Thursday, 2 July 2020

Locked Up Festival

This afternoon sees the opening of the first-ever Locked Up Festival, organised by Steve Cavanagh and Luca Veste of the brilliant Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast.

As you would expect from the title and, well, *gestures at the world* this is a virtual festival, which means you can attend from wherever you happen to be on the planet.

Just check out this amazing lineup...

I'm really proud to be helping open the festival at 2:30pm this afternoon. Our panel is on One Star Reviews (n.b. I've got enough, if you were thinking of kindly providing me with inspiration), and I'll be talking to Elly Griffiths, Chris Brookmyre and Mark Billingham about our best worst reviews.

Tickets for the full weekend are a mere £20, and every penny goes to support the work of the Trussell Trust. I believe ticket holders will be able to view panels on catchup after the live broadcast, which I guess is one big advantage over a physical festival.

Get your tickets here, but be fast, as it's almost sold out.

Sunday, 28 June 2020


This weekend I should have been in Lyme Regis for the inaugural Lyme Crime festival. Sadly, COVID-19 put paid to that, but unlike most similar events, the estimable Paddy Magrane and his team decided that the show must go on (virtually).

I think it worked really well. Of course there's no substitute for being physically present at a festival, but the panels ran really smoothly over Zoom, and it was great that people were able to tune in from all over.

I was part of two events (one for What She Saw Last Night with Susi Holliday, one for Hunted with Tony Kent), and you can watch them both here.

I guess that's one advantage over live in person festivals - anyone in the world can 'attend' a panel, months after it's happened.

First up on Thursday, an encore version of the Train Noir tour Susi and I embarked on last Autumn. We talked about our train-themed mysteries and why night trains are so popular in crime fiction.

Then on Saturday morning, Tony Kent and I discussed our new action thrillers, and talked about the mechanics of a thriller in Setting the Pace. This one was live, so we were getting questions from the viewing audience, which worked pretty well.

There are over a dozen panels available to watch again at the Lyme Crime YouTube page, so head over there, subscribe, and experience a book festival from the comfort of your living room.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

Hunted - publication day

Hunted, my first book under the pseudonym Alex Knight, is published in the UK today.

It's a little weird having a new book out right now. Normally, I would have a launch event at a bookshop and get to meet readers, sign some books and have a few glasses of wine. There would be post-launch drinks in a beer garden somewhere with other writers and readers. 

But obviously none of that's happening right now, so Hunted is going out with a little less fanfare than normal.

I'm really proud of it and I think it's one of my best books, so I hope people buy it. 

You can help by getting the word out, telling your friends, leaving a review (if you like it, feel free not to if you hate it!), talking about it on Facebook - anything you can do will be much appreciated.

In the meantime, you can tune in virtually to OnLyme Crime on Saturday morning at 11am to see me and Tony Kent talk about Hunted and his fantastic thriller Power Play.

Check out the blurb below, and you can read chapter one on the Alex Knight website - if you enjoyed the Carter Blake books, I think you'll love it.

– Sunday Times bestselling author Steve Cavanagh

Trade Paperback



You're woken early by the doorbell. It's a young girl, the daughter of the love of your life. She's scared, covered in blood, she says her mother is hurt.

You let her in, try to calm her down, tell her you're going to get help. You reach for your phone, but it lights up with a notification before you touch it.

It's an Amber alert, sent to every one of the four million phones in the Bay Area - a child has been abducted by a dangerous suspect.

The child is the girl standing in front of you.

The suspect? You.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Lyme Crime - see me twice!

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Rather greedily, I'm going to be appearing at OnLyme Crime twice - once as Mason Cross, once as Alex Knight.

First up, I'm doing the TRAIN NOIR panel with SJI Holliday. We did a Train Noir tour in the Autumn for What She Saw Last Night and Susi's brilliant thriller Violet and it was so much fun, so I'm looking forward to the (virtual) reunion.

Then, on Saturday morning, I'm teaming up with Tony Kent for SETTING THE PACE, which should be a lot of fun too. He'll be talking about Power Play, which I read this year and absolutely loved. It's also the first-ever event for Alex Knight and for Hunted.

As you would expect, this is a virtual festival, and details of how to book your free ticket will be available soon, check out the Lyme Crime Facebook page for more details and the rest of the lineup.

Thursday 25th June, 6pm
Train Noir
SJ Holliday and Mason Cross discuss their most recent novels, both of which are set on trains, talking about the journeys that inspired them and how this particular form of travel lends atmosphere, momentum and claustrophobia to a thriller.

Saturday 27th June, 11am
Setting the Pace
When a book becomes a rollercoaster. Thriller authors Alex Knight and Tony Kent reveal the secrets to writing a page-turner.

Saturday, 2 May 2020

Who the hell is Alex Knight?

So it's May, and my new book has usually appeared by now, and some people having been asking where it is.

Well, the bad news is there is no Mason Cross novel this year.

The good news (hopefully) is that I do have a new book coming out.

It's under a different name. Why? A few different reasons, some to do with marketing, but also because it feels like a different kind of thriller than the ones I've written up until now.

It starts with the protagonist, Jake Ellis, being woken by banging on the door.

Molly, the teenage daughter of his girlfriend is there, covered in someone else's blood. Her mother has been shot, she thinks she's dead.

Shocked, Jake reaches for his phone to call for help, but at that moment it lights up with a notification.

It's an Amber alert. A child has been abducted, the suspect is armed and dangerous. The child is Molly.

The suspect's name is Jake Ellis.

It's called HUNTED, and here's the cover.

It's published in the UK on June 25 2020.

Check out the Alex Knight website for more, and you can pre-order the book in the UK  right now from Waterstones, Amazon and Hive (Hive is a particularly good option right now as it will help support indie bookshops when they need it most).

I hope you like this one. And if anyone has any ideas of a good way to launch a book in the middle of a pandemic, do let me know...

Friday, 24 April 2020

Quizknobs & Zoomsticks

How's your lockdown going?

It's been lovely weather here in the UK this week, and for the first time in my adult life, I'm grateful to have a garden. We're really fortunate that everyone is safe and well so far, and with three kids in the house, there's always something to do.

One of the many effects of the pandemic is that pretty much every literary festival has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. As in so many other fields, the void is being filled with online events, one of which I'm really excited to be part of next Friday. 

The upside of everything going online is you can join in from literally anywhere. Just subscribe to the new Crime Waves YouTube channel and you can join us.   

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Short story - People You May Know

A few years ago, I sent a short story called People You May Know to members of my readers club - I've gotten in the habit of sending out a story to the club on Christmas Eve, and you get another one right away for signing up, so if you haven't done that, you can sign up here.

Recently, it struck me that that particular story is appropriate for this strange time we're all living through, because it deals with someone isolated at home, able to communicate only at distance.

Even before the virus, it was something so woven into the fabric of our lives these days: that we can have conversations with people from all over the world any time we choose, without leaving our living room.

Sometimes, you feel like you know these people you've never met on a deeper level than some of your friends in real life.

What happens if one of them confessed to doing something terrible? What would you do?

That's what this story is about. I hope you enjoy it.

For Kindle: click here to download 

For the iTunes / Google Play / Kobo / other (epub) file: click here to download

For a PDF of the story instead: click here to download

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

California Dreaming

So how are you coping with The Great Lockdown?

We're all healthy so far, thankfully, and settling into a strange routine where the whole family is around, all the time. I'm making sure to get out for a walk or a run every day to stay sane, but I've managed not to go anywhere crowded for a week now, which I'm aware is a privilege not everyone has right now. I'm really grateful we have a big enough house that we're not on top of each other, and for the first time in my life, I'm actually glad we have a garden (I detest gardening, but like being outside).

On the work front, I've been writing the new book and noodling around at a couple of other projects, though like most people I'm finding it difficult to focus right now.

Strange to think I was in Berlin a little over three weeks ago, and everything was pretty much business as usual. The new normal has descended suddenly. My two younger kids have asked if this kind of thing happened when I was a kid, and I had to explain that no, this has never happened before.

I'm used to working from home and I'm not somebody who has to be socialising at all times, but I do miss being in the city, and going for coffee, and looking forward to a summer of book festivals that now can't happen.

Whenever cabin fever has mounted over the last few days, I've been thinking about my trip to California last November. I was doing some research for my next book, which is out in June (and I promise to tell you more about it soon) but I'm so glad I did it before the virus appeared on the horizon.

Even back then it felt like a beautiful break from reality: waking up every morning to blue skies and sun, exploring San Francisco on foot, driving north on the 101 through the redwoods and past some of the most stunning coastline I've ever seen, drinking Sunkist and Sprite with no sweeteners, listening to classic rock on the car radio, and almost never hearing the word Brexit.

So here's some sunny (and sometimes foggy) pictures from Before. I'm thinking about the places I've been in the past year, and the people I've spent time with, and hoping we'll all be able to go places and see people in real life sometime in the not-too-distant future.

Stay inside, stay safe, and I'll see you on the other side.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Interview on BBC Radio Shetland

I visited Shetland for the first time at the end of last year. It was just a short trip, but I got to see a bit of the mainland and take some nice pictures. It's a beautiful place, quite unlike anywhere else in the British Isles.

While I was there, the excellent Shetland Library put on an event for me, and I was interviewed for the books programme on BBC Radio Shetland.

You can listen to the interview here - my part starts at 31:39. I talk about how I write, and why I used to deliberately forget my PE kit...

Here's some more pics - if you get the chance to visit, I recommend it!

Thursday, 2 January 2020

What She Saw Last Night - 99p Kindle deal

Happy New Year!

What She Saw Last Night is on sale today in UK ebook for 99p. If you haven't read it yet, pick it up now! If you have, please tell a friend.

As usual, the Kindle price is being matched by Kobo, Google and iTunes.

"Delivered with the kind of writerly acumen we have come to expect from Cross." - Financial Times

"If you like your thrillers fast-paced, with lots of surprises along the way, this is definitely for you." - Heat

"Gripping Stuff" - Daily Mail

    "A chase thriller that begins as a locked-room puzzle" - Morning Star

"A truly original thriller, reminiscent of Hitchcock and Christie." - Woman's Way

Buy What She Saw Last Night here