Monday, 13 November 2017

Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Michael Mack

I have many, many relatives who served in the armed forces. My late Dad did his National Service and was a radar operator in the RAF. Joined up in 1950, was posted to a station on the Norfolk Coast, and duly met my Mum!

Dad's Dad, Arthur Thomas Dawson, was in the Royal Navy and saw active service in both World Wars. Was on shore leave when his ship, HMS Exmouth, was torpedoed and went down with all hands in Moray Firth, January 1940.

Nearly all of Dad's siblings – my uncles and aunts – were in the war or served just afterwards. My Uncle Bill was in the Royal Engineers at Normandy and later liberated Belsen.

My Mum's father, my Grandad, Wilfred John Mack, was with the Norfolk Regiment in WW1. He was wounded at Gallipoli in 1915 and later served in Palestine.

Was with my Mum yesterday, looking at on old family tree, and found this ancestor – Lieutenant-Commander Ralph Michael Mack. Was skipper of destroyer HMS Tornado (pictured), killed when his ship went down after hitting a German mine in the North Sea in December 1917, almost a hundred years ago.

It was quite poignant discovering this on Remembrance Sunday.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Sarah Ward's Review

Flattered to get a great review of No Ordinary Killing from Sarah Ward, one of our top crime writers (A Patient Fury is currently doing very nicely). Sarah's DC Childs series – kicking off with 2015's In Bitter Chill – is set in the Derbyshire Peak District and well worth checking out. You can read the review here on her popular website Crimepieces.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

HistFic Sunday: Historical Crime

No Ordinary Killing. You can pick up a Kindle copy of my debut novel today for the devilishly knock-down price of 99p! Just click the title.


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

No Ordinary Killing: Free Sample

You can grab yourself a sneak peak by clicking the link here.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Reservoir Dogs 25th Anniversary

Can't believe it was 25 years ago this month that Reservoir Dogs played at Cannes. Was shown out of competition. Saw it in a morning screening nursing a stinking hangover. Garrulous young director with a mouthful of a name was later thrust upon us journos (alongside a tad curmudgeonly Tim Roth). Veritable Game-Changer of a movie.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Dead Reckoning – A Survivor's Tale

Was thrilled to be contacted recently by Sidney Palmer. Sidney was a two-year-old on the Dunedin Star voyage of 1942 and a survivor of the shore party. Possibly the only one left now. Sidney, 77 in June, is a retired diplomat and has spent many years living in Australia. He's venturing to the wilds of Namibia's Skeleton Coast this November to mark the 75th Anniversary of the shipwreck, laying a plaque to the brave mariners, Mathias Koraseb and Angus McIntyre, of the tugboat Sir Charles Elliot, who perished in the rescue. It'll be the first time he's been back.

Sadly, I learned only belatedly that Annabel Butterworth (née Taylor) had passed away. Annabel was the prime anecdotal source for much of the material in my book Dead Reckoning and I spent some very memorable days with her in (a very chilly!) Ottawa in the tail-end of 2002. Annabel was truly a wonderful person, tremendous fun and, genuinely, one of life's great characters. We continued to write to each other every Christmas and updated each other on various family news. It was a privilege to have met Annabel. That's her, age 17, on the cover of the original hardback, alongside Captain Immins Naude. An amazing lady.

No Ordinary Killing – US Reaction

Some great reader reviews on US Amazon. Always a worry that the subject matter won't carry, but book got to no12 in Kindle Historical Thrillers in its first week. Let's nudge those figures northward again! Ingo Finch, by the way, will be venturing Stateside in a future story.

Monday, 27 March 2017

No Ordinary Killing Goodreads Reviews

Some more excellent Goodreads reviews. Very Proud. Don't forget, No Ordinary Killing is now out in Kindle/paperback. Available on Amazon. Some great coverage there too.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

It's Out!

No Ordinary Killing. The Kindle/paperback are live and unleashed. Available on Amazon. Thanks for such a great response. Early Goodreads reviews are fantastic. If you buy it, I'm flattered. If you can review it on Amazon, even better!

Monday, 20 March 2017

Good Weekend

No Ordinary Killing came out... And played killer gig.

Friday, 17 March 2017

No Ordinary Killing reviews

Last big pre-launch push for my debut novel, No Ordinary Killing, out in Kindle and now paperback from Amazon, March 19. (E-book on sale for the pre-order offer price of 99p!) The single most effective marketing tool these days is reviews on Amazon. So, if you buy it, I'm honoured. If you like it, even better. And if you can post a short, honest review, I'm forever in your debt! Thanks.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

No Ordinary Killing/Paperback

My debut novel, No Ordinary Killing (Endeavour Press), is now available in paperback too from Amazon. The Kindle/e-book is still on special offer for 99p/$1.21!

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

No Ordinary Killing/Amazon

Thanks to everyone who’s responded so positively to my very first novel, No Ordinary Killing. The book is out on March 19th, published by Endeavour, available in Kindle version via Amazon. The paperback will follow in a couple of months.

Advance buzz and pre-orders got it to No12 last week on AmazonUS/Kindle historical thriller bestsellers. There have been some very flattering reader previews on Goodreads. It’s currently available for a few more days at the super-duper discounted rate of 99p!

In the digital age, the single most important marketing tool/means of promotion is to have reader reviews posted on Amazon. So please, if you buy the book, I’m honoured. But if you also happen to like it, then please please please post a short review on Amazon (English language editions). I’ll be eternally grateful. Thank you!

Monday, 13 March 2017

No Ordinary Killing Previews

Some excellent reader previews for my debut novel No Ordinary Killing at Goodreads. Book out in Kindle version via Amazon March 19th. Got up to no12 in Amazon Kindle Store Bestsellers last week on advance orders. You can currently pre-order for the discount price of 99p!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Bill Paxton

Sorry to hear of the recent death of Bill Paxton. He was surely the single most underrated Hollywood star of the 80s and 90s. Met him once on the (incredibly windy) set of Evening Star in Houston (we have a problem), Texas, in 1996. The film was a follow-up to Terms of Endearment and quite a Shirley MacLaine diva-fest. He seemed a nice, easygoing guy. Little-known fact, he had strong British family connections and used to spend a lot of time over here hanging out in pubs in the Richmond/Twickenham area. Let's hear that line one more time...

Wednesday, 1 March 2017


Pleased to announce the publication of my very first novel (fourth book in total). No Ordinary Killing will be published in Kindle version on March 19th with the paperback to follow, both via Amazon. The book is currently available to pre-order at Amazon at the knockdown discounted price of 99p!

The book is the first in a series starring my reluctant sleuth Ingo Finch, whom we meet here in the very final hours of the nineteenth century, serving as a doctor with the Royal Army Medical Corps during the PR disaster that is Boer War. On leave in Cape Town, things take a strange twist when Finch is asked by local police to identify the body of a murdered British officer. Shocked by the identity of the victim and fobbed off with a too-convenient resolution to the crime, he decides to investigate further.

From then on, Finch is in way over his head, plunged into a web of deceit and intrigue involving military intelligence and the very power brokers of the Empire, forced on the run alongside Australian nurse Annie Jones — his accidental and rather bolshy accomplice.

If you buy it, thank you. If you like it, then you'd be doing me a huge favour by posting a brief review on Amazon. Word of mouth is everything!