Thursday, 20 May 2010
Silent Scream by Karen Rose is No. 2 in the hardback fiction chart this week and there is a very good reason for this. Here is the my review of this bestselling book:
Silent Scream is the latest hardback from Karen Rose. It starts with an arson that goes wrong as an innocent young girl is killed. The four college students who set the fight thought that awful night was over with but someone else was there that night – someone who is not going to let them forget.
While fighting the fire, fireman David Hunter discovers the young girl’s body and a mysterious glass ball. When he goes to speak to the homicide detectives he comes face-to-face with Detective Olivia Sutherland, who he spent the night with two years previously. Drawn into the investigation personally and also professionally, David and Olivia search for the killer of the girl and also of the security guard who was shot at point blank range on the site.
The story unfolds from the blackmailer, arsonist and detectives points of view. Karen Rose does this brilliantly by setting the story over only a few days and timing everything which keeps the pace up and the tension throughout.
This is only the second Karen Rose that I’ve read but I will be reading more. There are three reasons for this: 1) Karen Rose writes with confidence about the detective work and also about the criminal mind, 2) she writes vividly about passionate romantic relationships without interfering with the main crime thriller storyline and 3) she connects each of her books by using a whole cast of characters who are all interlinked. David Hunter is the brother of one of the characters from Don’t Tell, Karen’s first book. But you don't have to read of them before it just means the more you read - the more your knowledge of Karen Rose's fantastic world is built up.
From what I’ve read you should also read I Can See You alongside Silent Scream (as characters and stories are closely linked) but do make sure that you add them to your reading pile, and soon.
Thursday, 13 May 2010
The book is about a killer who stalks his prey online by finding out their dreams, their fears and their vulnerablities - he gets into their lives through their computers. Don't read these at night alone (especially if you have a computer near by!). Also out at the same time is the hardback of Silent Scream - I'm reading this at the moment so look out for my review next week of a brilliant book about an arson that goes wrong when an innocent girl is killed...
Let us know what you think of the advertising and Karen's books.
Friday, 30 April 2010
Lovely to see some of the brilliant crime reviews - Mike Stotter, Jake Kerridge and an inimitable Chris Simmons. Thanks must go to David at Goldsboro for launching the party and who has been so brilliantly supportive of Imogen. I'm always agog at quite how many books he manages to cram into such a small shop. It's so nice to talk to David, as someone who has so much passion and enthusiasm for books, and has used this to create such a vibrant business. Although there's so much excitement about reading devices at the moment - I saw my first ipad the other day, v.beautiful - it's nice to see just how majestic the old school hardback can be!"
Thursday, 1 April 2010
Each year the biggest and the best in the business descend on the Yorkshire town of Harrogate to talk about all things crime fiction. From comic crime capers to serial killer thrillers all aspects of the genre are represented and we are delighted to be a part of this year’s festival.
We have bestselling authors Karen Rose and Joseph Finder flying in from the US, and UK writers Bateman and Imogen Robertson lined up for a number of workshops, panel events and all-important hosting duties at the murder mystery dinner.
To find out more about our authors at Harrogate check out their events below:
Thursday 22nd July, time 9.00-12.00pm: Creative Writing Workshop
Friday 23rd July, 10:30am to 11:30am: Chair of event 'A Scotsman, and Englishman, an Irishman and a Welshman walk into a bar…'
Saturday 25th July, 5.00pm to 6.00pm, panellist in 'Britannia Rules The Page' event
Friday 23rd July, 10:30am to 11:30am: panellist in 'A Scotsman, and Englishman, an Irishman and a Welshman walk into a bar…'
Saturday 24th July, 6.15pm to 8.00pm: host of a table at the ‘Murder Mystery Dinner’
Saturday 24th July, 2.00pm to 3.00pm: panellist in ‘How Dark is Your Noir?’
Saturday 24th July, 6.15pm to 8.00pm: host of a table at the ‘Murder Mystery Dinner’
Friday, 26 March 2010
We had thirty of the most influential online reviewers attending from the crime, chick lit, literary fiction, ya, sci fi and horror genres. Our ‘fiendish’ quiz was won by visiting US author Dan Wells, who took a break from his hectic tour to lead the winning team of Kasi Collins and bloggers Liz de Jager, Jo Stapley, Rhys Jones and Sammee Hicks.
Check out a photo of the winning team below:
1) Who played Inspector Hercule Poirot in the 1978 film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile?
2) Which bestselling novel by Martina Cole has recently been adapted for the stage?
3) Who played the role of Lisbeth Salander in the film adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo?
4) Which crime novelist previously worked for both M15 and M16 during the 1950s and 1960s?
5) Which female crime writer won the 2010 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger award?
6) Which popular fiction writer won the CWA Gold Dagger Award in 1996 with his novel Popcorn which satirises the film industry?
7) Which fictional street address is home to Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes?
8) Nicci French is the pen name of which husband and wife writing team?
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
The prize, which will be awarded at the Crimefest Gala Dinner on 22nd May, is awarded to the best humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2009. To read more about the award click here.
Headline have three authors appearing at Crimefest: crime writing duo Michael Stanley (otherwise known as Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip) and thriller writer Matt Lynn. To find out more about Crimefest do check out their website.
Monday, 15 March 2010
“… any reader who loves their thrillers tinged with a bit of sophistication, will find that Bequest glistens with as much gleam as a 24 carat nugget. I adore the inventiveness of the prose and the ingenuity of its author…I both welcome this new and exciting author to the literary stage, and eagerly await her second helping”
“BEQUEST is an intriguing and enjoyable novel, dealing with the thriller theme with surprising subtlety of characterisation and plot... The plotting and different time-lines and perspectives are deftly handled by the author. This novel should appeal to fans of John Le Carre and David Downing who are interested in the post-Soviet era and I very much look forward to future books from this author.”
“a promising debut and I hope that Shevchenko is sitting on a treasure chest of stories from the land of her fathers - or indeed anywhere else.”
Material Witness Blog
“a genuinely through-provoking insight in to the casual brutality of Stalin’s Soviet Union”
It was the mobile signal that tipped the balance for me, not sea views or coastal walks. I imagined the focus and creative wave the lack of mobile signal would bring.... I was hooked, there and then.
So, I found a perfect excuse to write off my first writing day : I had to wait at the bus stop for the lift to the nearest village shop.
“No fish at all ”, a smiling fisherman told me.
“But you must have caught something?” I pleaded.
“We have”, the fisherman agreed. “Cornish crab. Would you like some?”
“As much as possible”, I said enthusiastically. The crab was good. Exceptional even. Considering that it was destined to become my staple food for a week, I set up transforming it. During my shopping expedition to the nearest village I found enough ingredients for a week of crab recipes: crab and mayo sandwich; crab, apple and celery salad, fresh crab with baked potato...
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Now we've introduced you to her compelling brand of real life fiction read more from about Sam on her website. You can find news, blog posts and a brilliant video of Sam talking about the inspiration behind Tell Tale.
Tell Tale is published at the end of March, and follows the lives of three seemingly ordinary women each bound together by a secret in their past. The book also explores the very modern dangers behind social networking. Sam grabs your attention from the get-go in this timely thriller, and the fear and tension she creates will continue to lurk on the edges of your sub-conscious long after you’ve put this book down. There is a real twist in the tale as well, that will keep readers guessing till the very end! Grab your copy here.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
Monday, 22 February 2010
A founder of The Curzon Group of British thriller writers, Matt Lynn makes a personal selection of the ten best British thrillers:
One: The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope: Even though it was published in 1894, Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda remains as exciting as the day it first rolled off the presses. The story of a rather foppish young Englishman called Rudolf Rassendyll caught up in the palace and political intrigue of the imaginary state of Ruritania, it has conspiracies, mysteries and femme fatales galore. Much of the story admittedly may seem antique to modern readers – and it has more than a touch of the ripping yarn about it – but this book is the start of the action adventure genre. It tears off page one at a hundred miles an hour, and speeds up from there. After this book, thrillers had to be genuinely thrilling.
Two: The 39 Steps by John Buchan: It’s an obvious choice, but The 39 Steps is still the template for any thriller writer. It has all the ingredients to cook up a great adventure story: an ordinary hero plunged into a global conspiracy: a fantastic chase sequence: and a puzzle that has to be cracked to save the nation. Dan Brown would kill for one of the Buchan’s riddles. And the book is written with an urgency and pace that still makes it seem very modern. Written in 1915, it gives the reader an insight into how the First World War was viewed by the people living through it.
Three: Journey Into Fear by Eric Ambler: For me, Eric Ambler was really the writer who lifted the spy genre out of pot-boiler fiction, and up to a whole new level. He was a brilliant writer, who also explored the great themes of his day: think George Orwell, but writing adventure stories. Journey Into Fear is his most gripping book, a fantastic story of a fraught voyage from Turkey. The hero is cooped up on a ship, chased by menacing Nazi spies. It captures the tension of the first year of World War Two. It was written in 1940 and has a sense of brooding menace of that year, when the outcome of that war was still very much in doubt, and many people though they were facing decades of the Nazis dominating Europe.
Four: The Wreck of the Mary Deare by Hammond Innes: I'm not sure anyone reads him anymore, by Hammond Innes was huge in the 1950s and 60s. He's really the missing link between writers like John Buchan and the modern thriller. His books are fantastic action stories pitching ordinary men into terrifying conspiracies. The Wreck of the Mary Deare, a story about a ship wreck, is the best of them. The hero is sailing across from England to France, when he comes across an abandoned cargo ship in a storm, with only a mad captain left on board. What happed to the crew? And the cargo? That’s the mystery. Part of its brilliance is its description of the English Channel as a wild and terrifying sea - Innes has the thriller writer’s ability to make the ordinary suddenly seem very threatening.
Five: Ice Station Zebra by Alistair MacLean: Alistair MacLean was the master of a style of rugged, very masculine action adventure story that is probably best exemplified today by SAS writers like Andy McNab and Chris Ryan – and, hopefully, by myself as well. His books were the source for classic films such as Where Eagles Dare, and The Guns of Navaronne. His parse, witty writing style set the template for a whole genre: punchy, direct, but vividly descriptive. Ice Station Zebra is his finest work: a small group of men, battling against terrifying, extreme conditions, and caught up in a global power play. It captures the freezing atmosphere brilliantly, and the plotting is immaculate.
Six: From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming: Much like his alter ego James Bond, Fleming is all about style. With great covers, brilliant titles, and rattling opening sentences, the Bond books are slick, sexy entertainment turned up to the max. From Russia With Love is the best of them (and actually there are some duds in there). The title is, for my money anyway, the best ever put on a jacket. Then there is the opening line: “The naked man who lay splayed out on his face beside the swimming pool might have been dead.” Pure class. The villains are cold and sadistic and the totty, for once, not completely gratuitous. It’s about as deep as an After Eight mint, but a brilliant confection.
Seven: Berlin Game by Len Deighton. All spy fiction is really an extended metaphor for the office. All those double-agents and moles are just ciphers for the guy along the corridor who is trying to steal your promotion. No character captures that better than Len Deighton's Bernard Samson, a middle-ranking intelligence executive, who can't trust anyone. He's meant to be outwitting the KGB, and but he could be any middle-aged man struggling to stay afloat in a big company, betrayed by his bosses as well as his wife. Berlin Game is the first (and best) of the Game, Set and Match trilogy, the height of Deighton's achievements. It has a fantastic twist as well. His wife is the KGB double-agent he's hunting for - a blow to any marriage.
Eight: The Odessa File by Frederick Forsyth: The Day of the Jackal, Forsyth's first book, gets more attention, but it was with The Odessa File that Forsyth really hit his stride. A story of Nazi-hunting, it is brilliant as both a conspiracy and action thriller, drawing on real historical events and turning them into a compelling story. With it intensive research and tightly engineered structure, it set the template for the modern, lightening-paced thriller. If you want to know how to write an action story, then just read and re-read this book until you’ve figured out what he is doing. All thriller writers operate in Forsyth’s shadow, and this remains Forsyth's best book.
Nine: Bonecrack by Dick Francis: The most consistently prolific of British thriller writers, Dick Francis put his first career as a jockey to good use in his second as a novelist. Nearly all of his books are set in the racing world, a natural arena for tales of corruption and skull-duggery. Bonecrack, from 1971, is one of the best of the lot. A simple enough tale, the hero inherits his father’s stables, and is then forced by a mad Mafia boss to turn his son into a Derby winner. The plot is tuned to perfection, and the book rattles along at tremendous pace. The point about Francis, however, is not the brilliance of any particular book, but his amazing consistency. Forty books over forty years and not a single dud among them. An incredible achievement.
Ten: The Ghost by Robert Harris: Bang up date, super-smart and very funny in places, The Ghost is the best British thriller of the last decade. It has a great set-up, placing its hero close to power, but right on the sidelines, a device that plenty of thriller writers have used, but not often with such success. The plot has the slow-burning, smouldering build up of a great jazz record. And it captures the end of the Blair era brilliantly: the disillusion, and the bafflement, as people tried to figure out how a politician they really liked turned out to be so awful. Historians will be able to read it a hundred years and get a snapshot of what people felt about Tony Blair by 2007.
Fire Force is the second novel in Matt Lynn's action-packed, gun-toting Death's Inc series - get your hands on a copy here.
Thursday, 18 February 2010
Now we've whet your appetite, read a sneak preview from the first chapter of Instruments of Darkness here:
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
We have got together with the Harrogate Crime Festival to offer you a free downloadable sampler including author pieces and extracts for four fantastic books:
Bequest by A.K. Shevchenko, international intrigue as a modern day London solicitor finds herself involved in a two hundred year old Russian mystery.
American Devil by Oliver Stark, join New York homicide detective Tom Harper on the trail of a serial murderer.
Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson, a exhilarating debut drawing comparisons with du Maurier.
The Levels by Sean Cregan, a dark, urban gothic thriller for fans of Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Mark Billingham and Simon Kernick.
Click below to download your sampler now:
Friday, 5 February 2010
I was really excited to be running the marketing campaign for Karen’s new books in January. The darkly chilling Don’t Tell in paperback and Have You Seen Her in hardback seemed like the perfect partner for the FX channel. Karen Rose has been the official sponsor of several top prime-time crime shows since 21st January. Do check out our grizzly trailer below featuring the murder of a beautiful blonde woman by her lover.
We are also a very happy publishing house at the moment as both books have hugely successful: Don’t Tell is at No.3 in The Sunday Times bestseller list and Have You Seen Her is at No.5.
Karen Rose is going from strength to strength and there is just no stopping the queen of crime who truly breaks the rules of thriller writing.
Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Monday, 1 February 2010
The book opens with a security guard checking a construction site – a half-finished mansion – for vandals and vagrants. Instead he finds a young couple – dead. Killed during a sexual act.
Not only does Jonathan Kellerman write a cracking psychological thriller that will stop you wanting to go to work (do though as otherwise you won’t be afford your crime fix!) but he writes characters that you will want to see again and again. So it’s great that he has a fantastic backlist and some new characters.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
With her new hardback Have You Seen Her? shooting to the number 10 spot on the Sunday Times bestseller list this week, and the paperback of Don’t Tell also reaching the number four spot, I decided to see what keeps her fans coming back for more and more… check out my enthusiastic review below!
Have You Seen Her? is my first, and will certainly not be my last Karen Rose – I have completely signed up to the Karen Rose fan-club, complete with bag, hat and t-shirt!
The book sees Special Agent Steven Thatcher on the trail of a serial killer with a penchant for highschool cheerleaders. Each one disappears from their beds, with no evidence of a break-in, and each one ends up brutally murdered.
As more girls disappear, Thatcher becomes caught between his priorities as a parent and as a policeman. His eldest son Brad suddenly starts behaving strangely. Worried by his drop in grades, Brad’s teacher Jenna Marshall contacts his father to voice her concerns.
The first meeting between Thatcher and Marshall is electrifying to read – the attraction between them is instant, and is the beating heart of this book. Rose deftly interweaves their relationship with a terrifying and tense hunt for the killer – and the two plots collide when the killer's attention becomes centred on Marshall herself.
There are some real heart-in-mouth moments, and it is certainly a book to read with the lights on and the doors locked shut! Yet this book also has a warmth and depth that sets Rose apart from her contemporaries. I can’t wait to start on her next!
Get your copy here http://bit.ly/ccyBah
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Shevchenko made a wonderful speech thanking her friends and family, and where she dedicated Bequest to the memory of her grandfather, a Ukrainian historian whose diaries she deftly incorporated into the story. She invited her agent Robert Kirby (United Agents), editor Flora Rees (Headline) and Headline MD Jane Morpeth on stage to cut a cake to celebrate publication.
AK Shevchenko, Robert Kirby, Flora Rees and Jane Morpeth
Jane Morpeth, Flora Rees and Robert Kirby
All photos are credited (c) Closer Photography
To begin we have some titles which come highly recommended by respected reviewer Margaret Cannon.
In The Toronto Globe and Mail she has singled out SURE AND CERTAIN DEATH by Barbara Nadel and TELL-TALE by Sam Hayes as two of her hot picks for Spring 2010:
So why not pick them up and give them a go.