Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Lucas Rocco in Kindle Big Summer Reading Promotion

 'Death on the Pont Noir' has been chosen for Amazon's Big Summer Kindle Reading promotion at the special price of £0.99 or $1.52, to run from July 26 to September 5. I'm not saying there's any hurry, but if you're about to launch into your summer vacation, you might like to load up your Kindle with this, the 3rd in the Inspector Lucas Rocco series, set in France in the 1960s.

1963 - Picardie, northern France. Following an inexplicable ramming and gun attack on a Citroen DS in the middle of open countryside, and a bar brawl involving a group of drunken Englishmen, Inspector Lucas Rocco finds himself drawn into what has all the hallmarks of yet another plot to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle - one of many made on the French leader's life. But why are Englishmen working for a well-known pair of London gangland twins involved? And who set fire to an ex-army truck with a body inside? Rocco finds himself once more pulled several ways while attempting to investigate events. Only this time, he's accused of taking bribes and even suspected of being part of the assassination plot himself. Suspended from duty, he has very little time to intervene and stop what could be a cataclysmic event for France... and for his own continued freedom.

And there's more! What timing!

'Death at the Clos du Lac' - the 4th in the series, will be out in hardback and ebook on the 26th August.


Picardie, France 1964. The exclusive Clos du Lac sanitarium. A man is discovered standing in the therapy pool. But he's not there for his health; someone has chained him to the bottom and left him to die very, very slowly. Inspector Lucas Rocco believes it's an unusual and elaborate method of execution. But nobody seems to have heard or seen anything, the staff are resolutely unhelpful - or dead - and ministry officials sent from Paris to 'assist' merely attempt to impede Rocco's efforts to find answers.
 It is soon clear the Clos du Lac is no ordinary sanitarium, and holds secrets the authorities feel are better left hidden. And a high-level kidnapping mounted in an attempt to derail France's new trade agreements with China means Rocco now faces threats from more than one quarter ...one of them a rogue government assassin.
Signed copies of the book will be available (as are copies of my other hardbacks) from David Headley's Goldsboro Books in London's West End. Please check here for stock prior to visiting.

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Monday, 22 July 2013

Update to 'Writing Stuff' tab

For item re: the latest Writing Magazine content (August) - 'Beginners' and 'New Author' pages - please go to Writing Stuff tab above.

It's all good. Promise.

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But in case you weren't looking on the weekend, don't forget 'Smart Moves', my new novel out on Kindle here (UK) and here (US) and here (Can).

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Saturday, 20 July 2013

New Ebook

'SMART MOVES' - now available on Kindle here (UK) and here (US) and here (Can).

Synopsis:

For international troubleshooter Jake Foreman, losing his job, house and wife all in one day is not the kind of problem he can solve. And when an impulsive move lands him in even deeper water - the kind that could lose him his life - he decides it's time to make some smart decisions for once.

The problem is, knowing the right moves and making them is a whole different game. And Jake, who's been happily rubbing along in a job he always suspected was just a shade away from being legal, finds it too easy to go with the flow. Now he's got to start learning otherwise - and fast.

If he doesn't, he could end up dead.

Dark humour, dubious activities, beautiful women and a flurry of sex: a potent mix.

What more could anyone want?

'Smart Moves' - a morality tale... sort of.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Review of 'Execution'

Another lovely review of 'Execution' (Severn House) - this one in Publishers Weekly and noting the tradecraft aspect of the story.

"Magson’s exciting fifth Harry Tate thriller... Focused on action and tradecraft, this straightforward entry bypasses the usual cross, double-cross, and triple-cross of most spy fiction as it builds to a highly satisfying conclusion."
 
Publishers Weekly - July 2013
 
Signed h/b copies available at Goldsboro Books.
@severnhouse @goldsborobooks

Synopsis:

When a Russian hit team catches up with Roman Tobinskiy, political opponent of Moscow and former FSB colleague of Alexander Litvinenko (murdered by polonium poisoning in 2006), it's an easy kill; he's lying helpless in a hospital bed.
But they realise too late that in an adjacent room is Clare Jardine, ex-MI6 officer, recovering from wounds while saving Harry Tate's life.
When Clare goes on the run, Harry is ordered to track her down before the Russians reach her. It's one of his toughest challenges yet. For not only is Clare as adept at covering her tracks as Harry is himself, but the Russians are not the only ones chasing her. Harry is about to come up against an old enemy from his past. And if he is to save Clare's life - as she saved his - he must seek help from a most unlikely source.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Cuckoo's the Word

Ah, me, what a puzzling world we live in. Great excitement is ensuing at the revelation that a certain debut author, previously unknown (for reasons that are blindingly obvious - he doesn't exist) Robert Galbraith, is none other than JK Rowling, of interstellar, nay cosmic fame (whichever is the greater).

Now that the news has broken (or been broken, I should say cynically) publishers, agents, industry watchers and others are all wondering who knew, when, how and why. Others are speculating on how many million more copies will now sell than the 490 or so sold up to last week (about average for debut authors...

... that is, debut authors who aren't having their real ID kept under covers by a wily publisher - in this case until the similarity in style with JKR's writing was spotted. Really? Spotted?

At least one brave editor has admitted turning down the book, thereby joining a stream of others who also turned down JKR's first effort in the 90s. Points for honour there, I think.

Now, I don't blame JK one bit. Good luck to her. If we're honest, all authors would love to be there. And she had plainly decided that she wanted to test the crime writing genre without the dubious drag of her Harry Potter name distorting opinions. Good on her. She worked damned hard to plan, write and execute the HP books, so I begrudge her nothing.

However, I'm not so forgiving of the publisher's apparent deceit. On their website, they have a bio for 'Robert Galbraith': "Born in 1968, Robert Galbraith is married with two sons. After several years with the Royal Military Police, he was attached to the SIB (Special Investigation Branch), the plain-clothes branch of the RMP. He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security industry. The idea for protagonist Cormoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who have returned to the civilian world. 'Robert Galbraith' is a pseudonym."

Now, giving a fictitious author a bio like this is one thing. To give it knowingly to a mother of three children (not a man, let alone a male military cop or security contractor), plus the bit about his 'experiences and those of his military friends' smacks to me of over-egging in the extreme.

In fact, my mother would have said it was outright lying.

Then there's the 'after the event' reaction by others. The Bookseller's reviewer admits not getting past page 18 back in December 2012 ("irritating" was one word used)... yet now the news is out, she has come up with the following volte face:  "Having just finished The Cuckoo’s Calling by J K Rowling (Sphere), I can report that it is a cracking read with great characters, and I turned the pages with increasing eagerness through to its very satisfying ending."

Duh? What? Right. That should help sales a bit.

The obvious bleedin' question is, would she have bothered had the author not been subsequently outed as JKR? Answer: un-bloody-likely.

One could go on, but one won't. The flurry of belated reviews it will now get (which other debuts don't, won't and wouldn't, dear reader) will help it achieve greatness. And maybe that's the right result. I haven't read it. But I just hope those in the industry who have contributed to this deceit (in which I don't include the author), whether knowingly or by a wink, wink, 'this one is, you know - a bit special...' will pause next time they give a less-than-glowing or even dismissive reaction to a genuine debut author.



Sunday, 14 July 2013

Book festivals rule

I'm delighted to have been asked to take part in the Bookmarks Festival 2013, which takes place in Helmdon in Northants on Sunday, 25th August and is run by Peter and Maddi. I'll be on with Alison McQueen and Garry O’Connor, and we'll be reading from our books and answering questions in a joint session afterwards.

As I'm sure Alison and Gary have, I've been on many of these sessions in other parts of the country, and it's always great fun because it allows us to talk about what we do (most authors love it) and allows readers to throw questions at us and find out how we go about producing a book. That usually involves questions about the various elements involved, from ideas, to research, to planning (not a heck of a lot in my case), to characterisation, pace, tension, bum-on-seat writing... and editing.

Editing is the hardest, but one I find enjoyable because it's where the book really starts to take shape. From the initial rush of getting the words on the page, it's where you begin to fine-tune everything. This usually means throwing out the unnecessary and finding that you've got a bit of a hole in the plot. But that's good, because it's far better to find it then than have somebody point it out afterwards.

Anyway, if you fancy a day out at a FREE festival (I'll repeat that - FREE!) - then get yourself aimed at the south midlands near Silverstone and come visit Helmdon. We'll all be delighted to see you - and even more delighted to have you ask questions. And if you fancy your hand at writing, there are even TWO free competitions (see here for details).

Helmdon, Northants - 25th August. Make it a date.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Review of 'Death on the Pont Noir'

It's always a delight to hear of a favourable review of one of my books, and none better than this one from The Good Book Guide's learned, erudite and elegant Barry Forshaw, who knows more than a thing or two about crime fiction. Here he talks about 'Death on the Pont Noir' - the 3rd Insp Lucas Rocco novel.

"It is particularly refreshing to see the writing of Adrian Magson -- who has been paying his dues in the crime fiction stakes for quite some time -- finally achieving something of the acclaim that he deserves.  The sense of period here (1963) is only one of the virtues of this tautly constructed piece."

1963 - Picardie, northern France. Following an inexplicable ramming and gun attack on a Citroen DS in the middle of open countryside, and a bar brawl involving a group of drunken Englishmen, Inspector Lucas Rocco finds himself drawn into what has all the hallmarks of yet another plot to assassinate President Charles de Gaulle - one of many made on the French leader's life.

But why are Englishmen working for a well-known pair of London gangland twins involved? And who has set fire to an ex-army truck with a body inside? And why have those who made a previous abortive attack suddenly vanished? Rocco finds himself once more pulled several ways while attempting to investigate events.

Only this time, he's accused of taking bribes and even suspected of being part of the assassination plot himself. Suspended from duty, he has very little time to intervene and stop what could be a cataclysmic event for France... and for his own continued freedom.

'Death on the Pont Noir' - available in hardback (signed copies) from here - or paperback or ebooks from here or other retailers

Thank you, Barry, for such kind words.