Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Petrona Award 2019 - Winner

Announcing the winner for:

The 2019 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year

On 11 May 2019, at the Gala Dinner at CrimeFest, Bristol, Petrona Award judges Kat Hall and Sarah Ward announced the winner of the 2019 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year.

The winner is THE KATHARINA CODE by Jørn Lier Horst, translated from the Norwegian by Anne Bruce and published by Michael Joseph.

As well as the trophy, Jørn Lier Horst receives a pass to and a guaranteed panel at next year's CrimeFest.

Jørn Lier Horst and Anne Bruce will also receive a cash prize.

The judges' statement on THE KATHARINA CODE:

THE KATHARINA CODE is a twenty-year-old mystery and failure of justice that haunts its investigator. From the code’s intriguing introduction in the novel’s opening pages to the duel of wits at its end, Jørn Lier Horst has crafted an outstanding and thrilling police procedural. The judges were particularly impressed with how the author takes established tropes – the ‘cold case’, the longstanding suspect, the dogged nature of policework – and combines them in ways that are innovative and fresh. THE KATHARINA CODE is the seventh novel in Horst’s ‘William Wisting’ series to be superbly translated by Anne Bruce from Norwegian into English, and a highly worthy winner of the 2019 Petrona Award.

This is the second time that Jørn Lier Horst has received the Petrona Award: he first won in 2016 with THE CAVEMAN, translated by Anne Bruce and published by Sandstone Press. Both of the winning novels are from Horst's excellent 'Wisting' series.

The Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his generous support of the 2019 Petrona Award.

Watch the presentation (recorded via Facebook):

Jørn Lier Horst with his second Petrona Award trophy:

Awards News: CWA International Dagger Longlist (2019)

Here is the longlist for the CWA International Dagger 2019. The shortlist will be announced in the summer and the winner in October. (Taken from the CWA website.):

Author Title Translator Publisher
Dov Alfon A Long Night in Paris Daniella Zamir Maclehose Press
Karin Brynard Weeping Waters Maya Fowler & Isobel Dixon Europa – World Noir
Gianrico Carofiglio The Cold Summer Howard Curtis Bitter Lemon Press
Keigo Higashino Newcomer Giles Murray Little, Brown
Håkan Nesser The Root of Evil Sarah Death Pan Macmillan – Mantle
Cay Rademacher The Forger Peter Millar Arcadia Books
Andrea Camilleri The Overnight Kidnapper Stephen Sartarelli Pan Macmillan – Mantle
Kjell Ola Dahl The Courier Don Bartlett Orenda Books
Martin Holmén Slugger A A Prime Pushkin Vertigo
Jørn Lier Horst The Katherina Code Anne Bruce Penguin – Michael Joseph

Friday, May 03, 2019

New Releases - May 2019

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in May 2019 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). May and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.
• Abson, G D - Black Wolf #2 Senior Investigator Natalya Ivanova, St Petersburg, Russia
• Adams, Jane - The Clockmaker #4 Detective Chief Inspector Henry Johnstone, 1928
• Ahnhem, Stefan - Motive X #4 Fabian Risk
• Allan, Claire - Forget Me Not
• Bannalec, Jean-Luc - The Missing Corpse #4 Commissioner Dupin
• Bilal, Parker - The Divinities #1 Crane and Drake, London
• Billingham, Mark - Their Little Secret #16 DI Tom Thorne, London
• Boyd, Damien - Beyond the Point #9 DI Nick Dixon
• Bradby, Tom - Secret Service
• Carter, Chris - Hunting Evil #10 Homicide Detective Robert Hunter, LA
• Curran, Chris - All the Little Lies
• Drinkwater, Carol - The House on the Edge of the Cliff
• Feeney, Alice - I Know Who You Are
• Finch, Paul - Stolen #3 Lucy Clayburn
• FitzGerald, Helen - Worst Case Scenario
• Ford, Nicola - The Lost Shrine #2 Hills & Barbrook
• Friis, Agnete - The Summer of Ellen
• Galan, Jorge - November
• Hall, Lisa - Have You Seen Her
• Hamer, Kate - Crushed
• Hanington, Peter - A Single Source #2 William Carver, BBC Reporter
• Harris, Oliver - A Shadow Intelligence
• Hawkins, Alis - In Two Minds #2 Harry Probert-Lloyd, 1850s, Wales
• Hilary, Sarah - Never Be Broken #6 DI Marnie Rome
• Jackson, David - Your Deepest Fear #4 DS Nathan Cody, Liverpool
• James, Peter - Dead at First Sight #15 Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, Brighton
• Johnstone, Doug - Breakers
• Jordan, Jack - Night by Night
• Kendal, Claire - I Spy
• Khoury, Raymond - The Ottoman Secret
• Kutscher, Volker - The Fatherland Files #4 Detective Inspector Rath, Berlin, 1929/30s
• Lawler, Liz - I'll Find You
• Lindsay, Douglas - Boy in the Well #2 DI Westphall
• MacBride, Stuart - All That's Dead #12 DS Logan McRae, Aberdeen
• Mariani, Scott - Valley of Death #19 Ben Hope, Ex-SAS
• Massey, Sujata - The Satapur Moonstone #2 Perveen Mistry, India's only female lawyer, 1920s
• McKenna, Clara - Murder At Morrington Hall #1 Stella and Lyndy, 1905
• Mina, Denise - Conviction #1 Anna McDonald
• Moore, Syd - Strange Tombs #4 Rosie Strange
• Morris, Vera - The Loophole #3 Anglian Detective Agency series
• Nadel, Barbara - A Knife to the Heart #21 Cetin Ikmen, Policeman, Istanbul
• Newham, Vicky - Out of the Ashes #2 DI Maya Rahman
• O'Connor, Deborah - The Dangerous Kind
• O'Sullivan, Darren - Closer Than You Think
• O'Sullivan, Darren - Close Your Eyes
• Padura, Leonardo - Grab a Snake by the Tail #7 Lt Mario Conde, Cuba
• Pavone, Chris - The Paris Diversion #2 Expats
• Reeve, Alex - The Anarchists' Club #2 Leo Stanhope, Victorian era
• Roberts, Mark - Date With Death #5 DCI Eve Clay, Liverpool
• Robinson, Maggie - Who's Sorry Now? #2 Lady Adelaide, England, 1924
• Rowe, Rosemary - A Prisoner of Privilege #18 Mosaicist Libertus, Glevum (modern Gloucester)
• Russell, Leigh - Rogue Killer #12 DI Geraldine Steel
• Sansom, Ian - The Sussex Murders #5 The County Guides to Murder
• Sebastian, Tim - Fatal Ally
• Shaw, William - Deadland #2 DS Alexandra Cupidi
• Shelton, Paige - The Loch Ness Papers #4 Scottish Bookshop Mystery
• Sheridan, Sara - Indian Summer #7 Mirabelle Bevan (retired Secret Service), 1950s
• Steiner, Peter - The Good Cop
• Swallow, James - Shadow #4 Marc Dane
• Wagner, David P - Roman Count Down #6 Rick Montoya Italian Mysteries
• Wassmer, Julie - Murder Fest #6 Pearl Nolan, Whitstable
• Weaver, Tim - No One Home #10 David Raker, Missing Persons Investigator
• Webb, Katherine - The Disappearance
• Welsh, Kaite - The Unquiet Heart #2 Sarah Gilchrist, Victorian Era, Scotland
• Wilson, Andrew - Death in a Desert Land #3 Agatha Christie
• Woodhouse, Jake - The Copycat #4 Inspector Jaap Rykel, Amsterdam

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Petrona Award 2019 - Shortlist

From the press release which was embargoed until 8.00am today:

Outstanding crime fiction from Denmark, Iceland and Norway shortlisted for the 2019 Petrona Award

Six outstanding crime novels from Denmark, Iceland and Norway have been shortlisted for the 2019 Petrona Award for the Best Scandinavian Crime Novel of the Year, which is announced today.

THE ICE SWIMMER by Kjell Ola Dahl, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway)
THE WHISPERER by Karin Fossum, tr. Kari Dickson (Harvill Secker; Norway)
THE KATHARINA CODE by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph; Norway)
THE DARKNESS by Ragnar Jónasson, tr. Victoria Cribb (Penguin Random House; Iceland)
RESIN by Ane Riel, tr. Charlotte Barslund (Doubleday; Denmark)
BIG SISTER by Gunnar Staalesen, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway)

The winning title will be announced at the Gala Dinner on 11 May during the annual international crime fiction convention CrimeFest, held in Bristol on 9-12 May 2019. The winning author and the translator of the winning title will both receive a cash prize, and the winning author will receive a full pass to and a guaranteed panel at CrimeFest 2020.

The Petrona Award is open to crime fiction in translation, either written by a Scandinavian author or set in Scandinavia, and published in the UK in the previous calendar year.

The Petrona team would like to thank our sponsor, David Hicks, for his continued generous support of the Petrona Award.

The judges’ comments on the shortlist:

There were 38 entries for the 2019 Petrona Award from six countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Iceland, Norway, Sweden). The novels were translated by 25 translators and submitted by 24 publishers/imprints. There were 14 female and 20 male authors, and two male-female writing duos.

This year’s Petrona Award shortlist sees Norway strongly represented with four novels; Denmark and Iceland each have one. The crime genres represented include the police procedural, the private investigator novel, psychological crime, literary crime and the thriller.

The Petrona Award judges faced a challenging but enjoyable decision-making process when drawing up the shortlist. The six novels selected by the judges stand out for their writing, characterisation, plotting, and overall quality. They are original and inventive, often pushing the boundaries of genre conventions, and tackle highly complex subjects such as mental health issues, the effects of social and emotional alienation, and failures of policing and justice.

We are extremely grateful to the translators whose expertise and skill allows readers to access these gems of Scandinavian crime fiction, and to the publishers who continue to champion and support translated fiction.

The judges’ comments on each of the shortlisted titles:

THE ICE SWIMMER by Kjell Ola Dahl, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway)

Kjell Ola Dahl has achieved international acclaim for his ‘Oslo Detectives’ police procedural series, of which The Ice Swimmer is the latest instalment. When a dead man is found in the freezing waters of Oslo Harbour, Detective Lena Stigersand takes on the investigation while having to deal with some difficult personal issues. With the help of her trusted colleagues Gunnarstranda and Frølich, she digs deep into the case and uncovers possible links to the Norwegian establishment. Once again, Dahl has produced a tense and complex thriller, with his trademark close attention to social issues.

THE WHISPERER by Karin Fossum, tr. Kari Dickson (Harvill Secker; Norway)

Winner of the prestigious Riverton Award and Glass Key Award for Nordic crime, Karin Fossum is a prolific talent. The Whisperer focuses on the case of Ragna Riegel, an unassuming woman with a complicated emotional history, who has recently been arrested. As Inspector Konrad Sejer delves into her psyche in the course of a claustrophobic interrogation, Fossum slowly reveals the events leading up to Ragna’s crime. This is a highly assured mix of police procedural and psychological thriller, which really gets to the heart of one woman’s mental turmoil, and how easy it is for an individual to become unmoored from society.

THE KATHARINA CODE by Jørn Lier Horst, tr. Anne Bruce (Michael Joseph; Norway)

Jørn Lier Horst’s ‘William Wisting’ novels are distinguished by their excellent characterisation and strong plots. In The Katharina Code, a dormant investigation is reopened when police focus on a missing woman’s husband and his possible involvement in an earlier, apparently unconnected case. Wisting, who has long harboured doubts about the man’s innocence, becomes a somewhat unwilling participant in the surveillance operation. This finely plotted thriller with a strong sense of unresolved justice shows how Lier Horst is as comfortable writing about rural landscapes as urban settings.

THE DARKNESS by Ragnar Jónasson, tr. Victoria Cribb (Penguin Random House; Iceland)

In Ragnar Jónasson’s The Darkness, the first in the 'Hidden Iceland' trilogy, a Reykjavík policewoman on the brink of retirement looks into a final case – the death of Elena, a young Russian woman, which may mistakenly have been labelled a suicide. As much a portrait of its flawed investigator, Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir, as of the investigation itself, the novel explores themes ranging from parental estrangement and the costs of emotional withdrawal to the precarious status of immigrants trying to make their way in a new land. The novel’s ending is bold and thought-provoking.

RESIN by Ane Riel, tr. Charlotte Barslund (Doubleday; Denmark)

Ane Riel’s Resin is an ambitious literary crime novel with a remote Danish setting. Narrated mainly from the perspective of Liv, a young girl, it tells the story of three generations of one family, while exploring the complicated factors that can lead individuals to justify and commit murder. Other narrative voices – such as those of Liv’s mother and a neighbour – provide further nuance and depth. A moving meditation on the consequences of social isolation and misguided love, Resin is an innovative novel that offers its readers a keenly observed psychological portrait of a close-knit but dysfunctional family.

BIG SISTER by Gunnar Staalesen, tr. Don Bartlett (Orenda Books; Norway)

In this highly acclaimed, long-running series, former social worker turned private investigator Varg Veum solves complex crimes which often have a strong historic dimension. In Big Sister, Veum is surprised by the revelation that he has a half-sister, who asks him to look into the whereabouts of her missing goddaughter, a nineteen-year-old trainee nurse. Expertly plotted, with an unsettling, dark undertone, this novel digs deep into Veum’s family past to reveal old secrets and hurts, and is by turns an absorbing and exciting read.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Annie the Detective Fairy

The Rainbow Magic series for younger children (5+) is a phenomenon with dozens if not hundreds of entries. The latest collection comprises four "Discovery Fairies", the third of which caught my eye... I've been working in libraries for over ten years and have often been asked for the 'fairy' books by Daisy Meadows (who is a collection of writers) but this is the first time that I've read one.

Rachel and Kirsty are so excited to meet the Discovery Fairies, who look after some of the most exciting jobs in the world. But when Jack Frost steals Annie the Detective Fairy's magical item, detectives everywhere run out of clues! Can the girls help Annie get it back and help solve mysteries everywhere?

Annie the Detective Fairy's magical notebook has been stolen by Jack Frost. Human girls, Kirsty and Rachel are shrunk to fairy-size and return with Annie to Fairyland to help her get her notebook back. Whilst Jack Frost has the notebook, Detectives will not be able to solve their cases!! Jack has renamed himself Shivershock Bones and his goblin sidekick is Dr Gobson. When the girls and Annie arrive in Fairyland they appear in an incomplete fairy circle - the sixth toadstool (house) and six fairies having just disappeared one day. A real mystery. It takes an unexpected collaboration to solve that mystery and for Annie to get her notebook back.

Annie wears a trench coat and uses a magnifying glass to shrink her human friends. There are brief references to Sherlock Holmes. The mystery is resolved by magic however fairies, humans, goblins and Jack Frost have to work together first sharing their information (clues).

Notable books in the series to come are: the first Boy Fairy (7/19) and a Librarian Fairy (4/20):


Monday, April 01, 2019

New Releases - April 2019

Here's a snapshot of what I think is published for the first time in April 2019 (and is usually a UK date but occasionally will be a US or Australian date). April and future months (and years) can be found on the Future Releases page. If I've missed anything or got the date wrong, do please leave a comment.
• Anthology - Berlin Noir (ed. Thomas Wortche)
• Aird, Catherine - Inheritance Tracks #24 DI C D Sloan, Calleshire
• Barnes, Kerry - The Hunted #1 Hunted
• Beckett, Simon - The Scent of Death #6 Dr David Hunter
• Beech, Louise - Call Me Star Girl
• Berry, Connie - A Dream of Death #1 Kate Hamilton, American antiques dealer
• Brandreth, Gyles - Oscar Wilde and the Return of Jack the Ripper #7 Oscar Wilde
• Brookmyre, Christopher - Fallen Angel
• Casey, Jane - Cruel Acts #8 DC Maeve Kerrigan
• Cole, Karen - Deliver Me
• Collins, Sara - The Confessions of Frannie Langton
• Connolly, John - A Book of Bones #17 Charlie Parker, PI, Maine
• Cross, Mason - What She Saw Last Night (as MJ Cross)
• Cummins, Fiona - The Neighbour
• Davis, Lindsey - A Capitol Death #7 Flavia Albia, the adopted daughter of Marcus Didius Falco
• Dearman, Lara - Dark Sky Island #2 Jennifer Dorey, journalist & DCI Michael Gilbert, Guernsey
• Delargy, James - 55
• Downing, David -Diary of a Dead Man on Leave
• Elliott, Lexie - The Missing Years
• Erskine, Fiona - The Chemical Detective
• Fields, Helen - Perfect Crime #5 DI Luc Callanach, Edinburgh
• Gibney, Patricia - Final Betrayal #6 Detective Lottie Parker
• Gunnis, Emily - The Girl in the Letter
• Guttridge, Peter - Swimming With the Dead #6 Brighton series
• Halliday, G R - From the Shadows #1 DI Monica Kennedy, Inverness
• Harris, C S - Who Slays the Wicked #14 Sebastian St. Cyr, Regency England
• Herriman, Nancy - A Fall of Shadows #2 Bess Ellyott, Tudor England
• Huber, Anna Lee - An Artless Demise #7 Lady Darby, Scotland, 1830s
• Hunter, Cara - No Way Out #3 DI Adam Fawley, Oxford
• Isaac-Henry, Olivia - Someone You Know
• Jonasson, Ragnar - The Island #2 Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdotti
• Jones, B E - Wilderness
• Jones, Philip Gwynne - The Venetian Masquerade #3 Nathan Sutherland
• Kelly, Erin - Stone Mothers
• Kelly, Lesley Death at the Plague Museum #3 The Health of Strangers series
• Kerr, Philip - Metropolis #14 Private Detective Bernhard Gunther, 1930s Berlin
• Kidd, Jess - Things in Jars
• Kiernan, Olivia - The Killer in Me #2 DCS Frankie Sheehan
• Knight, Alanna - The Dower House Mystery #18 Inspector Faro, Edinburgh, Victorian Era
• Lebor, Adam - Kossuth Square #2 Balthazar Kovacs, Detective, Budapest
• Lloyd, Amy - One More Lie
• Magson, Adrian - Rocco and the Price of Lies #6 Inspector Lucas Rocco, Poissons-Les-Marais, 1960s
• Marland, Stephanie - You Die Next #2 DI Dominic Bell and Clementine Starke
• Martin, Faith - A Fatal Flaw #3 Ryder & Loveday, Oxford, 1960s
• Masters, Priscilla - Blood on the Rocks #14 Detective Inspector Joanna Piercy, Leek, Staffordshire
• McAllister, Gillian - The Evidence Against You
• McPherson, Catriona - Scot and Soda #2 Last Ditch Mysteries
• Mitchell, Caroline - The Secret Child #2 Detective Amy Winter
• Morris, R N - The White Feather Killer #5 Silas Quinn, police detective
• Nesser, Hakan - Intrigo #1 Short Story & Novella Collection
• Parsons, Tony - #taken #6 Detective Max Wolfe of the Homicide and Serious Crime Command, London
• Perry, Anne - Death in Focus #1 Elena Standish, Photographer, 1930s
• Robb, Candace - A Conspiracy of Wolves #11 Owen Archer
• Robson, Amanda - Envy
• Sidebottom, Harry - The Lost Ten
• Siger, Jeffrey - The Mykonos Mob #10 Former Athens police chief Andreas Kaldis & local police chief Tassos Stamatos, Mykonos
• Sigurdardottir, Yrsa - The Absolution #3 Children's House series
• Taylor, Andrew - The King's Evil #3 Ashes of London series
• Taylor, C L - Sleep
• Thomas, Bev - A Good Enough Mother
• Thomson, Lesley - The Playground Murders #7 Stella Darnell
• Upson, Nicola - Sorry for the Dead #8 Josephine Tey, real-life crime writer
• Watkins, Roz - Dead Man's Daughter #2 DI Meg Dalton, Derbyshire
• White, D E - Remember Me
• Whitehouse, Lucie - Critical Incidents #1 Ex-DI Robin Osborne, Birmingham
• Young, David - Stasi 77 #4 Oberleutnant Karin Müller

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Review: Evil Things by Katja Ivar

Evil Things by Katja Ivar, January 2019, 320 pages, Bitter Lemon Press, ISBN: 1912242095

Reviewed by Lynn Harvey.
(Read more of Lynn's reviews for Euro Crime here and here.)

Feeling curiously devoid of emotion, Hella ran down the steps to where a canvas sack stood on the frozen earth, a dark brown stain spread across it like some exotic flower. She motioned towards it.
“Is it inside?”

Ivalo Police Headquarters, Northern Finland, 13th October 1952.
The speck on the map that is the Sami village of Käärmela, surrounded by marshes and hills, makes Hella wonder why she is determined to go there. Chief Inspector Eklund, her boss, has dismissed the idea of a crime. An accident, he says. An old man disappears, probably got lost or drunk. Hella points out that a man born in that forest wouldn’t get lost. Nor would he leave his six year old grandson alone for days. Eklund is scornful. The man is probably not the perfect grandfather that she imagines. She tries again, pointing out that the local priest’s wife has reported it to them. Won’t an uninvestigated report ruin the section’s statistics? Eklund seems to grow uncomfortable. He orders Hella to tell the priest’s wife that with winter snows due they cannot send an investigator but will take up the case in May when the snows melt. After a long unpleasant haggle which includes suffering Eklund’s opinion that Hella would be better off looking for a husband at the next town ball, Hella takes Eklund’s offer of vacation time to visit the village. But only for a couple of days. She forces a smile at her boss.

Käärmela, near the Finnish-Soviet border.
The priest’s wife, Irja, again tries to reassure the silent little boy that his grandfather will return soon. Four days ago an old woman had dragged the boy into Irja’s home claiming that his grandfather was missing, probably dead, and that she had had to beat the boy to get him to leave the empty house. He won’t eat, sleep or speak, said the woman. It's Irja’s duty, as the priest’s wife, to look after him. Irja tried to reassure the distraught boy as he clutched their old cat for comfort. Putting him to bed, she immediately wrote a letter to the Ivalo Police about the missing grandfather.

Ivalo Police Headquarters, 14th October 1952
Persistently irritated by the sign on her door which reads “H. Mauzer, Polyssister” (she was Helsinki’s first woman detective for God’s sake, not a tea-maker cum hand-holder), Hella is further annoyed to see that her colleague Ranta has again been snooping around her office. She concentrates on leaving her desk in scrupulous order with a view to appeasing Chief Inspector Eklund. At home she packs: a rucksack, walking boots, warm clothes, notebook, her coffee pot. She shudders at having to accept a lift north with Kukoyakka, the only logging driver willing to take her. She decides to take her gun. True, the armed conflict in the countryside is quieter now but if Kukoyakka pushes his luck… She smiles.

Käärmela, same day.
The priest's wife has another visitor, a neighbour of the boy and his grandfather. Has he come to ask after the little boy? No, he says. He has decided to buy the missing man’s house. The boy can live with her and the priest after all. He reaches into his coat and pulls out some notes, pushing them across the table to her. The price of a bag of fish. He rises, announcing the deal done. Irja is outraged and pushes the money back at him explaining that now is not the time. “Bitch!” For a moment she is frightened of him but she stands her ground and he leaves.
Irja had asked the Ivalo police about the disappearance but had been treated with contempt. The boy keeps asking when they will arrive and despite her own doubts she humours him. When a tall angular figure in a parka and carrying a pack approaches their house through the dusk the boy is positive it is the police. Then he whispers in disbelief, “It’s a woman”...

EVIL THINGS is Katya Ivar’s first novel. Raised in both Russia and the US and now living in Paris, Ivar has given us, in EVIL THINGS, a gripping police procedural set in an unfamiliar time and place for most crime readers. Set in a remote community in a time of political turmoil but also a time and society pushing women to conform to tradition, Katja Ivar's collected portraits of the women who conform and those who don't are strikingly drawn. Hella Mauzer herself, as befits a central “cop” figure, is always at the edge: the outsider, the misfit, considered by her colleagues to be mad, bad and possibly dangerous to know. The first woman investigative police officer in Helsinki until disgraced, downgraded and moved to a remote posting in Ivalo near the Finnish-Russian border, Hella is convinced that there is something to investigate in a grandfather’s disappearance from his remote Lapp village, she wangles her way onto the case and organises a search party. When they find animal-savaged human remains in the forest snow it is Hella who realises that the remains are those of a woman and this is truly a murder investigation. Ivar’s slow reveal of Hella's character and past add to the suspense in this mystery filled with strong character writing. Ultimately Hella leads us into a frantic race and final battle of wits to uncover and confront both society’s demons and her own. A strong start to what I hope will become a Hella Mauzer series.

Lynn Harvey, March 2019

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Publishing Deal - G S Locke

Is Birmingham becoming more popular as a setting for crime fiction? This April we have Lucie Whitehouse's Critical Incidents, the first of projected trilogy set in Birmingham and next year sees Neon from the pseudonymous G S Locke. Details from today's Bookseller:
Orion has scooped a debut thriller by G S Locke, about a Birmingham detective and hitwoman tracking down a serial killer.

[]It will be published by Orion Fiction in spring 2020.

The book follows “desperate detective” Matt Jackson and hitwoman Iris as they try to find the murderer who killed Jackson’s wife. The synopsis explains: “But the killer, dubbed ‘Neon’ for the way he displays his victims among elaborate, snaking neon light installations, is also on the hunt – and has both Jackson and Iris in his sights.”

Locke, the pseudonym for a Birmingham based crime writer, said: “For some time, I’ve had this powerful image in my head of a desolate detective sitting alone in a café, picking up the phone and ordering his own murder after his wife is killed by a serial killer. With that, DCI Jackson was born, and with him, Iris, a contract killer who I hope is as fierce and unrelenting a character as Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander and Killing Eve’s Villanelle. What follows is a story of survival, revenge, an unorthodox investigative partnership, and a serial killer with a particular fondness for neon art.”
More Birmingham crime fiction can be found here.