Review round up: the Alice Quentin edition

To mark publication of THE WINTER FOUNDLINGS, we wanted to share all of the lovely things people have said about Kate Rhodes and the Alice Quentin series so far - all three books are perfect page-turners, so why not check one out?

‘Perfectly thrilling.’ Mel Sherratt

‘The pace never slackens from the first page to the last.’ Rachel Abbott

‘Great twists, turns and surprises’ Sun

‘Alice is a vividly realised protagonist whose complex and harrowing history rivals the central crime storyline’ Sophie Hannah, Daily Express

‘An utterly brilliant, exhilarating read’ Elizabeth Haynes

‘A pacy psychological thriller that makes good use of its London setting’ Laura Wilson, Guardian

‘A fast-moving, entertaining mix of sex, suspense and serial killings’ Washington Post

‘Quentin is one of a cast of really believable and entertaining characters and both the plot and the writing keep one thoroughly engaged throughout’ Daily Mail

‘Like Nicci French, Kate Rhodes excels at character, pace and sense of place’ Erin Kelly

‘First-rate writing’ Publishers Weekly

‘A terrific new heroine on the block’ Woman & Home

‘Page-turning’ Penny Hancock

 

The Mulholland Authors Pick Their Top Summer Reads

Ralph Pezzullo, author of the Seal Team 6 series

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I just finished THE GOOD SPY by Kai Bird, which is an interesting portrait of CIA case officer Aldrich Ames, who served in the Middle East in ‘70s and ‘80s and died tragically when the U.S. Embassy was bombed in Beirut. It’s a little dry for my taste, but fascinating in its depiction of what a CIA case officer did in those days and Middle Eastern politics. 

Britta Boehler, author of The Lonely Graves

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Not your regular crime novel, 419 is a great book for crime lovers and other readers as well. The book deals with modern issues like email scams (419 refers to the relevant fraud-article in the Nigerian penal code) and the impact this can have on a regular Western family. The novel also depicts African society and the consequences of the oil spill. Told in parallel narratives the novel spans from Canada to the Sahel and Nigeria. An unusual and exciting read!

Marcus Sedgwick, author of A Love Like Blood

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I just read Hideous Creatures by S E Lister - it’s wonderful. A strange book that defies easy classification; both beauty and deep horror are to be found in this tale of a disgraced young English nobleman fleeing to America.

Kate Rhodes, author of The Winter Foundlings 

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My summer reading recommendation is The Ties that Bind by Erin Kelly. This gripping and atmospheric crime novel is set in Brighton and resonates with menace as it harks back to earlier gangland crimes. The journalist hero is such a real character that I found myself panicking as he slipped ever deeper into danger.

Rodney Bolt, author The Lonely Graves 

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My absolute summer-reading must is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: perfect beach reading for a grumpy old man. It has all the minimalist delicacy of Stoner, but with a delicious wry wit. The book works on a very small scale, yet it sweeps through intense life dramas, all the while remaining funny, moving, uplifting…and a cracking good tale.

14 rapturous reviews/reasons to read REMEMBER ME THIS WAY

Just look at these amazing quotes! If you’re after a creepy holiday read, do check this out…

'Durrant doesn't put a foot wrong with this assured and deeply unsettling chiller… Superb' Sunday Mirror

'Spellbindingly dark and intense drama’ **** Heat

Grips immediately… Durrant sustains the mystery throughout and offers a clever resolution’ The Times

'This is one super-disturbing psychological thriller’ Woman & Home

'Durrant's debut, UNDER YOUR SKIN, was among the best of the wave of psychological thrillers that appeared in the wake of Gone Girl's success. REMEMBER ME THIS WAY is better still...An elegant, quietly chilling illustration of the ways in which lovers blind themselves to reality’ Mail on Sunday

'A writer who can leave you breathless with anticipation…A superb book, from start to finish.’ Alex Marwood, author of The Wicked Girls

'From its brilliant yet heart-breaking opening to its unexpected and shocking ending, it took me on an exhilarating and relentless journey until the very last page…as tense and terrifying as they come’ Sam Hayes, author of Until You’re Mine

'Totally gripped me: twisty, dark, beguiling. Just my kind of story. Brilliant.’ Julia Crouch, author of Cuckoo and The Long Fall

'An intelligent, compelling tale…both well constructed and suspenseful’ Paula Daly, author of Just What Kind of Mother Are You?

'Fresh and compelling prose, packed with twists. A treat.’ Sarah Hilary, author of Someone Else’s Skin

'Tense and gripping … a world that will leave readers desperately racing to the truth, along with Lizzie, via twists and turns that will give you goose bumps. An exceedingly good read’ We Love This Book

Creepy and emotionally acute’ Andrew Taylor, Spectator

'Brilliant on social signifiers and observation, her intelligent interpretation of the world and its psychologically complex inhabitants shines all the way to a satisfactory ending’ Daily Mail

'If Sabine Durrant's previous psychological thriller UNDER YOUR SKIN, was indebted to Agatha Christie, the centrality of Cornwall in REMEMBER ME THIS WAY suggests Christie has been displaced by Daphne du Maurier…. While UNDER YOUR SKIN was striking, this is a stronger performance.’ Sunday Times

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT NEW YORK TIMES NO.1 BESTSELLER LISA JACKSON

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We put bestselling author Lisa Jackson on the spot with the Mulholland quick-fire Q&A. Here are her responses… 

Favorite author   

Either Linwood Barclay or Gillian Flynn right now, last week it was Michael Connelly.

Favorite movie 

Three Days of the Condor

Best villain 

The bad guy in The Stand by Stephen King.

Best hero/detective 

Harry Bosch in Michael Connelly’s book.

Who has been a big influence on your writing?

 My sister, Nancy Bush.

Who would you want to play you in a movie? 

Claire Danes

Ebook or print?

Ebook

Mac or PC?

PC, but I love my iPhone!

Do you write on paper or computer first? 

Computer

What would your ideal holiday be?  

Halloween with family and friends at a spooky party with lots of ghosts and goblins.

If you could travel in time, forward or back, where would you go?

I’d go back to meet my parents as young people.

Best ever fictional murder weapon? 

A zip line.

The song you’d listen to pump you up while writing 

None. I can’t have any distractions when I write.

The song you’d listen to calm you down when writing

To calm down, I turn off the computer and take a walk.

If I wasn’t a writer, I’d be… 

I’d work in animal rescue if I could stomach it, or in promotions doing something with animals or art. 

The book I’ve read the most times

I keep reading the same one by Steve Martini because I can’t remember the title so I buy it, read it again and enjoy it.  I think it’s Compelling Evidence, but I’ll have to read it again to make certain.

Your favorite fictional murder method 

Probably where the victim I forced to make a life and death decision, so the victim ends up killing himself.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever had to Google when researching for a book?

Serial killers and real life vampires.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do? 

That could be very dangerous.  I’d probably go into a place that was very secret and might contain a secret society where I would not want to be caught.

Who’s the fictional character you’d most like to murder?

Ronald McDonald

Lisa Jackson’s latest novel Deserves to Die is out in paperback and ebook now.

The assumptions people make about crime novelists (and why they are wrong) by Sabine Durrant

Crime writers love a party – that’s one of the first things you discover when you publish a thriller. The Crime Writers Association holds a bi-annual do for its members in the Goldsboro bookshop in central London. Note – not annual. Bi-annual. I turned up to my first, expecting to meet a few other awkward keen-ies sipping warm wine over a couple of celery sticks and a pot of hummus. Oh no. The party had been going for all of ten minutes and crowds spilled and sloshed on to the pavement. Wine flowed. Electric cigarettes glowed. Laughter bounced off buildings.  

It was winter. Mid-week. And it was raining. 

The common misconception about crime writers is that they are all, somehow, odd. This may be because the average reader, no matter how often persuaded to the contrary, tends to assume fiction is autobiographical. (I once wrote a book about a young mother who has an adulterous affair with a gardener and I got funny looks at the school gate for months.) So if a novel involves a brutal murder, or nasty goings on in the toolshed, then the person who wrote it must have either been involved in that themselves – ee-ugh – or wanted to – just ugh. Crime writers in the popular imagination become their characters: a busy-body spinster (Agatha Christie, despite her real-life complicated marriages), a hard-boiled semi-gangster (family man Elmore Leonard), or psychopath (loveable Stephen King). The crime writer with a genuinely odd life I can think of is Patricia Cornwall – with all those Scarpetta-esque helicopters and bodyguards and plots against her life – but that is probably less to do with the fact that she writes about crime and more to do with the stratospheric success she has had doing so. 

In reality, crime novelists are as diverse, as complicated or straightforward, as the next person. Last year at the Theakstons Crime Writing Festival, an annual event at the Old Swan in Harrogate, I met, along with Nicci French (actually a married couple) and Alex Marwood (a woman!): a young academic, a former worker for the Red Cross, a well-known television presenter and several working mothers, like me, who juggle crime writing with the demands of family life. It was the best jolly ever. The panel discussions may have been about the violent underbelly of Glasgow or the best way to dissect a corpse, but people seemed to spend most of their time sitting on a lawn, telling jokes and drinking Pimms. Everyone was friendly. When I told one of my new compatriots that I had to come up with newspaper features to “promote” my novel, she emailed me some ideas. Several later read my book and gave me quotes.  

The story in the trade is that crime novelists are likely to be the nicest, most supportive writers. I can’t argue with that.

 Sabine Durrant is the utterly lovely and not at all odd author of some incredibly creepy books. UNDER YOUR SKIN is out now in paperback and her latest novel REMEMBER ME THIS WAY published earlier this month.

The girl was lying on the steps of the Foundling Museum, dressed all in white.
Four girls have disappeared in North London. Three are already dead.

Britain’s most prolific child killer, Louis Kinsella, has been locked up in Northwood high-security hospital for over a decade. Now more innocents are being slaughtered, and they all have a connection to his earlier crimes.

The Winter Foundlings is the brilliant new novel in Kate Rhodes’ Alice Quentin crime series. Out 14th August.

Proof Delivery!

Emma Thorley is gone…but not forgotten. GONE is a twisty story of murder, guilt and unintended consequences from an exciting new crime novelist.

 

That difficult second novel: truth or myth? by Sabine Durrant

Second novels, like second albums, are notoriously tricky. They’re the banana skin on the bookshop floor, the bucket above the door, the bogeyman hiding under the counter (you get the idea). “Can they pull it off again?” you imagine your readers or your editor wondering. And they’re not alone. In meetings, you talk bravely but inside you’re screaming, “I don’t know. Can I?” 

Remember Me This Way isn’t my second novel, but it counts because it is my second thriller. When Mulholland became my publisher they did so having read most of its predecessor, Under Your Skin, but this book they committed to unseen. (I think so little of it had even been imagined, it was called “Untitled” in the contract.) If you are confident in your own abilities that probably makes no difference but if, like me, you’re not, you’ll waste a lot of time worrying they won’t like it when it’s finished. 

There are logistical as well as psychological problems. I plotted Under Your Skin carefully, but I didn’t do that with Remember Me This Way. Busy promoting the first book, I got into a panic and started writing before I had a proper overview of what was going to happen and as a result I got snarled along the way. Much of the action, for example, was initially meant to take place in France, but there were plot difficulties with borders and passports, so in the end I relocated to Cornwall. In fact, I am glad that I did – the wildness and the remote atmosphere suited the action better – but I wasted time in the process. 

I also struggled with the feeling that I had to mine a different seam to the first thriller. With Under Your Skin, I could put in anything I wanted, anything that intrigued or thrilled or interested me. It was more complicated with Remember Me This Way. I felt I had to self-censure. It’s not that it mattered particularly that this time I couldn’t use strangulation, or give my main character a job in the media, but it did make it harder to get going. The first book had a twist and I knew that if this one had too, it would have to twist in another direction. I got quite tangled up trying to sort that one.

So yes – it was definitely harder. But here’s the thing – I think all the struggling is good in the long run. It’s part of the alchemy. I don’t know if my second thriller is better or worse, or just different, to the first. But I have great hopes for the third.  

 Sabine Durrant’s second (and utterly brilliant!) novel REMEMBER ME THIS WAY is out now. 

 

Greg Rucka on his love for football

This has absolutely nothing to do with my new novel, Bravo, which is being published by these lovely Mulholland folks. Seriously, nothing to do with that. If that’s what you’re looking for, you shall be disappointed. You can leave now, I won’t mind. 

This is about football. Proper football, not hand-egg. Soccer, as it’s best-known in the United States, though I live in a peculiar part of the country where referring to it as such often gets you sneered at. Maybe it’s the climate, but I suppose a lot of Portlanders like to pretend they’re British, even if their Anglophilia is lost beneath the flannel and rivers of craft beer. I’ve never liked the name “soccer” personally, and yes, I know that it’s born from “association football.” Yet there’s no “ball” nor “foot” in the word “soccer” that I can discern, and thus, I rest my case.

So what the hell is an American born on the California central coast and living in the Pacific Northwest doing writing about proper football on the Mulholland site? Why, especially, when his new novel has absolutely nothing to do with the sport?

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