Monday, 3 January 2011

Looking forward...

I know I’m getting ahead of myself but I thought it would be fun to have a look at the releases I’m looking forward to in the coming months.

The Dead Women of Juarez – Sam Hawken (p. Jan 2011)

Sticking my neck out here – and it is only January - but if there’s a better debut novel in 2011 then I’m going to eat my hair. (Someone will have to shave my back first).

Set in the Mexican border country, this novel is told against the background of the disturbing fact that in the last twenty years 3000 women have disappeared from Ciudad Juarez.

Kelly Courter is a washed up boxer from Texas happy to earn a crust as a punchbag for some up and coming Mexican fighters. He gets sucked into the underworld of organised crime and is soon over his head.

Rafael Sevilla is a detective coming to the end of his career, who takes an interest in Kelly and is drawn into another world, but one that is every bit as corrupt.

As a reviewer I have strange reading habits. It is not unusual that a pile of books arrive at the same time and I dip in and out of each of them until one pushes itself from the To Be Read pile onto the Must Read Now section. The Dead Women of Juarez circumvented this process by grabbing my attention from the very first line. This is a remarkable debut novel that heralds an exciting new talent to hit the crime writing scene. For just over 300 pages of gripping storytelling it barely puts a foot wrong.

Satori – Don Winslow

A marriage made in thriller fiction heaven. The acclaimed Don Winslow takes on the character of Nicholai Hel from the equally acclaimed Trevanian. If this name means nothing to you (you young pup) Trevanian was the pen name for one of the most successful thriller writers of the 1970’s. Nicholai Hel made his one and only appearance in Shibumi and lit up in my mind like a Catherine wheel. Hel is part Russian, part Japanese. He is a linguist, scholar and an assassin who makes James Bond seem like a heavy-handed buffoon.

My review will appear over at in due course. A wee hint: I loved it.

Bad Signs – RJ Ellory (p. June 2012)

This blurb is straight from the horse’s mouth –  thanks, Roger.

Orphaned by an act of senseless violence that took their mother from them, half-brothers Clarence Luckman and Elliott Danziger start life with two strikes against them.  Raised in state institutions, unaware of any world beyond the confines of rules and regulation, their lives take a sudden turn when they are seized as hostages by a convicted killer en route to his execution. 

Earl Sheridan, psychopathic murderer, could be their salvation or their downfall.

A road trip ensues – Sheridan and the two brothers on the run from the law through California and Texas, but as the journey continues the two brothers must come to terms with the ever-growing tide of violence that follows in their wake, a tide of violence that forces them to make a choice about their lives, and their relationship to one another.

Will the brothers manage to elude the dark star that has hung over them since their mother’s death, or will they succumb to the pull of Earl Sheridan’s terrifying, but exhilarating vision of the world?

Set in the mid 1960s, reminiscent of the atmosphere so evocatively conjured in the international bestseller, A Quiet Belief In Angels, this latest work by multi award-winning author, R J Ellory, is a tale of the darkness within Man, the inherent hope for redemption, and the ultimate consequences of evil.   

Ooooooo. Sounds good, Roger. Be sure to see that them nice people at Orion get me an advance copy.

A few other honourable mentions:

Truth Lies Bleeding – Tony Black  Feb 2011
The Opposite of Amber – Gillian Philip, April 2011
The End of the Wasp Season – Denise Mina, May 2011
Proof of Life – Karen Campbell, June 2011

Jings, and they’re all Scottish. How good are we?

The book that’s going to have me skipping most with excitement (like a wee girl, quite frankly) is The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss.

His Name of the Wind which I read in 2007 was one of the outstanding fantasy books of that or any year. And to think this was his debut. Awesome. It had EVERYTHING you could ask of a book.

This is me rubbing my hand in anticipation and screaming, hurry up already.

An honourable mention also for Peter V. Brett and the third in his demon series, The Daylight War.  Cracking stuff. Amazon have the release date as March. I’ll keep you posted, me hearties.

Oh, and then I’m hoping Gillian Philip will have out the follow up to Firebrand.

Oh, and then...

Calm down, Mikey. We have a whole year of books.



  1. The Sam Hawken looks brilliant, doesn't it? I've already ordered that one and am waiting for it to be delivered.

  2. OK, I guess I'll have to start yet another pile of essential reading beside the bed. Thanks for the suggestions.

  3. Donna, it were top-notch.

    Bill, you is welcome. (BTW, I'm mucking up my grammar to try and annoy you. Is it working?)

  4. Ditto, Ditto, Ditto,Ditto on Patrick's book. And Gillian's sequel. I thought I read on Brett' site the other day that TDW won't make it til late 2011 or early 2012?? It would be lovely if it was March. My we do get excited over a few books...