Wednesday, 3 January 2018

In With a Bullet!

Nice way to kick off 2018. No Ordinary Killing is officially the current NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER in UK Amazon/Kindle Historical Thrillers (and 25 in Murder). Big thanks to everyone who helped it on its way.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Michael Mack

I have many, many relatives who served in the armed forces. My late Dad did his National Service and was a radar operator in the RAF. Joined up in 1950, was posted to a station on the Norfolk Coast, and duly met my Mum!

Dad's Dad, Arthur Thomas Dawson, was in the Royal Navy and saw active service in both World Wars. Was on shore leave when his ship, HMS Exmouth, was torpedoed and went down with all hands in Moray Firth, January 1940.

Nearly all of Dad's siblings – my uncles and aunts – were in the war or served just afterwards. My Uncle Bill was in the Royal Engineers at Normandy and later liberated Belsen.

My Mum's father, my Grandad, Wilfred John Mack, was with the Norfolk Regiment in WW1. He was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915 and later served in Palestine.

Was with my Mum yesterday, looking at on old family tree, and found this ancestor – Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Michael Mack. Was skipper of destroyer HMS Tornado (pictured), killed when his ship went down after hitting a German mine in the North Sea in December 1917, almost a hundred years ago.

It was quite poignant discovering this on Remembrance Sunday.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Sarah Ward's Review

Flattered to get a great review of No Ordinary Killing from Sarah Ward, one of our top crime writers (A Patient Fury is currently doing very nicely). Sarah's DC Childs series – kicking off with 2015's In Bitter Chill – is set in the Derbyshire Peak District and well worth checking out. You can read the review here on her popular website Crimepieces.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

HistFic Sunday: Historical Crime

No Ordinary Killing. You can pick up a Kindle copy of my debut novel today for the devilishly knock-down price of 99p! Just click the title.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

No Ordinary Killing: Free Sample

You can grab yourself a sneak peak by clicking the link here.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Reservoir Dogs 25th Anniversary

Can't believe it was 25 years ago this month that Reservoir Dogs played at Cannes. Was shown out of competition. Saw it in a morning screening nursing a stinking hangover. Garrulous young director with a mouthful of a name was later thrust upon us journos (alongside a tad curmudgeonly Tim Roth). Veritable Game-Changer of a movie.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Dead Reckoning – A Survivor's Tale

Was thrilled to be contacted recently by Sidney Palmer. Sidney was a two-year-old on the Dunedin Star voyage of 1942 and a survivor of the shore party. Possibly the only one left now. Sidney, 77 in June, is a retired diplomat and has spent many years living in Australia. He's venturing to the wilds of Namibia's Skeleton Coast this November to mark the 75th Anniversary of the shipwreck, laying a plaque to the brave mariners, Mathias Koraseb and Angus McIntyre, of the tugboat Sir Charles Elliot, who perished in the rescue. It'll be the first time he's been back.

Sadly, I learned only belatedly that Annabel Butterworth (née Taylor) had passed away. Annabel was the prime anecdotal source for much of the material in my book Dead Reckoning and I spent some very memorable days with her in (a very chilly!) Ottawa in the tail-end of 2002. Annabel was truly a wonderful person, tremendous fun and, genuinely, one of life's great characters. We continued to write to each other every Christmas and updated each other on various family news. It was a privilege to have met Annabel. That's her, age 17, on the cover of the original hardback, alongside Captain Immins Naude. An amazing lady.