Upcoming: LETHAL WHITE by Robert Galbraith (Mulholland/Sphere)

GalbraithR-CS4-LethalWhiteI was one of the readers who was drawn to Robert Galbraith‘s Cormoran Strike series after it was revealed that “Robert Galbraith” is actually J.K. Rowling. Before that, I don’t think I’d seen anything about The Cuckoo’s Calling anywhere. As a fan of Rowling’s Harry Potter series, I decided to give Galbraith’s novels a try. Luckily, I really liked the first one, and very quickly read the follow-up The Silkworm and then the third, Career of Evil. The novels are slow-burn mysteries, and the main characters are great. I have been eagerly anticipating the release of the fourth book, Lethal White, ever since it was announced that it was on the way. Here’s the synopsis:

“I seen a kid killed… He strangled it, up by the horse.”

When Billy, a troubled young man, comes to private eye Cormoran Strike’s office to ask for his help investigating a crime he thinks he witnessed as a child, Strike is left deeply unsettled. While Billy is obviously mentally distressed, and cannot remember many concrete details, there is something sincere about him and his story. But before Strike can question him further, Billy bolts from his office in a panic.

Trying to get to the bottom of Billy’s story, Strike and Robin Ellacott — once his assistant, now a partner in the agency — set off on a twisting trail that leads them through the backstreets of London, into a secretive inner sanctum within Parliament, and to a beautiful but sinister manor house deep in the countryside.

And during this labyrinthine investigation, Strike’s own life is far from straightforward: his newfound fame as a private eye means he can no longer operate behind the scenes as he once did. Plus, his relationship with his former assistant is more fraught than it ever has been — Robin is now invaluable to Strike in the business, but their personal relationship is much, much trickier than that.

The most epic Robert Galbraith novel yet, Lethal Whiteis both a gripping mystery and a page-turning next instalment in the ongoing story of Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott.

Lethal White is due to be published on September 18th, 2018, by Mulholland Books in North America and Sphere in the UK. The series has also been adapted into a BBC TV series, but I haven’t had the chance to watch it yet (it’s unclear where/how it’s available in Canada…).

Also on CR: Review of The Cuckoo’s CallingThe Silkworm and Career of Evil

Follow the Author: Website, Goodreads, Twitter

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Cover Reveal: THE REMNANT by Charlie Fletcher (Orbit)

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Above is the rather good cover for Charlie Fletcher‘s third Oversight novel, The Remnant. Due to be published in March 2017 by Orbit Books in the UK and North America, the cover fits very nicely with the first two (below). Unfortunately, I haven’t yet had the chance to read The Oversight and The Paradox, but I fully intend to do so. In the meantime, here’s the synopsis:

“The Oversight is most dangerous when most reduced. There are many dead and gone who did not remember that.”

The Oversight of London has been sworn for millennia to prevent the natural and the supernatural worlds from preying on each other.

Now, at its lowest ebb, with its headquarters destroyed and its last members scattered far and wide, this secret society will battle for survival and face the harshest foe it has ever met: itself.

I’m looking forward to reading all three of these. Hopefully soon.

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Interview with JAMES BENNETT

BennettB-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is James Bennett?

That’s a big question. James Bennett is someone who finds it weird to refer to himself in the third person, but who is, predominantly, a Fantasy writer. Also an international playboy. I made that last bit up.

Your debut novel, Chasing Embers, is published by Orbit. It looks rather intriguing: How would you introduce it to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?

Thank you. Chasing Embers relates the story of Ben Garston, who, to all intents and purposes, seems like your everyday Londoner, albeit a little rough around the edges. But Ben has a secret hiding under his skin. In fact, the world has a secret hiding under its skin. Imagine if all those medieval tales of fabulous beasts were actually real. Imagine if there were only a few of them left and living among us, endangered species, survivors in the modern world. The Ben Garston books take that idea as their central premise. Continue reading

Excerpt: LAWLESS AND THE FLOWERS OF SIN by William Sutton (Titan)

SuttonW-Lawless&TheFlowersOfSinToday, we have an excerpt from William Sutton‘s second Victorian crime novel, Lawless and the Flowers of Sin. Recently published by Titan Books, it’s the sequel to Lawless and the Devil of Euston Square.

Here’s the synopsis:

It is 1863, and as a reluctant Inspector of Vice, Campbell Lawless undertakes a reckoning of London’s houses of ill repute, a shadowy netherworld of frayed glamour and double standards, mesmerising and unspeakable by turns.

From the erotic booksellers of Holywell Street to the alleys of Haymarket, he discovers backstreet cast-offs and casualties of the society bordellos, and becomes fascinated by a musician who has established a foundation for fallen women. But his inquiries draw the attention of powerful men, who can be merciless in defending their reputations. Lawless must unlock the heart of a clandestine network, before he too is silenced…

Read on for the excerpt… Continue reading

Upcoming: THE HOUSE OF FAME by Oliver Harris (Vintage)

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I haven’t read Oliver Harris’s first two novels, yet, but Alyssa is a fan. I first heard of his books when I was living in London, and therefore wasn’t really in the mood to read fiction set in the city. However, after spotting the cover for his upcoming third novel, above, I must say my interest was piqued. I know one should never judge a book by its cover, but that cover above and the new covers for The Hollow Man and Deep Shelter (below) are stunning.

First, though, here’s the synopsis for House of Fame:

Amber Knight is London’s hottest ticket – pop star, film star, the front-page subject of daily tabloid gossip.

Nick Belsey is less celebrated. His decade-long career at Hampstead CID seems to be coming to an end, and his habit of getting into serious trouble is ongoing. He is currently of no fixed abode.

But when Belsey is asked by a desperate mother to help find her son, he finds himself infiltrating the entourage of Amber Knight. It is a world of excess, obsession, lust and greed – precisely as Belsey had expected, and perhaps even hoped for. Soon, though, the blood begins to flow, one sickening crime is followed by the next, and Belsey finds himself in a far more deadly world, whose mysteries he must solve and whose grip he must escape.

The House of Fame is due out in February 2016, published by Vintage Books. It doesn’t have a page, yet, on the publisher’s website, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon.

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And, in case you haven’t read the first one as well, here’s the synopsis for ??:

Detective Nick Belsey is broke. Now it looks like he’s out of a job – something happened last night, something with the boss’s wife…

At dawn, on what should be the last day of Belsey’s career, Hampstead CID is ghostly quiet. Belsey checks the overnight files. There’s a missing-person report. But this one’s different. It’s on the Bishops Avenue, London’s richest street. Belsey sees a scam, an escape route.

But he hasn’t got there first.

Furiously paced and thrillingly plotted, The Hollow Man is a black love letter to London’s shadow world. It marks the beginning of a seductive contemporary detective series, and the arrival of a future master of the genre.

Guest Post: “My Audiobooks…” by Mark Ellis

EllisM-AuthorPicThe experience of having my first two Frank Merlin books, Princes Gate and Stalin’s Gold, which are set in World War 2 London, turned into audiobooks was very straightforward and enjoyable. Audible, Amazon’s audiobook arm, got in touch with me through my publishers in the latter part of 2014. There are different ways in which audiobooks are published on Audible. Sometimes the book publisher remains the main publisher but is given access to the Audible platform at various levels. Alternatively Audible themselves become the publishers. In my case it was agreed that Audible would buy the audio rights to the books from me and be the publishers. This, I learned, was the best outcome as my audiobooks would then have the full weight and support of the Audible and Amazon organisations behind them. Continue reading

Review: RIVERS OF LONDON by Ben Aaronovitch (Gollancz)

Aaronovitch-PG1-RiversOfLondonUKThe first Peter Grant novel…

My name is Peter Grant and until January I was just probationary constable in that mighty army for justice known to all right-thinking people as the Metropolitan Police Service (as the Filth to everybody else). My only concerns in life were how to avoid a transfer to the Case Progression Unit – we do paperwork so real coppers don’t have to – and finding a way to climb into the panties of the outrageously perky WPC Leslie May. Then one night, in pursuance of a murder inquiry, I tried to take a witness statement from someone who was dead but disturbingly voluable, and that brought me to the attention of Inspector Nightingale, the last wizard in England.

Now I’m a Detective Constable and a trainee wizard, the first apprentice in fifty years, and my world has become somewhat more complicated: nests of vampires in Purley, negotiating a truce between the warring god and goddess of the Thames, and digging up graves in Covent Garden . . . and there’s something festering at the heart of the city I love, a malicious vengeful spirit that takes ordinary Londoners and twists them into grotesque mannequins to act out its drama of violence and despair.

The spirit of riot and rebellion has awakened in the city, and it’s falling to me to bring order out of chaos – or die trying.

I finally got around to reading it! I actually pre-ordered this before it came out, and promptly… didn’t read it. (And somehow lost my first edition hardcover, which is most annoying…) I was going through a phase when I didn’t want to read anything set in London and then got distracted by myriad other things. As I am wont to do. Anyway. I’ve now begun the series, and I will certainly be reading the rest of it. This was a lot of fun, and a must-read for all fans of urban fantasy. Continue reading