Category Archives: Crime fiction

ITV3 Crime Thriller Season: The Crime Thriller Club

From the press release:

This September is ITV3 Crime Thriller Season, featuring a TV series dedicated to crime writing. The Crime Thriller Club, sponsored by Specsavers will, each episode, feature ‘Living Legends’ – a series of interviews with bestselling authors in the world of crime and thriller fiction. Authors interviewed this year will be Dean Koontz, Denise Mina, Robert Harris, Val McDermid, Michael Connelly and Lynda La Plante – who will all be members of the CWA Hall of Fame.
At the core of each episode of The Crime Thriller Club will be The Crime Thriller Book Club, in which six specially selected titles will be critiqued on air. This year’s selected titles are:

  • Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse (Bloomsbury)
  • Entry Island by Peter May (Quercus)
  • Letters To My Daughter’s Killer by Cath Staincliffe (Constable & Robinson)
  • Treachery by S.J. Parris (HarperCollins)
  • The Tilted World by Tom Franklin & Beth Ann Fennelly (Mantle)
  • Watch Me by James Carol (Faber & Faber).

Complete Shortlists for the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2014

Announced today, the complete shortlists for the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards are:

The Film Dagger
o Cold In July
o Dom Hemingway
o Filth
o Prisoners
o Starred Up

The TV Dagger
o Happy Valley
o Line of Duty: Series 2
o Sherlock: Series 3
o The Bletchley Circle: Series 2
o The Honourable Woman

The International TV Dagger
o Fargo: Season 1
o Inspector Montalbano: Series 9
o Orange is the New Black: Season 2
o The Bridge: Series 2
o True Detective: Season 1

The Best Actor Dagger
o Benedict Cumberbatch for Sherlock
o Shaun Evans for Endeavour
o Martin Freeman for Fargo and Sherlock
o Matthew McConaughey for True Detective
o Steve Pemberton for Happy Valley

The Best Actress Dagger
o Brenda Blethyn for Vera
o Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Honourable Woman
o Keeley Hawes for Line of Duty
o Sarah Lancashire for Happy Valley
o Anna Maxwell Martin for Death Comes to Pemberley and The Bletchley Circle

The Best Supporting Actor Dagger
o Mark Gatiss for Sherlock
o David Leon for Vera
o James Norton for Happy Valley
o Mandy Patinkin for Homeland
o Billy Bob Thornton for Fargo

The Best Supporting Actress Dagger
o Amanda Abbington for Sherlock
o Vicky McClure for Line of Duty
o Helen McCrory for Peaky Blinders
o Gina McKee for By Any Means
o Michelle Monaghan for True Detective

The CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year
o The First Rule of Survival by Paul Mendelson (Constable)
o How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Sphere/Little Brown)
o Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly (Bantam/Transworld)
o This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (Doubleday/Transworld)

The CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for Best First Novel
o The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin (Mantle)
o The Devil In The Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson (Hodder & Stoughton)
o The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison (Headline)
o The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (Penguin Fig Tree)

The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year
o Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty (Faber and Faber)
o An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris (Random House)
o I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (Transworld)
o Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (HarperCollins)

 

Shortlists for the CWA Gold, John Creasey (New Blood) and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers 2014

Announced today, the shortlists are:

The CWA Goldsboro Gold Dagger for Best Crime Novel of the Year:
o The First Rule of Survival by Paul Mendelson (Constable)
o How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Sphere/Little Brown)
o Keep Your Friends Close by Paula Daly (Bantam/Transworld)
o This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash (Doubleday/Transworld)

The CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger for Best First Novel:
o The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin (Mantle)
o The Devil In The Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgson (Hodder & Stoughton)
o The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison (Headline)
o The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (Penguin Fig Tree)

The CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for Best Thriller of the Year:
o Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty (Faber and Faber)
o An Officer and a Spy by Robert Harris (Random House)
o I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (Transworld)
o Natchez Burning by Greg Iles (HarperCollins)

Heads Up: Some Goodies with Reviews Coming Soon #SummerReads

Time can be a bit limited now and again. Hence the reason the book reviews are slow on here at the moment. But, here’s a “heads up” post just in case you are about to embark on your hols and need something to read. Click on the images to get to Amazon.

These three have restored my faith in crime fiction this year. They offer something different with a focus on the victim. Both are stunning reads.

An ordinary case with extraordinary people.

An ordinary case with extraordinary people.

Gripping, thought-provoking,

Gripping, thought-provoking,

Classic crime from a strong new voice.

Classic crime from a strong new voice.

Non-stop page-turning domestic thrillers, with Paula Daly offering a quite remarkable ending.

Manipulation weaves its power ...

Manipulation weaves its power …

Once picked up can only be put down at the end.

Once picked up can only be put down at the end.

Two crime series, two sets of quite different locations. One consummate storyteller with an eye for culture.

Sensitive to culture & enlightening.

Sensitive to culture & enlightening.

Modern day Christie.

Modern day Christie.

Carol O’Connell’s Mallory Series Reissued by Headline in the UK

Here’s the schedule and here are some comments from others. Click on the schedule pic for a link to Amazon. And the It’s a crime! verdict? Both ScotKris and I think O’Connell’s a class act. This is fine, intelligent crime writing. Give them a go as O’Connell deserves a wider audience in the UK and that includes you. Try one and we believe you’ll be hooked on the series …

Mallory1

Click on pic for Amazon link to reissued series.

Reviews, thoughts and comments about this great series.

Reviews, thoughts and comments about this great series.

 

Behind Criminal Minds Event at Waterstones Piccadilly, London and Competition #fridayreads #blackbird

Event: Behind Criminal Minds at Waterstones, Piccadilly, London on Wednesday, 16 July at 7pm. Details below for bookings.

Competition: Courtesy of those lovely people at Canongate, I have three pairs of tickets plus one copy of Tom Wright’s Blackbird with each pair to give away. You have all day Friday (today, British Summer Time) to tweet me your original and/or funny answer to the question how will you be able to tell when the authors have arrived in the building next week? Only replies/tweets with the #blackbird tag will be considered. I’ll decide and announce the winners tomorrow, so we can make arrangements for the tickets in time!

WaterstonesPicIn my last year as a judge on the CWA’s Creasey – 2012 – we shortlisted Tom’s superb debut, What Dies in Summer. Here’s a little info on his new one Blackbird:

The Kill – Jane Casey

The Kill – Jane Casey (Maeve Kerrigan 5)

Click on the pic for a link to Amazon UK.

Click on the pic for a link to Amazon UK.

The Maeve Kerrigan and Josh Derwent series from Jane Casey stands alongside the best of the London-set police procedurals. Indeed, with this fifth, its strength and quality now see other notables only grazing its shoulders. The pack in its punch comes from a backbone of realism, strong and believable characters with ever-changing dynamics in their relationships, and solid character development across the series story arc.

The Kill opens with Kerrigan and Derwent’s team enjoying some rare time out, celebrating a colleague’s wedding in their own individual ways. But the pastures of love, lust and reflection are disrupted when they are called out to the murder of a policeman on the edge of Richmond Park. Clearly a professional hit, there are few clues and leads to follow, and victim Terence Hammond’s life must be pulled apart to find some sort of motive for the crime. Then, with the possibility of a link, the team is re-assigned to investigate another attack, this time the shooting of more officers, in a van on a notorious London estate. Convinced of a connection and anticipating more deaths, the motive remains elusive for Kerrigan, Derwent, their colleagues and their superiors …

Casey’s plot draws from the recent history of the Metropolitan Police and London, with its references to accidental shootings, riots and disorder, and she has clearly had some fun with descriptions of TV celebrity in the opening scenes.

With a limit to the amount of pressure a body can take, some old stresses are forced to the surface to be faced and tackled. Nicely done.

Published 5 June 2014, Ebury Press.

Writer’s Block – Judith Flanders

Click on image for link to Amazon UK.

Click on image for link to Amazon UK.

“You know when you can have one those days at the office? You spill coffee on your keyboard, the finance director goes on an expenses rampage and then, before you know it, your favourite author is murdered. Don’t you just hate when that happens?”

Meet Samantha Clair, a “middle-aged, middling-ly successful editor”. Having decided to publish a tell-all book by journalist Kit Lovell on the death of fashion-designer Rodrigo Alemán, life suddenly throws in some unexpected turns for Sam. In a staggeringly good comedy crime caper – of which there are few that actually work in a sustained fashion to the end – Sam’s life moves in the worlds of publishing and fashion, taking in a bit of money laundering, missing persons and murder along the way.

Why does this work so well? Sam is simply a very real character whose personal armoury comprises pragmatism, cynicism and sarcasm. Author Judith Flanders, well known for her historical non-fiction, has a background in publishing, so that is lovingly and hilariously laid bare. The rivalries of all serious matters “literary” feature and one of Sam’s authors delivers a manuscript that is definitely off-piste from her usual, reliable money-spinning fare, causing some consternation.

It’s easy to love Sam, but just wait till you meet her mother, lawyer Helena. Formidable, with more Energiser Bunny vigour than Margaret Thatcher possessed at her peak, Helena is both a stressor to Sam and a source of eccentrically delivered support.

It’s difficult to incorporate money laundering into a plot. Its very nature means that you can’t be too detailed. Then you need to ensure it’s not too light in order to keep it convincing. Flanders comes in pitch-perfect on this one. (Those familiar with these regulations may find the odd out of date reference but that doesn’t spoil the story one iota.)

This novel has arrived on the scene as a bit of a curve ball; make sure you catch it.

Published by Allison and Busby, available from Amazon here.

Kindle Spring Sale 2014 Now On!

KSpringSale2014The Kindle Spring Sale is now underway with many bargains in the crime and thriller fiction line. Click HERE for the full sale. Some highlights include:

99p

  • One of self-publishing’s pack leaders: Rachel Abbott’s debut Only the Innocent at 99p. Her next novel The Back Road is also in the sale at 99p. (Note: Rachel’s third, Sleep Tight was published in February and is £2.99 outside the sale if you like to keep up to date!)
  • Now optioned for TV, Lisa Cutts’s Never Forget.
  • M J McGrath’s The Boy in the Snow, the second in her Edie Kiglatuk series.
  • Nicola White’s already award winning debut The Rosary Garden – see her at Harrogate in July.
  • Lindsay Ashford’s The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen – was it a natural death for Jane Austen? Ashford takes a look using fiction and her extensive research.
  • Michael Ridpath‘s 1995 debut financial trader thriller Free to Trade.
  • Two from Bill Kitson’s Mike Nash series, the debut Depth of Despair and the later Chosen.

In Threes Please!

  • Elizabeth Haynes’s superb third Human Remains comes in at the bargain offering of 99p too.
  • Meanwhile, David Mark’s just published third DS Aector McAvoy Sorrow Bound is available at only £2.09.
  • Are you up to date with Sara Sheridan’s Mirabelle Bevan mysteries? She’s also on her third with England Expects and again that one’s £1.09.

Alex Marwood’s staggeringly good The Wicked Girls is £1.99. Don’t let that one pass you by.

These are just tasters, there are more. Click HERE for the whole lot. There’s no excuse for a non-thrilling Easter.