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    Isla Morley, author of ABOVE, on setting in crime fiction

    What Lies Below

    When it comes to crime, setting always sides with the bad guy...
    Stephen Leather discusses the importance of character names.

    What's in a name?

    What's in a name? Well, when it comes to a character in a novel, pretty much everything . . .
    Hodder & Stoughton

    The October List

    By Jeffery Deaver

    You wait, desperately, for news of your daughter.
    At last, the door opens.
    But it is not the negotiators, or the FBI.
    It is her kidnapper.
    And he has a gun . . .

    Two days ago, life was normal.

    How did it end like this?

    Every crime scene begins at the end. To know what happened, you must work backwards, piecing together the events that came before. The ultimate thriller writer, Jeffery Deaver puts your brain - and your nerves - to the ultimate test with THE OCTOBER LIST, in a masterful mystery that unfolds from the end back to the beginning with many a breath-taking twist along the way.

    A clever, demanding stand-alone . . . As the ingenious plot folds back on itself, the reader has to reevaluate and reinterpret the constantly shifting "facts" in the case. The finished picture finally emerges with a shock of recognition. This is brilliant craftsmanship in a vastly entertaining package.In THE OCTOBER LIST, the always entertaining Jeffery Deaver attempts the almost impossible: the back-to-front thriller, beginning with its climax and ending with the planning of the initial crime . . . It's very readableJeffery Deaver's most fiendish thriller ever . . . The reader is never lied to in Deaver's brilliant shell game, merely misdirected, and the best part of this trick is that despite being in on the game, we continue to make false assumptions . . . as the pace quickens and the story continues to backtrack, solid evidence, established plot points and sturdily built characters all begin to come undone, until what started out as an interactive game becomes a truly unnerving exercise in deception.This will keep you gripped right to the last pageEven halfway through, it seems possible that Deaver has been defeated by the mind-boggling technical challenge of delivering surprises in back-to-front time. But after the reverse journey reaches the couple's first meeting, his gamble is thoroughly vindicated by a series of twists in which he resembles a conjuror who each time seems to have performed his final trick, but then tops it.Praise for master thriller writer Deaver'Devious, diabolical and devilish 'The pace is terrific, the suspense inexorable, and there is an excellent climax . . . If you want thrills, Deaver is your man.Sometimes the purest escapism can only be found in a knuckle-bleaching thriller that messes with your blood pressure. This is a job for Jeffery DeaverA child abduction thriller written in reverse, it explains the first (last) chapter with tremendous forward propulsion . . . there are still plenty of Deaver's trademark twists and turns. It is a work of geniusJeffery Deaver's extraordinary new standalone thriller begins with his most amazing twist - the book's ending...

    Jeffery Deaver is the award-winning author of three collections of short stories and 32 internationally bestselling novels, including the 2011 James Bond novel Carte Blanche. He is best known for his Lincoln Rhyme thrillers, which include the number one bestsellers The Vanished Man, The Twelfth Card and The Cold Moon, as well as The Bone Collector which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. The first Kathryn Dance novel, The Sleeping Doll, was published in 2007 to enormous acclaim.

    A three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader's Award for Best Short Story of the year, he has been nominated for an Anthony Award and six Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. He won the WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award in 2001 and in 2004 won the Crime Writers' Association Steel Dagger for Best Thriller with Garden of Beasts, and their Short Story Dagger for The Weekender from Twisted.

    Jeffery Deaver lives in North Carolina and California.

    Visit his website, www.jefferydeaver.com, Facebook page, www.facebook.com/JefferyDeaver, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JefferyDeaver.

    Breathtakingly ingenious, with Deaver's trademark twists more unexpected than ever before, the structure of this alone is enough to get people talkingJeffery Deaver is a number one bestselling author and widely regarded by peers and critics as the best thriller craftsman writing todayDeaver's standalone thrillers are strong sellers and this combines top-level plotting and pace with a hook that will entice new readers as well as existing fans.

    Jeffery Deaver`s extraordinary new standalone thriller begins with his most amazing twist - the book`s ending...
    Gabrielle is sitting in an apartment in Manhattan, watching the clock. Her daughter has been kidnapped, she`s shot and killed a man, she is trying to evade the police and negotiate with the kidnapper, a stone-cold killer. He wants the October List, and he wants money. The doorbell rings...

    That is the end of Gabrielle`s story, and the first chapter of this extraordinary novel by the world`s best thriller writer Jeffery Deaver. The next chapter is the scene which came before, and what follows is the what happened before that. Deaver`s breathtakingly clever new thriller is guaranteed to keep you gripped to the final page - where you find out the beginning...
    Jeffery Deaver is the award-winning author of two collections of short stories and 30 internationally bestselling novels, including the latest James Bond novel Carte Blanche. He is best known for his Lincoln Rhyme thrillers, which include the number one bestsellers The Vanished Man, The Twelfth Card and The Cold Moon, as well as The Bone Collector which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. The first Kathryn Dance novel, The Sleeping Doll, was published in 2007 to enormous acclaim.

    A three-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Reader`s Award for Best Short Story of the year, he has been nominated for an Anthony Award and six Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America. He won the WH Smith Thumping Good Read Award in 2001 and in 2004 won the Crime Writers` Association Steel Dagger for Best Thriller with Garden of Beasts, and their Short Story Dagger for The Weekender from Twisted.

    Jeffery Deaver lives in North Carolina and California.

    Visit his website, www.jefferydeaver.com, Facebook page, www.facebook.com/JefferyDeaver, and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JefferyDeaver.

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    Jeffery Deaver's Writing Tips

    Bestselling thriller author Jeffery Deaver shares his tips for aspiring writers.

    Hodder Paperbacks

    The Ides of April

    By Lindsey Davis

    Flavia Albia is the adopted daughter of a famous investigating family. In defiance of tradition, she lives alone on the colourful Aventine Hill, and battles out a solo career in a male-dominated world. As a woman and an outsider, Albia has special insight into the best, and worst, of life in ancient Rome.

    A female client dies in mysterious circumstances. Albia investigates and discovers there have been many other strange deaths all over the city, yet she is warned off by the authorities. The vigils are incompetent. The local magistrate is otherwise engaged, organising the Games of Ceres, notorious for its ancient fox-burning ritual. Even Albia herself is preoccupied with a new love affair: Andronicus, an attractive archivist, offers all that a love-starved young widow can want, even though she knows better than to take him home to meet the parents...

    As the festival progresses, her neighbourhood descends into mayhem and becomes the heartless killer's territory. While Albia and her allies search for him, he stalks them through familiar byways and brings murder ever closer to home.

    The Ides of April is vintage Lindsey Davis, offering wit, intrigue, action and a brilliant new heroine who promises to be as celebrated as Marcus Didius Falco and Helena Justina, her fictional predecessors.

    Praise for MASTER AND GOD:

    'The narrative is rapid and the story well told with much sharp-edged detail. You can open this book and step right into a convincing yet extraordinary past.'

    'Davis's descriptions of Rome are vivid and lively...this is a great yarn''While this book is a departure from her usual Falco novels, the trademark charm, piercing intelligence and ready wit are as abundant as ever... dramatic and enthralling, all the more so for being full of historical fact. The characters are intriguing and three-dimensional, and the whole is told with a humour and insight which means the reader will find the book impossible to put down.''An intimate portrait of resilience, friendship and love'

    Falco: the next generation. Introducing Flavia Albia.

    Lindsey Davis is the doyenne of Roman historical fiction, and her early novels and Falco series carved a place in readers' hearts for her writing.Combined print sales of all Lindsey Davis's books come to almost 800,000.Readers of Ken Follet and Simon Scarrow will adore Lindsey Davis's combination of gripping suspense and rich historical detail.BBC Radio 4 has produced successful serials of several of the first Falco books.
    My South Africa

    Deon Meyer on the new South Africa

    If books are windows on the world,1 crime fiction mostly provides a view of the underbelly and back alleys of cities and countries. This is my only genuine regret writing as an author in this genre. Because the real South Africa, the one that I love so passionately, is very different from the narrow and dim view my books probably allow. It is also quite unlike the one you see in those pessimistic fifteen second television news reports in the UK, Europe or Australia. So let me try and set the record straight. My country is breathtakingly beautiful – from the lush, sub-tropical east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, to the serene semi-desert stretching along the Atlantic in the west (which blooms in inde- scribable colour and splendour in Spring). In between, there’s the magnificence of the Lowveld, the Bushveld, the Highveld, the towering Drakensberg mountains, the aching vastness of the Karoo and the dense silence of the Knysna forests . . . Diversity is everywhere. In the climate (mostly perfect sunshine and balmy weather, but we have extremes too, summer highs of more than 50°C in Upington, and winter lows of -15°C in Sutherland – both in the same Northern Cape province), and in the cities (Durban is an intoxicating fusion of Zulu, Indian and British colonial cultures, Cape Town is a heady mix of Malay, Dutch-Afrikaans and Xhosa, Johannesburg is . . . well, modern African-cosmopolitan, utterly unique, and always exciting). The biodiversity of South Africa is truly astonishing. “With a land surface area of 1.2 million square kilometres representing just 1% of the earth’s total land surface, South Africa boasts six biospheres, and contains almost 10% of the world’s total known bird, fish and plant species, and over 6% of the world’s mammal and reptile species.”2 Of course we are also world-famous for our huge collection of wildlife regions and game parks – both public and private – encompassing every possible landscape from deserts to forests, mountains to coast, teeming with wildlife species, including Africa’s Big Five: Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros.3 But most of all, the diversity is in the people who constitute the Rainbow Nation. Our black ethnic groups include the Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho, Bapedi, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi and Ndebele.The so-called ‘coloured’ (no, it’s not a derogatory term over here) population is mainly concentrated in the Western Cape region, and come from a combination of ethnic backgrounds including Malay, White, Khoi, San, and Griqua. White South Africans are descendants of Dutch, German, French Huguenots, English and other European and Jewish settlers. And our Indian population came to South Africa as indentured labourers to work in the sugar plantations in the British colony of Natal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The population of more than fifty million people is made up of African (40.2 million, or 79.5%),White (4.6 million, or 9.0%), Coloured (4.5 million, or 9.0%), and Indian/Asian (1.3 million, or 2.5%). And, having travelled most of the world, I can confidently say, you won’t find friendlier, more hospitable and accommodating people anywhere, irrespective of their race, culture, language or creed. We have nine provinces (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu- Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo, North West, Free State, and Western Cape) and eleven official languages: Afrikaans (13%), English (8%), isiNdebele (1.6%), isiXhosa (18%), isiZulu (24%), Sesotho sa Leboa (9%), Sesotho (8%), Setswana (8%), siSwati (3%),Tshivenda (2%), and Xitsonga (4%).4 Throw all of this together in a democracy not quite twenty years old (a tempestuous teenager, if ever there was one), and you get an effervescent, energetic, dynamic, and often a little chaotic, melting pot – of cultures, people, views, politics, opinions, and circumstance. After the tragedy and oppression of Apartheid, we are still very much coming to terms with – and are sometimes a little overwhelmed by – all the facets of the freedom-diamond. Which means that we argue incessantly, shout, point fingers, blame, accuse, denounce, complain, and criticize, mostly loudly and publicly, like all enthusiastic democrats should. But when our beloved Bafana-Bafana (the national football team), Springboks (our twice World Cup-winning rugby team) or Proteas (the cricket guys) walk onto the field, we stand united, shoulder to shoulder. And mostly, in our day-to-day-lives, we get along rather well. We increasingly study and work and live and love and socialise together, in great harmony. Of course, we have our problems. Poverty is the major one. “There is a consensus amongst most economic and political analysts that approximately 40% of South Africans are living in poverty – with the poorest 15% in a desperate struggle to survive.” However, we are making steady progress. The percentage of the South African population with access to clean drinking water has increased from 62% in 1994, to 93% in 2011. Access to electricity has increased from 34% in 1994, to 84% in 2011.5 In 2010, 13.5 million South Africans benefited from access to social grants, 8.5 million of whom were children, 3.5 million pensioners and 1.5 million people with disabilities. In 1994, only 2.5 million people had access to social grants, the majority of whom were pensioners. And since 1994, 435 houses have been built every day for the poor.6 And you might have heard about our other challenge – South Africa has a bit of a reputation when it comes to crime. I am most definitely going out on a limb here, but having studied the statistics, and looked at the (often unfair) comparisons over the past five years, I honestly believe we don’t quite deserve it. “. . . in relation to the overall risk of victimisation, South Africans are not much more likely to become victims of crime than people in other parts of the world,” Anthony Altbeker recently wrote in a carefully considered and exhaustively researched contribution to the marvellous Opinion Pieces by South African Thought Leaders.7 To put the matter into further perspective: In the two years leading up to the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa in 2010, almost every British, French and German journalist who interviewed me, asked the same question, more or less: “How big a slaughter is it going to be for fans attending the games?” Some were downright accusatory: “How dare you host this magnificent event in such a hazardous country?” A British tabloid even predicted a ‘machete race war’ waiting for visitors.8 And how many soccer fans died during the tournament? None.9 Furthermore, the attendees who were affected by crime-related incidents represented a very meagre 0.009% of the fans. That is far, far less than, for instance, the crime rate in Wales. When World Cup tourists were asked if they would consider visiting South Africa again, 96% said ‘yes’. As a matter of fact, if you are a tourist from the Northern Hemisphere visiting my beautiful country, your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime is less than 0.67%.10 (Compare this to the fact that “the 2011 British Behaviour Abroad Report published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) noted that the death rate (including murder and natural causes) of Britons in Thailand was forty-one per 100,000 tourists and for those visiting Germany was twenty-four. Tourists from the UK are far safer visiting South Africa”11 – with just 14.6 per 100,000.12) South Africa’s murder rate dropped by 6.5% in 2010-2011, attempted murder by 12.2%, robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 12%, and house robberies by 10%.13 Our police services are slowly but surely turning the tide. We struggle with inadequate service delivery, our politicians don’t always live up to our expectations, and our unemployment rate is too high. But our economy is robust, and easily out-performs first-world countries like Greece (no surprise there), Italy, and Spain. South African Tax Revenue has increased from R100 billion in 1994 to R640 billion in 2010. Our debt to GDP ratio is 32% (USA 100%, Japan 200%, UK 90%). (The World Bank recommends a ratio of 60%.) And we are ranked first out of 142 countries in respect of regulation of security exchanges by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12.14 According to the Open Budget Index, South Africa has the most transparent budget in the world. We are the only African country that is a member of the G20. In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Survey of Democratic Freedom, South Africa ranks 31st out of 184 countries. And according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2010/11, South Africa has the 34th most efficient government out of the 139 countries ranked.15 The number of tourists visiting South Africa has grown from 3.9 million in 1994 to 11.3 million in 2010. South Africa is ranked among the top five countries in the world in respect of tourism growth (growing at three times the global average).16 I could go on. South Africa’s learner-to-teacher ratio improved from 1:50 in 1994 to 1:31 in 2010. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12, South Africa is ranked 13th out of 142 countries for its quality of management schools. 61% of South African primary school children and 30% of high school children receive free meals as part of the school feeding scheme.17 But none of these facts and figures, as inspiring as they are, will reveal the real reason why I am so unwaveringly optimistic about my country’s future. It is one of the major reasons for the peaceful transition miracle of 1994, it is something woven into the texture of everyday South African life, hidden from the fleeting eyes of foreign journalists on a flying visit, mostly talking only to important folks: The goodwill of ordinary people. Every day, in cities, towns, and tiny villages, small acts of kindness happen between human beings. Individuals who extend a helping hand across racial, cultural, political and linguistic divides, who extend friendship and kindness and empathy. I have been witnessing this for more than forty years, and I absolutely believe it is this goodwill that will carry us through, no matter how challenging the future may be. 1 “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time.” - Barbara W. Tuchman, American popular historian and author, 1912-1989. 2 http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/envfacts/facts/biosa.htm 3 http://www.sa-venues.com/game_lodges_nationwide_south_afr.htm
 4 http://www.safrica.info/about/facts.htm (percentages rounded off)
 5 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/fast_facts_and_quick_stats/index.html
 6 Ibid. 7 Penguin, 2011. p. 47.
 8 http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/129402/WORLD-CUP-MACHETE- THREAT/
 9 http://www.truecrimexpo.co.za/
 10 http://www.info.gov.za/issues/crime/crime_aprsept_ppt.pdf
 11 http://www.issafrica.org/iss_today.php?ID=1394
 12 Ibid.
 13 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/crime/crime_statistics_show_drop_in_ murder_rate.html
 14 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/fast_facts_and_quick_stats/index.html 15 Ibid.
 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid.

    Just One Evil Act Extract

    Read an extract from Elizabeth George's new Inspector Lynley thriller, Just One Evil Act.
    A fun Q&A with the author of KNIFE EDGE

    Fergus McNeill Q&A

    Cold war spies or hot action heroes? Cold war spies. I love the idea of hidden secrets and quiet menace - of a quiet and clever war, fought in the shadows. And John Le Carré writes with such effortless beauty in those early novels like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy that it's impossible not to be swept away by the story. Drive or be driven? Well, I dislike traffic, and I hate speed cameras, but on balance, I'd say drive. Just. Music or TV? Music. I listen to music whenever I'm writing, using it to manage my mood like an emotional bookmark. Friends describe my musical tastes as weird, filmic or "that ambient rubbish" but it gets my head where it needs to be. My iPhone is full of tracks by artists like Deaf Center, Christina Vantzou, or A Winged Victory For The Sullen. Music also helps me to see places differently. I do a lot of my writing "on location" and listening to something sinister while visiting the scene of a fictional crime makes everything feel terribly real. Salad or steak? Steak. I'm told that I'm as far away from being a vegetarian as it's possible to be. In fact, until quite recently, this was my Facebook avatar: City or country? It's a tough choice, but I'd have to say country. I grew up in a tiny Scottish village, up in the hills between Glasgow, Stirling and Loch Lomond. We took my son there when he was eight years old and, while out for a walk, he stopped and gave me a puzzled look, asking what it was that he could hear. It took me a moment to realise that it was silence – he'd never heard it before. Morning or night? Night. All the best things happen at night. Also, I'm usually baffled in the morning, at least until the coffee kicks in. Pen or Pencil? Neither. My handwriting is achingly slow, and almost completely illegible. Thankfully, I'm a quick typist; I'd still be struggling to finish my first book if I had to scrawl it out by hand. When did you know you were going to be a writer? It still hasn't sunk in. I've had two books published, and my third is almost done, but I still feel as though I've gate-crashed a party I have no right to attend. As to when I knew I *wanted* to be a writer, that was when my secondary school English teacher inspired me with her absolute love of language. Thank you Mrs Pearson. Which authors are your biggest inspirations? I could choose so many great writers across different genres, but I'll mention two that aren't from crime. Firstly, C S Friedman, who wrote the stunning Coldfire Trilogy. In this story, she created one of the most charismatically evil characters I've ever read, and managed to sustain him as a main protagonist for three books. Her ability to stir empathy, where there should have been none, was a big influence on me when I was developing my own charming serial killer. The other author I'll highlight is Philip K Dick. Hugely talented, he was also the master of the unhappy ending, and I rather like books where there's no guarantee of a cheery conclusion, with everything neatly wrapped-up. When anything can happen, the stakes seem so much higher. Which book would you take to a desert island? Assuming that most islands come equipped with the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare, I'd take The Lord Of The Rings by J R R Tolkien. Beneath the epic landscapes and the fantasy cast lies a beautiful story of sacrifice, duty, and friendship. If I could rewrite history, I would . . . …take back some of the stupid things I've said, especially if they hurt people close to me. While it might be tempting to undo historical atrocities, good things frequently arise from tragedy, and I'd hate my good intentions to make things worse. Better that I try and remedy my own mistakes – it's all I'm qualified to fix. In another age I would have been . . . Hopefully a full-time writer. My other skills - game designer, digital artist, photographer - aren’t really transferable to many historical eras. Of course, I'd have to do some work on my penmanship if I wanted anyone to actually read what I wrote... Who would your fantasy dinner guests be? Confining myself to people who are alive, and trying to ensure a group that would spark interesting conversation, I'd invite J K Rowling, Bill Gates, Sir David Attenborough, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I'm confident they'd all hit it off and, so long as I got a grown-up to do the cooking, the evening would be a big success. Who would you choose to survive the apocalypse with? My wife and son. I wouldn't want to survive without them, and they're both much more practical than me, so I probably wouldn't be *able* to survive without them. Which book do you wish you had written? The answer to this question changes depending on my mood, but currently I’d say Lexicon by Max Barry. Reading it was like taking the first ever bite of a new favourite food. It powers forward with such confidence, really quickening the pulse. I can only imagine the buzz of creating something so relentless. If a film was made of your life, which actor would play you? I’m a big fan of fellow-Glaswegian Peter Capaldi, from his time on The Crow Road through to The Thick Of It. I’m sure he’d be up for the role, so long as he doesn’t have any other new projects on the horizon... Who is your favourite crime/thriller character across literature, film, TV, theatre etc? Rick Deckard, from Blade Runner / Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep. I've loved every version of him, from the first cut of the movie with the Marlowe-esque voice-over, to the depressive protagonist in the novel. There's something profoundly compelling about characters who are forced to face the truth about themselves through their investigation and pursuit of others, and in Deckard's case that truth is particularly poignant. At the same time, he's an anti-hero, dwarfed by larger-than-life adversaries, which makes it easier to empathise with him – and if you know the story, you'll see there's an irony in that.
    Enter our fantastic John Grisham competition

    Win a signed manuscript of SYCAMORE ROW and a 19" HD TV!

    To celebrate the publication of Sycamore Row on the 22nd October, we're giving one lucky fan the chance to win a money-can't-buy prize. Not only will you receive a manuscript copy of Sycamore Row signed by Grisham himself, which will not be available to buy anywhere, but you'll also win a DVD of every film adaptation of his books and a Toshiba 19-inch Widescreen HD Ready LED TV with Freeview and a built in DVD Player to watch them on! To enter, simply click here. This competition closes on Wednesday 9th October, good luck.
    Elizabeth George discusses one of her most loved characters.

    Creating Thomas Lynley

    Sophie Hannah on her female protagonists

    Yesterday, I was interviewed by a journalist about, among other things, stroppy and sarcastic female protagonists in crime fiction. I can't imagine why. I mean, none of my main characters is ever sarcastic, as I'm sure readers will have noticed. No, siree! My heroines never have sharp tongues or acerbic thoughts or a ruthless steely edge; on the contrary, they're among the sweetest, loveliest ladies in fiction: unsuspicious, quick to think the best of everyone they meet (even the rabidly dysfunctional maniacs who are aching to bump them off in a cryptic fashion), and they are truly in their element when beaming at their spouses, lovers, siblings, parents and colleagues in an anodyne, Melanie-from-the-film-of-Gone-With-The-Wind kind of way. Oh, all right, then. None of the above is true. I'm being sarcastic. I'm being sarcastic because I'm beginning to wonder if, in order for the heroines of my novels to become sweeter and lovelier - in order that they might win the moral accolade of 'Unambiguously Sympathetic Character' - I need to become harsher and/or stand up for myself a bit more. There's a kind of portrait-in-the-attic thing going on between me and my books, I fear. It's nothing to do with looking young; it's about personality, not appearance (my books and I are not shallow, you'll be glad to hear.) In particular, it's about repressed negative feelings. We all have them, but I suspect I might have more than most. I notice nearly every day that many people give vent to their negative feelings as and when they arise, in an uninhibited and no doubt refreshing way. Lucky old them. I, for some reason, have an inner law that I find virtually impossible to break. The law is this: I must be as diplomatic as I can at all times. I must smooth over any hint of conflict or unpleasantness by being a pacifier and never an agitator. I must always, in every situation, say the thing that will make the person I'm speaking to feel better, rather than the thing that might make me feel better - except it wouldn't, because I'd be too worried about the other person and how they would feel if they didn't like what I had to say. You may put this claim of mine to the test if you wish. Next time you bump into me, tell me I'm a frizzy-haired douchecanoe (my current favourite insult) whose books are utter rubbish. I will smile brightly at you and say, 'Oh, I'm so sorry you feel that way. Haha! I suppose you can't please everyone, haha! I do hope you find some other books you like more than mine, and I'll certainly make a note to buy some Frizz Ease next time I go to Waitrose. Unless you'd prefer that I went to Aldi, instead? Yes? Oh, okay then!' It's very odd, because in my head I'm reasonably confident, and secretly I would be thinking 'How rude this person is', but I'd never dream of saying 'How rude you are, old beanie,' because...what if I'd somehow misunderstood the remark? What if I was being too sensitive? What if I was in the wrong, and didn't realise, and then something terrible happened? What if that person was as rude and out-of-order as I'd thought, but they'd only lashed out because they were suffering from a broken heart, or they'd lost their entire family in an earthquake last week? Do I really want to add to their pain? One can't argue with something utterly irrational, and I have a deeply-rooted irrational belief that if I openly and directly express anger or upset - even politely and without raising my voice - something unimaginably terrible will happen. I have no idea what the awful thing might be - it's a dark, hazy rumble of horror in the distance. All I know is that I've suffered from this bizarre internal restriction for as long as I can remember. Certainly, it was firmly embedded by the time I started primary school. In the playground, I was supremely tactful, even to the point of giving my best friend my Jaffa Cake snack every day because...well, she wanted it and would have been upset not to get it. Say what I really think, without first putting it through the filter of 'What trouble might it cause?'? What a preposterous idea! Only about three times in my life have I felt strongly enough to express anger without mitigating sweeteners. Usually the sweeteners are so delightful that the person on the receiving end has no idea that I'm annoyed with them. By far the most enjoyable of my visible anger incidents was when I sent an email to my then boss with the subject heading 'Very, very angry' (as in, I was). I haven't worked for her for years, but I'm absolutely certain she's hated me ever since. You see? Tell someone you're angry with them and they'll loathe you forever - and what if they're right to do so? Better to be quietly angry, cry while locked in the bathroom on your own, and never say anything about it. Except I know that it's not really better, and that's why I allow my female protagonists to be stroppy when they need to be, for the sake of self-preservation. Indeed, I cheer them on. I wish I were more like them. In my latest psychological thriller The Carrier, Gaby, the heroine, is accosted at an airport by an abusive, irrational stranger. Gaby gives as good as she gets, and even has the cheek to point out the other woman's stupidity in contrast to her own cleverness. She gives Lauren a good talking to and doesn't take any nonsense. Many readers will think, 'Oh, come on, that's a bit harsh. There's no need for her to be quite so abrasive.' Well, I felt the need and here's why: a few years ago, also in a German airport, I was similarly accosted by an abusive, irrational stranger. I stayed up all night with her (we were forced to share a hotel room - long story!) smiling my face off and there-there-ing soothingly in my carefully-worded, non-incendiary attempts to prevent this young woman from subjecting the airport staff and our fellow passengers to a constant stream of verbal horrors. I gave her lots of money (because she asked for it) and agreed not to read a book in front of her (because she found it annoying). That's why Gaby gives as good as she gets: because I didn't, and I very rarely do. And yet, I still hold out the hope that one day I will succeed in convincing myself that my feelings matter as much as everyone else's. My readers will be able to tell if and when that day ever comes from the heroines of my books, and how sarcastic and stroppy they are or aren't.
    Discover our authors at the

    Harrogate Crime Writing Festival

    Find out all about the Hodder authors attending the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival this year. And don't forget to look out for us; Crime Lines will be in attendance too!
    Kate Rhodes on her love affair with libraries.

    A Library Love Affair

    Something criminal is happening to the library service. And I’m not talking about crazed librarians bludgeoning borrowers to death with blood-spattered copies of Paradise Lost, (although that would make a fun premise for a thriller.) It’s the huge reduction in public funding which concerns me. I would never have become a writer without access to an endless supply of free books. My love affair with libraries began when I was twelve years old, the moment I walked through the door of Blackheath library. The rooms smelled of leisure and excitement, dust gathering on a million pages. After that first visit I called regularly on my way home from school to pick up battered novels by Dick Francis, Ian Fleming and Patricia Highsmith. I judged whether to borrow a book by the number of stamps inside the cover, allowing popular opinion to guide me. Surely Casino Royale must be worth reading if hundreds of people had borrowed it? And the library stocked an infinite supply of yellow-jacketed Gollancz thrillers, every one more glamorous than the worthy books school teachers rammed down our throats. Libraries became even more important when I reached university. The campus was a wilderness of badly deigned Sixties architecture, harsh winds funnelling between tower blocks. But the library was an oasis of quiet, well stocked with American literature. Within weeks I was obsessed by Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Salinger. I’d sit in a window seat for days, churning out essays, ignoring the sea of concrete outside. I carried on using libraries avidly when I started to write. The neighbours in the flat next to mine in Shad Thames played jazz from mid-afternoon until late at night, and my local library became a hiding place. I’d rush there as soon as I finished teaching, and the librarians would smile at me kindly when it grew dark outside, reminding me that it was time to leave. I’m still a regular borrower at the excellent library in Cambridge, my home town. Much of my first novel was written at a table in the crime section on the ground floor. Occasionally blood curdling shrieks would emanate from the children’s section, but no violent crime was being committed. It was just kids at storytelling workshops, re-enacting sections of The Gruffaloes and Where the Wild Things Are, with great enthusiasm, which brings me neatly back to my first point. On a selfish level I mourn the decline in library funding, but it saddens me even more that future generations will have less opportunity to read books which inspire them. Still, there is some comfort. Cambridge author Alison Bruce has been nominated for a Dagger in the Library award, which has kept my dream alive. Maybe one day, I’ll follow her. I would love nothing more than to see my own books grow dog-eared in my local library, worn out from constant use.
    Things you overhear as a thriller writer. . .

    Overheard conversations

    IF YOU are interested in the ins and outs of human behaviour, few things are more fascinating than the conversations of people sitting next to you in a cafe. It is part crossword puzzle - the deciphering of this particular relationship - and part psychoanalysis. Why did she say that? What is he really getting at? The way we can say one thing and mean another: this truism is so much more obvious when you are not actually engaged in the conversation yourself. Or to me it is. Weirdly, as we are leaving, I often discover my partner doesn’t share my opinion about the marriage of the couple at the next table. Sometimes he hasn’t even noticed there [start itals]was[end itals] a couple at the next table. I have spent a lot more time than usual in cafes over the last few weeks. I have a novel to finish, a thriller, and we have the builders in. The house is noisy and a man is liable to appear at a window at any moment. Normally I wouldn’t mind a man appearing at the window, but it can be disarming when you are in the middle of a creepy passage. My new book is about an abusive relationship, the possibility of pseudosuicide (pretending you are dead when you are not), the dark side of human nature, but I have been writing it in cosy nooks in south London, helped on my way by a nice cup of coffee and the smell of baking. And the thing is - and I know it might be because, as I am supposed to be working, I am, unusually, trying [start itals]not[end itals] to listen - but I have noticed this odd thing. The conversations around me have started to take a rather sinister turn.  The other day, I was in Lavish Habit in Balham where they sell jewellery and bits of vintage furniture (as well as delicious coconut toast). A young couple eating lunch were idly discussing their future (“I think I could live in Bath”; “Yeah. I could live in Bath. But not ‘til I’m much older, like 30”) when the woman, a petite brunette in clumpy wedge shoes, mentioned she had just declined a party invitation. The man put down his knife and fork and adjusted the neck of his close-fitting polo-shirt. “Did you even mention me?”  “Why? You’ve got to come up with your own excuse.” “We’re a couple aren’t we? We either go together or not at all. Not to is ... it’s not... coupling.” “I’d still go if you were busy.” “Would you?” “Yes.” “You wouldn’t.”
“I would.”
“You wouldn’t.” I felt uncomfortable. Was I just imagining the threat implicit in the repetition of “wouldn’t”? He was just staring at her. She just carried on eating her quiche and salad, but in my own head I fast-forwarded to their life in Bath, aged 30, her isolated from her friends, her family, his increasing demands... Later, three women with babies bustled through the door - a lot of pram negotiation, and chair-scraping. They sat right close to my desk (I mean table), which seemed slightly aggressive in itself, though I was probably being paranoid. I think they had just had been into the nail bar next door, because one of them had the leaflet, and they were looking at it while they talked. Their main topic was another woman they all knew.  “Hannah was quiet for Hannah.” “She’s usually... such a character.” (Small laugh.) “Her heart’s in the right place.” “How is her mother?” “Not long left.” “N’ah. Shame. Particularly as she’s lost just her father as well.” “God, pedicures are expensive.” How extraordinary, I thought, that they could be so callous, move so effortlessly from the death of a friend’s two parents to the price of a gel nail. And not just that. On the surface, they had appeared to be complimentary about poor Hannah - ‘“such a character”,  “her heart’s in the right place” - and yet both comments were actually barbed and not really very kind at all. And if I was Hannah, deranged by grief, and I knew that these smug women with their leisurely lives and their pedicure leaflets were talking about me in that way, well, I wouldn’t like to predict the consequences. I left that cafe, and I went somewhere else the next day - Deli Boutique in Clapham, a new French-run establishment that serves crepes to school children after 3.30pm. It was quiet enough in the morning, though a woman next to me did keep talking about how “disgusting”  it was that her daughter’s teacher didn’t return her emails. (The teeth-clenched force behind that most visceral of adjectives suggested a more generalised anger that could do with specialist help). Lunchtime, though, I became aware of latent violence in many of the throwaway remarks wafting over the aroma of  hot cheese and ham croissant. “I’m going to have to say something. I can’t live like this.” And “It’s the groaning I can’t bear.” And: “If this job doesn’t come up trumps I’m going to slit my wrists.”  Two men in jeans were standing at the counter, waiting for a takeaway chicken pie.  “Who’s left of your team now Andy’s ...gone?” one of them said casually to the other. “Just me and Layla,” the second man said. The first man's mouth dropped open.  “You’re all that’s left?” Left where? I mean, probably they were just talking about work, redundancies, but I didn’t like the rigid fix of the second man’s jaw. Who was Layla? Did she mind being on her own with him? What had happened to all the others? I walked home a little after that - a nice walk across the common. A man with a beard in a heavy camouflage jacket was talking loudly just ahead of me his mobile phone. “Are you still going on about the kitchen?” he was saying. He had a forthright posh accent. “Are you still complaining? What do you want now? I trust them OK?” He listened for a bit and then started really shouting. “I cannot listen to this any more. I have a troop to organise to Afghanistan. Do you really think I care about the kitchen? Just shut up. OK. SHUT UP. If you don’t shut up I’m going to come home and blow your head off. Do you hear me? Blow your head off.” Well. I scurried across the grass pretty quickly after that. I actually think he was  following me because he left the path too, and I don’t know why he would have done that otherwise. I was out of breath when I reached the safety of the main road. A friend was waiting with her dog to cross at the lights. I told her what I had just overheard. I didn’t think he was a real soldier, I said. He was clearly mad. Dangerous. She looked at me and then she looked back over the common. The sun had come out, dappling through the leaves. A few ducks idly floated on the pond. “How’s the book?” she said.
    Elizabeth George talks about JUST ONE EVIL ACT

    Learn more about Elizabeth George's latest novel . . .

    The Kill Room

    Trailer for Jeffery Deaver's The Kill Room

    Peter Robinson on writing

    WATCHING THE DARK

    Hodder & Stoughton

    The Orpheus Descent

    By Tom Harper

    I have never written down the answers to the deepest mysteries, nor will I ever... The philosopher Plato wrote these words more than two thousand years ago, following a perilous voyage to Italy -- an experience about which he never spoke again, but from which he emerged the greatest thinker in all of human history.

    Today, twelve golden tablets sit in museums around the world, each created by unknown hands and buried in ancient times, and each providing the dead with the route to the afterlife. Archaeologist Lily Barnes, working on a dig in southern Italy, has just found another. But this tablet names the location to the mouth of hell itself.

    And then Lily vanishes. Has she walked out on her job, her marriage, and her life -- or has something more sinister happened? Her husband, Jonah, is desperate to find her. But no one can help him: not the police and not the secretive foundation that sponsored her dig. All Jonah has is belief, and a determination to do whatever it takes to get Lily back.

    But like Plato before him, Jonah will discover the journey ahead is mysterious and dark and fraught with danger. And not everyone who travels to the hidden place where Lily has gone can return.

    'Tom Harper has been writing elaborate thrillers that marry ironclad narrative skills with some of the most elegantly understated writing in the field; he's the thinking person's Dan Brown. Actually, Harper deserves the latter's success -- and more, as Harper is comfortably the better writer.''Harper effortlessly draws the reader into an unfamiliar time, bringing alive the characters and their motivations'

    Would you pay the ultimate price for the ultimate knowledge?

    Tom Harper was born in West Germany in 1977 and grew up in Germany, Belgium and America. He studied history at Lincoln College, Oxford, worked for a while in the glamorous world of pensions services, and now writes full time. He lives in York with his wife and two sons. His novels have been sold into twenty languages, from Brazil to China. In 2001 Tom Harper's debut, The Blighted Cliffs, was the runner up for the CWA Debut Dagger Award. He can be found online at www.tom-harper.co.uk.Perfect for fans of Dan Brown and sons of Brown, John Le Carre, Steve Berry and Sam Bourne.THE ORPHEUS DESCENT is a suspenseful thriller with literary gravitas - it will appeal to the mass market and also a slightly more sophisticated audience.This is Tom Harper's biggest and most ambitious novel to date -- a breathtaking recreation of the ancient world and an edge-of-your-seat modern-day thriller.
    Hodder & Stoughton

    Someone to Watch Over Me

    By Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Philip Roughton

    A creepy, compelling thriller, SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME is the fifth Thora Gudmundsdottir novel from Yrsa, 'Iceland's answer to Stieg Larsson' (Daily Telegraph).

    A young man with Down's Syndrome has been convicted of burning down his care home and killing five people, but a fellow inmate at his secure psychiatric unit has hired Thora to prove Jakob is innocent.

    If he didn't do it, who did? And how is the multiple murder connected to the death of Magga, killed in a hit and run on her way to babysit?

    Iceland's answer to Stieg Larsson.Yrsa is one of the most exciting new voices in the crime thriller world.A tough and yet moving novel, lifted even further by its extraordinary originality of setting and theme.Put simply, it's terrifying. And brilliant.Chilling Icelandic crime from the internationally bestselling author of LAST RITUALS and ASHES TO DUST.Bestselling Scandinavian crime from the author of LAST RITUALS: grisly, gripping and guaranteed to make your skin crawl.Thora is a great series character, winning acclaim from the critics - 'she is a joy' (Guardian)
    The Carrier

    Author Sophie Hannah talks about her new novel

    Hodder Paperbacks

    The Silent Hour

    By Michael Koryta

    When private investigator Lincoln Perry starts receiving letters from Parker Harrison, a convicted murderer, he ignores them. Then Harrison turns up at Lincoln's office begging for help.

    Twelve years ago, Harrison was enrolled in a programme for paroled murderers run by Joshua and Alexandra Cantrell. One day, the couple vanished. No one has seen them since and their multimillion-dollar lakeside house is now a ruin. Harrison wants to find Alexandra.

    Lincoln has no desire to work for a murderer, but when Joshua Cantrell's body turns up and he discovers that Alexandra was born into one of Cleveland's foremost mob families, he agrees to investigate, despite his misgivings.

    Soon Lincoln is immersed in a family mystery that challenges his abilities as an investigator and has him looking over his shoulder at every twist and turn . . .

    Koryta spins a dark tale of broken dreams and second chances in his stunning fourth mystery.Feisty plotting and the most memorable prose since Chandler. Koryta belongs on every genre reader's bookshelf.Koryta writes with maturity and grace, delivering clipped, crisp prose and crackling suspense.Koryta is one of the best of the bestMichael Koryta is one of the most exciting new voices in crime fiction.Koryta knows how to build tension and create a febrile atmosphere . . . a writer to watch.[Koryta] possesses an unusual gift - the ability to write a sure-fire bestseller.On my must-read list.Michael Koryta is one of our new dynamos in the world of books . . . [he's] becoming a wonder we'll appreciate for a long time.An intricate, fast-paced thriller that explores just how dangerous the offer of a second chance can be.

    Michael Koryta's novels have won the LA Times Book Prize and the Great Lakes Book Award and been nominated for the Edgar, Shamus, Quill and Barry awards. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, he published his first novel at the age of twenty-one. His work has been translated into twenty languages.

    Visit Michael Koryta's website at www.michaelkoryta.com and follow Michael on Twitter @mjkoryta

    The fourth and final book in the award-winning Lincoln Perry crime series, which Hodder is publishing as a series of paperback originals in 2012-13.The first book in the Lincoln Perry series, TONIGHT I SAID GOODBYE, was a finalist in the Edgar Awards 2005 for Best Debut Crime Novel.Michael Koryta is a critically acclaimed author whose work has been praised by Stephen King, Dennis Lehane, Michael Connelly and Dean Koontz.Michael Koryta's books have been published around the world and translated into twenty languages.
    Mulholland Books

    Fifteen Digits

    By Nick Santora

    Is it really insider trading if you've been an outsider all your life?

    The men in the print and post room at a top New York law firm are sitting on a goldmine: the documents they see every day are all they need to play the stock market and win big.

    The scam seems foolproof and the rewards spectacular. And since each man knows just three of the fifteen numbers that grant access to their account, they're forced to share the money fairly.

    They should have known that when millions of dollars are involved, all bets are off.

    And soon the only question is whether anyone will survive to learn all fifteen digits...

    A mix of Dennis Lehane and Scott Turow... a conspiracy of insider trading that leads to an ending you won't see comingCaptivatingly well written...this fascinating story has it all: great characters with interesting back stories, a solid plot, and a great endingTense, colourful and full of surprises....a great readA propulsive thriller that hurtles along to a brutal and - trust me - very unexpected conclusion...A Grisham-esque thriller with a dash of The SopranosThe tension is palpable... the reader will race through the book to see what horrors the next page bringsIt's the old "thieves fall out" set-up, but with some smart against-the-grain twists...Waiting for the scam to spiral out of control is all part of the fun, and there's a satisfying rug-pull payoffNick Santora has a unique style of writing that I can only compare to John Grisham or Harlan Coben or a wonderful combination of both

    A gritty thriller set in a powerful New York law firm, by Nick Santora, a writer on the hit crime dramas The Sopranos, Law & Order, Prison Break and Breakout Kings.

    Nick Santora has written and/or produced for several television series such as The Sopranos, Law & Order and The Guardian. He was the writer/co-executive producer of the hit dramas Prison Break and Breakout Kings.

    Visit his website at www.nicksantora.com, or follow him on Twitter @nicksantora.

    A fantastic hook - five unlikely conspirators who must work together to pull off their heist - and characters you root for in spite of their wrongdoing make this an incredibly pacy and tense read.Prison Break was regularly watched by between 1.7-2 million people when it aired on Channel 5.The HB edition of his first novel SLIP & FALL sold 40,000 copies in the US through Borders and Amazon alone.
    Hodder Paperbacks

    XO

    By Jeffery Deaver

    The third Kathryn Dance novel from Number One bestseller Jeffery Deaver.

    Kayleigh Towne is a beautiful and successful singer-songwriter, and Edwin Sharp is her biggest fan. When she replies to one of his fan letters with 'XO', Edwin is convinced she loves him, and that her latest hit song 'Your Shadow' was written for him. Nothing Kayleigh or her lawyers can say persuades him otherwise.

    Then the singer gets an anonymous phone call; it's the first verse of 'Your Shadow' playing. Soon after, one of the crew is horribly murdered. Kayleigh's friend Kathryn Dance, a special agent with the California Bureau of Investigation, knows that stalking crimes are not one-off occurrences, and, sure enough, more verses of the song are played as warnings of death to follow. With a little help from forensic criminalist Lincoln Rhyme, Dance must use her kinesic and investigative skills in an attempt to find the killer before more people die.

    Deaver has written the actual song, 'Your Shadow'. Readers are able to download it from www.jefferydeaver.com.

    Devious, diabolical and devilish ... It's Dance's toughest case, and one of Deaver's best books.Devious, diabolical and devilish ... It's Dance's toughest case, and one of Deaver's best books.The best psychological thriller writer around.The best psychological thriller writer around.If you want thrills, Deaver is your man.If you want thrills, Deaver is your man.Deaver never disappoints.Number One bestseller Jeffery Deaver returns with a new Kathryn Dance thriller.New thriller with all Deaver's trademark suspense, richly developed characters and rollercoaster of plot twists.Deaver's profile has seen a huge boost after writing the latest James Bond novel, the international bestseller CARTE BLANCHE which published in May 2011.Readers will have the chance to download for free an MP3 of the song, 'Your Shadow,' which Jeffery Deaver has written. Various 'Kayleigh Towne' tunes are being recorded in Nashville.Jeffery's work has been published in more than 35 languages around the world.
    Mulholland Books

    Under Your Skin

    By Sabine Durrant

    This morning, I found a body.
    Soon the police will arrest me for murder.
    And after that my life will fall apart.

    Gaby Mortimer is the woman who has it all. But everything changes when she finds a body on the common near her home.

    Because the evidence keeps leading back to her.

    And the police seem sure she's guilty...

    UNDER YOUR SKIN is an unpredictable, exquisitely twisty story, which proves that there are only three rules in life that mean anything:
    Assume nothing
    Believe no one
    Check everything

    Will keep you gripped and guessing till the very end. Is it - dare we say - the new Gone Girl?StunningTwists and turns through a beautifully controlled plot, hiding nothing yet constantly springing surprisesDelectably twistedPacy, clever and grippingThis has all the authority of the best novels by Nicci FrenchA twisty, clever murder story, peppered with suspicious characters and topped with a satisfyingly unexpected ending.More twists than a rollercoasterPacked with suspense from the offset... guaranteed to keep you guessing right until the very endTwisty and unputdownableAn emotionally tense sprint of a read...I was left breathless at the endSabine Durrant writes beautifully and with such a light touch that the twists were truly shockingReminiscent of Nicci French and Rosamund Lupton, Sabine Durrant's UNDER YOUR SKIN is utterly gripping. I devoured it in one weekend, ignoring the phone, the door, even my husband and kidsI was hooked from the gruesome discovery to the last page with its unpredictable but brilliantly satisfying conclusion... I don't often say this about a book, but I thought it was perfect in every way.UNDER YOUR SKIN rapidly unravels into a maelstrom of tension and paranoia, as Durrant draws a disturbing picture of how easy it is for even the most perfect life to implode... if the mark of a good thriller is the compulsion to reread it immediately on finishing, to see if the clues can be spotted second time round, then UNDER YOUR SKIN has it, in spadesA thrilling whodunnit...will keep you gripped and guessing till the very end. Is it - dare we say - the new Gone Girl?Warning: you won't want to put this down...a series of clever twists lead to a stunning ending.Under Your Skin rapidly unravels into a maelstrom of tension and paranoia, as Durrant draws a disturbing picture of how easy it is for even the most perfect life to implode... if the mark of a good thriller is the compulsion to reread it immediately on finishing, to see if the clues can be spotted second time round, then Under Your Skin has it, in spades.You'll be glued to every page of this pacy, clever and gripping novelThis has all the authority of the best novels by Nicci French...We need thriller writers who can reinvigorate the genre and [Durrant] may be able to do just that.Sabine Durrant offers more twists than a rollercoaster in her thriller UNDER YOUR SKIN, which proves you can trust no oneDurrant's fluid, easy style and deliciously detailed characterisations keep you glued to the page. A twisty, clever murder story, peppered with suspicious characters and topped with a satisfyingly unexpected ending.Reminiscent of Nicci French and Rosamund Lupton, Sabine Durrant's Under Your Skin is utterly gripping. I devoured it in one weekend, ignoring the phone, the door, even my husband and kids.I was hooked from the gruesome discovery to the last page with its unpredictable but brilliantly satisfying conclusion... I don't often say this about a book, but I thought it was perfect in every way.Twists and turns through a beautifully controlled plot, hiding nothing yet constantly springing surprisesA delectably twisted psychological thriller that ramps up the tension with pace and style - and, in the old cliche of reviewers, is hard to put down. Durrant writes with a sharp style and deftness of touch that makes her a joy to read, even as her tale descends into deepening darknessA woman finds a body, and her life is overturned... UNDER YOUR SKIN is a gripping psychological thriller in which nothing can be assumed and no one should be trusted.With a strong hook, compelling writing, a sympathetic narrator and brilliant twists, UNDER YOUR SKIN will appeal to the thousands of readers who loved Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson and Sister by Rosamund Lupton.Sabine Durrant is well connected and experienced: a profile writer for the Sunday Telegraph and a contributor to the Guardian's Family section as well as the author of Having It and Eating It and The Great Indoors. Coverage and features guaranteed!
    Jeffery Deaver on Music

    Thriller author Jeffery Deaver talks about the music featured in his book XO.

    CrimeFest

    Check out the Hodder authors who will be attending CrimeFest this year.

    Ted Allbeury

    Ted Allbeury was a lieutenant-colonel in the Intelligence Corps during World War II, and later a successful executive in the fields of marketing, advertising and radio. He began his writing career in the early 1970s and became well known for his espionage novels, but also published one highly-praised general novel, THE CHOICE, and a short story collection, OTHER KINDS OF TREASON. His novels have been published in twenty-three languages, including Russian. He died on 4th December 2005.

    For more information visit www.hodder.co.uk/ted-allbeury

    On the challenge of creating a new series

    Lindsey Davis

    Lindsey Davis, author of the brilliant THE IDES OF APRIL, writes about the challenges she faced when creating a new series.