There I was, thinking I hadn't really been asked to talk about 'The Locker' (Midnight Ink - out now - see cover left), for at least a couple of days, when along came Marshal Zeringue.
He's a nice guy who runs the rather smart 'Campaign for the American Reader' blog. And he asked me to undergo his Page 69 Test, to give a (tiny) taste of what's in the book. You can read it here.
He also asked if I'd contribute to his Writers Read page, to show what book I was currently reading or had just read. You can catch that here - (it's 'Tatiana', by Martin Cruz Smith, in case you're wondering), and I can recommend it highly for lovers of crime fiction set in Russia... or indeed set anywhere. A good crime novel with interesting characters can work in any setting.
Reading it didn't make much of a dent in my books TBR pile, as I'm currently hard at work thinking and researching the next one in the Marc Portman series.
This is the point where I can often be caught staring into the middle distance with the blank look of a traumatised goldfish. Of course there's always something going on in there, but you might not believe it if you saw me.
As my wife says, it's not pretty, but at least I don't go out in public and do it.
No details yet (on the new project), just to say... there will be guns.
While mentioning it, may I also drop a hint about the third Portman thriller - 'Hard Cover' - (see cover right) which comes out in hardback on the 31st March (UK)? Thank you.
Marc Portman, codename Watchman, is in Russia providing covert back-up to wealthy Russian businessman Leonid Tzorekov. A former KGB officer sympathetic to the West, Tzorekov has close links with Vladimir Putin and is planning to use his influence with the President to improve relations between Russia, the USA and the European Union. However, there are those with vested interests in maintaining hostilities: powerful men who will go to any lengths to ensure the proposed meeting does not take place. The Watchman's role is to run security, evaluate risks and, where necessary, provide hard cover by taking more direct action and fighting back. When the assignment takes an unexpected turn, Portman has no choice but to take the hard cover option...
For lovers of signed editions, both books are (or will be) available and signed with a flourish here:
'The Locker' - at Rossiter Books, by mail or in person
firstname.lastname@example.org - Tel: 01989 564 464
'Hard Cover' - at Goldsboro Books in London.
email@example.com - Tel: +44 (0) 207 497 9230