THE PEOPLE'S BOOK PRIZE
McNidder & Grace are delighted to announce that R.J. Mitchell’s The Shift has been nominated for the national competition The People’s Book Prize, the prestigious award in which you, the great British reading public, are the jury.
The Shift has made it into the fiction category in the Autumn selection of novels and is up against over thirty other quality titles in the battle to earn a place in the grand final which will be held at a black tie event at the Stationers’ Hall, London, on a gala evening in May 2017, hosted by TPBP patron Frederick Forsyth CBE and televised by Sky News.
To make the final, R.J. Mitchell need’s your support!
So we encourage everybody to buy, borrow from the libraries, read, comment and vote for R.J. Mitchell. You have 3 months to vote for The Shift until 30 November 2016. The three authors with the most votes in the category will become finalists and will compete again on May or July 2017. We thank you very much in advance and if you have enjoyed The Shift we would like to invite you to record your support for R.J. Mitchell by clicking on:
www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1448 and placing your vote for our Scottish hope and his gripping account of Thoroughgood's days as a rookie cop in Glasgow in 1989 under the ominous shadow of the Northern Ireland troubles.
OUT NOW - THE SHIFT BY R.J. MITCHELL
THE SHIFT is an exceptionally gritty thriller and one that will transport the reader back to the summer of 1989 and is based on the author's experiences after he joined Strathclyde Police on July 31, 1989. It is interwoven with a fictionalised account of the Ice Cream War and the Northern Ireland troubles spilling into Glasgow.
Drawing heavily from his experiences as a Glasgow cop Mitchell has created the critically acclaimed and award nominated DS Thoroughgood detective series.
THE BOOKBAG'S TOP TEN CRIME NOVELS OF 2015
MURDER IN MALMO (Anita Sundstrom Mysteries) by Torquil MacLeod
Inspector Anita Sundstrom has been on sick leave for a few months. To some extent it's been political: she was involved in a high-profile case which went tragically wrong and left her exposed and emotionally vulnerable. Now she's back at work and there's a lot going on that's exciting. Someone is killing rich local businessmen and one was made (rather clumsily) to look like a suicide, but the reason isn't obvious. At the other end of the economic scale, a gunman is shooting at immigrants and there's fear in their communities. They're aware that they're not well-liked in Sweden and now they're actually getting shot at. But Sundstrom is not going to be allowed to get involved with the murder cases - she's not trusted - and finds herself stuck with the new trainee detective whilst she investigates the theft of some modern art.
There won't be any spoilers in this review, but you need to know that Murder in Malmo doesn't read well as a standalone. A lot of what happens, and most particularly the way that Sundstrom is treated arises out of what happens in the first book in the series. You'll understand this second book better if you've read the first book - and if you read this book first (yes, you could) it will spoil the pleasure of reading Meet Me in Malmo.
I can't think of another police procedural where all the investigators come off the page so well. You begin by thinking that they're going to be a bit stereotypical. Westermark looks as though he's going to be the standard randy copper, lusting after anything in a skirt and Sundstrom in particular, but even she acknowledges that he's a good detective. Moberg, her boss, is gross, misogynistic and on his third marriage. He's quick to put Sundstrom down when she returns to work and to tell her that she could be out of a job if she's not careful - but he recognises her talents when it's important. I liked Nordlund (the older detective who's mentored Sundstrom) and Hakim the new trainee. They knit together into a credible team.
And the plot is good - complex and with plenty of red herrings, clever without being too clever and with a very unusual killing for the first murder which it takes the investigators some time to work out how it was done, never mind by whom. The three murder cases all seem to be completely unconnected. Are the connections which do emerge just coincidences or something more sinister? I'm normally far too busy to spend a day reading a book, but I finally had to be reminded yesterday evening that dinner might be a good idea and I was shocked to find just how late it was as I'd been completely wrapped up in the book. After I read Meet Me in Malmo I thought that Torquil MacLeod might be an author to follow and I'd be happy to read his next book. Now I can't wait for the third book in the series.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
Murder in Malmo (Anita Sundstrom Mysteries) by Torquil MacLeod is in the TOP TEN CRIME NOVELS OF 2015.
HOT OFF THE PRESS! - SIMON & GARFUNKEL : TOGETHER ALONE by SPENCER LEIGH with a foreword by Suzi Quatro.
SIMON AND GARFUNKEL is a definitive account of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel's career together. With unique material and exclusive interviews with fellow musicians, promoters and friends, acclaimed author Spencer Leigh has written a compelling biography of some of the world's biggest musical stars. With remarkable stories about the duo on every page, the book not only charts their rise to success and the years of their fame, but analyses the personalities of the two men and the ups and downs of their often fraught relationship.
EURO CRIME REVIEW : MURDER IN MALMÖ By Torquil MacLeod
Tommy Ekman, the charismatic head of an advertising agency, is found dead in his shower. With no tangible evidence the suspicion falls first on his employees, and then on his wife Kristina, daughter of the powerful and rich industrialist Dag Wollstad. Tommy’s death has been caused by inhaling gas, similar to what was used in Nazi gas chambers. The discovery is shocking and completely incomprehensible. Soon another prominent Malmö businessman is found murdered, and the investigating team stumbles in the dark, trying to dig into the backgrounds of victims and to connect conflicting motives. A third murder follows…
At the same time a gunman is targeting immigrants in Malmö, shooting to spread the fear, and then shooting to kill. No traces are left but the message is clear and disturbing. The ghost of the King Gustav Adolf, famous for leading Sweden to military supremacy in the seventeenth century, seems to be lurking in background…
However, Inspector Anita Sundström is not allowed to be involved in either of these investigations. Returning to work after her disastrous error of professional judgement (set out in a first novel MEET ME IN MALMO) she is side-lined and sent to track a stolen modern piece of art. That case is more to please the well-connected Commissioner Dahlbeck rather than to seriously find the painting. Anita’s previous protégé is sent to Stockholm so she is teamed with Hakim, a young conscientious but hot headed policeman of Iraqi origin. She feels equally annoyed and motherly towards Hakim but has no say within the boundaries set by her antagonistic boss Chief Inspector Moberg and her colleague and nemesis Inspector Karl Westmark, a particularly unpleasant person, lusting after any attractive woman he sees and chasing after people who could further his career. He would become a caricature; however, MacLeod’s skilful characterisation builds up tension where it is needed and moves the story forward.
I confess I want Inspector Anita Sundström to be my friend. She messes up, kills the wrong man, falls in love with the killer and cannot move on. She’s big on self-pity. Occasionally she disobeys orders. But she definitely wants to do her job to the best of her abilities, and although reluctantly, she can admit that misogynist opportunist Westmark is actually an excellent cop. Only a clever author can create a believable protagonist, flawed and honest.
Fast paced, with a strong plot and full of references to the history of Sweden and geography of Skåne, where Malmö is located, the second novel by Torquil MacLeod is very visual, with a very rich sense of location. Anita Sundström’s stories would make a great TV dramas. I would also recommend it to the fans of the much darker Kurt Wallander’s series: Ystad is not that far from Malmö. Read, compare and enjoy.
Ewa Sherman, November 2015
FINANCIAL TIMES interview (Saturday 21 November 2015) with John Donald, author of PRECIOUS STATEMENTS.
PRAISE FOR JOHN DONALD
'John Donald's work is a wonderful example of innovation and expression. It's a time capsule spanning five decades since the 1960's that British jewellery will never witness again.' JOANNA HARDY, Independent Fine Jewellery Specialists.
'The combination of John Donald's creative vision with exquisite craftsmanship has also been recognised by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, his principal patron of Modern Jewellery, but also by many private clients.' ROSEMARY RANSOME WALLIS, Art Director and Curator, The Collections of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, London.
OUT NOW - FRANK SINATRA : AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE.
With exclusive interviews with fellow musicians, promoters and those who knew him, FRANK SINATRA : AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE, with much unique material, will be the definitive account of Sinatra and his career. FOREWORD BY SIR TIM RICE.
'In Spencer Leigh's mammoth and wonderful tome on Frank Sinatra, he has superbly given us Americana through the long life and career of his subject which began way before his did. Sinatra's agents, lovers, dodgy associates, showbiz friends and enemies, passions, hatreds, bravery and recklessness, finesse and crudity, worldly wisdom and naiveté, are all part of the complex whole and Leigh captures them all. Whether there has been a better telling of the Frank Sinatra story than Spencer Leigh's version only someone who has read all the myriad other attempts can say. I can say for sure that after reading FRANK SINATRA : AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE you may want to read more about him, but you won't need to.' - Sir Tim Rice
OUT NOW - BEST OF THE BEATLES : THE SACKING OF PETE BEST.
In this unique book, based on extensive research and interviews with those close to the events, Spencer Leigh has gathered all the clues together to try and solve the greatest Beatles mystery of all.
'A wonderful book!' - HAROLD KRÄMER, THE BEATLES MUSEUM
'An accomplished writer of musical biographies, this is a typically authoritative book.' - CHOICE MAGAZINE
'A remarkable book. It has been a great pleasure to read.' - DAVID CHARTERS, LIVERPOOL ECHO
MURDER IN MALMÖ by TORQUIL MACLEOD : BLOG TOUR 9 - 24 AUGUST 2015
Visit the bloggers following this exciting blog tour that took place in August 2015 for Murder in Malmö by Torquil Macleod. Catch up with Anita in the second instalment of the Inspector Anita Sundström mysteries.
A gunman is loose in Malmö and he's targeting immigrants. The charismatic head of an advertising agency is found dead in his shower. Inspector Anita Sundström wants to be involved in the murder investigations, but she is being sidelined by her antagonistic boss. She is assigned to find a stolen painting by a once - fashionable artist, as well as being lumbered with a new trainee assistant. She also has to restore her professional reputation after a deadly mix-up in a previous high-profile case. Then another prominent Malmö businessman is found murdered and Sundström finds herself back in the action and facing new dangers in the second Anita Sundström Malmö mystery.
'I hope that Anita Sundström will be assigned to more cases in future books.' - EURO CRIME
'A great new addition to the crime genre... pretty terrific.' - LIZ WILKINS
'Anita Sundström deserves a place alongside the best Nordic detectives.' - QUENTIN BATES
April 15, 2015 is the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Bergen - Belsen.
To commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of the camps and Holocaust Memorial Day the Jewish Museum London has invited Zdenka Fantlová to speak about her experiences on Sunday 25 January 2015 at 10:30AM - 12:30PM.
In 2010 McNidder & Grace published Zdenka Fantlová's memoir THE TIN RING; a unique and incredible story of love,human endurance and will power. How a seventeen year old girl survived the horrors of six Nazi concentration camps.
'An unforgettable memoir... deserves to be read for it's unique story and for its shared message about the unrelenting human spirit.' - PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY
'These are the stories we must read and never forget.' - CHIEF RABBI LORD SACKS
'Zdenka Fantlová and her story made a lasting impression. She survived six concentration camps, endured horrors the like of which most of us can't begin to comprehend, yet never lost the will to live or her optimism for a better future. During her time in the camps she kept a little tin ring, made for her by her boyfriend. She risked her life to keep this humble object that meant so much to her.' - FIONA BRUCE, BBC'S ANTIQUE ROADSHOW
Now 94, Zdenka Fantlová is one of the few living eye witnesses to the horror of the Holocaust, to which she lost her entire family. For as long as she lives Zdenka is determined to tell her inspiring story of great love, and of what happened in the Holocaust to as many people as possible. If you wish to see a copy of the book or speak to Zdenka, please do get in touch with Linda MacFayden. Email : firstname.lastname@example.org . Tel : 0191 280 1080 . Mobile : 07768 390172 .
The Portico Prize is awarded biennially to the highest quality books set mainly or wholly in the north of England. The winners of the £10,000 prize in each section (fiction and non-fiction) will be announced at a gala dinner on 22 November in Manchester Town Hall.
The Portico shortlisting coincides with the paperback launch, in October 2012, of William Armstrong, Magician of the North, which has received numerous accolades since it was first published in hardback in the autumn of 2010.