Saturday, 19 April 2014

More reviews, and picking a good reading excerpt

Incredibly, it's only five days to go until publication day, and four until the launch night at Waterstones.

The advance reviews are still coming in, including this one from Mark Timlin at Crimetime:

A debut novel that Orion Publishing is putting big guns behind is The Killing Season by Mason Cross (P/B £12.99) and I don't blame them. Carter Blake is a man of many talents, including finding people who don't want to be found, and when a serial killer sniper escapes from jail, the FBI call for his assistance which is not always appreciated by those on the ground. This really is a superb, read in one go novel, and I'm sure we'll see plenty more of Blake in the future.

Book Oxygen likes it too, and this is the first review to suggest it would make a good airport thriller, which I take entirely as a compliment...

At the opposite end of the gender divide is The Killing Season by Mason Cross, who has followed the Lee Child recipe for narrative tension.  His saviour-figure is a loner, a freelance finder of people who do not want to be found, now working with law enforcement to track down an escaped serial killer.  As I read I could feel myself being manipulated by an efficient player and didn’t mind.  For whiling away a sleepless night or an airport delay, this would be ideal.

TraceyBookLover gave me a great review with some interesting points:

This book has been lurking near the top of my to-be-read pile for some time and all the good things
I’ve been hearing about it have made me impatient to get started. I certainly wasn’t disappointed – I devoured The Killing Season over a couple of days and I’m just about getting my breath back.

The plot revolves around a manhunt for a serial killer sniper and takes place over the course of several days. The enigmatic character of Carter Blake and the FBI’s Elaine Banner team up against a formidable opponent’s seemingly unstoppable killing spree.

I found The Killing Season reminiscent of early Alex Cross books by James Patterson, but with the action ramped up to the maximum. There’s a fair amount of graphic violence which can sometimes turn me off a book, but the quality of the writing kept me on board. I lost count of the clever plot twists and the action built to a gobsmacking conclusion. I’m hoping this is the start of a series and if so I’ll look forward eagerly to the next instalment.

Highly recommended

Finally, I got my first print review today in the Daily Record, which made it the lead review in their book club and gave it a great write-up...

I'm so glad people seem to like the book, though I'm sure I'll get some negative  reviews once it comes out.

I think I've selected an acceptable excerpt to read at the launch on Wednesday night. It's surprisingly difficult to find something that fits all the necessary criteria: not too long, not too short, action without spoilers, something that gives a good taste of the whole book... but after trying out a few candidates, I think I've picked a chapter that will work.

Okay, now I need to go and practice reading it out loud...

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