Wednesday 23 April 2014

Blazing on towards next publication date

It’s a bit difficult to post a blog this month and not talk about the latest developments in the world of Heck – aka Detective Sergeant Mark Heckenburg, my fictional crime investigator. 

There seems to be promotional material everywhere at present, including over in Germany, where the first in the Heckenburg series, STALKERS, has now been published under the catchy MADCHENJAGER (which literally translates as ‘Woman Hunter’). 

However, it’s the UK I want to concentrate on initially. With two books now released, STALKERS and SACRIFICE and selling very well – which I’m deeply grateful for and very honoured by – the third in the series, THE KILLING CLUB, will hit the shelves in exactly one month’s time, May 22 to be precise.

This latest adventure sees our rugged, blue-collar investigator renew an old acquaintanceship with the Nice Guys’ Club, a criminal organisation who, for the right price, can make your most fevered and brutal fantasies come true. As in the previous two novels, Heck is aided and abetted and sometimes hindered by the ex-love of his life, Detective Superintendent Gemma Piper, while the action, which I like to think is as gritty and uncompromising as ever, takes us from one end of the country to the next, from London’s grimiest bowels to Scotland’s most isolated coastlines, and even to spiritual rural havens, the tranquillity of which will soon be disrupted by screams of terror and agony.

Don’t look so shocked, guys. It wouldn’t be a Heck book if we didn’t have a bit of that, would it? 

There’s a bit of a back-story to this actually, as some of you who may still have been expecting the third in the series to be HUNTED will now realise. THE KILLING CLUB was originally scheduled to be the fifth Heck novel, but such was the deluge of interest in the Nice Guys Club – the irredeemably evil opposition in STALKERS – that the decision was taken on the top floor at Harper Towers to fast-track it forward. If you’re still hoping for HUNTED, don’t worry. The book's written, but it’s now been moved a little way down the line, and will be coming out in the slot originally scheduled for TKC, fifth.

As I said, there is only a month to go before THE KILLING CLUB hits the shelves, and HarperCollins have gone into overdrive on the publicity front. But just to prove I’m doing my own bit, I’ve even had a special jacket made for my iPhone (up top). And yes, I do get it out at each and every opportunity (oo-er, missus!) – trains, buses, restaurants, pubs, you name it – and wield it as publicly as possible.

And now over to Germany, where the promotion for MADCHENJAGER, is also going into overdrive. Check out the image above; this was shot by a friend of mine, T Maxim Simmler, who saw it on his way to work the other day. Apparently you can’t go anywhere in Germany without seeing posters like these. That certainly explains the excellent pre-sales in Germany, but I’m still a little startled not to say flattered. I knew Piper, the publishers who’ve acquired the Heck franchise, were really getting behind this project, but I hadn’t expected this kind of exposure. What can I say … thanks!

On this same subject, the second in the Heck series, SACRIFICE, or RATTENFANGER in German – another awesome-sounding thriller title, I’m sure you agree (pictured below) – will be published by Piper in the autumn, roughly around the time of the Hamburg Literary Festival. It’s highly possible I’ll travel over there for this grand event, but that will only be if time and schedules permit.

If you’re perhaps new to the crime thriller genre, or perhaps are new to me, or maybe are new to DS Mark Heckenburg, and you’re still contemplating buying … I don’t expect you to take my word for it. But a nice review of STALKERS has recently appeared online, courtesy of another PAUL (not my alter-ego, I promise you). Here’s a choice snippet, which has made me very happy:

This is a fast paced gritty crime thriller with plenty of twists and turns that leaves you breathless and excited as you read. Paul Finch has used his skills as a screen writer to draw the reader in and hold them enthralled in the story feeling central to it and feeling the tension that racks through Heck. Yes Heck is a defective detective but a damn good one at that not afraid to go against his bosses in the search for the truth. The truth in this book is that you will not be able to put it down and to use the cliché of clichés this really is a page turner well worth investing your time in.