Latest Reads: A Thousand Cuts by Thomas Mogford.

Publication Date: Available Now from Bloomsbury

Source: Review Copy

A thousand cuts … We may be few, but together we can change the world

When a routine court case takes a sinister turn, defence lawyer Spike Sanguinetti starts asking dangerous questions that nobody seems to want answered. Soon, it’s not just the truth that’s at stake: it is everything and everyone that Spike holds precious. As the Gibraltarian sun beats relentlessly down, crimes of the past and present collide, relationships are tested and long-buried secrets exposed. Who can Spike trust? And where do his own loyalties lie?

Loved A Thousand Cuts. You know when you find a book that has characters you fall for, a setting that lives around you and a story that is addictive, clever and unpredictable – that.

This is the first book I’ve read in this series (now dammit I have to go back and read the others, you know sometimes you just wish you could hate a book and prevent your tbr pile getting bigger but not in this case. Sigh) but it doesn’t really matter, I don’t feel I missed anything, the story flows beautifully with enough information about the characters to have an idea where we are – always a good thing for those of us who are always behind with stuff.

Score 10/10 for Spike Sanguinetti as a main protagonist, an honourable man trying to keep things equal in the murky world of law, standing up for his client despite said client being a bit of an ass – then finding himself embroiled in a historical mystery that holds dangerous possibilities for those he holds dear. Loyalties are tested, moral and legal decisions challenging him every day and blimey there is a baby on the way too. Nothing like putting your characters through the wringer is there, to make us readers love them.

Gibraltar as a setting is spot on, beautifully described, I now want to go there, I can see it in my minds eye – another strength of this particular story, putting the people firmly in the places makes for a much more immersive read. I enjoyed the historical aspects, could feel Spike’s frustration jumping off the page on occasion it was all really quite terrific. That and the group dynamic, I feel Jessica may become long suffering, I was engaged by Rufus and the father/son relationship and the ending left some personal issues unresolved that means I will inevitably be picking up the next book when it comes out.

Yep. Good. Good crime. We like it. Highly Recommended.

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Ones to Watch in 2017: The Fact of a Body – Alexandria Marzano-Lesenevich

Publication Date: 18th May 2017 from Macmillan

Source: Review Copy

Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes―the moment she hears him speak of his crimes―she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar.

Crime, even the darkest and most unsayable acts, can happen to any one of us. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood. And by examining the details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colors her view of Ricky’s crime.

The Fact of a Body was less a non fiction narrative and more a work of art – I don’t think I have been sucked into a book in the way this one sucked me in for a good long while. Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich writes with such a beautiful, haunting quality that gets over so many layers of emotional depth whilst still keeping it factual and real, that you can one moment be feeling like you are watching events unfold in real time and the next sobbing like a baby at one small sentence that says everything.

At the heart of it all is not only this killer, Ricky Langley, but also the author herself as she delves into her own mind and her own history in an attempt to understand that which cannot be understood. She takes you along on a journey of discovery, one of unpalatable realities, poignant self realisation and historical influence, it is at turns heart breaking, utterly riveting and melancholy, get ready to be hooked, unable to look away.

The Fact of a Body often reads like a literary thriller, I found myself remembering with a jolt that these were real people living real lives – the author shows the mundane routine of living, alongside the telling events that informed eventual acts, alongside the things that cannot be explained no matter how much we may wish for a reason. Throughout the whole of the telling there are moments of quiet, occasional times you step away from the read and absorb what you have just learned – the historical detail, the absolute compassion with which the author allows the “characters” in this drama to live and breathe on the page is just stunning in its intensity. And we must not forget she is one of them – and does not hide from her own horrors simply lays them bare before us.

This is a tangled, beautiful, intelligently told true story that will surprise you, an unravelling of human nature, a truly incredible look at the power of memory, the influences of life experience and that which we hide from ourselves – as well as that it is a truly compelling and absolutely gripping crime story and family memoir.

I really cannot recommend this highly enough.

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Six Stories with Matt Wesolowski – Anyu Kekkonen

Today we have part 4 of Six Stories with Matt Wesolowski, today he is talking about Anyu Kekkonen  – another character in the mix – and we are heading towards the end of this little feature which has been the best fun, with part 5 later this week and then a Q/A with Matt to finish things off before I FINALLY get to review the book as part of the blog tour. This is an excellent novel by the way. As I have said many times and will probably say a fair few more times!

Anyu Kekkonen

Matt Wesolowski

There’s something intriguing about Anyu – the way she holds herself, perhaps? She has this ethereal quality to her – an other-worldly serenity.

When writing characters, they often come to me, they emerge, unformed, taking shape the more I write. I have little control over who they become.

Six Stories was slightly different; before I started, I had an idea of who these characters were – but I didn’t want to touch them yet. I find if I plan or plot anything, especially characters it kills them and their story stone dead. I had to just write and see what happened, see who turned up.

With Anyu Kekkonen, I wanted to capture a character who is somewhat inscrutable; instead of making her mysterious as such, I wanted to make this inscrutability accidental, something she carried almost as a burden. I wanted the others to make her into a mystery, through no fault of her own.

The inspiration for this was fairly easy; I reached into my own experiences of being a teenager, for lots of boys, probably more than we’d like to admit, we put the objects of our affections up on a pedestal, weave mystery around them where is usually none. I wrote Anyu as the sort of girl my early affections would be bequeathed to, despite being aeons out of my league. I would have followed Anyu around when I was 15 like a lost puppy, forever wondering why she had no interest in me whatsoever!

What I also wanted to do was show that someone like Anyu, despite being perceived as exotic and mysterious, quite simply wasn’t; that she was an awkward teenager like the rest of them. Anyu Kekkonen has her own insecurities and her own unrequited feelings.

She also has stories…but I’m not going to spoil that for you here….

About the Book:

1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who embarked on that fateful trip, and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.

2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult internet figure. In a series of six interviews, King attempts to work out how the dynamics of a group of idle teenagers conspired with the sinister legends surrounding the fell to result in Jeffries’ mysterious death. And who’s to blame…

As every interview unveils a new revelation, you’ll be forced to work out for yourself how Tom Jeffries died, and who is telling the truth. A chilling, unpredictable and startling thriller, Six Stories is also a classic murder mystery with a modern twist, and a devastating ending.

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Latest Reads: Where She Went – B E Jones. Coming Soon.

Publication Date: July 2017 from Little Brown (Constable)

Source: Netgalley

TV journalist Melanie Black wakes up one morning next to a man she doesn’t recognise. It’s not the first time – but he ignores her even though she’s in his bed. Yet when his wife walks in with a cup of tea he greets her with a smile and to her horror, Melanie comes to realise that no one can see or her hear her – because she is dead.

But has she woken up next to her murderer? And where is her body? Why is she an invisible and uninvited guest in a house she can’t leave; is she tied to this man forever? Is Melanie being punished in some way, or being given a chance to make amends?

As she begins to piece together the last days of her life and circumstances leading up to her own death it becomes clear she has to make a choice: bring her killer to justice, or wreak her own punishment out to the man who murdered her.

Read this pretty much in one sitting this afternoon – clever, addictive tale, a crime thriller with a ghostly element – well actually a literal ghost trying to muddle her way through the afterlife and eek out some kind of revenge at the same time.

Where She Went is told entirely by Melanie, who has woken up dead, stuck by the side of the man who probably killed her and his long suffering wife. Everybody pretty much is horrible in this novel – even poor Eve, said wife, who puts up with a controlling and abusive environment. Melanie herself is not particularly sympathetic either, dead as she is, but still you kind of root for her as she discovers what she can and can’t achieve.

The writing flows beautifully, I liked the way the back story revealed itself, and it is relatively creepy – Melanie whispering her thoughts into the heads of others – it actually gives you pause for thought on those random things you sometimes see out of the corner of your eye. The mystery elements are well thought out and clever but the excellent thing about this book is the character voice. Melanie is sharp and ironic, keeping you on side even as she shows her less than kind nature, I was especially fond of the little twist ending and the ability the author leaves you with to imagine what might happen next.

Overall this was beautifully different, something less usual within the crime genre, it worked on many levels and as such I have no problem recommending it.

One to watch this year.

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Quieter Than Killing – The Tour. Peace with Sarah Hilary.

Never Give Me Peace

by Sarah Hilary

It’s Saturday afternoon in Bath, one of the UK’s most beautiful cities, honey-coloured home of Jane Austen—and I’m writing about vigilantes, violent assaults and dead bodies.

‘How do you do it?’ I’m asked. And, ‘How do you switch off when it’s done?’

Do I wander to the park to admire the flowerbeds, chat to the man dressed as a Regency Buck outside the Austen museum, sample the fresh scones in one of Bath’s famous tearooms?

I’ll tell you a secret. I never really switch off.

I don’t like switching off. I’m always inventing friends and enemies, sending my detectives into battle against their demons, delving into the best and worst of human nature. I love white noise, and black noise, and the twinging heat of a new idea taking shape in my head.

I love monsters.

Of course I pop out for a coffee, or a martini at the Canary Gin Bar once in a while. I watch TV, and films. I go for long walks. But I’m happiest when I’m writing and besides—there’s always that niggling fear I might lose my touch, that my monsters might desert me.

Patricia Highsmith, one of my favourite writers, said something wonderful along these lines, toasting all her ‘… devils, lusts, passions, greeds, envies, loves, hates, strange desires, enemies ghostly and real, the army of memories, with which I battle—may they never give me peace.’

A crime writer’s best friends are her worst enemies, and mine go everywhere with me. All the time I was writing Quieter Than Killing I had a terrified, trapped young boy in my head (and my heart). My detectives, Marnie and Noah, have taken up permanent residence there; a whole back lobe of my brain is their major incident room. Like Highsmith, I wish in earnest for my worst fears and best hopes — and all the strange, restless curiosity that is a writer’s blessing and curse — to stay with me, unsettle me, keep my fingers itching always for pen and paper.

So if you happen to spy me in Bath, enjoying a piano recital at The Pump Room or side-stepping the queue for the Thermae Spa, wave hello to me and my monsters. We might even wave back.

About Sarah:

Sarah Hilary has worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. Her debut, SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN, won Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015 and was a World Book Night selection for 2016. The Observer’s Book of the Month (“superbly disturbing”) and a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, it has been published worldwide. NO OTHER DARKNESS, the second in the series was shortlisted for a Barry Award in the US. Her DI Marnie Rome series continued with TASTES LIKE FEAR and her fourth book, QUIETER THAN KILLING, is out now.

About the Book:

It’s winter, the nights are dark and freezing, and a series of seemingly random assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out onto streets of London. When Marnie’s family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by someone who knows her. Then a child goes missing, yet no-one has reported it. Suddenly, events seem connected, and it’s personal.

Someone out there is playing games. It is time for both Marnie and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. Keeping quiet can be a means of survival, but the effects can be as terrible as killing.

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Getting to Know You with Paul Harrison. Revenge of the Malakim blog tour.

Today I’m very happy to be getting to know Paul Harrison – author of Revenge of the Malakim.

Tell us a little about your current novel, what readers can expect from it..

It’s an exciting, and fast paced, police procedural, with lots of surprises, twists and turns, that should keep the reader on the edge of their seat.

Based in Bridlington, in the fictional police area of Eastborough, it’s summer. The streets of the town are filled with tourists, and… a serial killer with a difference. This one, likes to get up close and personal with each victim. As the murders move around the country, to Leeds, Kettering, and London. Newly promoted DCI Will Scott and his team have their work cut out in catching the elusive killer.

Where did you grow up and what was family life like?

I’m originally from Carlisle, in Cumbria, but spent a lot of my life in Leeds. Family life as a child, was a challenge, to say the least. However, I came through it and still laugh, dance and dream, now, I have a wonderful family of my own.

Academic or creative at school?

Definitely creative. I was a non-studious schoolboy. Too busy larking about.

First job you *really* wanted to do?

It might sound obvious, but being a writer is brilliant. Every path of my life provided experiences that led me towards fulfilling my dream job.

Do you remember the moment you first wanted to write?

Yes, I always enjoyed writing, it first happened one night, when I was on duty as a police officer. I entered a short story competition, writing it during my break. I submitted it, and won. That was it. I have written ever since.

Who are your real life heroes?

There’s been a few, however, my German Shepherd dog, George, attacked two burglars in my home who, at the time were in the process of beating me up. My injuries were genuinely serious, the doctors said that George undoubtedly saved my life. He’s a top dog.

Funniest or most embarrassing situation you’ve found yourself in?

I have a large library of true crime books, around four thousands books. I have these lined up in bookcases. Once when my house was for sale, an interested party, a young woman, viewed the house. As we entered the library, she saw not only my book collection, but the covers from my true books on display. As she looked over at me, I smiled. Only to realise, she thought I may be a serial killer. She left the house before I could explain. Needless to say, she didn’t buy the house.

DIY expert or phone a friend?

I’d phone a friend every time. I can’t hammer a nail without hitting my thumb!

Sun worshipper or night owl?

I love the sunshine and I love my night time sleep, so its a no brainer, this one.

A book that had you in tears.

It’s going to sound soppy, but I loved Marley and Me. I love dogs, they are a big part of my life.

A book that made you laugh out loud.

Pies and Prejudice – In Search of the North. by Stuart Maconie. So accurate, and hilarious.

One piece of life advice you give everyone

Never, ever, give up on your dream. In life, there are two types of people, radiators and drains, listen to the radiators, ignore the drains.

Thanks so much!

About the Book:

It’s high summer and the streets of Bridlington East Yorkshire are awash with tourists. A serial killer is on the loose. DCI Will Scott and his team embark upon a fast paced investigation to catch a killer with a unique agenda. As the body count rises the killer randomly moves location and the police are unwittingly drawn into a dark and sinister world where cover-ups and corruption reigns. A place where no one can truly be trusted and nothing is ever what it seems.

Publisher – Williams & Whiting

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Deadly Game Matt Johnson. Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now From Orenda

Source: Review Copy

Reeling from the attempts on his life and that of his family, Police Inspector Robert Finlay returns to work to discover that any hope of a peaceful existence has been dashed. Assigned to investigate the Eastern European sex-slave industry just as a key witness is murdered. Finlay, along with his new partner Nina Brasov, finds himself facing a ruthless criminal gang, determined to keep control of the traffic of people into the UK. On the home front, Finlay’s efforts to protect his wife and child may have been in vain, as an MI5 protection officer uncovers a covert secret service operation that threatens them all… Picking up where the bestselling Wicked Game left off, Deadly Game sees Matt Johnson’s damaged hero fighting on two fronts. Aided by new allies, he must not only protect his family but save a colleague from an unseen enemy … and a shocking fate.

Deadly Game continues the story started in Wicked Game (highly recommended from me) and also takes a dark yet realistic look at the world of sex trafficking. As such it is a hard hitting novel but done with genuine thought and feeling to the subject matter, is endlessly fascinating and a totally gripping read.

I was and still am a big fan of Matt Johnson’s first novel in the Robert Finlay series but with Deadly Game he takes things both up and down a notch – emotionally speaking this is on a whole new level, with less action but more considered, brutally and beautifully authentic prose that really delves into the themes within the story and keeps you totally immersed throughout. Another book I read fast, not wanting to put it down until I was done.

Robert Finlay as a character, well, so refreshing to read a main protagonist within a thriller who is not any one thing. He has a depth that is not seen so much, a wonderfully likely outlook considering the background the author has given him, every action he takes and thought he has makes sense in the wider picture, he is both sympathetic and intriguing. He anchors us in the moment, keeping the reader emotionally invested. That is some brilliant writing right there.

Whilst we all love a good edge of the seat thriller a la Lee Child, for me the kind of novels Matt writes are more in my ballpark, I want that emotive edge and that sense of genuine involvement. Proving here that you can give multiple layers to the crime thriller genre and still not lose the thrill aspect, a thing that whilst it is not rare is not common either, Deadly Game comes highly recommended by me. I can’t speak for anyone else but I simply can’t wait for the next one, to see the bigger picture the author is creating here and because seriously, its just a damned fine read. Don’t miss it.

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Publication Day Review: From the Shadows Neil White.

Publication Date: Available Now from Bonnier

Source: Review Copy.

The Lawyer

When defence lawyer Dan Grant inherits a murder case just weeks away from trial, he’s just expected to babysit it and take his fee. But Dan’s not that kind of lawyer. If he takes on a case then he investigates it his way – wherever the evidence takes him.

The Investigator

Jayne Brett is Dan’s investigator and a woman with a terrible secret in her past – one that still haunts her today. Needing the money, she takes on the task of investigating the case that Dan’s inherited. But has she taken on more than she can handle?

The Case

Mary Kendricks was a pretty, smart, twenty-four-year-old teacher. Now Mary Kendricks is dead and Robert Carter is in the dock, accused of her brutal murder.

But as Dan and Jayne investigate, they discover that perhaps there is more to this case than meets the eye – but in order to do their jobs they need to push the limits of the system, even if it means putting themselves in danger . .

Well it feels like its been a long time coming, a new Neil White book, which makes me grumpy but you know, you can’t have everything, like a book a week from the authors you love reading, From the Shadows was worth hanging around for because it is, as usual, damn good crime fiction.

The start of a new series here, a kind of mish mash of courtroom drama and crime thriller that is often edge of the seat clinging by the fingernails good all that interspersed with tense and authentic courtroom scenes. Plus great characters. Easily a one sitting read, the plot is dynamic and multi-layered, the relationship between Dan and Jayne is edgy and fascinating and the mystery elements are cleverly woven and definitely twisted. I do love the unpredictable stuff.

Bit creepy too. I mean genuinely look over your shoulder wonder who’s behind you creepy. Possibly don’t read this last thing at night if you are in the house all alone. Reminder to self for the next book.

I’ve long been a fan of Mr White which will come as no surprise to anybody, From The Shadows just confirms everything I’ve always said and then some. With the start of the Dan Grant series he truly is playing to his strengths, the fact that he is a Criminal Prosecutor in his other life shows here with the realistic legal layer.  If you thought UK law was rather dry and dull in comparison to the more shout out US stuff then think again. As Dan takes on the system it is ever compelling and truly absorbing, never unbelievable and just added so much to storytelling, highly readable drama.

With an ending that will have you holding your breath and a twisted, often surprising path to get you there From The Shadows is utterly gripping and highly inventive – top notch crime fiction at its appealing, page turning, captivating best. Loved it. More please. Dan and Jayne are characters to watch.

Highly Recommended.

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Jeopardy Surface Sheri Leigh Horn. Blog Tour Review.

Publication Date: Available Now from Perpetuity

Source: Review Copy (E-book)

It’s the witching hour and Special Agent Regan Ross is having a WTF kind of night. Morning? How the hell did she get from her bed to her front yard? And why is she holding a loaded firearm? Sleepwalking doesn’t bode well for the rising star in the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, but whatever is causing her recent weight loss and bizarre nocturnal activities will have to wait. The phone is ringing. It’s probably her sister Erin, the surgeon who knows best, demanding to know her plans for the holidays. Why would this year be any different? They’ll spend the somber anniversary and Christmas like always—drinking too much, watching Turner Classic Movies, and not talking about their dead parents. Caller ID provides yet another surprise.

Hearing Special Agent Robert Haskins’ voice for the first time in six months has Regan reeling. The mention of Maryland’s Eastern Shore conjures images of Jennifer Abbott, the student-athlete whose disappearance from a small campus is national news. There are complications. For starters, her areas of expertise—geographic profiling and predictive analysis—require a lot of information from a series of crimes. Single murders typically aren’t her purview and involving herself in an investigation to which she has not been officially assigned will send the BAU chief’s blood pressure through the roof.  She should say no, but she won’t.

Really enjoyed this start to a new series of novels featuring highly intriguing main protagonist Regan Ross, whose specialty within the FBI is slightly different to that which you normally see in crime books and gave the premise an inventive cutting edge.

This is one of those fast flowing novels that you pick up then read in a gulp – the mystery elements are clever, the character building is particularly good – and I was completely engaged by the whole geographical profiling thing – its not that I’ve never seen it in other novels but not so far as the main focus so it made it really compelling.

Its nice when you get something different – It was easy to get behind Regan who has some rather tangled up issues but deals with them in her own way and I liked the tie between her and Haskins, it kept the underneath of the book going really well.

Great writing and a diversion from the norm in crime thrillers. Excellent stuff. Bring on the next book is what I say.


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The Dark Room. Interview with Jonathan Moore.

Today I’m very happy to be talking to  Jonathan Moore all about his second novel in his loose San Francisco trilogy –  The Dark Room. I loved this one. You can find a link to my review at the end.

Firstly, can we talk a little about the inspiration or original spark that started you writing not only The Dark Room but the first and last in this beautifully atmospheric loose trilogy – The Poison Artist and the forthcoming The Night Market?

Nearly twenty years ago, when I was a college student living in San Francisco, I had an idea one night for the story that would eventually become The Poison Artist. At the time, I had no idea that it would ultimately become three books—or that it would take me so long to finish the first one. But when I was 22 or 23, I wasn’t prepared to write these books. I was only thirty pages in before I realized that I was out of my depth. I came back to the story in 2013, after I’d sold my first two novels. I was more confident, and more prepared to get out and research things like police procedure and post mortem examinations. The second time around, I had an easy time writing The Poison Artist and I finished the earliest draft in just a few months. I thought that was the end of it, but when I started writing my next book, I chose San Francisco as the setting and the atmosphere took over from there. Now I have three books set in San Francisco, and I think I’m done. But you never know.

The Dark Room has a very hard hitting and utterly gripping central premise around which you have built some remarkably engaging yet often quite damaged characters – is the darker side of human nature something that completely fascinates you?

I doubt I’ll start writing romantic comedies anytime soon. And that’s not to say that I look down on anything that isn’t dark, because I don’t. I never know where my stories are going until I get there, and I’m as surprised as anyone else when I look up and discover where I’ve wound up. So yes, I guess I must have a fascination with the darker side of people. But it’s never something that I’m consciously thinking about when I sit down to write.

If I could talk about Cain for a moment – the central character at the heart of The Dark Room – whilst he comes into focus as the novel progresses, at the end we are still (or I was as a reader at least) fairly in the dark (pun unintended but there!) as to a lot of his inner soul – how do you view him now, with some distance.

One thing I’m very conscious of when I’m writing is narrative focus. The Dark Room is written in the third person, but the point of view is tightly limited to Cain. I’m a visual thinker, so most of what I write is something that you could depict on a screen. (This is all part of my plan to lure filmmakers to my books so that I can quit my day job and live on a yacht in the Mediterranean). On the other hand, that means that you’re not going to find many inner monologues and backstories in the pages I write. But the trade-off being what it is, I think it’s a more realistic way of telling a fast-paced mystery—Cain is out there trying to solve a murder, so he’s going to be thinking about ballistic reports and whether he’s being lied to, and not where he went to kindergarten or how he got along with his parents, or how he’d spend his free time (if he had any). Still, I think you’ll find plenty of clues about what kind of man he is by looking at the things he says and does on the page—how he treats his partners and his colleagues, how he interacts with authorities, how he responds to deaths of people close to him, how much sleep he gets compared to how much time he spends on the street, working. I view Cain as a good man, who’s trying to do the right thing—and who’s too busy to preach much about it.

The Poison Artist and The Dark Room both have very different yet deeply noir undertones – who would you say your biggest influences have been in the writing world?

There are so many writers whose work I love. Cormac McCarthy, for his language—if they had a prize for making existential nihilism sound good, McCarthy would win it with every book. Hemingway, for his knife-like sentences that cut right to point. Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald, who had opposite ideas of what a mystery novel should strive to be, but who shared the same fascination: their protagonists grapple to make sense of their world, navigating cities that are mazes of secrets and complex relationships. In contemporary mysteries, I adore Michael Connelly. He’s never written a disappointing book, and you can feel the layers of research and care that go into his stories.

Are you able to tell us a little about The Night Market?

The Night Market is the final piece of my San Francisco project. It is a murder mystery set fifty years after the events in The Poison Artist and The Dark Room, but it pulls in elements from both of those stories. Each one of these books stands alone, and each one has a slightly different tone. If The Poison Artist is an erotic psychological drama, and The Dark Room is a fast police procedural, then the The Night Market is a near-future, dystopian noir. Of the three, it’s my favourite.

Finally, a question I always ask, is there anything that you have read recently that you would personally like to recommend to others?

Perfidia, by James Ellroy. But if you haven’t already read his L.A. Quartet (The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, White Jazz and L.A. Confidential), start there.

Thank you!

About the Book:

Gavin Cain, an SFPD homicide inspector, is in the middle of an exhumation when his phone rings. San Francisco’s mayor is being blackmailed and has ordered Cain back to the city; a helicopter is on its way. The casket, and Cain’s cold-case investigation, must wait.  At City Hall, the mayor shows Cain four photographs he’s received: the first, an unforgettable blonde; the second, pills and handcuffs on a nightstand; the third, the woman drinking from a flask; and last, the woman naked, unconscious, and shackled to a bed. The accompanying letter is straightforward: worse revelations are on the way unless the mayor takes his own life first.  An intricately plotted, deeply affecting thriller that keeps readers guessing until the final pages, The Dark Room tracks Cain as he hunts for the blackmailer, pitching him into the web of destruction and devotion the mayor casts in his shadow.

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