampire is by Christopher Farnsworth and is due to be published in July 2011.

Spider Shepherd is up against the most violent enemies he’s ever encountered. Somali pirates have kidnapped the crew of a yacht in a brutal attack, and are demanding a huge ransom in return for the hostages. The pirates have chilling terrorist ambitions in the UK, and are making terrible plans to change the London skyline forever. Thousands of lives are on the line. Spider is sent to sea on an undercover mission to stop the pirates. But time is running out. Fair Game is by Stephen Leather and is due to be published in July 2011.

Here, the criminal is king. The streets are filled with the screeching of fish hags, the cries of swindled merchants, the inviting murmurs of working girls. Here, people can disappear, and the lacklustre efforts of the guard ensure they are never found. Warden is an ex-soldier who has seen the worst men have to offer; now a narcotics dealer with a rich, bloody past and a way of inviting danger. You'd struggle to find someone with a soul as dark and troubled as his. But then a missing child, murdered and horribly mutilated, is discovered in an alley. And then another. With a mind as sharp as a blade and an old but powerful friend in the city, he's the only man with a hope of finding the killer. If the killer doesn't find him first. Low Town: The Straight Razor Cure is by Daniel Polansky and is due to be published in August 2011.

Agent of Rome: The Seige is the debut historical novel by Nick Brown. 270 AD Rome has ruled Syria for over three centuries. But now the weakened empire faces a desperate threat: Queen Zenobia of Palmyra has turned her Roman-trained army against her former masters and the once invincible legions have been crushed. Arabia, Palestine and Egypt have fallen and now Antioch, Syria's capital, stands exposed. Cassius Corbulo is a young intelligence agent fresh from officer training. He has been assigned the menial task of rounding up wounded legionaries but then urgent new orders arrive. He is the only ranking Roman officer left in the line of the Palmyran advance. He must take command of the fort of Alauran, the last stronghold still in Roman hands, and hold it against the enemy until reinforcements arrive. What Cassius finds at Alauran would daunt the most seasoned veteran, let alone a nineteen year old with no experience of war. A mere scattering of divided and demoralised legionaries remain, backed up by some fractious Syrian auxiliaries and a drunken Praetorian Guardsman. With the Palmyrans just days away, Cassius must somehow find the discipline, resourcefulness and courage to organise the garrison, save Alauran and secure Rome's eastern frontier... Agent of Rome: The Seige is due to be published in July 2011.

Brodmaw Bay is by F G Cottam and is due to be published in November 2011. It's the perfect seaside village - no crime, no Londoners ...When things start to go badly wrong for James Greer in London, Brodmaw Bay seems to be calling him and his family. There's a perfect house, excellent schools - and welcoming neighbours who assure the Greers that they'd be delighted to have some new blood in the Bay. But perhaps the village isn't so much welcoming them as luring them. To something ancient and evil…

When all contact is lost with two Icelanders working in a harsh and sparsely populated area on the northeast coast of Greenland, Thora is hired to investigate. Is there any connection with the disappearance of a woman from the site some months earlier? And why are the locals so hostile? The Day is Dark is the fourth book by Yrsa Sigurdardottir to feature Thóra Gudmundsdóttir and is due to be published in July 2011.

Peter Robinson returns with a standalone novel Before the Poison. Through the years of success in Hollywood composing film scores, Chris always promised his wife they’d return to the Yorkshire Dales one day. Now a widower, Chris feels he must not forget his promised. Back in the Dales, he rents an isolated house that will allow him the space to grieve and the peace to compose his piano sonata. But when he finds that the house was the scene of a murder in the 1950s, and the convicted murderer was one of the last women hanged in England, he fins himself increasingly distracted by the events of sixty years before. Before the Poison is due to be published in August 2011.

Cotton Malone has been called on to defend his country’s safety in many exotic locations around the world, often using his knowledge of history to get to the heart of mysteries and conspiracies stretching back for centuries. But never has danger been so close to home. In The Jefferson Key, Malone finds himself battling an extraordinary group of families whose unseen influence dates back to the pages of the US Constitution – and whose thirst for power is about to be satisfied by the cracking of a code devised by Thomas Jefferson himself. The Jefferson Key is by Steve Berry and is due to be published in November 2011.

It is the coldest February in recent memory. In the early hours of a particularly freezing night, the body of a man is found hanging from a lone oak tree in the middle of the withered, windswept plains outside Linkoping, Sweden. Young superintendent Malin Fors, a single mother plagued by person tragedies is assigned to the case. She and her colleagues must track down the identity of the man hanging from the tree and the reason he ended up there. And at the same time they must follow in the frigid wake of a killer – a manhunt that takes Malin Fors into the darkest corners of the human heart. Midwinter Sacrifice is by Mons Kallentoft and is due to be published in October 2011.

A Deniable Death is the twenty-eight novel by Gerald Seymour Covert Rural Observation Posts are places where men like Danny ‘Badger’ Baxter hide for endless, motionless hours, secretly recording criminal or terrorist activity. Improvised Explosive Devices are the roadside bombs, which account for 80% of British casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. MI6 have a plan to assassinate the leading maker of these weapons as soon as he leaves Iran. But first they need to know when he is leaving, and where he is going. Thus Badger finds himself on the wrong side of the border, lumbered with a partner that he loathes, lying under a merciless sun in a mosquito-invested marsh observing the man’s house. Knowing that if they are caught, H.M.G will deny all knowledge of them. A Deniable Death is due to be published in August 2011.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Forthcoming books to look forward to from Quercus Books and Maclehose Press

When human remains are recovered from the bottom of the River Clyde suddenly Glasgow’s underworld is buzzing with the news that the dredged up bones belong to Gentleman Joe Strachan, Glasgow’s most successful and ruthless armed robber. Strachan’s daughters hire Lennox to find out who has been sending them large sums of cash each year on the anniversary of their father’s most successful robbery. Despite the fact that his instincts tell him otherwise Lennox takes the job and soon realises that he should have listened to his instincts. The Deep Dark Sleep is by Craig Russell and is the third book in the series to feature Lennox. It is due to be published in July 2011.

Commissario Soneri returns in the second novel by Valerio Varesi. In The Dark Valley, it is autumn in Parma and Commissario Soneri decides to leave the city and return to his home village in the Appenines for a much needed holiday. The small and rather isolated village revolve around the fortunes of the Rodolfi family. All of a sudden the family finds itself in the midst of a financial scandal with worrying implications for the whole community. Not long afterwards a decomposed body is found in the woods by a hiker. Reluctantly Soneri finds himself involved in investigating what is going on. The relationship between the patriarch Palmiro and his son Paride complicate matters. Matters go from bad to worse when he learns that his own father and Palmiro were once friends. The Dark Valley is due to be published in September 2011.

Sonia Varika is a former actress who has found solace in alcohol and isolation, but when her body is pulled from a fire it is almost beyond recognition and she is the only survivor in the house that she shared with a small family of African refugees. For her ex-lovers Police Colonel Chronis Halkidis and Simeon Piertzovanis (the landlord of the gutted building) her fate is a heavy reckoning. Reflection gives way to guilt and then the fanatical desire to hold those responsible by any means necessary. With corruption rife in his own force Halkidis finds his investigation hindered from within. Fuelled by their need for revenge and by their own twin addictions of cocaine and alcohol Kalkidis and Piertzovanis find themselves resorting to increasingly violent means as they try and unmask a conspiracy that unites the church and state against the interest of justice. Ashes is by Sergios Gakas (trans from Greek) and is due to be published in July 2011.

Pacific Heights, San Francisco. Psychiatrist Vera List discovers two of her clients are having an affair with the same man. But what at first seems like a strange coincidence soon evolves into a serious concern. This Hollywood-suave, mystery man, who insists on anonymity, seems to know both women's most intimate secrets. Moreover, he appears to be using this knowledge to push them to their mental limit. Fearing for their sanity, Vera seeks help. Help is Marten Fane: intelligence operative for hire, and the go-to man when you are fresh out of options. Fane, along with his crack team of surveillance experts - John Bucher, Roma Solis and Bobby Noble - must find this man, and stop him. Yet as Fane delves deeper into the world of his target, his gut instinct is confirmed: this is not just some creepy Lothario. In fact, they are dealing with a frighteningly calculated professional conducting a disturbing psychological experiment. This experiment will end in death, unless Fane moves like lightening to stop it. Pacific Heights is by Paul Harper and introduces the characters of Fane and Company where a professional surveillance team must stop a rogue black ops agent’s sinister experiment. Pacific Heights is due to be published in August 2011.

The Devil’s Light by Richard North Patterson is due to be published in July 2011. It is August 2011 and an Al-Qaeda operative masterminds the theft of a Pakistani military weapon. A chilling transmission is then broadcast to the world promising a major attack on a US city to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Intelligence indicates that the weapon has been smuggled out from Pakistan and is on its way to the US with New York City or Washington as the likely target. Agent Brooke Chandler once a prodigious Middle East operative who is trying to deal with the loss of those close to him senses a deception but can he convince his superiors?

The Mayan Resurrection is the sequel to The Mayan Prophecy. After sacrificing himself to prevent mankind’s extinction, Michael Gabriel finds himself imprisoned in a torturous purgatory-like dimension in the Mayan netherworld. The war between good and evil wages on, as Michael Gabriel’s fate and that of plant Earth, hangs by an increasingly thin thread. The Mayan Resurrection is by Steve Alten and is due to be published in August 2011.

The Crowded Grave is by Martin Walker and is due to be published in August 2011. A French/Spanish summit that is due to be held is being threatened by Basque separatists and he is also having problems with animal rights campaigners. Bruno’s day has not started well. A local archaeological team has found a well-preserved skeleton and Bruno senses a link between the two groups and the mysterious corpse. Bruno must think fast, and keep his wits about him especially as the answer may lie a little closer to home.

Alexander Seaton returns in this third novel Crucible of Secrets. It is Midsummer 1631 and whilst Alexander Seaton and his fellow masters are enjoying some time off with their students Robert Sim the librarian of Marischal College is murdered. The university and town authorities investigate the murder and Seaton is asked to look into his private life. In the course of the investigation his personal feelings threaten to cloud his judgment as he discovers a side of the librarian he could never of guest at. It is only when a second apparently unrelated murder takes place that Seaton begins to piece together the connections. Crucible of Secrets is by Shona MacLean and is due to be published in August 2011.

The Tenderness of the Wolves author Stef Penney returns with The Invisible Ones. Small-time private investigator Ray Lovell is in a hospital bed veering between paralysis and delirium. But before the accident that landed him there he had promised to find Rose Janko. Rose married to Ivo Janko the charismatic son of a travelling gypsy family. When Ray starts to investigate her disappearance he is surprised at the hostility that he receives from Rose’s family. The Janko’s are a family touched by tragedy and perhaps it is Rose’s discovery of whatever they are trying to hide is at the bottom of her disappearance. Soon Ray wishes he never got involved. The Invisible Ones is due to be published in September 2011.

John Meyer Frey rots on Death Row for murdering a girl when he was seventeen. His victim’s father is desperate for revenge, while his prison guard is torn by feelings of compassion for the young man. Both of them see their hopes thwarted when Frey dies of heart disease. Across the Atlantic, a cheap crooner sees a drunkard harassing several women and loses his temper. The incident would normally be dismissed as just another drunken brawl but Detective Inspector Ewert Grens is made suspicious by certain details of the case. The investigation will blow apart the debate between the death penalty and the wider conflict between public justice and private revenge. Redemption is by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellstrom and is due to be published in September 2011.

In the first the thaw of spring the body of a young woman surfaces in the River Thorne. Rebecka Martinsson working as a prosecutor joins forces with Police Inspector Anna-Maria Mella as they are drawn into an investigation that focuses on old rumours about the disappearance of a plane carrying supplies for the Wehrmacht in 1943 and a killer who will no doubt kill again to keep the past buried. Until Thy Wrath Be Past is by Åsa Larsson and is due to be published in August 2011.

One autumn day in 1992, former pop singer Lennart Cederstrom finds something unexpected in the forest: a baby girl in a plastic bag, partially buried. He gives her the kiss of life, and her first cry astounds him; it is a clear, pure musical note. He takes her to his wife and persuades her that they should keep this remarkable child. But the baby becomes a strange girl, made more unusual by their decision to hide her in their basement to keep her from the prying eyes of government departments. When she reaches puberty, a terrifying scene sees her kill both her parents. When her scheming adopted brother returns to find her over their bodies, he seizes the opportunity and enters her into an X Factor-style talent competition. She quickly becomes famous. In spite of this, she remains very lonely, until she befriends another damaged girl on the internet. They form a powerful bond and soon create a growing gang of other disgruntled girls and, calling themselves the Wolves, they set out to take revenge for all they've ever suffered. John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Little Star is the dark, sad and shockingly real story of a friendship between two damaged children and the terrible consequences for those who cross them. Little Star is due to be published in September 2011.

Out of Sight by Isabelle Grey is her debut fiction novel. Patrick Hinde thought that he had moved on from his painful past but when his parents come to stay he finds himself catapulted back to his childhood. The last thing he remembers is strapping his son into his car on the way to taking him to the child-minder. Instead, distracted he drives to his surgery and leaves his son forgotten in the car. Five years later now living in the South of France Patrick Hinde has no wife or son and refuses to get into a car. But what will happen to his relationship with Leonie when she finds out what he has done. Out of Sight is due to be published in July 2011.

Philip Kerr returns with his eighth Bernie Gunther novel The Man With the Iron Heart. The Man With The Iron Heart is due to be published n October 2011.

Things have been pretty hectic for Dr Siri, now he is off with his wife and friends. But there is o rest for the wicked. With the help of a little blackmail they are accompanying an American MIA team whose mission it is to discover what happened to a stoned airman downed ten years earlier. In the remote Plain of Jars, Dr Siri and the morgue team must expose a killer in their midst before they too become victims. Slash and Burn is by Colin Cotterill and is due to be published in October 2011.

CWA Gold Dagger winner Peter Temple returns with a new Jack Irish novel White Dog. When beautiful and wayward sculptor Sarah Longmire is charged with killing her lover Mickey Francis and Jack Irish is asked by her defence counsel to make inquiries. Sarah’s guilt seems clear cut but Jack’s investigations that soon finds that Mickey’s life was not what it seemed. The more Jack is convinced of Sarah’s innocence the more he finds himself attracted to her and the more dangerous he becomes to those who want the whole problem to go away. White Dog is due to be published in October 2011.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011


The transmission date for the first episode of Vera the police procedural based on Gold Dagger winning author Ann Cleeves Vera Stanhope novels will be on Sunday 1 May 2011 from 8:00pm-10:00pm. The other episodes will be shown on 8th, 15th and 22nd of May respectively at the same time. Vera is due to be shown on ITV1

Monday, 18 April 2011

Latest Crime News Round Up

Book Right News With the London Book Fair over for another year lots of book deals appear to have been done. According to the Bookseller, publishers Harvill Secker have acquired a dystopian crime novel by Finnish writer Antti Tuomainen, set in a futuristic Helsinki. Harvill and Secker will publish the book entitled the healer in 2013. The Healer won the Finnish Academy of Crime Writers' Award 2010 for Best Crime Novel of the Year from the London Book Fair!

Publishing director Wayne Brookes at Pan Macmillan has acquired world rights in two books by F R Tallis from Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander. The first, Strix, a 19th-century Gothic horror novel which is due to be published in the late Spring 2012.

Suzie Dooré, Hodder fiction editorial director has bought an as-yet-untitled novel about a freed slave who becomes a spy during the American Civil War. It will be published in February 2012. She has also bought the rights to a standalone horror novel by Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurdardottir. The novel is called Blessed are the Children and tells the tale of three friends who are terrorised by the ghost of a drowned child while they renovate a derelict house.

Becky Hardie at Chatto & Windus has acquired The Tale of the Raw Head and Bloody Bones, the debut novel by Jack Wolf about a genius but psychotic 18th century surgeon. Publication date is yet to be confirmed. Chris Smith, editorial director at HarperCollins has acquired the rights to Jack Higgins novel A Devil is Waiting.

Arcadia have bought for their Eurocrime series the rights to two books. The first Cold Hearts is by Gunnar Staalesen and is a thriller about a series of murders in the Norwegian city of Bergen. It will be published in autumn 2012. The other crime book is The Iron Chamber by Matti Joensuu, The Iron Chamber is about a series of mysterious set of murders in Finland and it will be published in autumn 2012.

Sookie Stackhouse author Charlaine Harris has signed a deal with Quercus for a new three-part graphic novel series. The series entitled Cemetery Girl will be co-written by Christopher Golden.
Bloomsbury has acquired world rights in a series of six crime novels by Bath Literature Festival director James Runcie. The first novel in the series is entitled Grantchester Murders, and features character Sidney Chambers, honorary canon of Ely Cathedral, as he works with friend Inspector Horatio Keating to unravel case after case. Granchester Murders will be published in May 2012.

Ebury have acquired a two-book deal from Lisa Scottoline. The first, novel in the two- book deal Save Me, will be published in March 2012.

Faber have acquired Chris Pavone's début thriller The Expats for a high five-figure sum. The novel follows Kate and her husband as they relocate to Luxembourg and she thinks she is leaving her secret life in the CIA behind. Faber plans to publish in summer 2012.

Nomination news!
The Crime Writers Association has announced the Dagger in the Library 2011 long-list. Sponsored by Random House Group, the Dagger is awarded to an author for a body of work, with writers nominated by UK libraries and readers' groups and judged by a panel of librarians. The shortlist will be announced at the CWA reception at CrimeFest on 20th May, with the winner, along with the CWA's other Daggers, revealed at the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate on 22nd July. The CWA's Daggers celebrate the best in crime and thriller writing.
The longlist in full:
Congratulations to all the nominees!

The finalists for the 2011 Thriller Awards have been announced by the International Thriller Writers (ITW) organization, recognizing the best books and short stories published in this genre from the previous year. The winners will be announced this July during ThrillerFest VI.
The finalists are:
Best Novel

Best Paperback Original
  • Down Among the Dead Men by Robert Gregory Browne (St. Martin's Press)
  • You Can’t Stop Me by Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens (Pinnacle)
  • The Cold Room by J. T. Ellison (Mira)
  • Torn Apart by Shane Gericke (Pinnacle)
  • The Venice Conspiracy by John Trace (Sphere)

Best First Novel

Best Short Story

The Strand Magazine has announced its nominees for the 2010 Strand Magazine Critics Awards
Best Novel:
Best First Novel

Universal Studios has released a new trailer for its sci-fi/western action thriller Cowboys & Aliens based on the graphic novel by Fred Van Lente, Andrew Foley, and Luciano Lima from an idea by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg.



The film is set in 1873 in the Arizona Territory. A stranger (Daniel Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution don’t welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Harrison Ford). It’s a town that lives in fear. But Absolution is about to experience fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known.Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation. As this gunslinger slowly starts to remember who he is and where he’s been, he realizes he holds a secret that could give the town a fighting chance against the alien force. With the help of the elusive traveller Ella (Olivia Wilde), he pulls together a posse comprised of former opponents –- townsfolk, Dolarhyde and his boys, outlaws and Apache warriors –- all in danger of annihilation. United against a common enemy, they will prepare for an epic showdown for survival.

According to the Bookseller, with the 50th anniversary of James Bond on the screen due to take place in 2011 Michael O'Mara have recruited Sir Roger Moore to provide a guide to the cars, gadgets and girls of the James Bond movies to help celebrate the spy series' 50th anniversary on the big screen. -----

 Laura Wilson reviews a number of crime fiction novels in the Guardian (16 April 2011). These include Steve Mosby’s Black Flower’s and Patrick Easter’s The Watermen which introduces readers to a river policeman in what looks as if will be a great addition to the historical crime fiction genre.

The Bookseller also inform us that Headline have poached author Chris Kuzneski from Penguin with Headline publishing a new series about a team of treasure-hunting renegades.
Book2Book state that Jon Riley at Quercus has won the keenly contested multi-house auction for UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada in David Mark's debut literary crime novel The Dark Winter. Quercus will publish The Dark Winter as a lead title in Spring 2012. The Dark winter is set in Hull and East Yorkshire and introduces readers to Highland born DS Hector McAvoy. Far from being an alcoholic loner, McAvoy is obsessed with a need to understand the true nature of people and be the 'good' man he feels his beloved family deserve.

Orion have acquired The Child Thief the first of two new novels from Dan Smith. The Child Thief is a chilling story of murder and vengeance set in the frozen wastes of 1930s Ukraine and a dark tale of what happens when the family bond is torn apart.

An interesting article on the current trends in crime fiction can be found on the Shelves of books blog. However, it has always been known that crime fiction is the best genre to correlate social history.

Russian author Boris Akunin who is best known for his Erast Fandorin Series was recently at the London Book Fair as part of the British Council-organised Russia Market Focus cultural programme. Below he speaks to the British Council's Scott Andrews about his work, crime fiction in Russia and why his mother won't read his books!

Russian author Boris Akunin talks to the British Council from British Council on Vimeo.

Edgar award winning author Jason Goodwin has written an excellent article in the Telegraph explaining why crime fiction novels make the best guide books.

The Telegraph’s Julia Handford with the retirement of Henning Mankell’s Kurt Wallender looks at a number of veteran sleuths who are still around.

The Independent has an interesting article about female cops on television which is a timely reminder of the fact that “Vera” which is based on the novels of CWA Gold Dagger winner Anne Cleeves is due to be shown on ITV1 on 1 May at 9:00pm. There is also Sophie Hannah’s The Point of Rescue that is due to be shown on 2nd and 3rd May on ITV to look forward to as well. Whilst The Point of Rescue is the title of the novel, the title used for the ITV televised version is Case Sensitive. See here for an earlier blog about the television programme.

A very brief but interesting interview with Donna Leon can be found in the USA Today where she talks not only about her character Brunetti but also her love of Venice.

Debut author Simon Toyne recently had his book launch for Sanctus the first in a trilogy at Waterstones Piccadilly. In the run-up to the book launch Monks could be found out various train stations handing out extracts from the book to commuters. 5 videos were also launched and they can all be found here.


The launch went very well indeed and a large number of family, friends, reviewers and members of the public joined Simon in helping him celebrate the publication of his book. (Pictures @Ayo Onatade)

Alibi has teamed up with HarperCollins and Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate to unearth some of the country's hottest new crime-writing talent of 2011. More information can be found here.

An informative article in the Metro about e-book piracy and the effect that it is having on author's and their work.

Arminta Wallace in the Irish Times writes on whether or not Italy is becoming the new place to write about instead of Scandinavia.

According to Yahoo News Star Trek director J J Abrams is due to write a thriller which is to be published by Mullholland books. The title is currently unknown.

It has been announced that The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards in Oct will follow a 6 part Crime Thriller documentary series on ITV3 called 'A-Z of Crime Writing'

According to the Guardian, the new Sherlock Holmes novel that is being written by Anthony Horowitz is due out in November. The novel The House of Silk is narrated in first person by Dr Watson.

The Telegraph have a good article about the filming of the forthcoming televised version of the Kate Summerscale novel The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

Lost Donald E. Westlake Novel Discovered

Hard Case Crime today announced the discovery of an unpublished novel by acclaimed mystery writer Donald E. Westlake. THE COMEDY IS FINISHED, which Hard Case Crime will publish as its lead title in 2012, tells the story of an aging, politically conservative comedian kidnapped by a domestic terrorist group that threatens to kill him unless the government frees some of their imprisoned comrades. Westlake, who died on New Year’s Eve 2009, was a three-time winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award, received an Academy Award nomination for the screenplay of The Grifters, and was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, the organization’s highest honor. THE COMEDY IS FINISHED will be only the second novel ever to be published in hardcover by Hard Case Crime, the award-winning line of mystery novels published by Titan Books. One of Westlake’s long-time publishers, Hard Case Crime has also published authors such as Stephen King, Mickey Spillane, Pete Hamill, Madison Smartt Bell, Ed McBain, Lawrence Block, and Max Allan Collins. In 2010, Hard Case Crime brought out Westlake’s novel MEMORY, then believed to be the author’s final unpublished manuscript. Subsequently Max Allan Collins told Hard Case Crime editor Charles Ardai about the existence of one more, a manuscript Collins had read in the early 1980s. Westlake worked on THE COMEDY IS FINISHED over the course of several years starting in the late 1970s, but decided not to publish the novel when, after completing it, he saw Martin Scorcese’s 1983 film The King of Comedy, whose premise also involves the kidnapping of a television comedian. “Aside from that one shared element, the two stories are completely different,” said Charles Ardai. “But Don apparently was concerned enough about the possibility that some readers might see a similarity that he set the book aside and never published it.” THE COMEDY IS FINISHED takes its title from the closing line of the tragic opera Pagliacci, and though the novel is about a comedian it is not itself a comedy. Rather, it is a high-tension suspense story focusing on the FBI’s efforts to capture the terrorists, the victim’s struggle to stay alive, and the kidnappers’ conflicts as their plans begin to go awry. “We are very excited to have the privilege to bring this lost work to light,” Ardai said. “Millions of fans around the world will get something they never expected to see again: a new novel by Donald Westlake.”
THE COMEDY IS FINISHED will feature a new cover painting in the classic pulp style by award-winning painter Gregory Manchess and will be released simultaneously in hardcover and e-book editions.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Books to look forward to from Little, Brown

Yasuko lives a quiet life working in a Tokyo bento shop looking after her only child. When her ex-husband turns up without warning her world is turned upside down. Detective Kusanagi of the Tokyo police tries to put together the events that happened that day but finds himself confronted by the most puzzling and mysterious circumstances that he has ever had to investigate. Nothing makes sense and it will take a genius to understand the mastermind behind this particular crime. The Devotion of Suspect X is by Keigo Higashino and has already been made into a cult film. The Devotion of Suspect X is due to be published in July 2011.

When Hostage Police officer Helen Weeks walks into her local newsagent's on her way to work little does she know that this simple daily ritual will change her life forever. It's the last place she expects to be met with violence, but as she waits innocently at the till, she comes face to face with a gunman. The Demand - the crazed hostage-taker is desperate to know what really happened to his beloved son, who died a year before in youth custody. By holding a police officer at gunpoint, he will force the one man who knows more about the case than any other to re-investigate his son's death. That man is DI Tom Thorne. DI Tom Thorne teams up with Helen Weeks from In The Dark in Good as Dead. Good as Dead is due out in August 2011and is the forthcoming book from Mark Billingham.

The People Next Door is the debut novel by Christopher Ransom. In a quiet American suburb, the Nash family lead unremarkable lives until the new neighbours arrive. The Renders are beautiful, confident and charming and all this seduces the Nash’s. However the Renders are hiding a terrifying secret. They are not as perfect as they seem to be and in fact they are not even human. When Mike Nash learns what they are he finds himself in a heart stopping fight to save his family. The People Next Door is due to be published in July 2011.

Cage of Bones
is the third book by Tania Carver. Workers demolishing a building in Colchester make a horrifying discovery in the basement: a cage made of human bones… with a feral child inside. As Detective Phil Brennan and Psychologist Marina Esposito investigate, they expose the trail of a serial killer who has been operating undetected for thirty years – a killer with a disturbing connection to Brennan’s father. Cage of Bones is due to be published in September 2011.

On board a Washington State ferry Tyler Locke is informed by an anonymous caller that a bomb is set to detonate in ten minutes. On deck he finds classics professor Stacey Benedict has received the same information and they must work together to decipher a puzzle in ancient Greek. However, this is just a test created by a terrorist cell that is intent on using them to undertake an incredible mission to uncover the legendary riches of King Midas. The Midas Code is by Boyd Morrison and is due to be published in August 2011.

A mysterious plane crash in the American West. A murder at a UK university. An ominous threat from a band of Israeli assassins. As a hard-bitten British cop and a youthful FBI agent investigate, they expose a link to the Dead Sea Scrolls – and a sinister band of ‘fallen angels’ who claim to be descended from Judas. The Dead Sea Deception is by Adam Blake and is due to be published in August 2011.

Broken Home is by Roberta Kray and is due to be published in September 2011. When a stranger brings news of a half-sister Hope never knew she had her world changes. Connie’s in deep trouble and the mysterious Flint needs Hope’s help to find her. To find her sister Hope must enter the dark underworld of the East End. If Connie’s going to be saved, Hope may have to get close to the enemy.

Never Knowing is by Chevy Stevens and is due to be published in December 2011. What if murder was in your blood? Sara Gallagher is finally happy. However, there is one big question that still haunts her – who are her real parents? Sara is ready to find out but after her birth mother rejects her again she discovers her biological father is an infamous killer. Sara soon realises the only thing worse than finding out your father is a killer is him finding out about you…

Dublin Dead
is the second novel by Gerard O’Donovan and is due to be published in December 2011. Journalist Siobhan Fallon enlists the help of DI Mike Mulcahy for a story she’s covering about the disappearance of a young woman from Cork. The duo find themselves dragged into the ruthless world of international drug smuggling and murder.

Hotwire sees the return of Maggie O’Dell. On a crisp autumn evening in Nebraska Maggie O’Dell is trying to make sense of the deaths of several teenagers. Sifting through what is real and what is hallucination Maggie realises that the surviving teens are being systematically eliminated. Meanwhile on the East Coast, army colonel Benjamin Platt is desperate to identify the pathogen that has infected children at a Virginia elementary school. Despite the miles that separate them, the two cases collide. Hotwire is by Alex Kava and is due to be published in July 2011.

is by Jeff Abbott and is due to be published in July 2011. Evan Casher had a perfect life: great parents, his first girlfriend and a huge online following for his films. But when he comes home from school to find his father missing and his mother dead. Evan is going to learn the hard way that the people he trusted the most were the people he knew least and that a sixteen-year old boy might be the only one who can be a murderer to justice.

When a storm strikes in the Scottish Highlands, Martin and Sue find themselves stranded in a simple hut miles from anywhere and completely isolated. But Sue starts to sense that they are not truly alone. With no way to escape, Sue and Martin must try to hold on to their sanity, as the shelter quickly becomes a prison – and their thoughts begin to turn murderous. The Haunted is by Niki Valentine and is due to be published in October 2011.

Mystery in the Minster is the seventeenth novel in the Matthew Bartholomew series by Susanna Gregory. It’s 1358 and the near destitute college of Michaelhouse in Cambridge is promised a welcome source of income – a legacy from the Archbishop of York of a parish close to that city. But there has been another claim to its ownership and it seems the only way to settle the dispute is for a deputation from Michaelhouse to travel north. However, once they arrive in the bustling city, Matthew Bartholomew and his colleagues learn that the Archbishop’s executors have died in unexplained circumstances and the codicil naming Michaelhouse as a beneficiary cannot be found. Mystery in the Minster is due to be published in August 2011.

Snakepit by Nick Brownlee sees the return of Detective Inspector Daniel Jouma and ex-policeman Jake Moore in the fourth book in the series. It has been a crazy year and what should have been a relaxing fishing trip together finds Jouma and Moore in trouble. They are kidnapped at see by a gang of murderous Somali’s and held hostage upon a ship skippered by the notorious pirate Omar Abdulle. To stay alive they must pool all their experience together to not only catch a killer but to also survive on the run in Somalia as well. Snakepit is due to be published in July 2011.

And for fans of Val McDermid the yet untitled new Carol Jordan and Tony Hill novel is due out in September 2011.