It’s been a long while since I posted an update here on actual writing and events, so I figured it was about time. Part of the reason for that silence is that I’ve been hard at work on the next book, which is now finished and due to be released in September this year. And … drum roll … this is it:
i know who did it (forthcoming 2015)
The hardest crimes to acknowledge are your own…
Charlie Matheson died two years ago in a car accident. So how is a woman bearing a startling resemblance to her claiming to be back from the dead? Detective Mark Nelson is called in to investigate and hear her terrifying account of what she’s been through in the afterlife.
Every year Detective David Groves receives a birthday card for his son…even though he buried him years ago. His son’s murder took everything from him, apart from his belief in the law, even though the killers were never found. This year, though, the card bears a different message: I know who did it.
Uncovering the facts will lead them all on a dark journey, where they must face their own wrongs as well as those done to those they love. It will take them to a place where justice is a game, and punishments are severe. Nelson and Groves know the answers lie with the kind of people you want to turn and run from. But if they’re to get to the truth, first they’ll have to go through hell…
I’m enormously pleased about this on a number of levels. The first is that out of all the books I’ve written this one has been the hardest. It began life about three years ago, as a novel that Orion and I decided between us wasn’t quite right. At that point, I shelved the material – all 90,000 words of it – and wrote The Nightmare Place instead. But I was reluctant to abandon the earlier work entirely, and over time I gradually worked out how to split the various strands up and then twist them together again.
The resulting book is very different from the one I submitted back then, but I really like it. It is also – yet another reason for my excitement – my first ever sequel. I’ve only ever written standalones up until now, and while I Know Who Did It works perfectly well as a standalone, it also follows up on characters from The 50/50 Killer, revisiting them a year and a half on from the events of that book. I should probably have done this a while back, all things considered, but sometimes you have to wait for the right idea. Perhaps in another eight years, I’ll make it a trilogy…
But not yet! Because in the meantime, I’m making a start on the next book, which will be something else entirely, and which I’m already looking forward to pulling my hair out over the coming months.
In addition to that, I have a few events coming up.
Not strictly an event, as such. I’ve never been to Crime in the Court before, but it seems like it’s basically an informal gathering of writers and readers in the courtyard outside the wonderful Goldsboro Books in London on 25 June. This is the third year of it, and it’s always looked like a lot of fun from the photos and reports that have appeared online. So this year, I thought I’d make the trip down to mingle and chat and have a laugh. There are already loads of authors listed as coming along, and it looks like it’ll be a really great evening. Here’s the website with more information. If you’re going, then please do say hello.
The Walk of Art is a totally awesome community-based arts project in Horsforth, where I live. Over the weekend of 4/5 July, there will be loads of activities, displays, pop-up galleries, talks, performances and so on, celebrating the huge amount of artistic talent to be found in the village. I feel really lucky to be a part of that. There’s a huge amount going on, as a brief look at the website will prove, and I’m going to be doing a talk at 11am on Saturday 4 July at Horsforth Library. I’ll be dealing with that dreaded question of where ideas come from by talking about my own books, the events that inspired them, and how I developed the final stories from those initial seeds. Probably, anyway. There may be waffling. It’s free though! Regardless, the whole weekend looks pretty cool to me, and my hat is off to the organisers, who have worked so hard to create something so ace.
Always the highlight of the crime fiction calendar, I will – of course – be at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, from 16 to 19 July. I would be there anyway, but this year will be especially nice for a couple of reasons. As much as I really enjoyed being Chair in 2014, I’m looking forward to being able to relax a little more this year. But not entirely! I’m going to be on a panel called ‘Yorkshire Pride’, along with Frances Brody, Lee Child and Peter Robinson, and moderated by Nick Quantrill, on Friday afternoon – which I’m very much looking forward to. And again, panels aside, it will be lovely to see loads of people there, and catch up with friends old and new.
I’ve never been to Bloody Scotland before, and I’m really excited to be a part of this year’s programme. The whole itinerary is absolutely awesome, and takes place from 11-13 September in Stirling. On Sunday 13 September, I’ll be in conversation with Sarah Pinborough about crime and horror and probably all kinds of other stuff. This is brilliant for me, as I love Sarah’s writing – and if you haven’t checked out her most recent novel, The Death House, then you really should. But it also looks like an excellent weekend all round, and I’m thrilled to be appearing there.
Of course, all this – as per my last post here – depends on me not ending up like poor old Hector. It seems fairly unlikely though, I think.