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Introducing Marnie Logan

Mar 11, 2014 in Books, Fiction, Mulholland Authors, Mulholland News

Watching You by Michael RobothamThe wait is finally over! From New York Times bestselling author Michael Robotham comes the newest book in his Joseph O’Loughlin series, Watching You. This suspense novel builds tension and raises the stakes with every page—Booklist notes in their starred review that “Robotham slowly, expertly begins tightening the screws…Revelations increase rather than release tension until the last page.” And when you get to that shocking ending? Entertainment Weekly promises, “It’ll keep you guessing and gasping.”

Watching You introduces us to Marnie Logan, a woman in a desperate situation. Michael Robotham explains:

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Eager to dip into the book? You can read the opening chapters on Michael Robotham’s Facebook page.

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Start Reading We Are Here by Michael Marshall

Feb 28, 2014 in Excerpts

We Are Here by Michael MarshallThis week, Mulholland Books published Michael Marshall’s supernatural suspense novel, We Are Here. If you’ve been keeping up with Michael’s interviews, you’ll note he talks a lot about how this novel is about friendship, even as we’ve talked about how We Are Here features shadowy figures who may or may not be watching your every move. Curious about how the two intersect? Then read the beguiling scene that opens the book:

He drove. There were times when he stopped for gas or to empty his bladder or buy cups of poor coffee out of machines, selecting isolated and windswept gas stations where no one was doing anything except filling up and staring vacantly at their cold hand on the pump as they waited,
wanting to be back in their warm car and on the road to wherever it was they had to be. Nobody was looking or watching or caring about anyone who might happen to be doing the same thing. Nobody saw anything except another guy in bulky clothing getting into a big car and pulling
back out onto the highway.

Sometimes it was raining. Sometimes there was sleet. Sometimes merely the wind coming across the great flatness. He did not listen to the radio. He did not consult a map. He didn’t know where he was going and so he did not care where he was.

He just drove.

Continue reading ›

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The Lineup: Weekly Links

Feb 27, 2014 in Weekly links

Contrasted ConfinementThis week we welcome Richard Montanari’s THE STOLEN ONES and Michael Marshall’s WE ARE HERE to the Mulholland Books family!

Michael Marshall’s WE ARE HERE was selected as a Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week, and Marshall’s newest was the subject of great UK reviews, including a rave in the Guardian review which praised the novel as a “chilling” read that “posits the world as a sort of multidimensional palimpsest.”
Kirkus
proclaimed the novel “Marshall puts the pieces together to unsettling effect . . . a winning duo,” going on to praise the novel’s “edgy storytelling and ambition.”

Richard Montanari’s newest entry in the Byrne and Balzano series THE STOLEN ONES received a great review in Publishers Weekly, who called the novel “gripping … thrilling” and even “gothic.” Over at Pop Culture Nerd, Jen Forbus of Jen’s Book Thoughts says the novel “invokes the strongest elements of the thriller, the mystery, and the horror novel, so whether you enjoy plot, character, or scare-your-pants-off suspense, it delivers.” For more on Montanari’s latest, check out  Montanari’s conversation with Michael Marshall right here on the Mulholland Books site on their new novels and the art of crafting supernatural-tinged suspense.

Interested in hearing more from Richard Montanari and Michael Marshall? Both authors have forthcoming events: on March 5th, Montanari will participate in a public Q&A with Tess Gerritsen on Goodreads. And on March 10th, Michael Marshall will be chatting with Malinda Lo and Kaye Wells in a Google Hangout moderated by Amal El-Mohtar. Please join us for these conversations!

William Shaw’s SHE’S LEAVING HOME was released a few weeks back to excellent trade reviews, including a starred review from Library Journalwho wrote of the Shaw’s fiction debut: “This outstanding novel is a reminder of the multiple joys of a straight-ahead, by-the-numbers police procedural with quirky characters, crisp dialogue, and in this case, a healthy dose of period detail.” BookPage calls the book “highly recommended,” going on to praise Shaw’s novel as a “standout job … Shaw’s dialogue is well developed and his period detail is razor sharp, immersing the reader in the tumultuous era of swinging London with immediately relatable characters.” For the inspiration behind this historical mystery set around the hysteria of late 60’s Beatlemania in London, check out Shaw’s essay for RollingStone.com on the Apple Scruffs, and don’t miss Shaw’s introductory post on his novel, the playlist of Tozer’s favorite songs, and the below book trailer for SHE’S LEAVING HOME right here at Mulholland.

C. J. Sansom’s DOMINION has continued to get some excellent coverage in the weeks since its late-January release. Jocelyn McClurg of USA Today praised C. J. Sansom’s DOMINION in a 3.5/4 star review, calling the book “exciting” and going on to write: “What elevates Dominion above sheer white-knuckle entertainment …  are Samson’s empathetic, complex characters and the frighteningly believable alternative world [Sansom] creates. DOMINION‘s pages fly by in a frenzy, but this is a book that lingers.” Malcolm Forbes wrote a rave review of DOMINION for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, calling the novel “a highly charged and deeply inventive literary thriller . . . An exhilarating page-turner . . . Alternative history on a grand scale.” And be sure to check out C. J. Sansom’s essay on the dangers of nationalism right here at the Mulholland Books website.

Doug Dorst sat down with the Daily Beast for an insightful conversation on Dorst’s writing process, both in general and with specifics on the challenges of writing S. Elsewhere, i09 picked up the story of an enigmatic blogger named Jen Heyward (from where do we know that name?) appears to have discovered and translated an alternate final chapter of the illusive, legendary author’s final novel The Ship of Theseus. Some tanatalizing screengrabs of the chapter in full here….

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Richard Montanari and Michael Marshall in Conversation

Feb 26, 2014 in Mulholland Authors, Writing

The Stolen Ones by Richard MontanariToday Mulholland Books has the great pleasure of publishing two chilling, supernatural-tinged thrillers: The Stolen Ones by Richard Montanari and We Are Here by Michael Marshall. While the two novels make for complementary reading, they couldn’t be more different. The Stolen Ones centers on killers who haunt forgotten catacombs and our dreams; We Are Here ventures that some of us really are being followed, but not by anyone we could imagine.

In the exchange that follows, Michael Marshall and Richard Montanari discuss their new novels and question each other about setting, genre, the writing process, and that all-important question for any writer: “How do I start?”

Michael Marshall: What was the genesis moment for The Stolen Ones? The idea that, in retrospect, caused the book to eventually exist? Was it recent—kind of like “This is what the next book’s going to be about”? Or did this book have to wait its turn to be ready to be written?

Richard Montanari: All my books begin with a “what if?” The Stolen Ones began with “What if the dreams of a killer could be implanted in another human being?” I put the idea on a shelf for a while, until I was able to gather together some of the shadowy research that has gone on in this area.  The dream therapies in The Stolen Ones can happen.  Once I was satisfied with that, the story took off.

We Are Here by Michael MarshallWe Are Here moves effortlessly between first and third person. Did you know from the start that John would be a first person character? What are the challenges of writing a novel from alternating points of view?

Marshall: I started using the combination of first and third back with The Straw Men, purely because I thought it might be interesting. I hoped to combine the intimacy of the first person with the broader perspective and freedom of the third person, and I’ve been doing it so long now that to be honest I’ve stopped noticing I’m even doing it — except when it comes to selecting the first person voice for a particular novel.

John was the obvious choice for We Are Here, partly because he’d been the first person voice in a previous novel, Bad Things (though it might have be interesting to switch him to third, precisely because of that), and also because he and Kristina form the backbone of the novel as a whole. The first person needs to be the person inside the book, the mainspring of the story’s action. John’s that guy.

Continue reading ›

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Robert Galbraith Returns with The Silkworm

Feb 18, 2014 in Books, Mulholland News

Silkworm by Robert GalbraithMulholland Books is pleased to announce that The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith will be published on June 24.

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.

When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…

A compulsively readable crime novel with twists at every turn, The Silkworm is the second in the highly acclaimed series featuring Cormoran Strike and his determined young assistant, Robin Ellacott.

Praise for the first Cormoran Strike novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling

“Robert Galbraith has written a highly entertaining book….Even better, he has introduced an appealing protagonist in Strike, who’s sure to be the star of many sequels to come….Its narrative moves forward with propulsive suspense. More important, Strike and his now-permanent assistant, Robin (playing Nora to his Nick, Salander to his Blomkvist), have become a team—a team whose further adventures the reader cannot help eagerly awaiting.” —Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

“Rowling’s literary gift is on display in this work. She crafts an entertaining story with characters who hold the reader’s interest, and comes up with an ending that, I’ll admit, I was surprised by.” —Deepti Hajela, Associated Press

“The master is back.” —Charles Finch, USA Today

“Rowling switches genres seamlessly, telling a gritty, absorbing tale.” —Ellen Shapiro, People

The Cuckoo’s Calling is decidedly old-fashioned. Rowling serves up a sushi platter of red herring, sprinkling clues along the way, before Strike draws a confession out of the killer in a climax straight out of Agatha Christie.” —Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly

“One of the great pleasures of The Cuckoo’s Calling, as with most detective stories, is observing the gumshoe’s Aha! moments, without being told what they are….Money and general fabulousness do for The Cuckoo’s Calling what magic did for Harry Potter, creating an extravagant, alien, fascinating world for its characters to explore….The Cuckoo’s Calling is fun.” —Katy Waldman, Slate

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What Tozer Plays: A Playlist from She’s Leaving Home by William Shaw

Feb 13, 2014 in Guest Posts, Mulholland Authors, Music, Uncategorized

She's Leaving Home by William Shaw

London, 1968: the time and place evoke strong sense memories, but in William Shaw’s new novel, not everything is swinging. The police are called to a residential street in St. John’s Wood where an unidentified young woman has been murdered. Detective Cathal Breen and policewoman Helen Tozer, two investigators on opposite sides of a generational divide, must work together to solve the case. Shaw describes what WPC Tozer would listen to in his note below.

Police culture was very different in 1968. A lot of this was to do with the fact that the police lived communally, in police flats or section houses.

WPC Tozer lives in Pembridge House, the Women’s Section House just off the Bayswater Road. She shares a room with another policewoman. They squabble over what records they put on. Her roommate likes Cliff Richard and Engelbert Humperdink. She like The Beatles, but doesn’t think much of The White Album.

When she’s alone, this is what Tozer plays. You can listen to some of these songs through the Spotify player above.

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William Shaw Introduces She’s Leaving Home

Feb 11, 2014 in Books, Guest Posts, Mulholland Authors, Writing

She's Leaving Home by William ShawThere is a point on any project when you know it’s going to work.

When my agent asked me, in the politest possible way, never to send him another piece of fiction again, I understood. He was trying to be kind. Stop wasting the long months it takes to write a book.

To be fair to him, I had never been convinced that either of the manuscripts I’d handed to him had worked either. He had done his utmost but enough was enough.

I was quite relieved to find that in spite of his advice, I couldn’t stop writing.

And when I found myself writing a scene in which one of the Apple Scruffs, the young fans who hung around The Beatles in 1968-9 was found dead in an alleyway, close to EMI’s soon-to-be-famous Abbey Road studios I remember having this peculiar feeling; “I have no idea where this is going but I know this is going to work.”

That turned out to be the first chapter of my 1968 crime novel, She’s Leaving Home.

Part of it was discovering the right form. I am a huge fan of the 60s and 70s thriller writer Nicholas Freeling and novels like Love in Amsterdam and Guns Before Butter. With the massively growing popularity of European noir, I think it’s well worth revisiting his work; set in Holland, it has a remarkable sense of time and place. They are novels which immerse you in the culture of northern Europe, its food and in all its social spikiness.

“The past,” L P Hartley famously says at the start of The Go Between, “is another country.” What if I wrote about 1968 as if it was another country? In many ways it is. Our image of 1968 may be all tie-dyes and acid but the truth is that 45 years ago, Britain was a very different place. It’s not just different from Britain in 2013; it’s different from how we imagine 1968 to have been.

I realised that the book would work if I regarded it as much as crime fiction as a cultural fiction—attempting to tread in Freeling’s footsteps. This was a Britain which was being overtaken by a tidal wave of pop culture that pitched one generation against the other. People like my parents were from a generation that struggled with the idea of pop music.

For all the supposed radicalism of the Vietnam marches and the Paris uprisings, 1968 was a man’s world of jobs for life, Sunday dinners and limited pub opening times. This was an unrecognisably racist country in which Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech struck a chord with the majority of British people. Feminism had yet to arrive. There were policewomen like my character WPC Tozer, but they were allowed to do only a fraction of what a modern WPC is allowed to do. The pill was available, but in the 60s the idea of free love was a man’s fantasy come true rather than a liberation for women.

And then there was Biafra. A forgotten largely war but one which, by 1968, had turned into one that was incredibly violent. This was territory I knew about because my own family had lived in Nigeria and had had to leave the country in 1966 as the upheavals began and had returned there in 1970 after the bloodletting and mass starvation had subsided.

What if some of the ripples of that war had spilled over into the London of Carnaby Street and Abbey Road studios?

So I ignored my (former) agent’s kind advice and carried on. And was thrilled when, over a year later, my new agent called me up to say that Mulholland Books thought it worked too. And they wanted the first three books in the series, a narrative arc that takes WPC Tozer and her superior DS Breen into the even more uneven year of 1969.

She’s Leaving Home arrives in bookstores today! This essay is adapated from Crime Time—many thanks to them for letting us re-run the piece.

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The Lineup: Weekly Links

Jan 31, 2014 in Books, Mulholland Authors, Weekly links

Contrasted ConfinementC.J. Sansom‘s DOMINION hit bookshelves all across the country this week! A highly acclaimed, #1 internationally bestselling alternative history thriller of what might have been had Churchill never become Prime Minister, Sansom’s newest has popped up all sorts of places in the past few days.

Stephen King kicked things off with a pair of earnest and enthusiastic tweets on the book, calling Sansom’s novel a “great alternate history-thriller…check it out…and no, this isn’t one of those publisher-sponsored blurbs. I just fell in love with it.”

(King isn’t the first author to enthusiastically endorse DOMINION–Kate Atkinson declared Sansom “one of [her] favorite writers” and praised DOMINION in particular as “a wonderful example of what the novel can do–a through-the-looking-glass glimpse into a world that might have been, and almost was.” And Charles Cumming, New York Times bestselling author of The Trinity Six and A Foreign Country, proclaimed DOMINION “Dazzling…the best novel of its kind since Robert Harris’s Fatherland.”)

Elsewhere this week, the Huffington Post included DOMINION in a list of Ten Ways Not to Watch the Superbowl. (Nothing wrong with picking up the novel either way!) And Kirkus ran Clayton Moore’s very insightful and thorough feature and interview with Sansom about the book, writing alternative history, and Sansom’s inspirations and process building the novel’s world and complex characters.

Looking for more review coverage? Be sure to check out the Seattle Times review by Adam Woog, high praise from earlier in the year from trades like Library Journal (“Intriguing, page-turning and delicious”),  and Kirkus (“All too real”). Not to mention the laudatory reviews from across the pond from the likes of The Guardian, The Independent, and The Times.

Be sure to check us out on Facebook and Twitter for more DOMINION news in the weeks to come!

Did we missing something sweet? Share it in the comments! We’re always open to suggestions for next week’s post! Get in touch at mulhollandbooks@hbgusa.com or DM us on Twitter.

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C.J. Sansom on the Dangers of Nationalism

Jan 29, 2014 in Guest Posts, Mulholland Authors

Dominion by C.J. SansomDominion, C.J. Sansom’s magisterial new novel, hinges on a big what-if: What if Winston Churchill had never become Prime Minister in 1940? What if a coalition government, headed by Lord Halifax, were to choose a policy of appeasement toward the strengthening Nazi party, instead of one of opposition? But Sansom’s novel isn’t just about World War II and what might have been; it also asks a big what-if of contemporary politics: what if we became obsessed with nationhood? What happens when a country becomes so consumed by its myth of selfhood that it forgets its own people? Sansom elaborates on this idea in the historical note that concludes Dominion—which has been updated since its 2012 publication in the UK. Below is an excerpt from the original historical note, and we leave it to you to read the US edition of Dominion to find out what, if anything, has changed.

I find it heartbreaking — literally heartbreaking — that my own country, Britain, which was less prone to domestic nationalist extremism between the wars than most, is increasingly falling victim to the ideologies of nationalist parties. The larger ones are not racialist, but they share the belief that national identity is the issue of fundamental, overriding importance in politics; it is the atavistic notion that nationhood can, somehow, allow people to bound free from the oppression — nationalism always defines itself against some enemy “other” — and solve all their problems. UKIP promises a future that will somehow be miraculously golden if Britain simply walks away from the European Union. (To what? To trade with whom?) At least they have the honesty to be clear that they envisage a particular type of political economy, based on that other modern dogma which has failed so often and disastrously, not least in Russia, that “pure” free markets can end economic problems.

Far larger, and more dangerous, is the threat to all of Britain posed by the Scottish National Party, which now sits in power in the devolved government in Edinburgh. As they always have been, the SNP are a party without politics in the conventional sense, willing to tack to the political right (as the 1970s) or the left (as in the 1980s and 1990s) or the center (as today) if they think it will help them win independence. They will promise anything to anyone in their pursuit of power. They are very shrewd political manipulators. In power, they present themselves as competent, progressive democrats (which many are) but behind that, as always, lies the appeal to the mystic glories of independence, which is what the party has always been for. Once ruling an independent state, they will not easily be dislodged. How people who regard themselves as progressive can support a party whose biggest backers include the right-wing Souter family who own Stagecoach, and Rupert Murdoch, escapes me completely. Like all who think they will be able to ride a nationalist tiger, they will find themselves sadly mistaken. Continue reading ›

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Start Reading Dominion by C.J. Sansom

Jan 28, 2014 in Excerpts

Dominion by C.J. SansomToday we welcome C.J. Sansom’s alternative history thriller, Dominion, to our shores. Already an international bestseller, Dominion asks us to follow in the footsteps of a few intrepid men and women as they navigate a dangerous “world that might have been, and almost was” (Kate Atkinson). Read on for the prologue, which takes us into the Cabinet Room of 10 Downing Street at a crucial hour.

“The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him all Europe may be free, and the life of the world will move forward into broad, sunlit uplands; but if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, and all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister, and perhaps more prolonged, by the lights of a perverted science.”

—WINSTON CHURCHILL, 18 JUNE 1940

All events that take place after 5:00 p.m. on 9 May 1940 are imaginary.

Prologue

The Cabinet Room, 10 Downing Street, London
4.30 p.m., 9 May 1940

Churchill was last to arrive. He knocked once, sharply, and entered. Through the tall windows the warm spring day was fading, shadows lengthening on Horse Guards Parade. Margesson, the Conservative Chief Whip, sat with Prime Minister Chamberlain and Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax at the far end of the long, coffin-shaped table which dominated the Cabinet room. As Churchill approached them Margesson, formally dressed as ever in immaculate black morning coat, stood up.

“Winston.”

Churchill nodded at the Chief Whip, looking him sternly in the eye. Margesson, who was Chamberlain’s creature, had made life difficult for him when he had stood out against party policy over India and Germany in the years before the war. He turned to Chamberlain and Halifax, the Prime Minister’s right-hand man in the government’s appeasement of Germany. “Neville. Edward.” Both men looked bad; no sign today of the habitual half-sneer, nor of the snappy arrogance which had alienated Chamberlain’s House of Commons during yesterday’s debate over the military defeat in Norway. Ninety Conservatives had voted with the Opposition or abstained; Chamberlain had left the chamber followed by shouts of “Go!” The Prime Minister’s eyes were red from lack of sleep or perhaps even tears — though it was hard to imagine Neville Chamberlain weeping. Last night the word around a feverish House of Commons was that his leadership could not survive. Continue reading ›

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