In the meantime, I'm going to round up some of the other developments, starting with some more really great, thoughtful reviews that have been posted on The Killing Season:
The guys at Crimesquad.com gave it 5 stars:
The Killing Season, together with a plot that speeds along, is a great mix of intrigue, strong characters and a thrilling plot which reels you in from the first page. This debut has the feel of an author who is destined to become well practiced in producing best-selling thrillers.
Mat Coward of The Morning Star liked it:
This is an impressively exciting debut, written with panache and a good ear for grim humour.
Matthew Craig at Reader Dad gave it a fantastic write-up:
The Killing Season marks the arrival of a new “must-read” author on the British thriller scene. In Carter Blake, Mason Cross has produced an engaging character whose wit, mysterious background and often dubious moral stance keep the reader coming back for more, and elevates The Killing Season from just another thriller to one of the finest you’re likely to have read since Jack Reacher stepped off the bus in Margrave, Georgia all the way back in 1997. Cross makes Chicago and the surrounding area his own and his characters, despite his own background, are as American as American can be. A seemingly effortless and assured debut, you’ll be jonesing for your next Mason Cross/Carter Blake fix before you’ve even finished this first helping.
I'd forgotten that the book was being published down under already. I was reminded by Richard Cotter of The Sydney Arts Guide, who delivered some prime no-bullshit Aussie praise:
With this slick, fast paced and assured serial killer cum conspiracy theory monolith, author Mason Cross has nailed the mechanics of blockbuster ball tearer to his mast and a series of Carter Blake adventures is in the pipeline. In a crowded market, The Killing Season holds its head above the crud.
'Blockbuster ball tearer' has to be my favourite pull-quote so far. Maybe Orion will use it for the mass-market paperback.
Sophie Hedley at Reviewed The Book also gave it 5 stars, and said:
The interaction and pacing in this book was spot on but what really stood out for me was that none of the writing felt like it was from a debut novel. It felt effortless and assured – something you’d read from the best-selling authors who’ve been releasing excellent thrillers for decades ... a riveting, edge-of-your-seat book, impressive throughout and I loved it. The whole story was executed brilliantly and whilst I think the author deserves to bask in the glory of a great debut novel, I’d much rather him hurry up with another one, respectfully.
Mark Hill, aka Crime Thriller Fella, gave it probably the funniest review so far, musing on the proliferation of tough guys in books who sit around hotel rooms waiting for The Call (you know, just like Carter Blake), but concludes that:
There’s lots to admire in Cross’s thriller. The writing is assured and entertaining. Mr. Cross really knows his way around a set-piece, and they come thick and fast. The plotting is slick and pacey. As the FBI caravan zigzags from state to state in pursuit of Wardell, Cross manoeuvres his characters inexorably towards a satisfying fatal showdown ... in his debut novel, Mason Cross has really hit the ground running, there’s no doubt about that. The Killing Season delivers time and again with smart big-screen thrills."
Crime Thriller Girl liked it too, even saying it was her favourite read of the year so far:
I cannot sing this novel’s praises highly enough – it’s a joy to read, utterly engaging and kept me hooked right from the first page to the last. There’s high stakes and high tension, and the chemistry between Blake and Banner sizzles off the page. If you love action thrillers, if you love crime fiction, go and read this book. I’m sure you won’t regret it.
If any of that whets your appetite, Orion are currently giving away 10 copies of The Killing Season on Goodreads.com - all you have to do is sign up!
The Killing Season has a German title, and it's a good one - DER RUSHHOUR-KILLER. The German publisher is Goldmann, and it has a release date of March 2015.
Hive have very kindly named me as one of their Rising Writers for May alongside some great up-and-coming authors.
Orion made The Killing Season their book of the week, and posted a piece from me in The Murder Room all about Why I Wrote The Killing Season
I take part in Reader Dad's #CarrieAt40 celebrations, with an article on Brian De Palma's adaptation which I had a blast writing in tribute to The King.
The Killing Season is out in audio as well, available to download from Audible, where it was briefly in the top 10 bestsellers last week. Eric Meyers has really nailed the book and the character of Carter Blake in his performance, and you can listen to an audio excerpt here.
Scottish Book Trust asked me to give my top five tips for plotting a thriller. For what it's worth, my advice is here.
Lastly, in addition to the great review, Crime Thriller Fella kindly interviewed me for his regular feature The Intel. Some great questions on the book and writing in general, which I had fun answering.
That's it for now, back soon to tell you all about launch night and publication day...