Behind the Book: THE MEMORY MAN by Steven Savile

Peter Ash and Frankie Varg, agents with the European Crimes Division, investigate a series of murders where the victims are sent sinister gifts in the post . . . severed human body parts. Accompanying those gifts is a note: Memini Bonn. I remember Bonn. What does this mean, and when will the killings end?

memory man


What trigged Steven Savile to turn a long-held idea into a sinister, terrifying fast-paced thriller? Find out how the Eurocrimes series and his new title, THE MEMORY MAN, was born below.

Eurocrimes was one of those ideas I had floating around in my brain for ages – I’m a strange writer, I think, in that sometimes a book can just be there inside me as an idea for a decade or more, untouched, before I decide now’s the time. I’d written a five-hundred-word pitch for the idea when I was looking at moving agents back in… 2008? Something like that. It was a neat enough idea, cross border crimes, a detective paring that matched my own life, half British, half Swedish. But I was never going to write it.

Until Brexit happened. Then suddenly it struck me, wouldn’t it be a lot of fun to dig into a cross border thriller right as we’re pulling out of all of this cooperation, and everything I’d thought about the book changed, turned on its head by that vote. I’m friends with Matt Hilton. We were chatting a lot at the time. He was telling me how happy he was with Severn House and how they’d done his Tess and Po stuff proud, so he introduced me to Kate, and within a couple of weeks Eurocrimes was locked in.

I remember writing that opening chapter, which is really quite nasty, and thinking well, that’s this little love affair well and truly done, I mean I’ve just tortured an old priest and cut a gay guy’s tongue out. They’re not gonna want this… Really, with MEMORY MAN, it’s not a Whodunnit? It’s more about the ripples that spread out across time from one event and how they impact upon so many people, even those who have no idea what lies in their past. I’m always more interested in the people in the story and putting them in extremis. They’re forged in that crucible, they become heroes and villains. And I like them quite starkly defined, because the story around them may be shades of grey, but in their own lives everyone is a hero, right?

THE MEMORY MAN is available now in the UK and from 1 February in the US. Find out more here.


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