Highbridge, by Phil Redmond
To create one addictive TV soap might be considered just lucky. Creating two should evoke a few sharp intakes of breath. To be responsible for three…? Well. it ain’t gonna happen, is it? Yet it did, and with Grange Hill, Brookside and Hollyoaks under his creative belt, it was only a matter of time before write Phil Redmond (left) turned his hand to the crime fiction market. Set in the fictional town of Highbridge, Redmond spins a hypnotic yarn about two brothers who take different routes to avenge their sister’s death. Sean embeds himself in the cut-throat world of local politics where the law is ostensibly respected, but subverted in a hundred subtle ways. Joey goes Route One, and pursues his revenge within the criminal underworld where law and order are just random letters rearranged to make a word that no-one understands. Highbridge will be out in January, and you can pre-order here.
Down, But Not Out, by Gary Tulley
The first book in this series of crime novels set within the sweat and sawdust world of boxing was Seconds Out (March 2016) We were introduced to a gentleman – Paul Rossetti – who is described as “a plastic gangster”. The author (right) had a distinguished career as a coach and administrator in amateur boxing, but on retirement wrote two PI novels, Once Upon A Spook (2012) , and The Spook Who Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (2013). He now follows up Seconds Out with another saga involving Paul Rossetti and a boxer described as ‘his nemesis’ – Ronnie Callaghan. The story bobs and weaves its way through the murky and arcane world of men who try to beat the living daylights out of each other – and the criminal types who control them outside the ring. Down, But Not Out is available now, and is published by Matador.
All Of A Winter’s Night, by Phil Rickman
I make no apologies about naming this as my biggest up-and-coming release. I have been hooked by the Merrily Watkins novels since public library days, when I first discovered The Wine Of Angels in 1998. I believe Rickman to be one of our finest writers, with his unrivalled sense of landscape and history, and his ability to scare the pants of me without resorting to cheap shocks. Rickman is a modest man and may demur at my comparing him to Hardy in his awareness of the power of landscape, but he must put his hand up and acknowledge that he is very much the equal of the great M R James in the way he conjures up dread and menace using everyday objects and happenings. The Reverend Watkins, Rector of Ledwardine and Diocesan Deliverance Consultant returns in a wintry tale, where she must cope with the unwelcome convergence of a bleak funeral and a gangland shooting. Expect shivers up your spine, more peril for Merrily’s vulnerable daughter Jane, and a story that combines ancient menace, modern crime, and a totally believable cast of characters. All Of A Winter’s Night will be out on 5th January.