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TORSO Revisited

Earlier this month, Marvel reintroduced a refreshed and reformatted edition of the classic, Eisner Award-winning crime comic TORSO, by Brian Michael Bendis and Marc Andreyko to graphic novel readers everywhere. Read on for an interview with Brian Michael Bendis and an excerpt from the comic’s opening pages.

How did the writing of TORSO influence your later crime comic work including SCARLET?

Torso was one of the biggest challenges of my career. Taking on the responsibility of a true story but abstracting it in graphic novel form is a very large mountain to climb. When Mark Andreyko  brought up the idea he was thinking of it only in movie terms, but I became obsessed with the idea of how to do the story is a graphic novel.

Once you delve into that level of reality and research on one project, it becomes the standard to which every other project, whether it is Scarlet or even Spiderman, must rise to. Continue reading “TORSO Revisited”

Continue Reading Joe R. Lansdale’s EDGE OF DARK WATER

Joe R. Lansdale’s EDGE OF DARK WATER is now on its way to bookstores around the country…but we’re so excited to be publishing this amazing book, we’ve decided to share part of it with you now. Read on for more of the novel that had Dan Simmons raving: “the strongest, truest, and most pitch-perfect narration since Huck Finn’s….real genius….a masterpiece.”

Missed the first excerpt? Start reading here.

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May Lynn didn’t have a mama anymore, cause her mama had drowned herself in the Sabine River. She had gone down with some laundry to soak, and instead wrapped a shirt around her head and walked in until the water went over her. When she came up, she wasn’t alive anymore, but she still had that shirt around her noggin.

May Lynn’s daddy was someone who only came home when he got tired of being any other place. We didn’t even know if he knew his daughter was missing. May Lynn used to say after her mama drowned herself her daddy was never the same. Said she figured it was because the laundry around her mother’s head had been his favorite snap-pocket shirt. That’s true love for you. Worse, her brother, Jake, who she was close to, was dead as of a short time back, and there wasn’t even a family dog to miss her.

The day after we found her, May Lynn was boxed up in a cheap coffin and buried on a warm morning in the pauper section of the Marvel Creek Cemetery next to a dried patch of weeds with seed ticks clinging to them, and I suspect some chiggers too small to see. Her mother and brother were buried in the same graveyard, but they hadn’t ended up next to one another. Up the hill was where the people with money lay. Down here was the free dirt, and even if you was kin to someone, you got scattered—you went in anyplace where there was room to dig a hole. I’d heard there was many a grave on top of another, for need of space.

There were oaks and elms to shade the rest of the graveyard, but May Lynn’s section was a hot stretch of dirt with a bunch of washed-down mounds, a few with markers. Some of the markers were little sticks. Names had once been written on them, but they had been washed white by the sun and rain.

The constable ruled on matters by saying she had been killed by a person or persons unknown, which was something I could have figured out for him. He said it was most likely a drifter or drifters who had come upon her by the river. I guess they had been carrying a sewing machine under their arm. Continue reading “Continue Reading Joe R. Lansdale’s EDGE OF DARK WATER”

Start reading BLEED FOR ME by Michael Robotham

Our celebration of the US publication of Michael Robotham’s BLEED FOR ME continues with an excerpt from the acclaimed novel. Don’t miss the psychological thriller that had Linwood Barclay raving: “Michael Robotham doesn’t just make me scared for his characters; he makes my heart ache for them.”

‘She was Lo, plain Lo, in the morning, standing four-feet-ten in one sock. She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.’

Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)

‘Everybody lies – every day; every hour; awake; asleep; in his dreams; in his joy; in his mourning; if he keeps his tongue still, his hands, his toes, his eyes, his attitude, will convey deception.’

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

Sienna’s Diary

i should start by telling you my name, although it’s not really important. names are just labels that we grow into. we might hate them, we might want to change them, but eventually we suit them.

when i was very young i used to hide in the dirty laundry basket because i liked the smell of my father’s work clothes and it made me feel closer to him. he used to call me his ‘little red riding hood’ and would chase me around my bedroom growling like a wolf until i collapsed into giggles. i loved him then.

when i was eleven or twelve i took a stanley knife from my father’s shed and pinched a roll of flesh on my inner arm before slicing it open. it wasn’t very deep, but enough to bleed for a while. i don’t know where the idea came from, but somehow it gave me something i needed. a pain on the outside to match the inside.

i don’t cut often. sometimes once a week, once a month, once i went for six months. in the winter i cut my wrists and forearms because my school blazer will cover the marks. in the summer i cut my stomach because a one-piece swimsuit will hide the evidence.

once or twice i’ve cut too deeply but each time i managed to fix myself, using a needle and thread. i bet that makes you shudder but it didn’t hurt so much and i boiled the needle first.

when i bleed i feel calm and clear-headed. it’s like the poison inside me is dripping out. even when i’ve stopped bleeding, i finger the cuts lovingly. i kiss them goodnight.

some are new cuts on virgin skin. others are old wounds reopened. razor blades and stanley knives are best. they’re clean and quick. knives are clumsy and needles don’t produce enough blood.

you want to know the reason? you want to know why someone would bleed in secret? it’s because i deserve it. i deserve to be punished. to punish myself. love is pain and pain is love and they will never leave me alone in the world.

every drop of blood that flows from my veins is proof that i’m alive. every drop is proof that i’m dying. every drop removes the poison inside me, running down my arms, dripping off my fingers.

you think i’m a masochist.

you think i’m suicidal.

you think you know me.

you think you remember what it’s like to be fourteen.

you think you understand me.

you don’t.

i bleed for you. Continue reading “Start reading BLEED FOR ME by Michael Robotham”

Ultimate Spider-Man: An Excerpt

Brian Michael Bendis’s reboot of Ultimate Spider-Man, introducing biracial Miles Morales as the series’ titular hero, had been making headlines before the first issue even went to press. Mulholland Books is pleased to offer an excerpt of issue #7–and don’t miss the first volume collecting issues one through five, in stores now.

Continue reading “Ultimate Spider-Man: An Excerpt”

Daredevil: An Excerpt

THE DEVIL IS REBORN. RENEWED. RESURRECTED. With new enemies, new friends … and that same old “grinnin’ in the face of hell” attitude, the Man Without Fear is back in action and leading with his face! Mark Waid (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, IRREDEEMABLE, RUSE) joins neo-legendary artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin for a new spin on Daredevil that will leave you gasping for air. Having turned his world upside over the past several years, Matt Murdock realizes that justice may not be blind to his past and villains may not be the only ones looking for answers. Bring it on. if Matt Murdock could see what he was doing … he’d be terrified. COLLECTING: DAREDEVIL (2011) 1-6

Continue reading “Daredevil: An Excerpt”

Start reading A Drop of the Hard Stuff

Missed out on the“totally gripping….Great American Crime Novel” (Time) the first time around? Now’s your chance! A DROP OF THE HARD STUFF is now available in paperback. An excerpt from the novel follows:

LATE ONE NIGHT . . .

“I’ve often wondered,” Mick Ballou said, ” how it would all have gone if I’d taken a different turn.”

We were at Grogan’s Open House, the Hell’s Kitchen saloon he’s owned and operated for years. The gentrification of the neighborhood has had its effect on Grogan’s, although the bar hasn’t changed much inside or out. But the local hard cases have mostly died or moved on, and the crowd these days is a gentler and more refined bunch. There’s Guinness on draft, and a good selection of single-malt Scotches and other premium whiskeys. But it’s the joint’s raffish reputation that draws them. They get to point out the bullet holes in the walls, and tell stories about the notorious past of the bar’s owner. Some of the stories are true.

They were all gone now. The barman had closed up, and the chairs were on top of the tables so they’d be out of the way when the kid came in at daybreak to sweep up and mop the floor. The door was locked, and all the lights out but the leaded-glass fixture over the table where we sat with our Waterford tumblers. There was whiskey in Mick’s, club soda in mine. Continue reading “Start reading A Drop of the Hard Stuff”

An Excerpt of SHATTER by Michael Robotham

This week Mulholland Books celebrates our publication of SHATTER by Michael Robotham, available in paperback for the first time in bookstores across the country. Start reading the novel that Stephen King called “the most suspenseful book I read all year.”

Wipers thrash and a siren wails. From inside the car it sounds strangely muted and I keep looking over my shoulder expecting to see an approaching police car. It takes me a moment to realise that the siren is coming from somewhere closer, beneath the bonnet.

Masonry towers appear on the skyline. It is Brunel’s masterpiece, the Clifton Suspension Bridge, an engineering marvel from the age of steam.Taillights blaze. Traffic is stretched back more than mile on the approach. Sticking to the apron of the road, we sweep past the stationary cars and pull up at a roadblock where police in fluorescent vests patrol onlookers and unhappy motorists.

The constable opens my door and holds an umbrella above my head. A sheet of rain drives sideways and almost rips it from his hands. Ahead of me the bridge appears deserted. The masonry towers support massive sweeping interlinking cables that curve gracefully to the vehicle deck and rise againto the opposite side of the river.

One of the attributes of bridges is that they offer the possibility that someone may start to cross but never reach the other side. For that person the bridge is virtual; an open window that they can keep passing or climb through.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a landmark, a tourist attraction and a one-drop shop for suicides.has always been popular with jumpers. Well-used, oft-chosen, perhaps “popular isn’t the best choice of word.” Some people say it is actually haunted by past suicides; eerie shadows have been seen drifting across the vehicle deck.

There are no shadows today. And the only ghost on the bridge is flesh and blood. A woman, naked, standing outside the safety fence, with her back pressed to the metal lattice and wire strands. The heels of her red shoes are balancing on the edge. Continue reading “An Excerpt of SHATTER by Michael Robotham”

Start Reading The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi

The international #1 bestselling phenomenon Donato Carrisi’s THE WHISPERER is in stores now. Start reading the novel about which Michael Connelly wrote: “This story screams high tension, high stakes, and high velocity,” and on which Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Carrisi’s villain is a suitable cohort for Hannibal Lecter….A haunting, disconcerting, devastating portrait of evil.”–Kirkus Reviews

■■■■■■ Prison

Penitential district no. 45

Report of the Director, Alphonse Bérenger

23 Nov

For the attention of the Office of the

District Attorney, J.B. Marin

 Subject: CONFIDENTIAL

 

Dear Mr Marin

I wish to inform you about the strange case of one of our inmates.

The individual in question is prisoner number RK-357/9. We can only refer to him in this way, since he has consistently refused to supply his personal information.

His arrest occurred on 22 October. The man was wandering at night – alone and naked – along a country road near the town of ■■■■■.

A comparison between the subject’s fingerprints with those contained in the archives ruled out his involvement in previous crimes or in cold cases. Nonetheless, his repeated refusal to reveal his own identity, even before a judge, earned him a sentence of four months and eighteen days in prison.

Since the moment he set foot in the penitentiary, inmate RK-357/9 has never shown any sign of indiscipline, and has always respected prison rules. The subject is of a solitary disposition and reluctant to socialise. Perhaps for that reason no one has been aware of one particular trait of his, which has only recently been noticed by one of our warders. Prisoner RK-357/9 wipes and rubs with a piece of felt each object with which he comes into contact; he collects all the hairs that he loses each day; he polishes to perfection the sink, the taps and the toilet each time he uses them.

We are plainly dealing with someone with a mania for hygiene, or, more likely, an individual who wants at all costs to avoid leaving behind ‘organic material’.

We therefore seriously suspect that prisoner RK-357/9 has committed a particularly serious crime and wants to prevent us from taking his DNA to identify him.

So far the subject has been sharing his cell with another recluse, which has certainly helped him in his task of mixing up his own biological traces. Thus our first measure since discovering his habit has been to remove him from this social setting and put him in isolation.

I am informing you of the above to start the appropriate investigation and request, if necessary, an urgent measure to force prisoner RK-357/9 to provide a DNA sample.

The matter is urgent because in precisely 109 days (on 12 March) the subject will have served his sentence.

Respectfully yours,

Director

Dr Alphonse Bérenger Continue reading “Start Reading The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi”

Mystery Men: An Excerpt

More Marvel fun! Mystery Men introduces Marvel’s all-new, never-before-seen heroes of the 1930s! With a new evil washing over an unsuspecting New York City, the Operative, the Aviatrix, the Surgeon, the Revenant and Achilles blast through dangers from blood-soaked mob warehouses to monster-infested mansions, and fight to blow the lid off a conspiracy that could bring the nation itself to its knees! Award-winning historical-thriller novelist David Liss (BLACK PANTHER: THE MAN WITHOUT FEAR) and acclaimed artist Patrick Zircher (SPIDER-MAN NOIR) weave an edge-of-your-seat and in-continuity adventure intertwined with America’s most scandalous crimes! Before the Invaders, before the Twelve — who were the Mystery Men?

Continue reading “Mystery Men: An Excerpt”