Friday 23 February 2018

Presumed Dead launch - 18 April

Book launch for

Presumed Dead

Wednesday 18 April, 7pm
Waterstones Argyle Street, Glasgow

Join McIlvanney Prize longlisted author Douglas Skelton (Blood City, Tag - You're Dead) in conversation with Mason Cross for the official launch of his new novel Presumed Dead, published by Orion.

There will be a reading, a Q&A and a signing. More importantly, there will be free wine. The event is free and all are welcome.

You can register for free tickets at Eventbrite.

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Presumed Dead - Netgalley

Just a quick heads up for UK bloggers / reviewers etc that Presumed Dead is available for request on Netgalley

Everyone else can preorder from Amazon, Waterstones, Hive etc.

If you're not signed up for my free Readers Club, now's a good time to remedy that, as I'll be sending out an exclusive sneak preview of the new book in the next few weeks. In the meantime, here's the blurb...

'What do you know about the Devil Mountain Killer?'


Adeline Connor was the Devil Mountain Killer's final victim. After she was gunned down, the murderer disappeared and the killing spree ended.


Carter Blake has been hired to do what he does best: to find someone. But this time he's hunting a dead girl - Adeline Connor's brother is convinced she's still alive.

But this town doesn't want an outsider digging up old business. And as Blake gets deeper into the case, it starts to become clear that the murders didn't just stop fifteen years ago.

The killer is on the hunt again.


Praise for race against time thriller writer Mason Cross:

'Mason Cross is a thriller writer for the future who produces the kind of fast-paced, high octane thrillers that I love to read.' Simon Kernick

'Terrific stuff!' Ian Rankin

'So pacy I'm exhausted! Definitely one to read if you like your thrillers thrilling' Emma Kavanagh

Thursday 8 February 2018

Don't Look For Me is out in UK paperback today

The fourth Carter Blake book, Don't Look For Me, is published in paperback in the UK today. It's part of the series, but as always you can read it as a standalone.

Here's where to get it:

(Not in the UK? Click here to see if it's available where you are.)
A nail-biting new thriller ― perfect for fans of Jack Reacher, Alex Cross, and Jason Bourne ― about the desperate hunt for a woman who has a secret to kill for...

Six years ago, the woman Carter Blake loved disappeared and told him not to ever look for her. For six long years, he kept that promise. She was a woman on the run ― a woman with a secret many would kill for. It was better that she stay hidden.

But now someone else is looking for her. Trenton Gage is a hitman with a talent for finding people ― dead or alive. And his next job is to track down the woman Carter Blake once loved, a woman on the run. With both men hunting the same person, the question is: Who will find her first?

What authors thought:

"Terrific stuff!" - Ian Rankin

"Mason Cross is a thriller writer for the future who produces the kind of fast-paced, high octane thrillers that I love to read." - Simon Kernick

"So pacy I'm exhausted! Definitely one to read if you like your thrillers thrilling." - Emma Kavanagh

What the press thought:

"With few pauses for reflection, and plenty of heart-pounding, visceral action, this one immediately calls to mind Lee Child." - Booklist

"A well-plotted and tension-filled tale delivering more twists and turns than the Hampton Court maze and is packed with memorably drawn characters." - Irish Independent

What readers thought:

"Each one has been a pure joy to read and this one is no different in fact it is probably my favourite so far." - Liz Barnsley (LizLovesBooks)

"It's a fast-paced, page-turning, consumate thriller in which we learn much more about the mysterious Blake." - Keith Nixon (Goodreads)

"The plot is complex and confounding, the action fast and alarming, while the turns and surprises keep on coming. It’s a great read, I enjoyed the story, the landscape and the people inhabiting it. Mason Cross just keeps getting better and better." - FireflyScotland (Amazon)

Monday 5 February 2018

Soundtracks - Winterlong (The Time to Kill)

The book with two names.

I've written in another post about how Winterlong came to be retitled The Time to Kill for the UK market, so if you're interested in the background to that, you can read about it here.

The third book ties up some of the loose ends about Carter Blake's past, and follows him on a breakneck journey from coast to coast, using planes trains and automobiles, as he tries to stay one step away of a team of military-trained killers.

Perhaps surprisingly, there are opportunities for musical interludes.

Winterlong | Pixies

I've waited for you, Winterlong
You seem to be where I belong

The Neil Young original is great too, of course, but I heard the Pixies cover first, and when I think of this song I always hear it in Kim Deal's voice.

When I was editing The Killing Season, I was trying to come up with a cool, evocative codename for the special ops unit of which Carter Blake was once a member. Something like Jason Bourne's Treadstone, or even shady real-world mercenary outfit Blackwater. Two-word concatenations seem to be popular in both the real life and fictional list of such names.

Winterlong seemed perfect when I thought of it. It evokes the Cold War, and also sparked the idea for the opening scene of Winterlong, which takes place in the depths of a Siberian winter.

Bring it on Home to Me | Sam Cooke

My favourite song by one of my favourite singers. From the first time I heard it I thought it would work great in a quiet moment in a movie, perhaps with two characters dancing in a motel room while it rains outside. I decided to put it in my own movie. Carol and Blake listen to this the last time they're together before he's called back to the war.

Fortunate Son | Creedence Clearwater Revival

No one actually listens to this song in the book, but Blake makes a throwaway reference to the title in one of the Afghanistan chapters. It's a standard in Vietnam movies, and it was a subtle way of drawing a parallel between the two conflicts, each intractable for different reasons.

Love Song from Apache | Coleman Hawkins

Credit to Ian Rankin for making me aware of Hawkins. Blake finds an old CD of his in the car given to him by Special Agent Banner for the final leg of his cross-country quest. It's a brilliantly atmospheric instrumental jazz piece, from the 1954 Burt Lancaster western.

Mark Billingham talks about how much he loves the moments in Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch books where there's a lull in the action and it's just Harry, on his balcony listening to jazz while looking out at the city. This scene was a nod to that. A quiet interlude before all hell breaks loose in a snowy corner of upstate New York...

Next time: Eagles, Skynyrd and Swift in Don't Look For Me

Soundtracks blogs:

  • The Killing Season
  • The Samaritan
  • Winterlong / The Time to Kill