Free Book: Hammerhead by Thomas Black #BritCrime
Hammerhead by Thomas Black is FREE for your Kindle today.
This offer is available in the UK, US and internationally

Unrelenting, hilarious and deliciously dark. Perfect for fans of the Dexter series.

Mark Foster is not just a passport controller. He is also a ruthless killer. Everyone falls into two categories, he believes – murderers and victims. And he is no victim…

By the time hotshot City boy Mark Allingham strays across his deadly path, Foster has already caught his scent. The self-styled ‘Shark’, Allingham is as arrogant and irredeemable as they come. Filthy rich with no sympathy for those underneath him, Mark ‘the Shark’ stops at nothing to line his pockets.

Watching from the wings, Foster’s bank account groans and his lust for blood sharpens. Unable to control himself, this devilishly dark-minded passport controller delves into Allingham’s life, revealing untold secrets and dirty affairs. Illegal deals. Corporate corruption. Illicit love affairs.

Stealing into Allingham’s apartment, Foster is about to learn what lies beneath the pompous yet clean façade. Indeed, all is not well for this ambitious city-dealer. But when he discovers that an officer from the Financial Services’ Authority is investigating the Shark as well, he must decide how to avoid getting caught.

Can he quench his bloodthirst without taking down Allingham? Or has the game only just begun for the hunter and his ‘Hammerhead’ prey?

‘Hammerhead’ is the unrelenting, hilarious and deliciously dark sequel to ‘Dead on Arrival’, perfect for fans of the Dexter series.

Praise for Thomas Black:
'A fast, funny, quirky read you won't be able to put down. Foster is a memorable anti-hero - I absolutely loved it and can't wait for the next one. ' - Louise Voss, author of The Venus Trap

'A darkly funny and twisted killer for the 21st century' - Scott Griffin, best-selling author of The Patient.

‘A brilliantly executed story with a nice thread of sharp wit.’ - Gordon Bickerstaff author of Everything To Lose

Thomas Black was born in New York and now lives in the UK. His alter-ego will be teaching the BritCrime Summer School as Tom Bromley.

Get Hammerhead FREE from the Kindle store today.

New Release: First One Missing by Tammy Cohen #BritCrime
by Tammy Cohen

There might be the odd little thing happening this week – the Greek financial crisis, for example, or Wimbledon, or the obligatory Glastonbury post-mortem (Kanye who?).

But cast aside those niggling thoughts because the really big news* is this: my new book is out on 2nd July!

First One Missing is a thriller about a serial killer preying on young girls in leafy North London. Or, to be more accurate, it’s about the support group set up by the families of the victims. As police desperately race against time to find the killer, the grieving parents and siblings struggle to make sense of what’s happened to them and to negotiate relationships with police, press and, most of all, each other in this dark, unfamiliar, nightmarish landscape in which they find themselves.

Welcome to the club no one wants to join.

* according to my mother

BritCrime Summer School: Start Writing with BritCrime!

BritCrime Festival Opportunity
Monday 13 July-Sunday 9 August
Start writing with BritCrime!
You could win a personal critique from Sarah Hilary

Always wanted to write a crime novel, but not sure how to get started?

We have teamed up with the Professional Writing Academy to bring you the BritCrime Summer School. This introduction to writing crime fiction is an online course that starts Monday 13th July and is open internationally, with a special festival discount for BritCrime readers using the code BRITCRIME when booking.

You will get an introduction to crime fiction in four modules from author Tom Bromley (teaches on the Faber Write a Novel course), using examples from masters of the craft, such as Henning Mankell and Stieg Larsson, and featuring exclusive interviews and tips from Sarah Hilary. Sarah will drop into the virtual classroom at the mid-course point to chat to students.

At the end of the course, one BritCrime Summer School student will be chosen to receive a personal critique from Sarah Hilary for a piece of fiction written during the course.

Short teasers of BritCrime Summer School students’ work will be showcased on the BritCrime blog in September, if students feel ready to share it with us.

♠ Sarah Hilary is the bestselling author of Someone Else’s Skin and No Other Darkness. Someone Else’s Skin was a Richard & Judy Bookclub bestseller in 2014. In 2015 it has been shortlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, and nominated for a Macavity Award. No Other Darkness is the second book in the Marnie Rome series, and has been shortlisted for the Dead Good Readers Most Recommended Book Award. The series is being developed for television.

♠ Tom Bromley writes crime fiction under the pseudonym Thomas Black. His first book, Dead on Arrival (2013) was described by Scott Griffin as ‘a darkly funny and twisted killer for the 21st century.’ His second, Hammerhead (2015) was described by Louise Voss as 'A fast, funny, quirky read you won't be able to put down. Foster is a memorable anti-hero — I absolutely loved it and can't wait for the next one.’ Under his own name, Tom has also published eight works of fiction and non-fiction, and as a ghostwriter has written a further ten books, including Sunday Times top ten bestsellers. He teaches novel and genre writing for the Faber Academy, as well as teaching and mentoring for the Professional Writing Academy, the Literary Consultancy and Falmouth University among others. He lives in Salisbury.

The Professional Writing Academy's introduction to writing courses normally cost £129, but BritCrime readers can book the BritCrime Summer School using the code BRITCRIME to receive the special festival rate of only £99/$159.

To book at this price, please use the special BritCrime festival discount code BRITCRIME.

There are a limited number of places available. We expect this course to sell out quickly, so please book early to avoid disappointment. We will contact you if we have to put your name on a waiting list.

BritCrime Summer School: Your questions answered

Who are The Professional Writing Academy? 
The Professional Writing Academy provide specialised online writing courses taught by experienced practitioners. They work with respected institutions and individuals including the Faber Academy and former Controller of BBC Drama Production, John Yorke. More about the Professional Writing Academy here

I’m midway through a novel. Is this course for me? 
Probably not. This is an introduction to the basics of crime fiction and is suitable for someone who is just starting out writing. Professional Writing Academy offer a variety of courses and mentoring for writers, including the Faber Academy's Write A Novel course and John Yorke's Into the Woods for screenwriters. They are planning other courses featuring BritCrime authors as guest authors. Please email us to receive an alert when these are available.

I love the idea of a written critique from Sarah Hilary! What if I’m not chosen to receive this? 
Students can opt to receive a personal critique from a BritCrime author on up to 2,000 words of fiction written during the course for £99.

Will you showcase my work on the BritCrime blog after I have completed the course? 
We would love to do that! We will publish 100-word teasers of BritCrime Summer School students’ work on our blog in September, if you would like to share it with us.

I have finished a crime novel. I don’t really need to do the course but I’m desperate for some feedback. Shall I just sign up anyway?
Congratulations on finishing your book! Why don’t you try pitching it to Madeleine Milburn as part of our Pitch the Agent session at the BritCrime Festival? Details here. The Professional Writing Academy also offers mentoring and other support for writers. Please contact them direct for more information.

I don’t live in the UK. Can I still join the BritCrime Summer School? 
Yes, of course! We're proud to have readers around the world. You are welcome to join in, wherever you live.

I can’t start this course on 13th July. Can I start later and work at my own pace? 
No, unfortunately this won't be possible. One of the reasons we’re working with The Professional Writing Academy is that we’re impressed by the way their courses are structured, with peer support and a virtual classroom for students. Though you can complete each module at your own pace, all the students will start and finish the BritCrime Summer School together. That way you can offer mutual support and learn from each other.

I can't believe I'm going to miss out on this! Are you going to run another one of these?
Professional Writing Academy offer a variety of courses and mentoring for writers, including the Faber Academy's Write A Novel course and John Yorke's Into the Woods for screenwriters. They are planning other courses featuring BritCrime authors as guest authors. Please email us to receive an alert when these are available.

I would like to buy this course for my friend/family member/co worker. Can I do that?
How lovely of you! Yes. Just let us know the name of the person you are booking for when you get your confirmation email. We hope they enjoy this remarkable gift!

I’m not in the UK. How do the prices work?
Course fees are charged in British pounds and include taxes. If you are not in the UK, your credit or debit card will be charged in British pounds and converted at the current exchange rate by your card provider when you book. US$ prices quoted are approximate. We used the online world currency converter to provide you with an approximate cost in US$, but please be aware that there are usually variations between best rates quoted and actual rates used by banks and other financial institutions:

Panel 10: Femmes Fatales 8pm–10pm, Sunday 12 July #BritCrime

8pm–10pm UK Time | 1pm–3pm EST
Sunday 12 July
Live Q&A with the authors hosted on our Facebook page
Helen Giltrow: The Distance

It's a suicide mission, and quite probably a set-up. So why can't she say no?

A blistering debut thriller that introduces the coolest heroine in contemporary suspense fiction. They don't call her Karla anymore. She's Charlotte Alton: she doesn't trade in secrets, she doesn't erase dark pasts, and she doesn't break hit-men into prison. Except that is exactly what she's been asked to do. The job is impossible: get the assassin into an experimental new prison so that he can take out a target who isn't officially there. It's a suicide mission, and quite probably a set-up. So why can't she say no?

 Helen Giltrow is a former bookseller and editor whose writing has been shortlisted for the CWA’s Debut Dagger Award. Her first novel The Distance – a dark suspense thriller set in the world of criminal espionage, with a strong female lead – has been hailed by Lee Child as 'fast, hard and very, very good'.
Ava Marsh: Untouchable

A gritty commercial thriller with an addictive blend of sex and intrigue...

‘If you start feeling anything for a client – and it does happen – count the money. That always brings you back down to earth.’

 Stella is an escort, immersed in a world of desire, betrayal and secrets. It’s exactly where she wants to be. Stella used to be someone else: respectable, loved, safe. But one mistake changed all that.

When a fellow call girl is murdered, Stella has a choice: forget what she’s seen, or risk everything to get justice for her friend. In her line of work, she’s never far from the edge, but pursuing the truth could take her past the point of no return.

Nothing is off limits. Not for her – and not for them. But no one is truly untouchable.

Ava Marsh grew up in Margate, Kent. A former broadsheet journalist, she gave it up to work in the charity sector and write dark and rather risqué thrillers. She now resides in Battersea, London, and spends her spare time running, kayaking, and hanging out in cyberspace.

He's watching her. She doesn't know it yet...

When a bomb explodes at the University of Amsterdam, aspiring criminologist Georgina McKenzie is asked by the police to help flush out the killer. But the bomb is part of a much bigger, more sinister plot that will have the entire city quaking in fear. And the killer has a very special part for George to play…

A thrilling race against time with a heroine you’ll be rooting for, this book will keep you up all night!  
 Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester. She learned her way out of the ghetto, all the way to Cambridge University, where she gained a Masters degree in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. Previously a children's author, now, she writes crime and contemporary women's fiction. Marnie Riches is the author of The Girl Who Wouldn't Die - the first installment of the George McKenzie crime thriller series, published by Maze and Avon at Harper Collins. In her spare time, Marnie likes to run (more of a long distance shuffle, really) travel, drink and eat all the things (especially if combined with travel) paint portraits, sniff expensive leather shoes (what woman doesn't?) and renovate old houses. She also adores flowers.

Full programme here: 
Facebook page:
Twitter: @britcrime
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Panel 9: Foreign Bodies: 6pm–8pm, Sunday 12 July #BritCrime

6pm–8pm UK Time | 11am–1pm EST
Sunday 12 July
Live Q&A with the authors hosted on our Facebook page
Quentin Bates: Summerchill

An Icelandic murder mystery...

It's the tail end of a hot summer when half of Reykjavík is on holiday and the other half wishes it was. Things are quiet when a man is reported missing from his home in the suburbs. As Gunna and Helgi investigate, it becomes clear that the missing man had secrets of his own that lead to a sinister set of friends, and to someone with little to lose who is a fugitive from both justice and the underworld. It becomes a challenge for Gunna to tail both the victim and his would-be executioner, racing to catch up with at least one of them before they finally meet.

Quentin Bates escaped suburbia as a teenager for a decade in Iceland before eventually returning to England. A former seaman, he fell into writing books largely by accident via an accidental career in journalism and now writes crime novels set in his adopted second home in Iceland. He is the translator of number one bestseller Snowblind by Ragnar Jónasson.
M J McGrath: The Bone Seeker

 A gripping, atmospheric thriller set in the Arctic's long white nights...
A missing girl. A dark betrayal. Summer in the High Arctic. When young Inuit Martha Salliaq goes missing from her settlement, her teacher, ex Polar Bear Hunter Edie Kiglatuk enlists her police friend Derek Palliser to help search for the girl. But once a body is discovered floating in a polluted lake on the site of a decommissioned Radar Station, Edie's worst fears are realised.

As the investigation into Martha's murder begins, the Inuit community - and Martha's devastated family - are convinced the culprits lie within the encampment of soldiers stationed nearby. Before long Sergeant Palliser finds evidence linking two of the men with the dead girl. But Edie and local lawyer Sonia Gutierrez remain unconvinced. Why are the military quite so willing to cooperate with the investigation? What has Edie's boyfriend Chip Muloon, a simple academic researcher, got to hide? And why has the lake where Martha's body was found been suddenly cordoned off?

 A gripping, atmospheric thriller set in the Arctic's long white nights, in The Bone Seeker the very personal murder of a young girl will explode a decades-long tale of the very darkest betrayal. This is the third novel in the hugely compelling Edie Kiglatuk series, set in the Artic's long summer nights.

 Melanie McGrath is a journalist and author of bestselling nonfiction. As MJ McGrath, she writes the Edie Kiglatuk series of Arctic mysteries.The series has been translated into 18 languages. The Bone Seeker has been long listed for the 2015 CWA Gold Dagger and is a Financial Times crime pick of the year. 

K T Medina: White Crocodile

A web of lies that stretches from Cambodia back to England...

When emotionally damaged mine-clearer Tess Hardy travels to Cambodia to find out the truth behind her ex-husband's death, she doesn't know much about the country or its beliefs.

On arrival, she finds that teenage mothers are going missing, while others are being found mutilated and murdered.

As local superstitions breed fear, Tess is drawn into a web of lies that stretches from Cambodia to another murder in England, and a violent secret twenty years old. 

K. T. Medina spent five years in the Territorial Army, first as an officer trainee and then as a Troop Commander in the Royal Engineers. She has worked at Jane's Information Group and McKinsey and Company, and as a lecturer at London Business School. Whilst at Jane's she spent time in Cambodia, working with mine clearance charities. She now writes full time.
Daniel Pembrey: The Harbour Master

Ice-cold suspense in this Amsterdam noir tale as the search for a killer takes maverick copy Henk into a corrupt world of politics and power...

Maverick cop Henk van der Pol is thinking about retirement when he finds a woman’s body in Amsterdam Harbour. His detective instincts take over, even though it’s not his case. But Henk’s bigger challenge is deciding who his friends are – not to mention a vicious street pimp who is threatening Henk’s own family. As his search for the killer of the woman in Amsterdam Harbour takes him into a corrupt world of politics and power, Henk finds himself facing some murky moral choices.

The Harbour Master delivers for Amsterdam what fans of Scandinavian crime fiction have come to love: a fascinating light shone on the dark side of a famously liberal society, combining vivid characterisation with ice-cold suspense.

 Daniel Pembrey grew up beside Sherwood Forest, studied history at Edinburgh University, then worked for ten years at a technology company in Seattle and later Luxembourg. He now writes crime thrillers with a strongly ‘Euro noir’ flavour. To write The Habour Master, he spent several months living in the docklands area of Amsterdam, counting De Druif bar as his local ...

Full programme here: 
Facebook page:
Twitter: @britcrime
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Panel 8: Skeletons in the Closet: 4pm–6pm, Sunday 12 July #BritCrime

4pm–6pm UK Time | 11am–1pm EST
Sunday 12 July
Live Q&A with the authors hosted on our Facebook page
Tammy Cohen: First One Missing

A page-turning pyschological thriller... 

There are three things no-one can prepare you for when your daughter is murdered:
 - You are haunted by her memory day and night
- Even close friends can't understand what you are going through.
- Only in a group with mothers of other victims can you find real comfort.

But as the bereaved parents gather to offer support in the wake of another killing, a crack appears in the group that threatens to rock their lives all over again.

Welcome to the club no one wants to join.

Tammy Cohen, who also writes as Tamar, worked as a journalist for twenty years before turning to fiction. Her novels are The Mistress’s Revenge, The War of the Wives, Someone Else’s Wedding, The Broken, Dying For Christmas and First One Missing.
Julia Crouch: The Long Fall

How far would you go to protect your secrets? 

Greece, 1980
Emma takes part in a shattering, violent event. An event to which she is anything but an innocent bystander. She is only eighteen, but this marks her fall from innocence. It will haunt her for the rest of her life.

London, now
Kate has the perfect existence: a glossy image, a glamorous home, a perfect family. But there are cracks. All is not what it seems. And now the two worlds are about to collide. Somebody's out for revenge. Someone who has been waiting thirty years...

After a long and varied career as a theatre director, playwright, teacher, graphic and website designer, Julia Crouch finally started writing when her third child started school full time. She coined the term Domestic Noir to describe the sub-genre of her four novels, Cuckoo, Every Vow You Break, Tarnished and The Long Fall, which all have at their heart the terrible things we do to one another in the name of love.
Amanda Jennings:  The Judas Scar

Scars. We all carry them. Some are mere scratches. Others run deeper... 

At a school rife with bullying, Will and his best friend Luke are involved in a horrific incident that results in Luke leaving.

Twenty-five years later their paths cross again and memories of Will's painful childhood come flooding back to haunt him. His wife, Harmony, who is struggling after a miscarriage that has hit her hard, wishes Will would open up about his experiences. But while Will withdraws further, she finds herself drawn to the charismatic stranger from her husband s past, and soon all three are caught in a tangled web of guilt, desire, betrayal and revenge.

Amanda Jennings lives just outside Henley-on-Thames with her husband, three daughters and a menagerie of pets. She has worked at the BBC and as a special needs teaching assistant. Her first book, Sworn Secret, was a bestseller in the UK, US and Italy. The Judas Scar is optioned by a television production company.
Sarah Ward: In Bitter Chill

A story about loss and family secrets, and how often the very darkest secrets are those that are closest to you...  

Bampton, Derbyshire, January 1978. Two girls go missing: Rachel Jones returns, Sophie Jenkins is never found.

Thirty years later: Sophie Jenkins's mother commits suicide. Rachel Jones has tried to put the past behind her and move on with her life. But news of the suicide re-opens old wounds and Rachel realises that the only way she can have a future is to finally discover what really happened all those years ago. 

Sarah Ward is an online book reviewer whose blog, Crimepieces, reviews the best of current crime fiction. She is a judge for the Petrona Award for Scandinavian translated crime novels. Sarah lives in rural Derbyshire where her debut novel, In Bitter Chill, to be published by Faber, is set.

Full programme here: 
Facebook page:
Twitter: @britcrime
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Panel 7: Crime in the City: 2pm–4pm, Sunday 12 July #BritCrime

2pm–4pm UK Time | 9am–11am EST
Sunday 12 July
Live Q&A with the authors hosted on our Facebook page
Michael J Malone: Beyond the Rage

Meet Glasgow's answer to Tony Soprano in this intelligent, violent thriller...

Even though he’s a successful criminal, Kenny O’Neill – Glasgow's answer to Tony Soprano – is angry.

 Not only has his high-class escort girlfriend just been attacked, but his father is reaching out to him from the past – despite abandoning Kenny as a child after his mother’s suicide. Kenny is now on a dual mission to hunt down his girl’s attacker and find out the truth about his father... but instead he unravels disturbing family secrets and finds that revenge is not always sweet.

An intelligent, violent thriller shot through with dark humour, Beyond the Rage enthralls and disturbs in equal measure. With an intricate plot, all-too-believable characters and perfectly pitched dialogue, this is a masterclass in psychological crime fiction writing.  

Michael J Malone is the author of two crime novels: Blood Tears, which won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers; and A Taste for Malice. Both were hits with crime critics and fans alike. His thriller The Guillotine Choice is the amazing true story of an innocent man's time in the notorious Devil's Island penal colony.
Alex Marwood: The Killer Next Door

A dark, original and irresistibly compelling thriller...

No. 23 has a secret. In this bedsit-riddled south London wreck, lorded over by a lecherous landlord, something waits to be discovered. Yet all six residents have something to hide.

Collette and Cher are on the run; Thomas is a reluctant loner; while a gorgeous Iranian asylum seeker and a 'quiet man' nobody sees try to stay hidden. And watching over them all is Vesta - or so she thinks.

 In the dead of night, a terrible accident pushes the neighbours into an uneasy alliance. But one of them is a killer, expertly hiding their pastime, all the while closing in on their next victim... As a cloying heatwave suffocates the city, events build to an electrifying climax in this dark, original and irresistibly compelling thriller.  

Alex Marwood is the pseudonym of a journalist who has worked extensively across the British press. Her first book, The Wicked Girls, was a word-of-mouth sensation, won the prestigious Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original in 2014, and was nominated for an International Thriller Writers Award in 2013. Alex lives in south London.
Nick Quantrill: The Crooked Beat

 Private Investigator Joe Geraghty is drawn by his brother into a murky criminal world around the busy port of Hull...

When Joe Geraghty's brother finds himself in financial trouble, it's only natural that he turns to the Private Investigator for help. But when it relates to a missing consignment of smuggled cigarettes, it's not so easily sorted. Drawn into the murky world of local and international criminals around the busy port of Hull, Geraghty knows the only way to save his brother is to take on the debt himself. As he attempts to find a way out of the situation, the secrets and conspiracies he uncovers are so deeply buried in the past, he knows he's facing people willing to do whatever it takes to keep them that way.

Nick Quantrill was born and raised in Hull, an isolated industrial city in East Yorkshire. His Joe Geraghty crime novels, "Broken Dreams" and "The Late Greats" and "The Crooked Beat" are published by Caffeine Nights. A prolific short story writer, Nick's work has appeared in Volumes Eight, Nine and Ten of "The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime" alongside the genre's most respected names. In 2011, Nick became the first person to hold the role of 'Writer in Residence' at Hull Kingston Rovers, contributing exclusive fiction to the match day programme and assisting with the club's literacy programme. Nick's stories are both entertaining and thought provoking, and although the settings may be local to him, the ideas and issues resonate on a much wider basis. When not writing fiction, Nick contributes reviews and essays to a variety of football and music websites. He lives in Hull with his wife, daughter, cat and the constant fear Hull City will let him down.
Luca Veste: Blood Stream

Nothing stays secret...

Social media stars Chloe Morrison and Joe Hooper seem to have it all - until their bodies are found following an anonymous phone call to their high-profile agent. Tied and bound to chairs facing each other, their violent deaths cause a media scrum to descend on Liverpool, with DI David Murphy and DS Laura Rossi assigned to the case.

Murphy is dismissive, but the media pressure intensifies when another couple is found in the same manner as the first. Only this time the killer has left a message. A link to a private video on the internet, and the words 'Nothing stays secret'. It quickly becomes clear that more people will die; that the killer believes secrets and lies within relationships should have deadly consequences...

Luca Veste is a writer of Italian and Scouse heritage, married with two young daughters. He studied psychology and criminology at University in Liverpool.

Full programme here: 
Facebook page:
Twitter: @britcrime
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Panel 6: When the Past Won't Stay Buried: 12pm–2pm, Sunday 12 July #BritCrime

12pm–2pm UK Time | 7am–9pm EST
Sunday 12 July
Live Q&A with the authors hosted on our Facebook page
Jenny Blackhurst: How I Lost You

They told her she killed her son. She served her time. But what if they lied?

I have no memory of what happened but I was told I killed my son. And you believe what your loved ones, your doctor and the police tell you, don't you?

My name is Emma Cartwright. Three years ago I was Susan Webster, and I murdered my twelve-week-old son Dylan. I was sent to Oakdale Psychiatric Institute for my crime, and four weeks ago I was released early on parole with a new identity, address and a chance to rebuild my tattered life.

 This morning, I received an envelope addressed to Susan Webster. Inside it was a photograph of a toddler called Dylan. Now I am questioning everything I believe because if I have no memory of the event, how can I truly believe he's dead?

If there was the smallest chance your son was alive, what would you do to get him back?

After a lifetime of reading anything she could get her hands on, Jenny Blackhurst wrote her first book following the birth of her son and subsequent redundancy in 2011. She lives in Shropshire with her husband, two boys, and Woody the dog and is working on book number two.
SLI Holliday, Black Wood

Something happened to Claire and Jo in Black Wood...

He spots the two girls through the cracked screen of beech, sycamore and leg-scratching gorse: a flash of red skirt and a unison of giggles . . . The smaller girl sees him first and she lets out a strange little squeak and jumps back, grabbing onto the other girl’s T-shirt, revealing a flash of milky white shoulder. He grins.

Something happened to Claire and Jo in Black Wood: something that left Claire paralysed and Jo with deep mental scars. But with Claire suffering memory loss and no evidence to be found, nobody believes Jo’s story.

Twenty-three years later, a familiar face walks into the bookshop where Jo works, dredging up painful memories and rekindling her desire for vengeance. And at the same time, Sergeant David Gray is investigating a balaclava-clad man who is attacking women on a disused railway, shocking the sleepy village of Banktoun. But what is the connection between Jo’s visitor and the masked man?

To catch the assailant, and to give Jo her long-awaited justice, Gray must unravel a tangled web of past secrets, broken friendship and tainted love. But can he crack the case before Jo finds herself with blood on her hands?

SJI Holliday grew up in East Lothian. A life-long fan of crime and horror, her short stories have been published in various places, and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham competition. She is married and lives in London.
Colette McBeth, The Life I Left Behind

Everyone tells her she's a survivor. No-one knows she's dead inside...

 She's dead but she's the only one who knows what really happened: 

What your friends have said.  What the police missed. Who attacked you. 

So if you want the truth who else are you going to turn to?

Colette McBeth had the idea for her first novel Precious Thing in 1998. Instead of writing it she went to work for the BBC where she spent 10 years as TV reporter. In 2011 she enrolled on the Faber Academy Novel Writing course and completed Precious Thing in 2012. She lives in West London with her husband and three children.
 Clare Mackintosh, I Let You Go

The tense, twisty, emotionally compelling psychological thriller that everyone is talking about.

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn't have prevented it. Could she?

In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . .

Clare Mackintosh is an author, feature writer and columnist. She has written for The Guardian, Sainsbury's Magazine, The Green Parent, and many other national publications, and is a columnist for Cotswold Life and Writing Magazine. Clare spent twelve years in the police force, working on CID, in custody and as a public order commander, and has drawn on her experiences for her début psychological thriller I Let You Go. She is currently writing her second novel, out next year.

Full programme here: 
Facebook page:
Twitter: @britcrime
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Murder On The Map: Panel 3 Additional Material

by Fergus McNeill

I've always valued the sense of place in a story - where the setting adds atmosphere, and even a touch of reality, to fictional events. While working on my first novel, I began travelling to the area where each chapter was set, and writing on-location as much as possible. And for some reason, with almost all my locations being real, I started to keep track of them on a map.

Now, several books later, it's become a habit. I have several maps, annotated with key locations from each story. It's always tricky to avoid spoilers, but I've done my best, and hopefully it will be fun to see where my novels overlap with real places you might know.

Tap to open any of the following maps:





Enjoy exploring, and I apologise if I've staged a murder in your street!

Fergus McNeill has been creating computer games since the eighties, when he started writing interactive fiction titles. Over the years he became known for his own content, and his adaptations of other authors’ material, including working with Terry Pratchett to create the first Discworld game.
EYE CONTACT, a contemporary crime thriller, was his debut novel, followed by KNIFE EDGE and CUT OUT, the latest in the Bristol-based Detective Harland series. Now running an app development studio, Fergus lives in Hampshire with his family, and their very large cat.

♠ More about Fergus McNeill here.
♠ More about the Proceed with Caution Panel, Saturday 11 July.
♠ BritCrime Programme, 11-13 July here

Panel 5: Trust No One: 8pm–10pm, Saturday 11 July #BritCrime
8pm–10pm UK Time | 3pm–5pm EST
Saturday 11 July
Live Q&A with the authors hosted on our Facebook page
Chris Ewan: Dark Tides

A story about friendship, family, secrets, lies, and the things we do for love....

One night. Six friends. One deadly dare.

When Claire Cooper was eight, her mother disappeared during Hop-tu-naa, the Manx Halloween. When Claire was eighteen, she and her friends took part in a Hop-tu-naa dare that went terribly wrong. Now in her early twenties and a police officer, what happened that Hop-tu-naa night has come back to haunt them all, and Claire must confront her deepest fears in order to stop a killer from striking again.

Chris Ewan is an award-winning British author of eight novels as well as the Kindle Single short story, SCARLETT POINT and the popular GOOD THIEF series of mysteries about globetrotting thief-for-hire, Charlie Howard. Chris's thriller, SAFE HOUSE, was shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. In 2011, Chris was voted one of America's favourite British authors by a Huffington Post poll.
Mark Edwards: Follow You Home

Their nightmare is just beginning...

The page-turning psychological thriller from the author of #1 bestsellers The Magpies and Because She Loves Me. 

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down. But after a perfect start, an encounter with a young couple on a night train forces Daniel and Laura to cut their dream trip short and flee home. Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what happened that night. But as they try to fit into their old lives again, they realise they are in terrible danger—and that their nightmare is just beginning… 

Mark Edwards writes psychological thrillers in which scary things happen to ordinary people and is inspired by writers such as Stephen King, Ira Levin, Ruth Rendell and Linwood Barclay. Mark grew up on the south coast of England and started writing in his twenties, teaming up with Louise Voss to co-write Killing Cupid and Catch Your Death, which topped the UK bestseller chart in 2011. His solo thrillers, The Magpies and Because She Loves Me were also #1 bestsellers in the UK. Like these previous novels, his fourth solo book, Follow You Home, was inspired by a real-life experience, in this case a ‘trip from hell’ around Europe. He lives in the West Midlands, England, with his wife, their three children and a ginger cat.
 CL Taylor: The Lie

 I know your name’s not really Jane Hughes . . . 

Jane Hughes has a loving partner, a job in an animal sanctuary and a tiny cottage in rural Wales. She’s happier than she’s ever been but her life is a lie. Jane Hughes does not really exist.

Five years earlier Jane and her then best friends went on holiday but what should have been the trip of a lifetime rapidly descended into a nightmare that claimed the lives of two of the women.

Jane has tried to put the past behind her but someone knows the truth about what happened. Someone who won’t stop until they’ve destroyed Jane and everything she loves . . . 

 Haunting, compelling, this psychological thriller will have you hooked. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Daughter.

C.L. Taylor is the Sunday Times bestselling author of the gripping psychological thrillers THE LIE and THE ACCIDENT. Born in Worcester, C.L. Taylor lives in Bristol with her partner and young son. 
 ♠♠♠ Voss: The Venus Trap

Jo wakes up sick and terrified, handcuffed to her own bed...

Jo Atkins’ sixteenth year was disastrous: she lost her dad, was assaulted by a stranger, and then had her heart broken. For the last twenty-five years, she’s believed that nothing could ever be as bad again. She was wrong.

Now, still smarting from her recent divorce, pretty, self-effacing Jo finally gathers the courage to enter the dating scene. She meets Claudio, whom she vaguely remembers from her youth, but after a few dates decides he’s creepy and politely tells him ‘thanks but no thanks’. But Claudio has no intention of letting her go.

 Instead of never seeing him again, Jo wakes up sick and terrified, handcuffed to her own bed. She is given a week to prove her love for Claudio—or he will kill her. Claudio, it turns out, is a man with nothing left to lose.

The Venus Trap tackles the emotional impact of divorce, the perils of modern dating and the age-old powers of lust and obsession.  

Louise Voss was born and raised in Salisbury, England. She began her writing career in the mid-1990s when, while living in New York, she enrolled in a creative writing course. Her first novel, To Be Someone, was published in 2001 by Transworld, and was the first book to come with its own CD soundtrack. This was followed by three more contemporary women’s fiction novels until she switched to writing thrillers with Mark Edwards in 2011. She and Mark were the first UK self-published authors to reach #1 on the Amazon charts with Catch Your Death. Their fifth co-written novel, From the Cradle, was published last year by Thomas & Mercer. Louise currently lives and writes near Hampton Court. She is an avid tennis player, knitter, singer, upcycler and jewellery-maker, and adds that she can stand on her head and write backwards. Although not at the same time.

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Lightning Deal: The Guillotine Choice by Michael J Malone
The Guillotine Choice by Michael J Malone with Bashir Saoudi
*Get this page-turning read for only 99p today*

A real-life Shawshank Redemption...

In 1920s French-controlled Algeria, Kaci is in the frame for the brutal murder of his French boss. Kaci is faced with a stark choice: name his cousin as the killer and win his freedom, or keep quiet and face 25 years’ hard labour in the infamous Devil’s Island penal colony. Either way, one of them is destined for the world’s worst prison... a hell on earth that few men survive.

The Guillotine Choice is a novel based on the true story of an Algerian man’s years in one of history’s most notorious prisons. A real-life Shawshank Redemption, it is an inspirational story of endurance and the triumph of dignity over despair in almost unimaginably horrific conditions.

♠ More about Michael J Malone here.
♠ Get Michael's funny, brutal new psychological thriller Beyond the Rage for only £1.00 | $6.59

More BritCrime deals for UK and international readers coming soon. 
We will post them here when we have them.

Panel 4: Serial Offenders: 6pm–8pm, Saturday 11 July #BritCrime
6pm–8pm UK Time | 1pm–3pm EST
Saturday 11 July
Live Q&A with the authors hosted on our Facebook page
♠♠♠ Graeme Cameron: Normal

Dark, twisted and compelling. An exciting and original thriller...

He lives on your street, in a nice house with a tidy garden. He shops at your local supermarket. He drives beside you, waving to let you into the lane ahead of him. He also has an elaborate cage in a secret basement under his garage. The food he’s carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he’s holding there against her will – one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her. This is how it’s been for a long time. It’s normal…and it works. Perfectly. But this time it’s different…

Graeme Cameron is a former fighter pilot, detective, racing driver and shark tamer who now tells lies for a living. A keen photographer with a day job in motorsport, Graeme was born and lives in Norfolk, has four children and likes chocolate but not chocolate-flavoured things.
♠♠♠ Cross: The Samaritan

A skilled manhunter is on the track of a serial killer in this fast paced thriller...

When the mutilated body of a young woman is discovered in the Santa Monica Mountains, LAPD Detective Jessica Allen knows she's seen this MO before - two and a half years ago on the other side of the country. A sadistic serial killer has been operating undetected for a decade, preying on lone female drivers who have broken down.

The press dub the killer 'the Samaritan', but with no leads and a killer who leaves no traces, the police investigation quickly grinds to a halt. That's when Carter Blake shows up to volunteer his services. He's a skilled manhunter with an uncanny ability to predict the Samaritan's next moves. At first, Allen and her colleagues are suspicious. After all, their new ally shares some uncomfortable similarities to the man they're tracking. But as the Samaritan takes his slaughter to the next level, Blake must find a way to stop him ... even if it means bringing his own past crashing down on top of him.
Mason Cross lives in Glasgow. He studied English at the University of Stirling and has worked as a tax officer, project manager and pizza delivery boy. His story 'A Living' was shortlisted for the Get Britain Reading Award, and Ellery Queen published 'Expiry Date'. The Killing Season is his first novel. 
Emma Kavanagh: Hidden

A gripping psychological thriller by a former police psychologist: As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman's next target will be...

HE'S WATCHING: A gunman is stalking the wards of a local hospital. He's unidentified and dangerous, and has to be located. Urgently. Police Firearms Officer Aden McCarthy is tasked with tracking him down. Still troubled by the shooting of a schoolboy, Aden is determined to make amends by finding the gunman - before it's too late. 

SHE'S WAITING: To psychologist Imogen, hospital should be a place of healing and safety - both for her, and her young niece who's been recently admitted. She's heard about the gunman, but he has little to do with her. Or has he? As time ticks down, no one knows who the gunman's next target will be. But he's there. Hiding in plain sight. Far closer than anyone thinks... 

Emma is a police and military psychologist with a PhD from Cardiff. She is lucky enough to write psychological thrillers and has so far had two books published with Arrow - Falling (2014) and Hidden (2015). She lives in South Wales with her husband and two young sons. 
♠♠♠ Sokoloff: Huntress Moon

An FBI agent on the trail of a female serial killer in the first book of a riveting new series...

FBI Special Agent Matthew Roarke is closing in on a bust of a major criminal organization in San Francisco when he witnesses an undercover member of his team killed right in front of him on a busy street, an accident Roarke can’t believe is coincidental. 

His suspicions put him on the trail of a mysterious young woman who appears to have been present at each scene of a years-long string of “accidents” and murders, and who may well be that most rare of killers: a female serial. 

Roarke’s hunt for her takes him across three states...while in a small coastal town, a young father and his five-year old son, both wounded from a recent divorce, encounter a lost and compelling young woman on the beach and strike up an unlikely friendship without realizing how deadly she may be. 

As Roarke uncovers the shocking truth of her background, he realizes she is on a mission of her own, and must race to capture her before more blood is shed.  

Alexandra Sokoloff is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the supernatural thrillers The Harrowing, The Price, The Unseen, Book of Shadows, The Shifters, and The Space Between, and the Thriller Award-nominated, Amazon bestselling Huntress FBI thriller series (Huntress Moon, Blood Moon). The New York Times Book Review has called her a "daughter of Mary Shelley," and her books "Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre." As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written two non-fiction workbooks: Screenwriting Tricks for Authors and Writing Love, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog (, and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA, west (the screenwriters union) and the board of the Mystery Writers of America. 
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BritCrime's Steve Cavanagh On CWA Steel Dagger Longlist

by Steve Cavanagh

Something fantastic happened to me last week. A big, shiny, amazing thing.

Did I win the lottery?

Did Angus Young from AC/DC call me and tell me that Brian Johnson just wasn't cutting it and would I step in as front man for the band's last tour?

Did David Cameron have a tragic and embarrassing accident with a vacuum cleaner?

Unfortunately, none of those wonderful things happened. This was something better.

During an adjournment in court, I checked my phone and found I had a notification on twitter. I got a tweet from my mate and fellow Northern Ireland author, Stuart Neville, congratulating me on the Dagger nomination. Susi Holliday had also got in contact. I'd got no official message, so I wondered what the hell they were talking about, but then I followed the links to the CWA website and there it was - my debut novel, The Defence, had been longlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger.

Even as I type this, I'm still not convinced it's true. I've checked a few times now, so I know it's correct. In fact, here's the link for the full list CWA Steel Dagger.

I'm truly stunned to be on the longlist with such brilliant authors so a huge thank you to the Judges and to the CWA.

And if you want to know more about me, or the book, head over to my website and make sure to come and say hello on Saturday 11th July as I take part in the fantastic BritCrime Festival.

It's going to be very good indeed. In fact, almost as good and David Cameron getting caught with a Hoover...(Woah! Blog Admin)

Sorry about that.

As you were.

Steve Cavanagh is a lawyer and writer from Belfast. The Defence, published by Orion Books in the UK, is his first novel. He's probably mentioned that already. You can find out all about The Defence on Steve's website or head over to The Amazon page  and check out The Defence (has he mentioned that enough yet?)

Lightning Deal: Get Sworn Secret for 99p (UK Readers)
Sworn Secret by Amanda Jennings
*Get this page-turning read for only 99p today*

A family's fight to remember what it means to love...

When Anna, Lizzie Thorne's charismatic sister, is killed in a tragic fall from the roof of her school, her family is devastated.

One year on and grief still has a hold on them. Kate, Anna’s mother, has retreated from her family and is desperate to find someone to blame for her daughter’s death. Her father, Jon, is doing his best to care for his family but the pressure of holding his marriage together is pushing him to breaking point.

Amid her parents' turmoil, Lizzie, Anna’s younger sister, just wants to leave her sister’s ghost in the past and find happiness again. But then a devastating revelation begins to raise questions concerning what really happened the night Anna died.

Whilst Kate and Jon grapple with Anna’s emerging secrets, Lizzie dives headlong into a passionate, but forbidden, first love affair. As the family battle to regain their footing they realise it’s the love they have for each other that has the power to finally heal them.

♠ More about Amanda Jennings here.
♠ Get Amanda's new psychological thriller The Judas Scar for only £1.99 | $5.99

More BritCrime deals for UK and international readers coming soon. 
We will post them here when we have them.

Panel 3: Proceed with Caution: 4pm–6pm, Saturday 11 July #BritCrime
4pm–6pm UK Time | 11am–1pm EST
Saturday 11 July
Live Q&A with the authors hosted on our Facebook page
Eva Dolan: Tell No Tales

Tensions erupt as Peterborough's Hate Crimes Unit investigates a hit-and-run and a major case with Neo-Nazi overtones...

The car that ploughs into the bus stop early one morning leaves a trail of death and destruction behind it. DS Ferreira and DI Zigic are called in from the Peterborough Hate Crimes Unit to handle the hit-and-run, but with another major case on their hands, one with disturbing Neo-Nazi overtones, they are relieved when there seems to be an obvious suspect.

But the case isn't that simple and with tensions erupting in the town leading to more violence, the media are soon hounding them for answers. Ferreira believes that local politician Richard Shotton, head of a recently established right-wing party, must be involved somehow. Journalists have been quick to acclaim Shotton, with his Brazilian wife and RAF career, as a serious contender for a major political career, despite his extremist views, but is his party a cover for something far more dangerous?

Eva Dolan is an Essex-based copywriter and intermittently successful poker player. Shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Dagger for unpublished authors when she was just a teenager, Long Way Home is her debut novel and the start of a major new crime series.
Sarah Hilary: No Other Darkness

For Marnie Rome, investigating the most difficult case of her career, there is no other darkness than this...

From the Richard and Judy bestselling author Sarah Hilary. The phenomenal Marnie Rome returns in the outstanding follow up to the critically acclaimed SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN.

Two young boys. Trapped underground in a bunker. Unable to understand why they are there. Desperate for someone to find them. Slowly realising that no-one will...

Five years later, the boys' bodies are found and the most difficult case of DI Marnie Rome's career begins. Her only focus is the boys. She has to find out who they are and what happened to them. For Marnie, there is no other darkness than this...

Sarah Hilary’s debut novel, SOMEONE ELSE'S SKIN, has been nominated for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year and a Macavity Award. It was a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, and has been published worldwide. NO OTHER DARKNESS, the second in the series, has been nominated for a Dead Good Reads Award. The Marnie Rome series is being developed for television.
Fergus McNeill: Cut Out

What if someone wished their life was more like yours? Exactly like yours. And what if they lived upstairs? 
Nigel never meant for it to happen. At first, he just wanted to be Matt's friend.

But when he discovers he can hear what is going on in the flat below him, his fascination with his new neighbour drifts into obsession. Rearranging his furniture to recreate the layout of the rooms downstairs. Buying the same clothes, going through Matt's post, his things. Becoming Matt without him ever knowing. And it would have been all right, if Matt hadn't brought the girl home.

When things spiral out of control, Detective Inspector Harland has to unravel the disturbing truth. But there's far more to the case than meets the eye . . .

As well as writing crime novels, Fergus McNeill has been creating computer games since the early eighties, writing his first interactive fiction titles while still at school. Over the years he has designed, directed and illustrated games for all sorts of systems, including the BBC Micro, the Apple iPad, and almost everything in between. Now running an app development studio, Fergus lives in Hampshire with his wife and teenage son. He is the author of EYE CONTACT, KNIFE EDGE and CUT OUT. 

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Panel 2: This is Personal: 2pm–4pm, Saturday 11 July #BritCrime

2pm–4pm UK Time | 9am–11am EST
Saturday 11 July
Live Q&A with the authors hosted on our Facebook page
Steve Cavanagh: The Defence

Nail-biting tension and exhilarating action. Lose this case and he loses everything... 

Eddie Flynn used to be a con artist. Then he became a lawyer. Turned out the two weren't that different. It's been over a year since Eddie vowed never to set foot in a courtroom again. But now he doesn't have a choice.

Olek Volchek, the infamous head of the Russian mafia in New York, has strapped a bomb to Eddie's back and kidnapped his ten-year-old daughter, Amy. Eddie only has forty-eight hours to defend Volchek in an impossible murder trial – and win – if he wants to save his daughter. Under the scrutiny of the media and the FBI, Eddie must use his razor-sharp wit and every con-artist trick in the book to defend his 'client' and ensure Amy's safety. With the timer on his back ticking away, can Eddie convince the jury of the impossible? Lose this case and he loses everything.

Steve Cavanagh was born and raised in Belfast and is a practicing lawyer. He holds a certificate in Advanced Advocacy and lectures on various legal subjects (but really he just likes to tell jokes). He is married with two young children. The Defence, has been chosen as one of Amazon's great debuts for 2015, as part of their Amazon Rising Stars programme. In 2015 Steve received the ACES award for Literature from the Northern Ireland Arts Council. Steve writes fast-paced legal thrillers set in New York City featuring series character Eddie Flynn. The Defence is his first novel.

Paul Finch: Hunted

Get hooked on Heck, the maverick detective who knows no boundaries.

A grisly whodunit you won’t be able to put down, perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride and TV series ‘Luther’. Heck needs to watch his back. Because someone’s watching him…

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, and it’s coming for Heck too…

Paul Finch is a former cop and journalist, now turned full-time writer. He cut his literary teeth penning episodes of the British crime drama, The Bill. He is also well known for his work in the thriller and horror fields and is a two-times winner of the British Fantasy Award, and a one-time winner of the International Horror Guild Award. Paul lives in Lancashire, with his wife Catherine and his children, Eleanor and Harry.

Mel Sherratt: Only the Brave

A deadly game of cat and mouse in this gut-churning thriller...

When one of the notorious Johnson brothers is murdered and a bag of money goes missing, a deadly game of cat and mouse is set in motion. DS Allie Shenton and her team are called in to catch the killer, but the suspects are double-crossing each other and Allie has little time to untangle the web of lies. As she delves deeper into the case, things take a personal turn when Allie realises she is being stalked by the very same person who attacked her sister seventeen years ago and left her for dead.

Set over forty-eight tension-filled hours, Only the Brave is the latest gut-churning book from acclaimed author Mel Sherratt.

Since successfully publishing Taunting the Dead and seeing it soar to the rank of #1 bestselling police procedural in the Amazon Kindle store in 2012, Mel Sherratt has gone on to publish four more books in the critically acclaimed The Estate Series and a psychological thriller, Watching over You. Mel was shortlisted for the Crime Writer’s Association Dagger in the Library Award 2014. She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and her terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer, with some help from her Twitter fans), and makes liberal use of her hometown as a backdrop for her writing.


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