STALKERS, my new novel for Avon Books (HarperCollins), due out next February.
For those not yet aware, STALKERS (which was originally titled THE NICE GUYS CLUB) is the first in a trilogy of novels, which tell the tale of Manchester police detective Sergeant Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg, a driven but flawed individual, who joins Scotland Yard’s elite Serial Crimes Unit and finds himself on the trail of some terrifying maniacs and killers.
As you may have guessed from this cover, we’re not in horror territory here. The Heckenburg books will belong firmly to the thriller category: frank cop stuff interweaving with suspense, mystery and hard, brutal action (lots of the latter, I can promise you that), but there will definitely be some very dark edges to these tales. I finally finished STALKERS about a year ago, having first come up with the concept during a brainstorming session designed to hatch new ideas for horror stories. Its central notion is extremely grim, or so I’m told – a fellow professional whose opinion I always value and who read the first draft after I’d finished it, said that he loved the police elements but that he thought it was too dark and too violent to be published as a crime novel.
On this one occasion, I’m more than happy that he was proved wrong.
The cover is clearly not finished, as you can see, but this is pretty much what the final book will look like. For those interested in knowing more, here is an early draft of the back-cover blurb, as it appears on the HARPERCOLLINS website and at AMAZON UK:
All he had to do was name the woman he wanted. It was that easy. They would do all the hard work.
Detective Sergeant Mark 'Heck' Heckenberg is investigating the disappearance of 38 different women. Each one was happy and successful until they vanished without a trace.
Desperate to find her missing sister, Lauren Wraxford seeks out Heck’s help. Together they enter a seedy underworld of gangsters and organised crime.
But when they hear rumours about the so-called 'Nice Guys Club' they hit a brick wall. They're the gang that no one will talk about. Because the Nice Guys can arrange anything you want. Provided you pay the price…
Dark, terrifying and unforgettable. Stalkers will keep fans of Stuart MacBride and Katia Lief looking over their shoulder.
It might also be interest for crime hounds that I’ll shortly be commencing a brand new blog on the HarperCollins KILLER READS website. I’m not quite sure when, but I think it will be pretty soon. Watch this space for more information on that.