Thursday 4 December 2008

Bait and Shots

Every now and then, I contribute reviews to Shots Magazine, an excellent online resource presided over by Mike Stotter and benefiting from the expertise and enthusiasm of a wide range of contributors, including Ali Karim, familiar to most crime blog fans from his work on - for instance - The Rap Sheet.

Mike recently asked me to review a debut thriller set in Kenya and called Bait, written by former journalist Nick Brownlee and I was happy to oblige. The two main protagonists are a one-time Flying Squad cop, Jake Moore, and a detective from Mombasa, Daniel Jouma. This seems likely to be the first of a series, and I’ll be interested to see what the duo get up to next.

I was intrigued to see that the book has been published as a paperback original. It’s a sign of the times, driven by publishing economics and reader preferences. I’m a devotee of the hardback, and hope it never disappears from the shelves. But it seems that, increasingly, books are being published in paperback only – another example, close to my heart of course, is Dancing for the Hangman.

As for Shots, it began life in the 90s as a print magazine, put together by a group of fans and led by a very affable chap called Bob Cartwright. I’ve not heard of Bob for quite a long time, unfortunately, as he ceased to be involved some years back, but although Shots has made the transition from print to online (another sign of the times), it continues to go from strength to strength, and benefits enormously from Mike’s passion for the genre.

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