Quentin Bates went native in Iceland, married a local, and worked as a seaman before turning to maritime journalism. Frozen Out is the first of a series of crime novels featuring Gunna, a feisty policewoman in a small Icelandic fishing community, who finds herself tackling the financial and political corruption that brought the country to its knees. Cold Comfort sees Gunna promoted to the Serious Crime Unit and dealing with the murder of a high-class escort with many influential clients. In Chilled to the Bone Gunna is on the trail of a blackmailing dominatrix - and also discovers she is to be a grandmother, though still in her 30s. Gunna's adventures continue in Cold Steal and the novellas Winterlude and Summerchill. Her latest investigation is Thin Ice (all published by Constable).
Helen Black is the pen name of a solicitor who specialised in child care cases in a multi-ethnic provincial town. Damaged Goods is the first in a series of hard-hitting crime novels featuring Lilly Valentine, a solicitor who defends a child accused of killing her own drug-addicted mother. A Place of Safety sees Lilly dealing with people trafficking, rape, and murder. In Dishonour (all Avon), Lilly tackles intimidation and death among the Muslim community. Lilly's cases continue in Blood Rush, involving the terrifying violence of girl gangs, Dark Spaces, concerning a girl who could be either damaged or delusional, and Friendless Lane, in which she deals with a gang grooming vulnerable teenage girls. 2012 is a standalone thriller with the London Olympics as its setting (all Constable). Helen has begun a new series, Taking Liberties (Constable), in which a high-flying woman lawyer is sent to her home town and has to choose between her career and the siblings she left behind.
Sean Blair is a senior journalist with the European Space Agency, and writes novels for younger readers, often (and unsurprisingly) with a science fiction twist. As well as editing the BBC's Focus Magazine, Sean was the Internet Correspondent for Channel 4's The Big Breakfast. He lives in Holland with his wife and children.
Sharon Bolton trained as an actor and dancer. Sacrifice, her fictional debut, is a contemporary thriller in which a series of kidnaps and murders in a remote island community are linked to an ancient Shetland legend. It was nominated for the International Thriller Writers' Best First Novel Award and winner of the Amazon 'Rising Stars' Award 2008. Awakening is about an idyllic village thrown into turmoil by a series of inexplicable deaths involving snakes. It won the Mary Higgins Clark Award 2010. Blood Harvest is a frightening tale of the secrets of a small town on the Yorkshire moors, and was a finalist in the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger Award. Now You See Me takes place in modern-day London, where a serial killer seems to be copying Jack the Ripper. Dead Scared is set in Cambridge, where a series of suspicious student suicides involves DC Lacey Flint going under cover. In Like This, For Ever, Lacey reluctantly joins an investigation into the abduction and murder of ten-year-old boys. A Dark & Twisted Tide has Lacey living on her own on a houseboat and hoping in vain for a safer, quieter life. Little Black Lies is a standalone thriller set in the Falkland Islands. Sharon's latest book is Daisy in Chains, in which a serial killer contacts a true crime author and lawyer, who becomes involved in his case. Sharon's work has won her the prestigious CWA Dagger in the Library award, and her books are published by Bantam. www.booksattransworld.co.uk
A working doctor, Druin used his own experience to write Digging Up the Dead (Chatto), which received a Jerwood Award for Non-fiction. The book brings to life the gruesome world of 19th-century medicine in a biography of Astley Cooper, celebrity surgeon and radical vivisectionist. Taking the Medicine (Chatto), is about our relationship with medical drugs and the ways we have learnt to understand them.
Cao Wenxuan is one of China's leading children's writers and is the latest winner of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen award. He has written over 50 books, which have been translated into many languages, and is also Professor of Chinese Literature at Beijing University. Bronze & Sunflower (Walker Books, translated by Helen Wang), tells the moving story of two children in the countryside during the turbulent period of the Cultural Revolution.
Annie Caulfield is well-known as a journalist, playwright, tv and radio scriptwriter, and author of travel and children’s books. She is working on a new book about her travels in Cambodia.
Her richly imagined debut adult novel, Shooting Girls, tells the tragi-comic tale of Angela/Angelo, an endearing young misfit who finds unexpected happiness as a Wild West show sharpshooter in early 20C America.
Padraig Cinnamond works in finance and is a graduate of the Bath Spa Creative Writing course. The Longest Shot is the first in an exciting trilogy set in the time of King Richard II which will appeal to fans of Bernard Cornwell. It centres on Wat Tyler, who led the Peasants' Revolt of families pushed into protesting against unjust taxes, and it's very much a story for our times.
Alan Clark is a ghost writer and novelist. Rory’s Boys (Arcadia) is set in a gay retirement home, and has been optioned by a Hollywood production company. The Prince of Mirrors tells the extraordinary story of bisexual Prince Eddy, Queen Victoria’s favourite grandson. Alan is also working on a novel about Princess May of Teck, who became George V’s icy Queen Mary.
J.D. Davies is a leading authority on maritime history in the seventeenth century and has written the definitive work on the ships, men, and organisation of Pepys's navy, which won him the Samuel Pepys Award. His first novel, Gentleman Captain, begins an absorbing adventure series featuring Matthew Quinton, a Royalist officer whose career spans the naval wars and great events of the Restoration age. The Mountain of Gold has Matthew searching in vain for an African gold mine, and The Blast That Tears the Skies sees him helping to foil a plot that endangers the recently restored monarchy. The Lion of Midnight is set in Sweden, where Matthew is charged with securing support in a new war against the Dutch. The Battle of All the Ages involves him in a disastrous sea battle, following which Matthew has to track down the source of false naval intelligence. Death's Bright Angel is set in 1666 and comes up with a controversial new suggestion of who started the Great Fire of London. David's books are published by Old Street in printed form, and by Endeavour Press as e-books.
Will's debut novel My Side of the Story is the first-person account of a self-aware, witty teenager who has no problem with being gay – though everyone else does. It was the winner of the Betty Trask Prize 2007. Dream Machine tells the interlocking stories of the women competing in a TV reality show. The Trapeze Artist (all Bloomsbury) is about a young man who transforms his life by becoming an aerialist.
Catherine Deveney has been Scottish Feature Writer of the Year several times. Ties That Bind is the moving story of a woman who uses a secret win on the horses to go missing and create a new identity, then finds she cannot escape the old one. Kiss the Bullet is about a woman tracking down the former Irish terrorist who blew up her husband and young son, only to fall in love with him. Dead Secret (all Old Street) concerns a daughter seeking the truth about her father, whom the rest of the family think may have committed murder.
Jamie Doward is senior reporter and former Home Affairs editor of The Observer. Toxic (Constable), his first novel, is a brilliantly plotted, adrenalin-fuelled thriller involving a conspiracy to bring down the world's banking system that pits the CIA against MI5, and is only foiled by the persistence and bravery of Kate Pendragon, a financial investigator, marathon runner, and heroine for our times. Kate's adventures continue in Hostage (Constable).
Barbara Else is a prize-winning New Zealand author of novels for adults and books for children. Wild Latitudes (Endeavour Press) is a marvellous historical romp set at the time of the Dunedin gold rush and featuring perilous sea voyages, mermaids, siblings, cross-dressing, love, greed, and refrigeration.
James Fahy lives in the North of England, close to wild moors and adjacent to a haunted wind farm, with his extremely patient and long-suffering family and a very old cat named Gargoyle. When the cat dies, James plans to buy a raven and name it Quoth. He is older than he looks, and terrified of sharks.
He is the author of The Changeling fantasy series (Venture Press), following the adventures of Robin, a seemingly unremarkable boy who is swept up into a war between our realm and the Netherworlde. The first two books are Isle of Winds and The Drowned Tomb, and The Chains of Gaia will be out next year.
James also writes Science Fiction. Hell’s Teeth, the first of a series featuring haematologist Phoebe Harkness (Venture Press) will shortly be followed by Crescent Moon.
Jay Forman was a producer for Canadian television before writing One-Way Ticket (Endeavour Press), the first in a crime series featuring Canadian travel writer Lee Smith and her lover Jack Hughes, a billionaire philanthropist who persuades her to help him investigate a series of murders at the exclusive school where they first met. Lee and Jack are the contemporary (and Canadian) equivalent of Harriet Vane and Lord Peter Wimsey: smart, witty, and very independent.
Paul Goodwin lectured in forecasting and decision making at the University of Bath and, as an Honorary Fellow of the International Institute of Forecasters, is consulted by governments and international companies and gives talks around the world. Forewarned: A Skeptic’s Guide to Prediction is a beautifully written and insightful analysis of how forecasters go about their business and how we can learn whether or not to trust them.
Cora Harrison lives in Ireland where she published two dozen children’s books. My Lady Judge, her adult debut, is the first in a series of mysteries set in the Burren in 16th-century Ireland, featuring the learned and practical Mara, a woman Brehon or investigating magistrate. Michaelmas Tribute and Sting of Justice (all Macmillan) continue the Burren series, which includes Writ in Stone, Eye of the Law, Scales of Retribution, Deed of Murder, Laws in Conflict, Chain of Evidence, Cross of Vengeance, Verdict of the Court, Condemned to Death, and A Fatal Inheritance (all Severn House). For younger readers, Cora has also written I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend and Jane Austen Stole My Boyfriend! (both Macmillan), and The London Murder Mysteries: The Montgomery Murder (winner of three children's book awards), The Deadly Fire, Murder on Stage, Death of a Chimney Sweep,The Body in the Fog, and Death in the Devil's Den (all Piccadilly Press). Debutantes and Debutantes in Love (Macmillan) are set in the 1920s, when four sisters seeking to restore the fortunes of their noble but impoverished family become involved in the new world of moving pictures. A Shameful Murder (Severn House) is the first in a new series set in 1920s Cork where a 70-year-old Reverend Mother steps in to solve crimes and bring justice to a bitterly divided community. Her investigations continue in A Shocking Assassination (Severn House). A mystery series set in Cardinal Wolsey's Hampton Court will be published by The History Press.
Mark Hill is a former radio producer, journalist, and screenwriter whose debut novel, The Two O'Clock Boy (Little, Brown), is a psychological crime thriller of unrelenting pace and tension that introduces an exciting new voice in crime fiction. You can follow Mark on Twitter at @markhillwriter
Ken Howard is a writer, director, producer and composer of many bestselling songs for artists from Dave Dee to Elvis Presley. His Young Adult novel Follow Me is an exciting adventure set in the world of virtual reality, at that dangerous point when the computer is almost cleverer than its programmer.
Philip Hunter is the pen name of an Essex-born writer who currently works for a world-renowned scientific research institute. To Die For is the first in a series of violent and compulsively readable thrillers featuring Joe, a former boxer and soldier turned thug-for-hire, who finds himself betrayed and hunted by one of London's most vicious gangsters. Joe's story continues with To Kill For and ends triumphantly with To Live For (all Head of Zeus).
John James (1923-93) was a Welshman born and bred who read psychology at Cambridge, where he was taught by Wittgenstein. He worked for the Ministry of Defence and wrote historical novels, including Votan and Not For All the Gold in Ireland, set in Roman times and featuring the adventurer Photinus the Greek, which were described by Neil Gaiman as “the best mythic-historical fiction out there”. These are republished by Orion, along with Men Went to Cattraeth, in which a small band of Britons are heroically slaughtered by Saxons. The Fourth Gwenevere (Jo Fletcher Books) is an exciting discovery: left unfinished at John James's death, now edited and completed by Caitlin & John Matthews, it is an intriguing novel that offers answers to many questions left hanging after the death of King Arthur.
Richard Jarman grew up in the Black Country and read history at Oxford. He has worked as a parliamentary researcher, lobbyist, and in the university sector. His political biography of Leo Abse MP (Biteback) will be published in time to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality, which Abse helped to bring about.
Jin Yong is China's best selling living novelist whose stories of history, chivalry, and martial arts are loved and read by generations of Chinese. Legend of the Condor Heroes (MacLehose Press) follows the fate of the sons of two close friends who die in battle against the invading forces of the Jin. A Hero Born, translated by Anna Holmwood, is the first book of twelve in this series.
Beverley Jones has worked as a reporter in print and TV in Wales. Telling Stories (Cutting Edge Press), her first novel, is a beautifully observed and wittily narrated tale of love, lust, and murderous intentions in Cardiff. Holiday Money (Cutting Edge Press), is the story of a woman who is blackmailed after a one-night fling and has to find her own way of dealing with it. Where She Went (Constable) is a distinctive psychological thriller in which a murder victim revenges herself on her killer.
Melissa Josias was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, and graduated with a degree in English Literature. Her first novel, We Looked Like Giants, is a deceptively simple, immediately involving and immensely touching story of a 20-year-old girl who wants to die, flies to Los Angeles to do so, and finds all sorts of reasons to live.
Polychronis Koutsakis is a prize-winning Greek playwright, poet, and author of novels in several genres for young people and adults. Athenian Blues and Baby Blue (Bitter Lemon Press), the first of his books to be translated into English, are crime novels set in today's debt-ravaged Greece, featuring an unlikely trio of old friends - a professional assassin, a top Athenian cop, and a transgender sex worker. Sharp observation and fast-moving plots offer unusual insights into life, love and death in the cradle of our civilization.
Kate London read history at Cambridge and worked in the theatre before joining the Metropolitan Police. She now writes full-time. Her first novel Post Mortem (Corvus)explores the moral complexities facing a young policewoman when a routine investigation spirals into tragedy. Film & tv rights optioned. In her second novel, Death Message (Corvus), an incident of domestic violence escalates into murder, and a determined police officer investigates the case of a teenage girl who went missing 28 years ago.
Rachel grew up in Cumbria and was forced to hike the Fells every weekend. Now, when she can, she does it for pleasure. Married to an Army Officer, she spent twelve years following military postings around the world, living in thirteen different houses. As well as writing, she teaches history and is a personal trainer. Her first book, Fell Trade, features D I Kelly Preston, single and in her mid-30s, who returns to her native Cumbria after a spell in the Met that ended badly, and finds herself investigating a series of gruesome murders in a landscape where there is plenty of room to lose bodies.
John Matthews has written over 100 books on myth, magic, Grail studies, and the Arthurian legends, on which he is an acknowledged expert. His latest works are King Arthur: Many Faces, One Hero (Inner Traditions), The Call of Arthur: A Handbook of Arthurian Magic (Llewellyn Worldwide), and Robin Hood (Amberley Publishing).
Sarah McGurk was inspired by James Herriot to become a veterinary surgeon, and soon realised she wanted to follow him into the world of veterinary writing. She began with short stories, then longer works of fiction, related to her work in general practice and in emergency and critical care. She is working on an adult novel set in the veterinary world, and also writing a children’s book set on a Scottish Island. Her blog, Always Vet in Norway, was inspired by two years working in a small animal clinic in Norway, where she currently lives.
Graham Minett has spent many years teaching in a Sussex comprehensive. His first novel, The Hidden Legacy (Bonnier), is a psychological thriller that opens with a gruesome crime and then explores the ripples of the tragedy as they lap at people who don't even realise they're connected. Graham's second thriller, Lie In Wait (Bonnier) also connects past and present, with fatal results.
Leo Murray is the pseudonym of a working psychologist specialising in military matters. Brains & Bullets (Biteback) offers a radical, personal, and fascinating view of what actually goes through a soldier's mind when they're engaged in battle. Written with wit and sympathy, this is a book that will change attitudes to war.
Richard Pierce speaks English, German, and Norwegian, which helped when writing Dead Men (Duckworth), an inventive, original, and totally absorbing novel about love, obsession, life and death, which begins with the finding of Captain Scott’s body in the Antarctic in 1912, and ends in the same place 100 years later.
Matthew Pritchard worked as a journalist in Spain for 13 years and speaks Spanish fluently. Scarecrow (Salt Publishing) is the first in a crime series featuring Danny Sanchez, a half-British, half-Spanish investigative journalist working for English-language papers around Almeria. Danny follows the trail of a serial killer who walls up their victims in half-built villas, and finds himself researching cold cases in the UK as well as Spain. Matthew has also written Werewolf (Salt Publishing), a terrifying thriller set in Germany immediately after the Nazi surrender, when Silas Payne, a detective seconded from Scotland Yard, investigates a series of gruesome killings that implicate the Allies as well as the Germans. Broken Arrow (Salt) sees Danny Sanchez dealing with the legacy of an unexploded atomic bomb that has been hushed up for decades, based on a true story. Stolen Lives has Danny investigating the disappearance of children from left-wing families under the Franco regime, a scandal that still rocks Spain. The Danny Sanchez series will be published in e-book form by Endeavour Press.
Richard Piers Rayner is an artist and writer who illustrated the graphic novel Road to Perdition that was filmed by Sam Mendes. He is artist in residence at Middlesbrough Football Club, of which he is a lifelong supporter, and has written and illustrated Middlesbrough FC: The Unseen History (Derby Books).
Rebecca Roache is a working philosopher who lives in Oxfordshire with her children. She is breaking new ground by writing WTF?: The Norms and Forms of Swearing (Oxford USA) in which she will examine the philosophy of swearing. Her views are persuasive as well as provocative, her initial talk on the subject sold out immediately, and her podcast has been downloaded thousands of times.
Mark Roberts was born and raised in Liverpool, where he still lives and works. A playwright and author of children's books, his first adult novel was The Sixth Soul (Corvus), a terrifying thriller about a gruesome serial killer who is finally caught by the laid-back DCI David Rosen and his Scotland Yard team. In What She Saw (Corvus) the chase after a psychotic killer produces a dangerous and wholly surprising twist. Blood Mist (Head of Zeus) is the first of a new series set in Liverpool featuring Eve Clay, a detective with a peculiar affinity for Satanism. Eve Clay's investigations continue in Dead Silent (Head of Zeus).
Professor Alex Rogers is Oxford’s leading marine biologist and heads the Ocean Research and Conservation Group within the Department of Zoology. His work focusses on the deep ocean, one of the least explored areas of our planet, and his book The Haunters of the Dark will be a pioneering description of the extraordinary creatures that live without light, in territory that as well as being rich and forbidding is also vital for our survival.
Aris Roussinos is a war reporter and filmmaker. After reading anthropology and undergoing infantry training in the Territorial Army, he started making documentaries, and is currently working for VICE, reporting on conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. Rebels (Century), his first book, explores at close quarters the cultural and tactical factors that inspire the insurgent groups with whom Aris has been embedded in Libya, Sudan, and elsewhere to fight against overwhelming odds.
Joanne Sefton lives in Bath and as well as writing is a working barrister and a mother. She is short and Scottish and will generally be wearing unsuitable shoes. With an MA in creative writing from Bath Spa University, she is currently completing her debut novel, a tense and action-packed psychological thriller in which a fifty-year old secret threatens to tear a family apart.
Paul Robert Smith is an Australian whose first novel, Up a Tree in the Park at Night with a Hedgehog (Vintage), is a brilliantly funny story about a man avoiding commitment and feeling bad about not feeling worse. Film rights optioned. His second novel, Sunday Daffodil & Other Happy Endings (Vintage), is a comedy narrated by a boy who might be dead, but doesn't know it yet, and who is smitten by a would-be suicide called Sunday Daffodil. www.randomhouse.co.uk
Richard Smyth is a freelance writer, question-setter, crossword-compiler, cartoonist and journalist who reached the final of the BBC's "Mastermind". He has written literary novels, thrillers, crime novels, and a history of toilet paper Bumfodder (Souvenir Press). He is married and lives in Saltaire.
Ivo Stourton grew up in London, Washington and Paris. The Night Climbers (Doubleday), his first novel, is an original, disturbing, and beautifully written story about a small group of students who commit a multi-million pound art fraud. Film rights optioned. The Book Lover’s Tale (Doubleday) is a story of words, love, and dangerous liaisons when everything, including the financial world, is collapsing. The Happier Dead (Solaris) is a futuristic thriller in which a murder reveals the corruption among the elite whose wealth allows them to live for centuries while the excluded poor regularly riot. Film rights optioned.
Vikas Swarup is an Indian diplomat. His astounding debut novel Q&A (Doubleday) is about a young Mumbai waiter who wins a billion rupees (£13 million) in a tv quiz show and is promptly arrested and accused of cheating. It has been reissued as Slumdog Millionaire, after the prize-winning film version directed by Danny Boyle. (Translation rights sold in 43 languages.) Six Suspects (Doubleday), is a multi-layered story about crime and corruption in contemporary India. Film rights optioned. The Accidental Apprentice (Simon & Schuster) is a fantastical story in the best Bollywood tradition of a young woman who is offered the chance to run a major company provided she passes a number of tests, only to find she is then framed for murder. Film and tv rights optioned.
Angela Thirkell (1890-1961) was a prolific author who is best known for her "Barsetshire" novels, 29 sparkling romantic comedies that take her cast of village characters from the 1930s to the 1950s. High Rising and Wild Strawberries begin a reissue of the books by Virago Modern Classics. Three Houses, the memoir of her childhood which was her first book, has been republished by Allison & Busby. www.angelathirkellsociety.com www.angelathirkell.org
Henry Venmore-Rowland was born and bred in Suffolk and graduated from Oxford with a degree in Ancient & Modern History. The Last Caesar (Bantam), his astonishingly mature first novel, is a wonderfully readable story of military action and high political intrigue in Nero's last year as Emperor. Its narrator, Aulus Caecina Severus, is an ambitious soldier who is wickedly honest about himself and the corruption involved in attaining "the purple". The Sword & the Throne (Bantam) concludes his adventures in the Year of the Four Emperors.
Mike Walters is a much-travelled management consultant whose debut novel The Shadow Walker is a gripping thriller set in contemporary Mongolia. In charge of a murder investigation is Nergui, a detective as fascinating and mysterious as his country. The Adversary is the second book in this unique series, followed by The Outcast (all Quercus). Writing as Alex Walters, Mike has also produced the crime thriller Trust No One (Avon), featuring Marie Donovan as a police officer working under deep cover who finds she is as much at risk from her colleagues as the gangsters she is trying to infiltrate. Nowhere to Hide (Avon) is Marie's second adventure among the traffickers of drugs and humans. www.theshadowwalker.com
Caroline Walton has published several books on Russia and is married to a Russian-Ukrainian. The Besieged (Biteback) is an unsparing and uplifting memoir in which the experience and example of the survivors of the wartime siege of Leningrad helped Caroline come to terms with a crisis in her own life. Smashed in the USSR (Old Street) is the true story of a Russian alcoholic who told Caroline of his extraordinary adventures under the old communist regime.
S. Williams lives in Yorkshire and has written lyrics for rock bands as well as poetry. His stunning debut thriller, Tuesday Falling (HarperCollins), features a young girl living in the network of tunnels and abandoned stations beneath the streets of London. Tuesday is an avenger of wrongs who takes her crusade to violent extremes.