Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Can we blast our way onto the upper tier?

If there's anyone out there who hasn't bought STALKERS yet, for any reason at all, I'm today making it my job to try and convince you do otherwise.

First, a quick recap.

STALKERS is my brand new thriller from Avon Books, and it tells the tale of Detective Sergeant Mark 'Heck' Heckenburg, a tough but tired cop attached to Scotland Yard's elite Serial Crimes Unit. Heck is currently struggling with his investigation into 38 mysterious disappearances: ordinary everyday women who have inexplicably vanished without trace. When he learns about a semi-mythical organisation called the Nice Guys Club, he comes to suspect the foulest of foul play. With the assistance of Lauren Wraxford, a tough war veteran with a chip on her shoulder and a switchblade in her pocket, he plunges into the dark underbelly of modern urban Britain in pursuit of a truth that is almost too horrible to be told.

STALKERS has been described by reviewers on Amazon and in various crime blogs, as: "Rivetting," "gripping," "action-packed," "pitch-dark", "a compendium of violence," "very scary," "high octane," "interesting" and even "rankly blasphemous".

Plenty of purple prose in there, but why not make up your own mind?

Here's an excerpt:

The nearest entrance lay about thirty yards to their left. It was tall and arched, and the numbers etched into its concrete lintel read: 20-80. Once inside, they lurched to an involuntary halt. A tall man in dark clothes, wearing a dark hoodie jacket with the hood pulled up, was standing against the far wall. His hands were in his pockets and his head was bowed forward so that the peak of his hood formed a goblin-like point. However, a second glance revealed that this was merely an optical illusion. Someone had once lit a fire against that wall, creating a human-shaped burn mark. Even so, it had given them both a shock from which they didn’t quickly recover.

The rest of the small lobby was bare. Dead leaves and used condoms littered the corners. Sometime in the past, a wheelie-bin had been dragged in and knocked over, vomiting a pile of foul refuse, which had now coagulated.

They ventured forward. Beyond a row of bars, a stairway led up. The barred gate that allowed access to this hung from badly oxidised hinges. When Heck pushed the gate open, its protracted creak echoed in the passages above.

‘Think O’Hoorigan will have heard that?’ Lauren said. ‘If he really is in sixty-nine.’

‘I’d be amazed if O’Hoorigan was anywhere near this place,’ Heck replied. ‘Okay, he’s a scumbag, but who in the right mind would want to doss here . . . even rent-free?’

They ascended warily. On the first landing, on the facing wall, someone using blood-red spray paint had slashed the words:


If you do feel like buying, you won't be totally alone. The book has so far sold very well. In fact last week, we fell only slightly short of cracking the Sunday Times Top 20 bestseller list, and this is perhaps the real purpose of today's post. While ebook sales are great - and are massively appreciated, so please don't get me wrong! - paperback copies, which can also be had at bargain prices, would be even more valuable at this stage, as it is these on which the Times rankings are based.

So ... if you haven't yet bought STALKERS, and you intend to, why not consider taking the paperback version? It can be found in most major high street retailers: Waterstones, Asda (where it is part of a two for £7 promotion), Tesco (where is is £1.95), Morrisons, Sainsburys and online from Amazon (where it is currently reduced to £3.85) and various other outlets.

Hope you can forgive this hard sell. It's been a bit shameless of me, but the thought of getting into that official 'bestseller' is pretty intoxicating.

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