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Thriller

House of Crime & Mystery: Interview with Michael Robotham

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The Globe and Mail calls him, "the master of the dark and threatening," and Kirkus says, "his skill as a writer remains undeniable: He offers memorable characters caught up in an irresistible story."  His second book THE DROWNING MAN won the Ned Kelly Award for the Crime Novel of the Year in 2005 and SAY YOU'RE SORRY, was shortlisted for the 2013 Gold Dagger by the CWA.  Let's just say, Michael Robotham has been owning the psychological thriller genre ever since he started 11 years ago.  But, when it came to writing his first novel Robotham had one humble goal. "When I started I remember thinking it would be great to get just one novel published,"the author tells Jacques Filippi in an interview on http://houseofcrimeandmystery.blogspot.ca/2015/03/the-psychology-of-crime-interview-with.html. "I figured it would probably sell a dozen copies – my mother would buy eight of them – and then I’d go back to ghostwriting or journalism, which were making me a good living." Little did Robotham know that he would go on to become one of the most highly acclaimed and bestselling authors of thriller fiction. Check out the rest of his brilliant interview with Filippi on http://houseofcrimeandmystery.blogspot.ca/2015/03/the-psychology-of-crime-interview-with.html and pick up a copy of his latest novel, LIFE OR DEATH, available now.

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Praise for Jean Hanff Korelitz’s You Should Have Known | HBG

Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. Devoted to her husband, a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital, their young son Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice, her days are full of familiar things: she lives in the very New York apartment in which she was raised, and sends Henry to the school she herself once attended. Dismayed by the ways in which women delude themselves, Grace is also the author of a book You Should Have Known, in which she cautions women to really hear what men are trying to tell them. But weeks before the book is published a chasm opens in her own life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only an ongoing chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself. 9781455599493“Tempt the gods with smug self-righteousness and they will deliver a windfall of tragedy, as witness in Jean Hanff Korelitz’s rollickingly good literary thriller…Korelitz writes intimately and engagingly about a social strata few are privy to, but the ugliness is very familiar.” - Vanity Fair

“This consuming, expertly plotted thriller moves along at a slow burn, building up to shocking revelations about Grace’s past and ending with a satisfying twist on her former relationship mantra; ‘doubt can be a gift’” - People

“An unputdownably deft vivisection of Manhattan’s upper social strata.” - Vogue.com

“A savvy psychological thriller.” - Huffington Post

“This excellent literary mystery by the author of 2009’s Admission unfolds with authentic detail in a rarified contemporary Manhattan.” - Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review

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Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Price: $29.00 CAN Pages: 448 Physical Dimensions: 6" x 9" ISBN-13: 9781455599493 On Sale Date: 03/18/2014

IAN RANKIN | Saints of the Shadow Bible

Whether you're a completely obsessed Ian Rankin worshiper, with an insatiable hunger for well-written thrillers, or a casual reader looking for an exciting new series, SAINTS OF THE SHADOW BIBLE (Orion/9781409144748) is the book for you. Full of gritty descriptions, incredible characters and a riveting plot, this book details the return of Rebus, who is investigating a car accident when news arrives that a case from 30 years ago is being reopened. It's a beautifully written book that is already getting great reviews in Canada and abroad: ‘…It’s those subtle little conversations, descriptions and humorous details that make Rankin the fine writer that he is….’ The Vancouver Sun

"Saints of the Shadow Bible is a clever, subtle read, but most of all, it's a genuine pleasure to see Rebus back in the CID." The Guardian

"One of the joys of Ian Rankin’s Rebus detective novels – apart from their intricate plotting and on-the-money descriptions of police procedures – is the soap opera: the complex interweaving of characters we have come to know and love, or, in some cases, to dislike or even hate, and sometimes love and hate together." The Globe and Mail

"Full of the author's dry humour and lovely depicted details of Scottish life, the book is a welcome reunion with an old friend." HELLO! CANADA

Photo and feature ran in the National Post, AFTERWORD READING SOCIETY  on November 12.  Q&A with Ian Rankin.

If you're really wild about Ian, come to one of his many events occurring across the country in the next couple of months. Visit http://www.ianrankin.net for more details.

Join Spero Lucas on his Latest Case in The Double

The job seems simple enough: retrieve the valuable painting--"The Double"--Grace Kinkaid's ex-boyfriend stole from her. It's the sort of thing Spero Lucas specializes in: finding what's missing, and doing it quietly. But Grace wants more. She wants Lucas to find the man who humiliated her--a violent career criminal with a small gang of brutal thugs at his beck and call.

Lucas is a man who knows how to get what he wants, whether it's a thief on the run--or a married woman. In the midst of a steamy, passionate love affair that he knows can't last, in pursuit of a dangerous man who will stop at nothing to get what he wants, Lucas is forced to decide what kind of man he is--and how far he'll go to get what he wants.

George Pelecanos came through town the other day on a publicity tour for his new novel The Double (9780316078399). Between TV and print interview appointments he found time to come by the Manda offices and talk to us about the book and what went into writing it.

Sitting around the table, one thing that we all agreed upon was how real this book feels. This is in part due to the fact that Pelecanos is a native of Washington DC, the same city that the book is set in. Gone are the typical descriptions of large ivory buildings gleaming in the sun, and plots about insider politics running rampant everywhere. In their place are descriptions of a Washington not often seen on TV, or read about in books; a different side of a city that readers might think they know. They get to see a Washington conveyed through and brought to life by Pelecanos' acute familiarity. They also see a different side of investigator Spero Lucas, a character that time and time again, they might think that they know. That it is difficult to guess what the P.I. is going to do next is definitely another reason why this book feels so real. Pelecanos is not dealing in cliches, and readers are treated to a real character moving through and working in a real city.

Perhaps this is why Stephen King has told Entertainment Weekly that Pelecanos is "Perhaps the greatest living American crime writer." It could also be the fact that Pelecanos doesn't milk his characters simply because he knows people will read them. If he has nowhere else to go with a character he retires them and moves on. In the case of Lucas, Pelecanos seems as interested in him as the reader is, and it certainly keeps things interesting. Lucas is not your typical hero, and this is not your typical crime novel. At times disturbing, at others erotic, and always exciting, this is one novel that will leave you wanting more. Hopefully Pelecanos doesn't tire of Lucas before we do!

If readers are interested in following Spero Lucas from the start, he first appears in George Pelecanos' The Cut.

"It's astonishing all the good stuff Pelecanos can pack into one unpretentious book: meaty substance, multiple story lines, vital characters, choice dialogue and all those descriptive details ... that make the story so rich." (New York Times).

"Pelecanos' work has antecedents in the books and films of Richard Stark (Donald Westlake), John D. MacDonald, Elmore Leonard and Don Siegel but also a spooky magic all his own - thanks to the utter believability he maintains."  (Wall Street Journal).

PRECIOUS THING by Colette McBeth | Book Review

precious-thing-coverI don’t read mysteries. I don’t read thrillers. Years ago, I managed a bookshop. Part of my job involved running the mystery book club. I think my bosses added that task out of a sense of epic Schadenfreude because they knew that I would read just about anything BUT a mystery. My inability to read the genre comes, not from a sense of snobbery, but because I’m a giant ‘fraidy cat. I always understood Joey’s need to put books in the freezer on Friends - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qqaCby1lGw. A few months ago, I attempted to read The Shining Girls (Lauren Beukes, Mulholland Books 9780316216852). I made it to page 60, at which point I was so terrified of the time traveling serial killer appearing in my bedroom while I was gone that I couldn’t get up to pee. True story. All this to say, reading Precious Thing (Colette McBeth, Headline Books, 9781472205940) was a major stretch for me. And I loved every minute! The story of the friendship between Clara and Rachel, as told from Rachel’s point of view, gripped me in a way I didn’t expect. This is one of those ‘stay up until 3 am’ kind of books. You just want to read one more chapter. Just one. Well, maybe just one more. And then another. As their story unfolds, as you start to question what you’re reading, you’re pulled even deeper into the obsessive and dangerous dance between two very troubled girls sharing secrets you just don’t see coming. About a third of the way through, the penny started dropping for me and a cold sense of dread began creeping. Everything I believed up to that point wasn’t quite right. And everything that followed? Well, just go read it. Trust me.

There is a tendency in selling books to make comparisons to what’s come before. Precious Thing has been called the British Gone Girl. Not having read Gone Girl, I can’t comment on that, except to say, I think this stands on its own. Colette McBeth doesn’t need the comparison for you to pick up Precious Thing. I was hooked from the last sentence of the first page. And I’m still waiting for an answer to my question about the third line on the last page. If you’re like me, if you don’t read thrillers, you don’t read mysteries, make an exception this time. And make sure you have lots of coffee on-hand for the morning, because I promise some late nights reading just one more chapter.

precious-thing-coverPrecious Thing Colette McBeth 9781472205940 $22.99 CDN Paperback 9/10/2013 Headline

Read an excerpt!

Book Review: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown | Little Brown

I blame The Lost Boys, as I’m sure does every straight woman raised in the 80s. If it hadn’t been for that vampire gateway-drug, I probably never would’ve picked up a single Anne Rice book. I think without The Lost Boys, we wouldn’t have Twilight Moms… for most of those women? 1987 was a formative year. I was just entering my own adolescent angst period, and I blame my love of vampire novels (and angsty teenage stories) entirely on The Lost Boys. Have a thing for tormented bad boys? Check! Do you like the pretty boys who just want to fit in and make you happy? Check! All-night parties and angst-filled declarations of love your thing? CHECK! Really, the vampire novel is the ultimate expression of teenage emotion. Imagine, then, my excitement when I learned that Holly Black, mistress of all things dark and cool YA, had written a teen vampire novel: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (Little Brown, 9780316213103 $21.00). The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

Be warned: these are not your cuddly sparkly vampires. While they most definitely live up to the vampire lore and tradition of lush, lavish, over-the-top glamorous lives, these are ruthless and (of course!) tormented creatures who don’t exhibit Edward’s restraint when it comes to the blood-lust. In a place not far from our own, vampirism is an infection that can be held off if the bitten victim does not consume human blood for 88 days. At least it can in theory—no one’s ever seen it happen. When Tana is one of two survivors of an attack on a teenage house party, she and her ex-boyfriend Aidan (who is Cold, or infected) head to the nearest Coldtown (a ghetto where all vampires are legally required to live, which attracts Colds and humans alike) with a ‘rescued’ vampire in tow. The vampire is Tana’s ticket out—she will turn in her charming and annoying ex, along with the vampire as bounty and thereby earn herself a marker to get back out.  What follows is a gripping story with plenty of humour and self-awareness as we watch Tana try to balance doing so many right things that you know she’s going to fail. The culmination of events happens at the most gorgeous and self-indulgent of vampire parties and it is replete with the required jewels, gowns, blood and gore. There had better be a sequel, and fast, because I have questions and I need tormented vampire answers!!!

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, #1)

Awesome WARP Book Trailer!

 

WARP

All Eoin Colfer fans mourning the end of the Artemis Fowl Series take note: there is new game in town in the form of Colfer's series WARP, and more specifically in the shape of a young Victorian boy named Riley. Chassed through time and space all the way to the 21st century by a deadly assassin, Riley is forced to team up with Chevie, an FBI covert agent for the Witness Anonymous Relocation Program in an attempt to save the world as we know it ... and maybe his own hide too. Watch the trailer for the first book Warp: The Reluctant Assassin! You'll be instantaneously hooked.

 

 

MY FRIEND DAHMER is killing it!

Congrats are in order for Derf Backderf, whose graphic novel My Friend Dahmer (Abrams ComicArts, 1-4197-0216-5) made it to number 4 on Time Entertainment's prestigious Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2012. It's highly unusual for a graphic novel to garner such buzz, but My Friend Dahmer is racking up quite the reader body count. In fact, Ibid Filmworks picked up the rights to make it into a movie! In this captivating autobiographical account of Backderf's middle and high school years, he pieces together an almost sympathetic portrait of Dahmer as a disturbed young man who devolved into a notorious serial killer.

Through his quirky cartoons, we are told Dahmer's haunting story in an unobtrusive way: we see him as a loner, as a victim of a troubled home, as a self-medicating alcoholic, as a budding sociopath in the indifferent world of 1970s suburbia. Backderf's unique vantage point elicits profound insight and some serious queries: Were the existence of Dahmer demons already an indication of an inevitable sinister outcome, or could this troubled youth's life have turned out differently if someone had noticed the red-flags and just reached out to help?

Deeply unsettling and frighteningly tragic!

 

Visiting for IFOA: MARK BILLINGHAM, MONS KALLENTOFT & MICHAEL ROBOTHAM

We here at Manda were all very excited and thankful on Tuesday when Billingham, Robotham & Kallentoft, three exceptional crime & mystery authors, stopped by our office to tell us a bit about themselves and their books. All three made appearances at Toronto’s International Festival of Authors as stops on their North American tours. They happen to be incredibly entertaining! If you made it out to see them you may have been privy to some hilarious anecdotes about getting hate mail from avid Phil Collins fans, writing novels set in frigid climates while beach lounging, and buying your book for $60 dollars in Sweden.

Mark Billingham, a Londoner who gave up a career in stand-up comedy to write thrillers,  read excerpts from his newest novel Rush of Blood (Little, Brown - 9781847444226) on Tuesday. He also participated in a round table talk on violence and realism last night. While you may be familiar with Billingham's best sellers starring Detective Inspector Tom Thorne, his most recent book is a departure from the series. He was so inspired by his friends’ bizarre holiday story that he “had to have it." His new novel is a cautionary tale about making friends while on vacation - with a few murders thrown in for good measure.

The round table talk at IFOA also featured crime-writer, Mons Kallentoft, visiting all the way from Sweden. At the festival, he read from the first three books in his award winning Malin Fors series published by Hachette Australia: Midwinter Sacrifice (9781444739930), Summertime Death (9781444721577), and Autumn Killing (9781444721621). Often compared by Swedish media to Stieg Larson’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the books feature a strong female detective, Malin Fors, as she investigates murders and kidnappings in the little town of Linköping, Sweden. During his Manda visit, Mons joked that one of the advantages of writing from the perspective of a strong heroine is that women often believe that he may understand them better than their husbands.

Michael Robotham is an australian mystery writer known especially for his terrifying storylines and gripping suspense. He read at Studio Theatre from his most recent novel. In Say You’re Sorry (Sphere - 9781847445254) a clinical psychologist named Joe O’Loughlin convinces the police to reopen a cold case involving the disappearance of two teenage girls when two new dead bodies are uncovered. His new thriller has been praised by the likes of Stephen King and David Baldacci as exceptional. Fortunately Robotham’s so down to earth that his major concern is being "uninvited to dinner parties" by friends who think the  psychotic characters in his novel might reflect something about his own nature. More likely, his friends will be so impressed that invitations will be especially forthcoming!

UNTIL THY WRATH BE PAST

For readers who just can't get enough of Scandinavian crime fiction, this book should definitely be on your fall reading list.  The cast is superb, the story full of vivid suspense, and the writing immaculate.  The supernatural is present here, but it works harmoniously with the plot rather than taking the lead role. A fabulous read for chilly fall nights. You won't be able to put it down, I promise!

“Stunning . . . As doom-filled as Larsson’s leitmotif of ravens (in old Scandinavia the messengers of Odin, the god of poetry and berserker fury), this remarkable tale of twisted love and vengeance and redemptive nonjudgmental devotion resounds, like its epitaph from the Book of Job, with all the pain of human existence.”    Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

“Larrson’s best book so far. The supernatural elements are worked seamlessly into a complex and engaging mystery, resulting in a thoroughly compelling reading experience.” Booklist (Starred Review)

Until Thy Wrath Be Past by Asa Larsson ($29.95; Sterling Publishing / ISBN: 9781402787164)

QuebeCrime Festival - Festival QuébeCrime

QuebeCrime FestivalOctober 28, 29 and 30, 2011 - Les 28, 29 et 30 Octobre, 2011 Lawrence BLOCK, John BRADY, Hilary DAVIDSON, Anne EMERY, Trevor FERGUSON (John FARROW), Ian HAMILTON, Tom HENIGHAN, Craig MCDONALD, Denise MINA, Louise PENNY, Andrew PYPER, Ian RANKIN, Simon TOYNE, Daniel WOODRELL

An incredible line-up of 15 crime & mystery authors awaits you at the QuebeCrime Festival. They will only be in Quebec City for a few days and we suggest you don’t miss this great opportunity. Click here to see the full schedule.

Un rassemblement  incroyable de 15 auteurs de crime et mystère seront présents au Festival QuébeCrime. Ils ne seront à Québec que quelques jours et nous vous suggérons de ne pas rater cette occasion. Cliquez ici pour voir l’horaire complet.

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Three Seconds Trailer and Microsite

If you've read all the glowing reviews and want a more in-depth look at Sterling blockbuster Three Seconds, check out Version 1 of the trailer below, and if you've already read the book, visit the microsite to discuss the title on the Three Seconds public forum. Are Roslund & Hellström the true heirs to Larsson? Make your opinion heard!

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Three Seconds

We have just seen another great independent review for Three Seconds, which has a North American on-sale date of January 4th.  It is from The Library Journal.  The full review can be found at: http://www.libraryjournal.com/lj/ljinprintcurrentissue/887651-403/fiction.html.csp  The highlight and most compelling part of the review is below:

VERDICT: Readers who persevere through the glacial pace of the book’s first third will be rewarded with a terrific, nail-biting climax that demonstrates why it won the prize for Sweden’s best crime novel in 2009. Give this to Stieg Larsson fans and any reader fond of morally complex thrillers. 

Annabelle Mortensen, Skokie P.L., IL

Roslund, Anders & Börge Hellström. Three Seconds. Silver Oak, dist. by Sterling. Jan. 2011. c.496p. tr. from Swedish by Kari Dickson. ISBN 9781402785924.  $29.95.  Hardcover

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Three Seconds

I can't say it better than this reviewer did from Booklist magazine, (who gave it a starred review, and to quote, "crime fiction rarely gets as good as this"), except to re-iterate the fact that I really did have a tough time putting the book down as the story twists and turns with the inevitable intersection and collision of each of the characters in this amazing new thriller.  It is due to hit store shelves on January 4th.  Oh yeah, and this novel won the Swedish Crime Writers award for fiction in 2009, which happens to be the same award that Steig Larrson won for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo the year previous. http://www.roslund-hellstrom.com/three-seconds-booklist-usa-starred-review/

Jan 2011. 486 p. Sterling/Silver Oak, hardcover, $29.95. (9781402785924).

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