Well, I guess the big news from me is that the fourth book in the Thomas Berrington Historical Mysteries, The Incubus, came out last Monday, Feb 13! And an enormous hug and thanks to all those 700+ people who ordered their pre-sale copy. It’s fantastic to see the growth in momentum as the series continues.

So… what is it all about?

The Incubus finds Thomas, Jorge and Lubna travelling to the incredible town of Ronda perched atop 300 foot cliffs. A mysterious individual is killing people in the town, and of course Thomas gets involved in tracking them down. Meantime the Spanish army is camped on the plain below. Thomas meets both the Spanish King and Queen again, as well as an old friend he believed was dead.

The Incubus includes a great overview of historical events of the period as well as the fictional story. So, I guess, real historical fiction :)

On other fronts, now I have four books in the series I have bundled together books 1 – 3 for those new to the them and who might want to purchase all at a discount of 25%. (LINK)

In addition, as you receive this the audiobook for Breaker of Bones will be going through final quality checks and should be available in a month or two. More details close to the release.

As for my writing, the next in the Thomas Berrington series, The Inquisitor, is plotted in full and the writing started. This one starts light, with the marriage of Thomas and Lubna, and then rapidly turns far darker with a serial killer who is searching for the location of the human soul.

The Thomas Berrington prequel I mention in the last newsletter is also progressing. The Death of Innocence takes us back to Thomas aged 13, and the town of Leominster (or Lemster for those in the know). Thomas is a rebel even then, more interested in books and map than in his father’s farmland. He is picked on by other boys but is starting to learn the skills of fighting that will prove useful in later life. When one of the boys he has a fight with turns up dead Thomas is arrested for his murder.

This is a short novella of around 30-40,000 words and will be available free only to those signed up for my Newsletter – you will receive an email as soon as it’s available.


Post-Christmas I have been replete with hardbacks. The new Ian Rankin as a present, and then I picked up the latest Bernard Cornwell, Lee Child and Michael Connolly on sale in Waterstones all at half price.

A short summary of each that I’ve finished below:

Rather be the Devil, Ian Rankin. (4*)

As ever fantastic writing, but it misses out on the fifth star because it feels like a re-run of the last book (including a Rebus/Fox car journey to interview witnesses). John Rebus is turning from dangerous maverick into grumpy old man, and there’s a sense of the series winding down. Still a good read, but not a great one.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye, Michael Connelly (3*)

Great premise let down, as have most of his recent books, by an almost wilful sense of boredom at what he’s doing. One long chapter is entirely an info-dump that Conelley didn’t have time to extend or, I suspect, couldn’t be bothered. A second story – the hunt for a serial rapist – entertains, but I can’t help but feel the book would have benefited from less plot and more heart.

The Flame Bearer, Bernard Cornwell (3.5*)

This is getting to be the same thing, I’m afraid. Competent, plotted almost like a exercise in how to plot, but a feeling of being rushed to get from one action sequence to the next. And by now, of course, no real tension because we know Uhtred always (and I mean always) wins!

There’s a lesson here in all three books – how does a writer keep a long series fresh? I’m going to have to bear that in mind as I dig into book 5!

Until next time – keep reading.