Wondering what to read this year? Look no further. The Killer Reads Team have put pen to paper to tell you what we’re most excited about publishing and reading in 2013.
Emad Akhtar, Assistant Editor for Crime and Thriller, says:
The books I’m most excited about publishing:
The Tower by Simon Toyne, marks the end of the Sancti trilogy, and will definitely be an event for all the people who have been following this story from Sanctus. You can read any of them on their own, to be honest – they are just amazing, slick, satisfying thrillers which take you to really unexpected places. I don’t think anyone’s quite doing what he’s doing with the genre; a really special mix of ancient themes and cutting-edge ideas.
And of course, The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes. If you’ve been following any of the buzz building around this dark, hypnotic serial killer story, then you’ll know that this is one to put everything on hold for. Lauren is a really rare talent, who can bend her imagination to any genre, shaping and mashing-up stories into highly original novels which no-one else could write. I think she’ll win a lot of new fans this year with The Shining Girls, if the early reviews are anything to go by.
Both these books are out in April and if you don’t read at least one of them, I will hold you in contempt forever.
The primary intention of any writer is to try and create an emotion in the heart of the reader. The surest way to do this is to tap into some kind of truth. Unfortunately, as a writer of fiction, you are – by definition – creating something that is untrue, so to reconcile this paradox you do two things.
First, you give your untruths an inner logic. This should lend them a veneer of reality that will appeal to the rational brain and smuggle them past the bullshit detectors guarding the minds of discerning readers. Secondly, you set-dress your fabrications with as much genuine truth as you can muster – and this is where research comes in.
For the follow-up to my first book Sanctus I started with the idea for a plot that centred on the origins of writing. I wondered what burning knowledge had driven mankind to invent this sublime abstraction of symbols that could somehow capture the most ephemeral of substances – ideas. I got hold of piles of books on the subject and read up on the earliest known scripts, and was shocked to discover how many of them are still un-deciphered – all that effort to preserve some precious ancient knowledge and we went and forgot it anyway. But reading, despite its magical wonders, can still only take you so far. Nothing can really compare to standing in front of an object created by a human hand, long since rendered to dust. So I went to the British Museum – and that’s when things got really interesting…