Sunday, 21 December 2014

Another year, another bunch of evil killers

Well … there’s all sorts to talk about as we close out 2014, which has been yet another year I won’t forget easily. But I’m aware that it’s almost Christmas and you’ll have lots of other more important things to do than sit here dreaming alongside me, so I’ll try and make this quick.

First of all, check out the image on the left – that’s the final cover for HUNTED, which is my next novel in the DS Heckenburg series. After Heck’s forced isolation in the wilds of a wintry Lake District during DEAD MAN WALKING, fans may be relieved to know that in this next book he’s back on the Serial Crimes Unit beat, looking into another series of weird deaths, now in the less rugged but somehow no less dangerous environs of genteel Surrey. HUNTED is published on May 7 next year, but is available for pre-order now if you’re dead keen.

Here is the official blurb from the back of the book …

Across the south of England, a series of bizarre but fatal accidents are taking place. So when a local businessman survives a near-drowning but is found burnt alive in his car just weeks later, DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg is brought in to investigate.

Soon it appears that other recent deaths might be linked: two thieves that were bitten to death by poisonous spiders, and a driver impaled through the chest with scaffolding.

Accidents do happen but as the body count rises it’s clear that something far more sinister is at play here, and it may have Heck in its sights next …

On the subject of Heck and new covers, here is the next cover in the German series, published by PIPER as SPURENSAMMLER. These are really marvellous editions – my German is unfortunately poor, but I know a damn nice book when I get one in my hand. And how about that title? Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? This of course is Heck 3, as many people are now referring to it. Over here it was published as THE KILLING CLUB, but I’m reliably informed by my German pals that this German title translates as CLUE HUNTER. Interesting stuff. Works well for me.

Still on the subject of new covers, we now have the next in the series of WHOLE STORY AUDIOBOOKS spoken-word adaptations taken from my collection of 2013, DON’T READ ALONE. This is GRENDEL’S LAIR, which is possibly the darkest story in the book, and is likely to be the one that will appeal most to Heck fans, as it’s a cop story with a very grim and murderous subtext. As usual, it is read by Jonathan Keeble, who’s done an amazing job so far with the previous tales from the book – THE OLD NORTH ROAD and THE POPPET. Follow the link to find a brief snippet, as read by Mr. Keeble. Below is the short official blurb:

Gordon Grimwood, a suspected murderer, leads a bunch of cops into a network of derelict air-raid shelters to find a missing child – where a hideous evil awaits them!

And now for something not entirely disconnected to this.

Earlier in December I was interviewed by the MASS MOVEMENT website ("bringing madness to the masses since 1998"), on the subject of the inspiration behind my career choices and ultimately my writing. Given that it focusses largely on pop type interests – books, graphic novels, movies, music, TV and so on, I use the opportunity to chat about my lifelong interest in hard rock, and how that’s helped me focus on the material I’ve since brought to the written page. If so inclined, follow the link to read the full article.  

2014 has also been a damn good year for the TERROR TALES series – the regionally-themed horror anthologies that I’ve been editing for GRAY FRIAR PRESS. This year, the authors John Llewellyn Probert, Priya Sharma, Alison Littlewood and Rosalie Parker join a growing list of distinguished wordsmiths whose tales – from TERROR TALES OF WALES (in the first two cases) and TERROR TALES OF YORKSHIRE (in the latter two) have been selected for reprint in BEST BRITISH HORROR (pictured above), edited by the indefatigable Johnny Mains, with maybe more to come from other annual Year’s Best anthologies. 

Prior to this, Year’s Best reprints have also been awarded to Simon Bestwick for his contribution to TERROR TALES OF THE LAKE DISTRICT, Simon Kurt Unsworth for his story in TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS, Mark Valentine for his story in TERROR TALES OF EAST ANGLIA, Anna Taborska, Nina Allan, Marie O’Regan and Mark Morris for their stories in TERROR TALES OF LONDON, and Stephen Volk for his story in TERROR TALES OF THE SEASIDE

Yep, that’s correct, given the two honours heaped upon us this year, every volume of the TERROR TALES series has so far seen material chosen for republication under the banner of Year’s Best.

That makes me a very satisfied man indeed. On which subject, I hope 2014 has been great to all you guys. Now, all the best for a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year. 

No comments:

Post a Comment