Thursday, March 26, 2009


One week to go to UK publication of THE KILL CALL. Amazon UK sent out their pre-publication offer today - no doubt making good use of their vast database of previous purchases. How did people find out about new books before Amazon existed? There must have been something... Maybe they typed articles on bits of paper and distributed those in some way. It sounds mad, I know.

Anyway, right now, Amazon are combining THE KILL CALL with two other forthcoming titles - Stuart MacBride's BLIND EYE (due 30th April) and John Harvey's FAR CRY (due 7th May). That's pretty cool. 

And it's wonderful the things you can discover on Amazon. Those reviews, for a start, which give you little horrifying glimpses into the minds of your readers. But I won't go into them now... Checking out the current offer today, I was looking at the page for the new John Harvey novel. Harvey is one of my crime writing heroes, and I've been reading his books for long time. His 10 Resnick titles make up one of the all-time classic series, in my opinion (and I'm usually right, as you know). So I was tickled pink to read on Amazon that 10% of customers who view Harvey's FAR CRY go on to buy... THE KILL CALL. Good taste, I say.

Amazon are also featuring a short interview with me, which you can read here. I was asked about the 1960s Cold War theme which is also explored in THE KILL CALL, one of those ideas which linked in a strange kind of way with the subject of fox hunting. I was very interested in the legacy of the Cold War. The 1960s were a period when we lived with the day to day knowledge that a Third World War could start at any moment, giving us four minutes warning of a nuclear attack. That kind of knowledge can influence the way you live your life...

And then there was the place. The 'plague village' of Eyam (pronounced 'Eem') is one of the most moving and atmospheric places in the Peak District (which is not short of atmospheric locations!). This village isolated itself from the rest of the country when it was struck by bubonic plague, known as the Black Death. Most of the population died, and were buried by their own families. The village's history has made it a rather macabre tourist attraction.

A short version of the story of the Eyam Plague can be found here

Here's a picture of the main street in Eyam. On the left are the Plague Cottages. Each one has a plaque outside listing the names of the victims who died in that particular house. The disease, by the way, was brought to Derbyshire from London. It's always the fault of those city folk...


  1. Fine post with this link to the Eyam Plague. As an English student, the Black Death is something which fascinated me. That´s what crime fans are like, I suppose. Revel in Black Death, potato blights, American Civil War and such - when we are not preoccupied by death & crime of our own time.

  2. Stephen, I am currently listening to THE KILL CALL from an download. I picked up on the reference to Eyam, and was struck by the coincidence of another reference to the town in a crime fiction title I recently read. - I can't for the life of me think what book it was in. Anyway I'll let you know when I have reviewed the book and have it posted on my blog - a few weeks away yet - I listen at about 40 mins a day, and the audio book is over 10 hours :-)