Our first 2018 titles have landed!

From religious conspiracy thriller to Hollywood noir, we’re starting 2018 with a feast of compelling new reads (and new authors)! Our delectable January titles are now available to purchase in the UK using the links below.

9780727887733_FCMAN ON ICE
by Humphrey Hawksley

It’s Russia vs USA in this tense and twisting thriller.

Rake Ozenna of the elite Eskimo Scouts brings his fiancée, trauma surgeon Carrie Walker, to his remote home island in the Bering Strait, where they are immediately faced with a medical crisis. Then Russian helicopters swarm in. When news breaks of a possible Russian invasion, the only way Rake can save his people is to undertake a perilous mission across the ice. Can he survive long enough to prevent a new world war breaking out?

UK: get your copy here.
US: pre-order here.

sign of the cross

SIGN OF THE CROSS
by Glenn Cooper

Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers.

Responding to an urgent summons from the Vatican, Cal Donovan flies to Italy to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion, determined to uncover the cause of the mysterious wounds. When Giovanni is kidnapped, Cal comes to realize that the priest holds the key to an earth-shattering secret. Can Cal track him down before an apocalyptic catastrophe is unleashed?

UK: get your copy here.
US: pre-order here.

donovan

THE LONG SILENCE
by Gerard O’Donovan

A compelling first in a new series of noir mysteries set in Hollywood’s early days.

February, 1922. A leading movie director is murdered, and studio boss Mack Sennett calls in Irish-American investigator Tom Collins. Troubled star Mabel Normand is rumoured to be involved, but she’s gone missing. Collins’ quest leads him through the brutal heart of Prohibition-era Los Angeles to a secret so explosive it must be kept silent at any cost . . .

UK: get your copy here.
US: pre-order here.

Against the LawAGAINST THE LAW
by Jay Brandon

A razor-sharp legal thriller from an exciting new author for Severn House.

Fresh out of prison, former lawyer Edward Hall thinks his days in the courtroom are behind him. Until his sister, Dr Amy Hall, is arrested for murder, accused of shooting the ex-husband with whom she is supposedly reconciled. Edward promises to do everything he can to protect his sister, because she is innocent, isn’t she?

UK: get your copy here.
US: pre-order here.

fakes

FAKES AND LIES
by Jane A. Adams

Ex-police officer Naomi Blake must uncover the truth when an artist is found dead.

Artist and sometime forger Freddie Jones is found dead, but no one is surprised. Freddie drank heavily and was a lifelong smoker. Only Bee, Freddie’s daughter, is convinced he was murdered. Just before he died, her father confided that he was afraid of something . . . When a prominent gallery owner is murdered and a portfolio of Freddie’s drawings is stolen, it appears Bee could be right. Naomi vows to find out the truth.

UK: get your copy here.
US: pre-order here.

killing site

THE KILLING SITE
by Caro Peacock

Fans of Victorian mysteries will be enthralled by the new Liberty Lane adventure.

July, 1847. Liberty Lane is kidnapped upon leaving a dinner party. While she tries to execute a plan of escape, her old friends, former street urchin Tabby and groom Amos Legge, are convinced that somebody in the Maynard household, where the dinner party was held, knows something about Libby’s disappearance. But when Tabby keeps watch on the house, she makes a truly shocking discovery . . .

UK: get your copy here.
US: pre-order here.

taggedTAGGED FOR MURDER
by Jack Fredrickson

Hard-boiled detective fiction at its best – a gripping new case for Dek Elstrom.

A dead man is found on the top of a box car on an abandoned rail siding. Who was he, and how did he end up there? Paid to photograph the scene, private investigator Dek Elstrom’s photos reveal there’s a witness to the murder, a tagger who’s returned to the scene to paint what he saw, but his work quickly disappears – as does the man who hired Dek. What is it that the mysterious graffiti artist wants the world to know?

UK: get your copy here.
US: pre-order here.

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#BookExtract: THE LONG SILENCE by Gerard O’Donovan

donovanIntroducing Irish-born cop turned private investigator Tom Collins in the first of a brand-new historical mystery series.

February, 1922. Hollywood is young but mired in scandal. When a leading movie director is murdered, Irish-American investigator Tom Collins is called in by studio boss Mack Sennett, whose troubled star, Mabel Normand, is rumoured to be involved but is missing. Collins’ quest leads him through the brutal heart of Prohibition-era Los Angeles to an explosive secret . . .

 

Inspired by the unsolved real-life murder of movie director William Desmond Taylor, THE LONG SILENCE is the first in an instantly compelling series of new noir mysteries set in Hollywood’s early days. This title is available in the UK from 31 January and in the US from 1 May, but here’s your chance to dip your toe into this richly evocative mystery in advance with an extract from the book.  

What happened next was so fast he only recalled it later in magnesium-bright fragments: Madden striding back across the street, the Packard’s headlamps flaring, the auto pulling away, the sheen of a long-barrel revolver nosing out the open window. Stepping out from the porch, for Tom, was an act of pure instinct. As was his shout of warning. But the yell only confused Madden, who swung round, panicked eyes fixing on Tom emerging from the shadows, and only then looking back over his shoulder, too late, catching nothing but muzzle flash.

The first round thumped into Madden’s back by his left shoulder blade, sending him into a spin that halted abruptly when a second blew a dark gout of blood from his chest and he catapulted back as though his feet had been sliced from under him. The third slug smacked into his skull as he fell, the back of his head evaporating in a spray of red rain as his body attempted one last mid-air convulsion.

Tom dived as the Packard came level, loosing off at him now. He did his best to become one with the sidewalk as a couple of shots hit the storefront behind, and the plate glass shattered and fell, crashing to the paving in shimmering cascades all around. Above the crystal din, he strained to distinguish the Packard’s engine. If it stopped, he’d have to get up and run for cover elsewhere. But the roaring motor passed on, a squeal of tires on the wet street signaling a corner turned. He stayed down. Stayed down until all he heard was the rain again, a hissing on the street broken only by his own heartbeat and the pop and crash of falling glass.

Only then did he drag himself up from the ground, standing as best he could and using the hood of the nearest automobile for support. He patted himself down, examining his limbs and torso for injury or rupture, shaking glass and rain from his coat. He was unscathed but for a graze on his left wrist where he’d hit the sidewalk awkwardly and a bloody scratch on his right knee, the worst of which was a four-inch rip to a good pair of suit pants.

He was OK. He didn’t need to look to tell the same could not be said for Madden. But look he did, unable to keep his eyes from the rain-spattered heap lying sprawled in an expanding stain of blood, his narrow frame contorted beyond nature and any possibility of life. As Tom stumbled over to the body, he became aware of other presences on the street now, peering down from unlit windows, out from cautiously opening doors. A burble of shocked and excited voices leaked from the light-filled doorway of Hannigan’s, the raw, stupefied ‘Jesus Cwyst, Jesus Cwyst’ of the ancient doorman joining the muttering figures spilling into the street, circling the dead body at a distance.

Still shaking as if the ground was moving under him, Tom looked up and around and shouted as best he could.

‘For pity’s sake, stop gawking and somebody call the cops.’

 

Find out more about THE LONG SILENCE here.

February UK/June US Editor’s Pick: THE GIRL IN THE WOODS by Patricia Macdonald

girl woodsFebruary’s Editor’s Pick is by Kate Lyall Grant, Publisher.

This month I have selected Patricia Macdonald’s chilling novel of psychological suspense, THE GIRL IN THE WOODS.

The action kicks off when Philadelphia businesswoman Blair Butler is summoned back to her small hometown in the Pocono Mountains to see her terminally ill sister one last time – only for her sister Celeste to make a shocking deathbed confession. Is it really true that the wrong man has spent fifteen years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit?

Having promised her dying sister that she will do her best to right the wrongs of the past, Blair sets out to discover what really happened that cold, wet November night fifteen years before: the night her best friend Molly’s battered body was found in the woods behind her home. But the truth, when finally revealed, is far more shocking than Blair could have imagined.

The author of more than 15 internationally-bestselling novels of thrilling domestic suspense, Patricia Macdonald is a master of her craft and at the top of her game in this latest suspenseful outing.  With its intriguing premise, pacy and eventful plot, plentiful array of unexpected twists, credible suspects and cast of wholly believable, fully rounded but often damaged and not always likeable characters, THE GIRL IN THE WOODS had me gripped from the outset, consumed with curiosity as to what exactly had befallen poor little Molly Sinclair – and why – and who of this isolated, taciturn, mountain community might have had a part to play in her untimely death. I would wholeheartedly recommend to fans of Gillian Flynn, Ruth Ware and Claire Mackintosh.

THE GIRL IN THE WOODS is available 28 February in the UK and 1 June in the US. Click here for more information.

Did You Know: GERARD O’DONOVAN

donovanIntroducing Irish-born cop turned private investigator Tom Collins in the first of a brand-new historical mystery series.

February, 1922. Hollywood is young but mired in scandal. When a leading movie director is murdered, Irish-American investigator Tom Collins is called in by studio boss Mack Sennett, whose troubled star, Mabel Normand, is rumoured to be involved but is missing. Collins’ quest leads him through the brutal heart of Prohibition-era Los Angeles to an explosive secret . . .

 

Inspired by the unsolved real-life murder of movie director William Desmond Taylor, The Long Silence is the first in a richly evocative, instantly compelling series of new noir mysteries set in Hollywood’s early days. Author Gerard o’Donovan shares some interesting facts about Hollywood’s early days and its leading characters:

1)  Silent movies were the first global entertainment industry, creating the first internationally recognizable superstars like Rudolf Valentino, Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and Mabel Normand.

2) Mabel Normand was the movie world’s first great female comedy star. By 1920 Mary Pickford was the only actress more famous than her. But Normand was vulnerable and had a growing cocaine habit, and her association with a number of big scandals, especially the murder of her supposed fiancé William Desmond Taylor, eventually led to her tragically early death in 1932.

3) Mack Sennett was Hollywood’s first King of Comedy – the man who discovered Mabel Normand, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle and Buster Keaton – but lost them all because he was too mean to pay them what other studios could see they were worth.

4) Adolph Zukor, the greatest of the movie moguls, was a Hungarian immigrant who made a fortune in the fur trade before moving into movies. In partnership with Jesse Lasky, Cecil B DeMIlle and Sam Goldwyn he built the first permanent movie studio in Hollywood. Presiding over Famous Players-Lasky and its Paramount distribution arm from New York, he built a vast corporate empire by a relentless process of merger and acquisition – and ruthless efficiency.

5) Many people remain fascinated by the William Desmond Taylor murder, especially in America. The most famous website devoted to it is Taylorology.com, a sprawling labyrinth of arcane information about the murder. See also the excellent Looking for Mabel Normand site.

THE LONG SILENCE is available 31 January 2018 in the UK and 1 May 2018 in the US. Find out more about this title here.

Behind the Book: SIGN OF THE CROSS by Glenn Cooper

sign of the crossIntroducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers.

Responding to an urgent summons from the Vatican, Harvard professor of religion and archaeology, Cal Donovan, flies to Italy to interview a young priest who has developed the stigmata of the crucifixion, determined to uncover the cause of the mysterious wounds. When Giovanni is kidnapped, Cal comes to realize that the priest holds the key to an earth-shattering secret. Can Cal track him down before an apocalyptic catastrophe is unleashed?

SIGN OF THE CROSS has got us all on the edge of our seats, but what inspired Cal Donovan’s first adventure in this thrilling new series? Glenn reveals all . . .  

At the time I began SIGN OF THE CROSS I had written ten novels (two linked trilogies and four standalones). I wanted to start a new series of standalones with a recurring protagonist. I had Cal Donovan fleshed out. He was a professor of the history of religion and archaeology at the Harvard Divinity School – young, independently wealthy, full of flaws. He was going to be the perfect vehicle for advancing my interests in European history, the history of the Catholic, and, of course, good stories. What I was looking for was Cal’s first adventure and I found it in the ancient city of Lecce located in the heel of Italy’s boot. I was there on a book tour for my tenth book and found myself hosted at a lunch at the residence of the archbishop of Lecce, an elegant, erudite man who was interested in the concepts of Hell depicted in my DOWN trilogy. Over a delicious meal prepared by the nuns who ran his palazzo, he told me stories of his early priesthood in the town of San Giovanni Rotondo, where one of his jobs had been to tend to the body lying in state of the famous stigmatic monk Padre Pio. He recalled that before his eyes, the deep, angry wounds in the monk’s palms healed themselves after his death and I knew I had my story. Cal Donovan would be asked by the Pope to do an informal, off-the-books investigation of a young stigmatic Italian priest who was rapidly developing a cult of followers. Was he a faker? Was he a true stigmatic? Why were powerful, shadowy figures willing to kill to uncover the origins of the priest’s stigmata? Later, when SIGN OF THE CROSS was published in Italian (it hit #1 in the fiction bestseller lists) I gave a copy to the archbishop and held my breath awaiting his verdict. He loved it. I exhaled. A series was born and while you may perhaps sit down to read the first Cal Donovan book, I am sitting down to begin writing the fourth!

SIGN OF THE CROSS is available from 31 January 2018 in the UK and 1 May 2018 in the US. Find out more about this title here.

#BookExtract: FREE FROM ALL DANGER by Chris Nickson

free from“Nickson is at the top of his game in this fairly clued whodunit”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review

October, 1736. Lured out of retirement to serve as Constable once again, Richard Nottingham finds Leeds very different from the place he remembers. Newcomers have been attracted by the town’s growing wealth, but the crimes remain the same, as Nottingham discovers when a body is found floating in the River Aire, its throat cut.

But he’s dealing with a new kind of criminal, someone with no respect for anything or anyone. Someone who believes he’s beyond the law; someone willing to destroy anyone who opposes him. To stop him, Nottingham will need to call in old favours, rely on trusted friendships, and seek help from some very unlikely sources.

If you’ve not yet read Chris Nickson’s latest Richard Nottingham novel, here’s your chance to dip your toe into this critically acclaimed mystery, courtesy of this brilliant extract from the book. Warning: it’s a page-turner! 

The same entrance to the same court, with the sound of the river a few yards away and the creak of boats moored for loading. A mist was rising, softening the edges of the world.

As he approached, a man came up to Jane. A few words and they vanished down the passageway. The woman had a living to earn, after all. He could wait. The constable walked to the bridge and stood with his elbows resting on the stone parapet.

Shreds of fog drifted in the night air. There was no breeze, only the clinging dampness he could feel deep in his chest. He was growing old, noticing his aches and pains more and more each day and relishing the heat of a good fire to warm his bones.

A man shouted from somewhere and a voice answered before the pair of them began to laugh. A lone cart rumbled over the bridge, irons wheels rattling over the cobbles. Finally Nottingham moved. He’d given her enough time.

Jane wasn’t waiting at the entrance to the court. Another customer already? From her appearance the night before she needed all she could get. He was about to go to the White Swan for a drink and try later when he heard a groan. Not pleasure; this was pure pain. He called out her name but there was no answer.

The passage was black. No light reached this far. He had to feel his way along, heart thumping, eyes trying to pick out something, anything.

His feet found her first, touching the soft lump on the ground. He knelt, fingertips searching until he found her head, then feeling for a pulse in the neck. Jane’s flesh was still warm, but her life had gone. The man he saw must have been her killer.

There was blood on the front of her dress, wet and sticky under his fingertips. Barely dead.

He had to leave her. He needed some of the men to help. As fast as he could, he ran up to the jail, legs hurting with every stride. The night watch was just arriving. He sent one for the coroner, two more with the old door to transport the body, and another with a light to guard the scene.

His mouth was dry. Nottingham gulped at a drink of ale and saw he’d left a bloody print on the mug. It was all over him – his greatcoat, his hands. He began to clean himself but stopped – what was the point? The blood would be back as soon as he began to examine her.

‘Find Mr Lister and have him meet me there,’ he ordered as he left.

The men were waiting for him. They stood, silently watching him, all of them with dour, brutal faces. But that was who you needed to keep law in the darkness. The lantern flame flickered, enough for him to see Jane lying there. She’d drawn up her knees and thrown out her arms before she died. He must have heard her final sound.

Whores were killed. There were men who considered them fair sport. But this, just after she’d sent him her message? This wasn’t anger. This was deliberate. He could feel it.

In his mind, Nottingham tried to picture the figure he’d seen disappear down this passageway with Jane. Tall, perhaps? A hat of some kind. But it was no more than a suggestion, a faint outline in the night and the mist.

There was no peace on the woman’s dead face. Nothing more than agony, lips back in a rictus smile, eyes wide. He reached down and lowered the lids; it was the one thing he could do for her at this moment.

Hoggart came bustling through, wearing a heavy coat that reached down to his calves, the gold buckles of his shoes glittering in the light. He sighed, told the man to hold the lantern higher and squatted by the body.

‘She hasn’t been dead long, Mr Nottingham.’

‘I know. Only a few minutes.’

‘Well, there’s nothing anyone on this earth can do for her now.’ He stood, looked down at the corpse and shook her head. ‘You might as well take her away.’

******

She was on the slab of the cold room in the jail when Lister arrived. The candles burning in each corner of the room made it nearly as bright as day.

He had her naked, the tattered old gown cut away so he could examine the wound. In the stomach. It must have taken her a few minutes to die, and she’d done so in horrible pain. If he’d come back sooner . . . but what could he have done? He couldn’t have saved her. Nobody could, the knife had gone too deep. But he might have caught her killer.

‘Boss?’

The word pulled him back from his thoughts.

‘I saw the man who did it.’ He explained it all, from the message to the finding.

Rob was looking at the body.

‘I used to see her sometimes when I was doing my rounds,’ Lister said. ‘What did the man look like?’

Like everyone and nobody, Nottingham thought.

‘Just a shape,’ he said and raised his head. ‘She had some information for me and then someone murdered her.’ He breathed for a moment or two. ‘There’s something going on here, I’m certain of it.’

‘Boss, you remember what it’s like. We have four or five whores murdered every year. Often more.’

He knew. Sometimes they found the killer; usually there was nothing to set them on the trail. Nottingham held up Jane’s hand with its little finger missing.

‘She lasted out there for more than twenty years. This happened when she was young and she had her revenge on the man who did it. She was careful. She made sure she was never caught out.’ He picked her knife from the shelf where it sat with the few other things she’d carried. The edge was sharp as a razor. ‘She had something to defend herself.’

‘Maybe she let down her guard. He might have taken her by surprise. I don’t know.’

But Nottingham had no doubts. The man had come to kill her. And he’d given him the chance, thinking Jane could earn a few pennies before they talked.

 

 

Want to read more? Click here for more information on FREE FROM ALL DANGER, and to view more titles in the intriguing Richard Nottingham series from Severn House.

Behind the Book – Man on Ice by Humphrey Hawksley

9780727887733_FCMAN ON ICE: Russia vs the USA – in Alaska

As a foreign correspondent for the BBC, Humphrey Hawksley has reported on key trends, events and conflicts from all over the world. He is the author of seven previous fast-paced political thrillers.

A new president. An old enemy. A deadly threat.     

As a remote Alaskan island community is caught in the crosshairs of sabre-rattling big powers, only one man can prevent a new world war from breaking out.  A tense and twisting thriller that’ll have you on the edge of your seat.

*******************************************

 

I am fascinated by borders between hostile powers and as soon as Sarah Palin was ridiculed for saying that Alaskans could see Russia from their backyards, I knew I had to check it out. Palin was right. Russia is barely two miles away and on a clear day from the island of Little Diomede, it’s as if you can reach out and touch it. I was struck by the emptiness. There are no flags, no border marking, nothing to say that here is the frontier between the two most powerful enemies of Earth. Then came the questions moving towards the narrative arc of a thriller that would do justice to this remote and dramatic setting.

Who are the Eskimos and what are their traditions? The border has cut through Eskimo families and communities that crossed back and forth between the two for centuries. Now, they are separated by what is known as the Ice Curtain. With ramped up tension between Moscow and Washington, what would the US do if Russia just took the island of Little Diomede? Why is it so unprotected, no police, no Alaskan National Guard, no fence? Nothing but ice and sea. Is there an unwritten agreement between Moscow and Washington to keep this border quiet?

This is the backdrop to Man on Ice and I set the scene in these reports for the BBC and other publications.

The ice curtain that divides US families from Russian cousins

The ice curtain that divides Russia and the US

A beckoning Asia could help to reduce Arctic tensions

The US and Russia Face to Face as Ice Curtain Melts

Visit our website for more information on this title.

 

Behind the Book: THE LONG SILENCE by Gerard O’Donovan

donovanFebruary, 1922. Hollywood is young but already mired in scandal. When a leading movie director is murdered, Irish-American investigator Tom Collins is called in by studio boss Mack Sennett, whose troubled and now missing star, Mabel Normand, is rumoured to be involved.

Collins’ quest leads him through Prohibition-era Los Angeles, from speakeasies and dope dens to the studios and salons of Hollywood’s movie elite, and to a secret so explosive it must be kept silent at any cost . . .

Inspired by the unsolved real-life murder of movie director William Desmond Taylor, The Long Silence is the first in a richly evocative, instantly compelling series of new noir mysteries set in Hollywood’s early days. Gerard O’Donovan explains the inspiration behind the book.

The Long Silence is a story of paradise lost. A work of fiction, yes, but its glittering setting and most of its major characters are real and deserve to be rescued from the realms of the forgotten. 1922 was a pivotal year for the movies. In less than a decade this dazzling new art form had taken the world by storm, creating the first global entertainment industry, the world’s first superstars and dizzying fame and fortune for many. For most in Hollywood’s silent-era ‘movie colony’ life was a heady mix of hard work, fun and undreamed of creative innovation and freedom. But the tales of immorality, drug abuse and exploitation that constantly swirled round them, whipped up by a sensation-hungry press, were a provocation to conservative America. After success in getting Prohibition passed in 1920, reformers were increasingly targeting the corrupting influence of movies. The clamour for censorship and even an outright ban gathered force. An opportunity for action arose with the arrest in September 1921 of comedy star Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle for the rape and murder of Virginia Rappe. The furore that attended Arbuckle’s three trials rocked the movie colony to its foundations amid widespread, genuinely held fears that one more major scandal could force the industry to shut down. In this febrile atmosphere, in February 1922, leading movie director William Desmond Taylor was murdered in mysterious and very shocking circumstances. A ruthless behind-the-scenes fight for survival began . . .

Visit our website for more information on this title.

Things We’ve Learned About . . . Bonnie Hearn Hill and THE RIVER BELOW

riverWhen a mangled car is pulled from the river, containing bloodstains and a gun, Tessa thinks she saw a girl out on the riverbank. But her memory is failing; could this be the start of something more serious? Tessa’s friend Claire Barrett vows to work out what’s going on in this tale of suppressed secrets, fractured families . . . and murder.

“A haunting psychological thriller” Booklist

 

 

A love of the San Joaquin River, writing and vegan hot fudge sundae cake . . . find out more about our wonderful author, Bonnie Hearn Hill, and her most recent thriller, THE RIVER BELOW.  Oh, and we wish we were in her writing critique group!

Inspiration behind the book:

This book is especially important to me because it is set on California’s San
Joaquin River, a stretch of water I visit almost daily because it is two blocks
from my front door. I love the river, and my best friend and I walk along its
banks in the early mornings after leaving our gym. One day, when I looked out
on the water, I asked myself, ‘What if?’ What if a car floated up to the surface?
What if a woman began imagining the image of someone on that water? What
if her best friend, an environmental scientist, struggled to find the truth? Other
questions followed, and that’s how I wrote THE RIVER BELOW. It’s a book
about people trying to save themselves, others, and the river below.

Proudest achievement:

This is my nineteenth novel, and I’ve been with my wonderful agent through almost all of them. I love writing even when I hate it. I set my books in the Central San Joaquin Valley, a place I think of as the Forgotten California. Most people think California is made up of San Francisco and Los Angeles. I like to write about the rest. In this novel, I delve into family secrets and into the lives of those who are changed when, one day, a car floats to the surface of the San Joaquin River – and inside that car, is a gun.

Culinary Skills:

I tend to favour curries and Asian food, but my friends say my hummus is the best, and I make a mean vegan hot fudge sundae cake. Cooking is similar to writing for me. I like to get an idea and see where it takes me. You can see some of the creations I feed my writing critique group on my Facebook page.

A Place to Work:

I have a home office – my first that isn’t a back bedroom – with a real door, a view of the patio and one of my husband’s paintings on the wall. However, I can write anywhere, and at many times in my life, I had to.

Click here for more information on THE RIVER BELOW.

 

January UK/May US Editor’s Pick: SIGN OF THE CROSS by Glenn Cooper

sign of the cross

This month’s Editor’s Pick is from Holly Domney, Editorial Assistant.

SIGN OF THE CROSS is the first in an absorbing religious conspiracy thriller series, featuring part-time boxer and Harvard professor, Cal Donovan. Glenn Cooper’s suave hero responds to an urgent summons from the Vatican, who are dealing with Giovanni; a young priest who has apparently developed the stigmata of Christ.

Cal’s scepticism is dissolved after interviewing Giovanni and Cal determines to uncover the cause of his mysterious wounds. But Cal is not the only one intrigued by Giovanni’s condition. The action kicks off when Giovanni is kidnapped and Cal realizes that the priest holds the key to an earth-shattering secret: a secret which a shadowy nationalist organization is desperate to control.

Teaming up with Giovanni’s headstrong, beautiful sister Irene, Cal must unravel the mystery and track down Giovanni in a perilous race against the clock . . . before an apocalyptic catastrophe is unleashed. The story is further enlivened by the novel’s villain, Lambret, the head of the extremist Nazi cult, and the brutish Gerhardt, the muscular, bottle-blonde haired henchman and adoptive son of Lambret.

SIGN OF THE CROSS is perfect for history lovers, puzzle enthusiasts, conspiracy fans or anyone who appreciates a riveting mystery with a killer climax. It is replete with oodles of interesting little details about Nazi iconography and its central neo-Cathar pagan secret society. Glenn Cooper’s fast-paced, clever thriller keeps you guessing until the very end, when all is brought to an unexpected conclusion.

Visit our website for more information on this title.