London calling! Rennie Airth on COLD KILL

There was never any doubt in my mind that London was the natural setting for COLD KILL.  The story called for an urban environment, but more than that, I wanted one that would be familiar to readers, both Londoners and tourists, and for that reason I kept the action restricted to a relatively small part of the city.  Knightsbridge, Chelsea and Bayswater  together with the Thames provide the backdrop to the plot.

Knowing a city adds enormously to the pleasure of reading a story set in it and I wanted readers to be able to imagine themselves walking along the Embankment under the glowing eye of Big Ben, past the Festival Hall to the Globe Theatre, and beyond that as far downriver as Canary Wharf, all of which feature in the tale. I wanted them to stand with one of the characters, Bela Horvath, as he views the great sweep of the city and its famous river from the balcony of his high-rise apartment.

Best of all, I like to think they might find themselves gazing at the glittering facade of Harrods – much as my protagonist, Addy Banks does – though in her case the spectacle is heightened by the fact that Christmas is only a few days off and the display windows of the great Knightsbridge emporium are a magnet for any passer-by.

If they like they can also follow in her footsteps along the narrow streets that lie barely a stone’s throw away from the famous store and which lead to the mews she is searching for, not knowing what danger might be lurking in the shadows . . .

COLD KILL’S most thrilling scenes take place either in or around London’s iconic landmarks. Here’s our top 3 spine-tingling moments:

HARRODS: A breathless chase through London’s busy streets ends in the capital’s most famous department store. When you’re trapped by assassins, outnumbered and surrounded by unassuming Christmas shoppers, how do you survive? The answer is as chilling as it is audacious, and – for us – provides one of the most unforgettable, edge-of-your-seat moments in the book.

SOUTH BANK: He’s watching you . . . a dark assignation is taking place in the heart of London’s creative hub. Who knew walking around the Embankment in the shadow of some of London’s most revered galleries and music halls could be so creepy? But the most chilling moment in this scene has to be when an innocent young girl in the Festival Hall cafe asks our assassin what he’s going to do if he’s not attending the concert. His answer to her: ‘Terrible things.’ Call us paranoid, but something tells us he’s not lying . . .

THE GLOBE THEATRE: What better venue for a showstopping finale than Shakespeare’s Globe? This much-loved theatre is the perfect place for a jaw-dropping ending, and that’s exactly what we’re gifted with courtesy of a stunning twist on stage that the Bard himself would be proud of. I really, REALLY want to tell you more about this, but . . . alas, you’ll have a grab a copy to find out!

Read more about COLD KILL: UK readers/US readers

Love gripping crime novels set in London? Make sure you read THE HEIGHTS, the second title in the Crane and Drake mystery series from Parker Bilal, which starts with a terrifying discovery on the Tube . . .

“Bilal’s stylishly written second Crane and Drake mystery offers complex portraits of the detective duo” Kirkus Reviews

Read about this chillingly captivating read here: UK readers/US readers

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