Tuesday 21 July 2009

Blood Law and Thriller 2

One of the people I met at Crimefest was Steven Hague, who was a member of a panel I moderated. I felt extremely guilty because any moderator worth his or her salt should study the work of their panel members in some depth before the panel takes place. But I was moderating two panels and, although I worked painstakingly through the books of the various other members of the panels (as well as the work of the ‘forgotten authors’ who were the focus of the other panel), to my dismay, I simply ran out of time before being able to do more than quickly skim Steven’s debut novel Justice for All.

Fortunately, Steven proved to be an affable and forgiving guy, and also an articulate and easy-going panel member. The quality of his contribution to the panel was all the more striking, since he’d never been involved in a crime convention panel prior to that day.

So I’m all the more pleased to have received a copy of his new thriller Blood Law, which is published on 31 July. I’ve been reading a few thrillers in recent months, when time permits, and it’s interesting to study the way that different writers tackle the ratcheting-up of suspense. Maybe one of these days I might try my hand at a thriller myself.

This is a book featuring ex-LAPD cop Zac Hunter. Angel Cortez needs his help because her daughter has gone missing – and Zac finds himself pitched into gang warfare among other tribulations.

Steven’s book is published by Mira, an interesting company which has carved a niche in the thriller genre very quickly. They focus on paperback originals – a sign of the publishing times. Another new Mira title is Thriller 2, a bulky short story collection edited by Clive Cussler, and including stories from such notables as Jeffrey Deaver and Ridley Pearson.


David Cranmer said...

I haven't read a good thriller in awhile. Use to be a time that was all I bought.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I think suspense would be very difficult to write. I've heard it said to use short, choppy sentences when you're increasing intensity--and do a lot of telling, instead of showing. But I've not done more than just a couple of high-intensity scenes. Can't imagine writing a whole book that's intense.

Sounds like an intriguing novel.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Dorte H said...

A Martin Edwards thriller?

Sounds like a great idea - as long as you remember to give us some good, credible characters, because that is one of your very strong points in my opinion (and a weakness of some thrillers).

Martin Edwards said...

Elizabeth, I think short scenes and chapters as well as sentences help. I've noticed that the chapters and sentences in the latter part of my novels tend to be shorter than the earlier part, where the scene is being set and the characters introduced.

Martin Edwards said...

Dorte, that's very kind of you. Certainly I think it's possible to write a good thriller without sacrificing characterisation.