New Books (September-October)

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Featuring: André Alexis, Federico Axat, Adam Baker, James Benmore, Hayley Campbell, Peter Ames Carlin, Lincoln Child, Greg Cox, Bryan Cranston, Sady Doyle, Dave Duncan, Ruthanna Emrys, Valentina Giambanco, Peter Heller, Brian Jay Jones, Richard Kadrey, Helen Keen, Stephen King, Ellen Klages, Mark Lawrence, Tom Lloyd, David Mark, Joe M. McDermott, Peter McLean, Kate Moretti, Mike Myers, Trevor Noah, Joyce Carol Oates, Douglas Preston, Jason Rekulak, Simon Reynolds, Anne Rice, Tony Robinson, Jonathan Safran Foer, Chris Sharp, J.P. Smythe, Bruce Springsteen, Marc Turner, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Jess Walter, Sam Wilson, Lidia Yuknavitch

Above image: The Hunt #3 by Joana Lafuente & Colin Lorimer (Image)

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Interview with JAMES BENMORE

BenmoreJ-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is James Benmore?

I’m the author of a trilogy of novels that further the adventures of Jack Dawkins from Oliver Twist – or the Artful Dodger as you and I might call him. The first of these books, Dodger, was released to a very warm reception last year and so it’s been a real pleasure to keep his story going for another two books.

Your next novel, Dodger of the Dials, is published in paperback this year by Heron. It’s your second novel about the Artful Dodger. How would you introduce the series to a new reader, and what can fans of the first expect?

So, Dodger picks up six years after the events of Oliver Twist. In that book, Jack was arrested for pickpocketing and was transported to an Australian penal colony. But now he’s back in London under mysterious circumstances with a task to locate a priceless jewel which is lost somewhere within the city. The story leads Jack back into some of the darker areas of his past and he finds out what has become of many of the other young orphans that once shared Fagin’s home with him. It’s a historical crime caper with one of literature’s most irreverent anti-heroes at its center.

Dodger of the Dials is set a year after that and now an even more emboldened Dawkins is establishing himself as one of London’s most ambitious criminals. He’s moved from pickpocketing and is now a burglar-on-demand, cracking great houses on behalf of dubious wealthy clients. He also runs a significantly large gang in the Seven Dials vicinity called ‘the Diallers’ but his success attracts unwanted attention from an even bigger career criminal called Weeping Billy Slade. We see the beginnings of what we now call organized crime but this prototype is a disaster for Jack. Before long he’s in a condemned cell awaiting his own execution like Fagin before him and with some desperate plans for escape. Continue reading