#BookExtract – Hidden Graves by Jack Fredrickson

9780727886644The cracked, carefully reassembled cement fell apart precisely as planned, opening a ragged hole on the side of the silo. Clumps of damp, dark grain, the size of fists, began spilling onto the ground. The candidate stepped back to prevent his glossy wingtips getting mucky and eyed the tumbling rotted wheat morosely. Absolutely, it would be excellent video.

The forearm and hand materialized white in the black cascade of lumpy grain. The flesh, ligaments, and muscles were gone; they were now only disconnected beige bones, pressed together by the weight of the rotting wet wheat.

They clutched a small, shiny-headed hatchet, pointed straight at the candidate.

It was over in an instant. The wheat and the bones and the tiny axe broke apart, falling to the ground.

But that instant was enough for the television cameras. They caught the fleshless bones aiming the axe. Worse, they recorded what happened next.

Visit our website for more information on Jack Fredrickson.






Books I’ll always keep – Chris Collett

c-collettThere are several books that will always have space on my bookshelves. Katie Country Mouse to the Rescue was one of the first books ever read to me, by my maternal grandmother, and my first taste of what a thrilling adventure books could be. From that I graduated to Enid Blyton and then in my late teens, Alistair McLean.

When I moved to Birmingham in the early 1980s, the horror of the IRA pub bombings, in which 21 people lost their lives, was still fresh in people’s minds. My husband and many of the people I became friends with, had been touched by that night in November 1974. Chris Mullin’s book Error of Judgement exposed the subsequent wrongful convictions of the six Irish men indicted for the atrocity, had a profound impact on me. The event is made reference to in the DI Mariner series, and is likely to be central to a future book.

A Good Death,the latest Tom Mariner mystery, is available now and the eBook will be released on 1 February 2017.





A book I will always keep – Amy Myers

myers-amy-2011To Be a Matador, by Henry Higgins and James P. Myers, is the memoir of an English bullfighter. It was at the publicity party for this book, that I first met the co-writer’s cousin James K Myers, who rang me up for a date nearly a year later. We’ve now been married 40 years and to think that, while planning the party, I nearly knocked his name off the list!



AMY MYERS is the author of the Jack Colby Car Detective mystery series and this month the first book in the Nell Drury 1920’s mystery series, Dancing with Death, is due to be published. Click on book jackets for more information.

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Behind the Character – Henry Christie by Nick Oldham

9780727886804BAD BLOOD is the 24th novel in my Henry Christie series, a number which astounds me. The first one was published in 1996 (A Time For Justice), whilst I was still a cop (I wrote it whilst I was a custody officer and then a trainer at HQ) and the only goal was to get it published, never thinking I would go on to write more – until my then agent, the wonderful, sadly missed Bob Tanner got me a two-book deal and then the rollercoaster began and I’ve been winging it ever since.

Reflecting on the series, of which I am immensely proud, I now see that it’s the story of a man who just happens to be a cop, his personal and professional trials and tribulations, ups and downs, successes and failures. Henry progresses from being a young cop with an attitude, moving slowly, sometimes agonisingly, through the ranks to become a jaded, but highly principled detective who believes he was put on this earth to fight for the dead. This belief continues into his retirement, which is not as rosy as it could be as readers will discover in BAD BLOOD when Henry finds his rural idyll under threat from deranged killers and professional assassins. I think Bob would be quite proud of my continued output, as I couldn’t have even got going without his belief in me to start with.

Previous titles in this series (click on the jacket for more information).

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Editor’s Pick – A Little Death by A.J. Cross

9780727887009.jpgKate Lyall Grant has selected this month’s title.

With A LITTLE DEATH, the third in a series of intricately-plotted forensic mysteries featuring Professor Kate Hanson and her colleagues at the Unsolved Crimes Unit, we are thrilled to welcome author A. J. Cross to the Severn House list. In this tense, twisting and expertly-crafted tale, forensic psychologist, university lecturer and mother-of-one, Kate, is faced with a seemingly impossible case when the body of a young student is discovered in a field near her college, a year after she went missing. The badly decomposed remains are offering up few clues, and with little in the way of forensic evidence, Kate realizes that if she is to have any chance to discover who killed the young woman, she must find out what motivated the killer, the reason behind the murder, the why.

Like her heroine, A.J. Cross is a forensic psychologist with over 20 years’ experience in the field and, as a reader, I felt privileged to be afforded an authentic insider’s view of what really goes on in a detailed murder investigation. The novel pulls no punches in its unflinching portrayal of the grim physical reality of violent death as Kate and her cold case colleagues sift through the evidence in their dogged, painstaking, methodical fashion. With her calm, no-nonsense approach, Kate makes for a sympathetic and thoroughly likeable heroine as she struggles with the dilemmas faced by 21st-century women everywhere in juggling her various demanding roles.  Despite their minor irritations with one another, thrown up by their very different personalities, the members of the Unsolved Crimes Unit pull together when it matters, forming a tight, mutually supportive team: the strong camaraderie between them eventually proving key to cracking the case.

Meticulously-plotted, crammed with credible suspects, cunningly-planted clues and intriguing red herrings, A LITTLE DEATH drew me in from the outset and kept me guessing right to the end.  I would wholeheartedly recommend this title to anyone who loves a well-plotted mystery, peopled by fully-rounded, memorable characters, spiced with authentic, in-depth forensic detail.

A LITTLE DEATH will be released on 31 January, but is available to order from all book shops and online vendors now.