Hammer Time – At Last!

IN many ways this is a blog I was beginning to think I would never write but I am delighted to be doing so at last.

This Thursday, September 22, will see the publication of the sixth book in my DS Thoroughgood crime fiction series: ‘The Hammer’ just over two years after I had written it.

While two days later I will commence my sixth Scottish signing tour with WHSmith, starting as always in my home city of Stirling at the retailer’s Thistles Centre store at 11am, two years after I was originally hoping to hit the road.

Such has been the impact of the COVID pandemic and while all that has been very frustrating I know for sure that there are plenty other authors out there who will have suffered similar vexation but at last things are back to normal.

Now I am really looking forward to travelling the length and breadth of Scotland to meet book lovers and share with them the inspiration behind ‘The Hammer’ and so much more.

Below I’m pictured with WHSmith Stirling manager Janice Forson ahead of Saturday’s opening signing The Hammer Scottish Tour.

In this regard the five-stop promo tour I did for the novel in May and June, when armed with my back catalogue books and a superb three-chapter taster booklet of ‘The Hammer’ which my publishers Matthew James created, has been very important from many aspects.

First of all just getting out there and meeting people again was a big step forward as I was really unsure how folk would be given what everyone has been through in the last two years and in this respect it was wholly positive.

Secondly it had been nearly three years since I toured my previous title in the series: ‘The Blood Acre’ and I truly wondered if there would be any real interest yet the amount of people I met who I’d bumped into back in 2019 was one of the huge positives from the spring outing.

Also all 200 copies of the taster booklet were off-loaded, and more importantly happily received, with almost 200 of my back catalogue books sold which was way above and beyond anything I expected.

I’m grateful for the support of Chris & Hilbert at my local coffee shop Chester’s!

Now, at last, it is indeed ‘Hammer Time’!

So, for this Thoroughgood outing set in 1990, we have all the ingredients that will make for what I believe is the most explosive plot in the series so far.

There will be a new location with 90% of the novel, after a breathless and suitably crimson dipped opening sequence, set in Manchester.

There will be new characters with a particularly strong female cast of both good and bad femme fatales involved.

While an old Thoroughgood nemesis will haunt Gus once more.

That said perhaps my favourite character in the book is indeed a new one, DCI Marty Ferguson, for whom I particularly enjoyed writing the dialogue!

In terms of locations from 1990 Manchester and the musical backdrop I also got a lot of enjoyment researching and writing The Hammer.

As you will know if you have read any of Gus’ previous adventures I like a dramatic ending.

In this respect I promise a climax to die for…the big question is who will survive?



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