First Paragraph

The moment before the bullet struck, I was glaring at a journalist I didn’t like over a cup of coffee I didn’t want. At eleven o’clock on this Saturday night, I was meant to be sipping champagne next door at the literary event of the year; instead, I had just burnt my tongue. The lights of the Meridien Hotel opposite twinkled gaily, illuminating this stretch of Piccadilly as its flags flapped to and fro in the October gale. It was the opening night of National Book Week, and it wasn’t supposed to happen this way.

Unsigned cover copy

“It was billed as the biggest literary event of the season. McKinley Montague, the handsome, enigmatic author of sensational serial-killer novels, was to make a rare book-signing appearance at the grand opening of London’s newest superbookstore. But the author never arrives – and word quickly spreads that Monrague is dead, the victim of a mysterious boating accident.

Publisher Alex Plumtree is shocked by McKinley’s sudden passing, yet more disturbing is the encounter Alex has in a local coffee shop with a reporter that very night. First the scribe reveals he received a tip that McKinley’s own publishers had him murdered to boost his sales. Seconds later, a bullet shatters the café’s window, missing the pair by inches.

The shooting is only the first of many bizarre incidents, unexplained deaths, and troubling phone calls. And with his own life hanging in the balance, Alex wonders if McKinley’s demise was just the opening chapter in London’s deadliest literary season ever…”