Exacerbyte by Cat Connor

In New Zealand crime fiction author Cat Connor’s newest, Exacerbyte, after the violent death of a close friend, Supervisory Special Agent Ellie Conway realizes a child trafficker known as Hawk is back. She believes Hawk killed her husband and was responsible for her friend’s death.

A request for help sends Ellie to New Zealand, on Hawk’s trail. Her job; to locate missing children before they disappear forever. Meanwhile, back in Virginia a child with ties to Ellie is in danger.

Can she uncover the hidden agenda of the suspected terrorist and his real identity in time to save the children?
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Blood and Ashes by Matt Hilton

In British crime fiction writer Matt Hilton’s newest, Blood and Ashes, Brooke Reynolds died in a car crash. Tragic accident, the police say. But her father knows otherwise. And he wants Joe Hunter to find the men responsible. Trouble is, they find Joe first. The ensuing blood bath is only the beginning of a trail of death that leads to the heart of a racist conspiracy.
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News from South Africa

By Mike Nicol

While rains have flooded other parts of South Africa, the Fairest Cape has been anything but fair over the last two months.  Our summer wind, the nerve-rending south-easter, has blown at gale force for days at a time, and our house has seemed like the Flying Dutchman to be forever at sea rounding Cape Point with creaks and bangs and the slam and whistle of the wind against the windows.

But as I write now all is quiet.  We have an interregnum until tomorrow afternoon when the weather forecasters anticipate the return of what, in days of yore, was a trade wind.  Right now I would trade it for a quieter corner of the globe.
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News from South Africa

By Mike Nicol

It’s 2011 but it’s best to start at the end of 2010.  Last year was a dire one for book sales in South Africa, as it was in most countries.  Yet there were nine thrillers published, against seven in 2009 and nine in 2008 so at least the crime thriller is holding its own in terms of published books.

In fact there is now a core group of writers who have produced at least two crime novels: Wessel Ebersohn, Sarah Lotz, Jassy Mackenzie, Chris Marnewick, Deon Meyer, Margie Orford, Roger Smith and Michael Stanley.  Most of them published this year and all of them are due to publish in 2011.  I am not sure if there are any surprises on the horizon but judging by the load of thriller manuscripts beginning to land on publishers’ desks, we should soon see the core group expanding.
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Every Bitter Thing by Leighton Gage

By Michael Haskins

Leighton Gage’s fourth Chief Inspector Mario Silva thriller, Every Bitter Thing, is a fine companion to his three other books in the series. Gage fills the pages with murder and mayhem as well as a plane full of suspects and corrupt Brazilian politics and police.

Silva and his small team of dedicated federal investigators’ frustrations and triumphs turn this book into a page-turner as the agents track down leads, discover more bodies and deal with political kibitzing.
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News from South Africa

By Mike Nicol

Well, the first crime fiction festival to be organised by South African crime writers happened over the final weekend of November in Johannesburg.  Called CrimeWrite it consisted of panel discussions and one-on-one conversations, all of them determined by the writers themselves.

So the topics ran from the good old fall-backs such as methods of killing to discussions on fast cars and country rock music, and from writing court room scenes to deadly females and the legacy of our founder of the genre in SA, James McClure.
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The Priest by Gerard O’Donovan

By Milton C. Toby

Like many successful authors, Irish journalist Gerard O’Donovan has a resume brimming with travel and many different jobs.  Unlike most authors, though, one of O’Donovan’s early attempts at crime fiction was shortlisted for a prestigious award, the Debut Dagger presented by the Crime Writers’ Association in England.  Travel broadened O’Donovan’s perspective while confirming his love of Ireland; the Debut Dagger nomination was an affirmation of his talent.
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News from South Africa

By Mike Nicol

The power of Facebook proved itself this past month when one of our crime novelists, Jassy Mackenzie, lamented on my page that there were no dedicated crime fiction festivals in South Africa.  Let’s start our own responded another crime novelist, Margie Orford, and Helen Holyoake, a book promoter and marketer in Johannesburg, then said, sure, we’re having a book promotion at the end of November why not make it a part of that.  Three days later we had a draft programme of what will be called CrimeWrite, and if all goes well we’ll be chatting crime fiction through the weekend of 27 and 28 November.
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News from South Africa

mike-nicol.jpgBy Mike Nicol

Crime fiction and books on true crime I tend to see as two very different things, especially in a country such as South Africa where crime is in our faces much of the time.  But there is a tendency at local book fair discussion groups to lump the two together.  Invariably we end up at the same table.

This happened at the Cape Town Book Fair this year, it happened at a conference in Johannesburg last year that was ostensibly about true crime, and it happen last month at the Mail & Guardian Literary Festival in Johannesburg.  Which is unfortunate as I don’t believe our true crime scene has anything to do with our fantasy world of crime fiction. more »


Thirteen Hours by Deon Meyer

thirteen-hours.jpgBy Milton C. Toby

Since the days of King Solomon’s Mines, Africa has provided the setting for an untold number of thrillers.  Typically, though, the continent has been a backdrop for the exploits of foreigners who have come to the continent from somewhere else.

Deon Meyer writes from a different perspective.  His novels deal with people who, like the author, call post-apartheid South Africa home.  
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News from South Africa

mike-nicol.jpgBy Mike Nicol

Two years ago a hard-hitting anti-capital punishment book hit the shelves here called Shepherds & Butchers by an advocate named Chris Marnewick.  The book was a mixture of fact (the gruesome details of a hanging) and fiction, the crimes that had resulted in the various characters being sentenced to death.  The book was controversial even though South African abolished the death penalty some years ago.

Last month Marnewich published his second novel, The Soldier Who Said No, which has another social injustice at its heart.  But this is a bonus.  Because for the rest his novel is an unputdownable thriller.  Under the auspicious of my blog, Crime Beat, he and I had a chat about his new novel.
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Red Station by Adrian Magson

red-station.jpgBy John T. Cullen

Recently I interviewed British author Adrian Magson about his remarkable new spy thriller Red Station (Severn House, August 2010).

Red Station: MI5 officer Harry Tate finds himself posted to a faraway operation called Red Station, somewhere in Central or Eastern Europe, while the media fuss dies down from a drug bust gone sour. A former soldier, now a loyal Security Services officer and civil servant, his credibility is down the drain after two civilians were shot dead during a drug intercept under his control. The idea is to wait it out before coming back up for air. Or so Harry is told.
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A Sudden Dawn by Goran Powell

By Michael Parkera-sudden-dawn.jpg

Goran Powell has spent more than 35 years in Martial Arts. He is a qualified instructor with Daigaku Karate Kai (DKK), on of the United Kingdom’s leading clubs, and assistant coach to the successful mixed martial arts team; DKK Fighters. He is a regular contributor to martial arts magazines and has appeared twice on the cover of the Traditional Karate magazine. He is a freelance writer and has won numerous advertising awards. Powell is married and lives in London with his wife and three children.
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Deadly Trust by JJ Cooper

deadly-trust.jpgBy L. Dean Murphy

In JJ Cooper’s Deadly Trust, a riveting thriller set along Australia’s eastern coast, former army interrogator Jay Ryan enjoys the quiet life after leaving the military behind–or so he thinks. Old habits die hard, and when he realizes someone is trying to kill him and make it look like an accident, he’s interested to find out who…and why.
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The Moses Expedition by Juan Gómez-Jurado

the-moses-expedition.jpgBy J. H. Bográn

The Ten Commandments, even if not accepted as God’s word by some people, are still accepted as general guidelines for decent behavior in any society. Always one of the Sunday school favorites: Moses coming down from Mount Sinai with the Decalogue tablets, then destroying them upon finding the people of Israel worshipping a Golden Calf. The remains were gathered inside what is known as The Ark of the Covenant, since lost in the realms of History.
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Kiss of Death by PD Martin

kiss-of-death.jpgBy Dana Granger

In a way, it seems inevitable that Australian author PD Martin would end up writing a popular mystery series; she wrote her first mystery novella as a budding author in fifth grade!

After that, she went back to concentrating on her schoolwork…but she never forgot her love of mysteries and writing. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences, she wrote three unpublished young adult novels, before finally striking gold with her series about Australian FBI profiler Sophie Anderson, which have received international acclaim. This month marks the release of the fifth Sophie Anderson novel, Kiss of Death.
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News from South Africa

mike-nicol.jpgBy Mike Nicol

The issue central to this month’s column actually came up during a panel discussion at the London Book Fair in April, so my apologies for only getting round to it now, but there’ve been equally pressing issues to write about in between.  Always assuming that in the heady world of crime thrillers, there are some issues more pressing than others, that is.  The LBF panel was to address the matter of writing crime fiction in South Africa.  As is the nature of these things, it did more than that.
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The Honest Assassin by C. J. Carver

By Michael Parkerthe-honest-assassin.JPG

Caroline Carver has just released her latest novel, The Honest Assassin, third in the series featuring Jay McCauley, the ex Army Captain who works for TRACE, specialising in finding missing persons. The Honest Assassin is published by Severn House and is Caroline’s seventh thriller.

When Jay’s friend, MI5 agent Mac Blake is arrested for murder, she launches and investigation that soon turns ugly. Her old boss is assassinated and her family threatened, but Jay is gutsy and isn’t going to give up without a fight. As she begins to uncover a sinister secret, Jay is unaware that something worse lies ahead; an assassin has been set on her trail.
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