I first met Les Edgerton at a bar called Fiction. He is a truly brilliant author with a compelling narrative voice, whose novels include The Bitch , among numerous other great books. We meshed immediately and worked our way through a crate of Wild Turkey while a bored and disinterested bartender failed to polish glasses and pontificated about the state of writing. ‘What I want, what I really want,’ the bartender said, ‘is something that grabs me, makes me face the things I run from and leaves me satisfied.’ So we showed him the way. Les recently posted about my latest novel, Mr. Glamour, among others, at his blog here. Les invited me to participate in a blog promotion where authors discuss their Next Big Thing, I’m using the original questions. Thanks Les.
I have invited four writers from a tough bunch to pick from. So, here they are, alphabetically, Paul Brazill, Charles Gramlich, JD Mader, and Vincent Zandri, who I hope will be participating in this party with their own stuff. Here’s a few words about these talented writers.
Paul Brazill is a fine Noir writer, who prose finds those areas that leave you satisfied. He has written countless stories that linger in the mind. His Roman Dalton series is proving a great success, the werewolf detective certainly has longevity. I was honoured to be asked to blurb his novel The Gumshoe. It is a treat for anyone wanting classic crime, a brilliant compelling read, out soon. He’s also got True Brit Grit out, a great collection of stories by some of the finest writers out there.
Charles Gramlich is an accomplished storyteller whose prose is highly versatile. I first read Charles’s fantasy Talera series and was hooked from the first chapter of Swords of Talera. Charles also writes superb horror fiction, that is compelling, hinting and highly human, as the best horror fiction is. I highly recommend his latest In The language of Scorpions.
JD Mader is a great stylist. I first reviewed his brilliant debut Joe Café here. It is a tight and compelling novel about obsession and sexual extremes that will leave you gasping for more. JD Mader has followed up with The Biker, and it is a terrific story that never lets up. His narrative voice is so well honed it sound like he is whispering in your ear.
Vincent Zandri is a veteran of fiction. He has written so many great novels it is hard to pick two out. Zandri is a highly accomplished writer whose tight nuanced style leaves you haunted by his characters. I first read The Innocent, and went out and bought most of his titles. Zandri’s latest, Murder By Moonlight is one of his best. All I can say is this is a writer you do not want to miss.
Now for the news about my latest novel.
Mr. Glamour is Hannibal Lecter in Gucci. Here’s a brief synopsis:
Something dark is preying on the glitz of the glamour set. DCI Jackson Flare and Inspector Mandy Steele investigate a series of bizarre killings targeting the wealthy and glamorous. Cameras, designer labels, beautiful women and wealthy men fill the pages of this dark narrative that will keep you guessing until the unforeseeable end. All part of a gripping mystery novel about a glamorous world with an unknown intruder. The killer in Mr. Glamour knows all about design, he knows what brands mean to his victims. He is branding their skins. He is invading and destroying at will. And he has the police stumped. Detective Chief Inspector Flare and Inspector Steele try to catch a killer who has climbed inside their heads. As they investigate they step into a hall of mirrors and find themselves up against a wall of secrecy. The investigation drives Flare and Steele—who are themselves harbouring secrets—to acts of darkness. And the killer is watching everyone.
What is the hook? What’s this book really about?
The book is really about the horror that lives next door, that sneaked under your kitchen table when you weren’t looking, that breathes in all the dead spaces of your life, all those moments when half aware you have wondered about someone, wondered who they really are, it is about the unknowability of others, their otherness, their sinfulness and our need to find out secrets.
Mr. Glamour is also a satire about lifestyle choices, the need for labels, for brands and how we can become branded ourselves.
Here are a couple of review excerpts:
‘The writing of Richard Godwin is original, bold and gets writers talking. Mr. Glamour is a giallo extravaganza that would make Dario Argento blush and request movie rights right away. It’s a novel that builds on its layers to reach an absolutely crazy climax that not only lives up to the story, but that rewards the readers with a huge jaw-dropper moment. Rare are the endings that live up to their stories, but this is quite the success. A great story about identity in an era where your ass belongs to a designer.’
Benoit LeLievre, Dead End Follies.
‘Mr Glamour is a striking effort from one of the most daring crime writers in the business. It is the noirest of noir, fatalistic, ultra-violent and hellishly addictive.’
Mike Stafford, Book Geeks Magazine.
‘While most readers and reviewers were drawn to the plot and the mystery of Richard Godwin’s brilliant novel, Mr. Glamour–as I was as well–I was struck even more by the setting. After all, once you know “whodunit,” usually there’s no reason to return to the book. In this case, there is. I’ve now read it twice and will read it several more times and it’s not to find out “whodunit” but to learn even more about both the psychology of the characters and to learn about a part of London I was sharply ignorant of. The insights Godwin provides of both are worth many hours in rereading what I predict will become a classic.
What Eugene Izzi did for the city of Chicago in novels like The Criminalist, Richard Godwin has done for London in Mr. Glamour. Like Raymond Chandler who was one of the best at creating a character out of the setting–in his case, Los Angeles–Godwin has given us London as a character. A London not seen heretofore, at least in noir. Most writers deliver us the seedy underworld of the city–the world of workingman’s and thieves’ bars and prostitute haunts and dank gaols populated by sadistic guards and murderous felons–whereas Godwin has sharply defined the world of the upper crust as being veined with the same dark blood as flowed through Jack the Ripper’s carotid… if Jack wore Armani and ate at the best four-star restaurants.’
‘Godwin has made his protagonists Flare and Steele every bit as psychologically disturbed and complicated as the killer they are hunting, if not more so in some aspects. Both harbor dark secrets from their pasts which not only affect their ability to do their jobs, but which have also twisted their view of who they are at their very core as people. This juxtaposition makes for an interesting examination of the way different people handle similar shaping experiences and the resulting negative impulses, raising questions about what causes some people to channel their frustration and confusion into positive outlets while others are pulled down into the mouth of madness.
Indeed, Mr. Glamour is a bold piece of writing, one which both challenges readers’ perceptions as well as cements Godwin’s status as a master of the dark and disturbing.’
Elizabeth White Reviews.
What inspired the book? Where did you get your idea?
From watching people live their lives. I was also interested in the obsession with designer brands, the things we own eventually own us.
What genre is this book?
Let’s look at the notion of genre. Many fine writers write within it. They deliver a well told tale within a set defined structure. But the idea was spawned by those who need to make money in a business which is suffering. Great literature has always mixed genres. Academics have tried to catalogue what literature is but a great story moves beyond parameters set by those who are trying to engineer a response among buyers or their acolytes.
I believe in hybrids and I believe that writing straight genre is a discipline.
I would say Mr. Glamour is the child of crime and horror after a night of extreme passion.
Where and when can I read the book?
You can read it right now almost anywhere, but if you want a good deal go straight to Amazon.com or Amazon.co.uk . Mr. Glamour is out in a paperback at the moment. If you want an E Book taster please check out my debut novel, Apostle Rising, which has sold and continues to sell foreign rights throughout Europe. In it a serial killer is crucifying politicians. It is available for the first time in E Book with some juicy extras, an excerpt from Mr. Glamour and four deliciously dark Noir stories, like the finest handmade chocolate.
Here in the US
Here in the UK
On Xin Xii