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A Waterstones Exclusive Short Story: Five Seconds by Ragdoll Author Daniel Cole

Daniel Cole, author of hard-hitting debut Crime thriller Ragdoll, is no stranger to a crime scene. Working as a paramedic for three years helped Cole’s writing develop not only its pace and urgency but also the kind of black humour that Cole says “comes from the emergency services jobs – the coping mechanism”. The first part in a series featuring controversial Met Police detective, William (Wolf) Fawkes, Ragdoll is a twisted game of cat and mouse against a ruthless and bloody serial killer whilst the clock is ticking. As we welcome a key new voice in crime writing, we present an exclusive short story by Daniel Cole from a moment on the brink of emergency.

Kate Hamer: The Five Books by my Bedside

Kate Hamer: The Five Books by my Bedside

Posted on 2nd Mar, 2017 by Sally Campbell & Martha Greengrass

Kate Hamer’s first novel, The Girl in the Red Coat, shot to the top of the bestsellers, described as a ‘21st-century Little Red Riding Hood’. Now Hamer is back with her follow-up, The Doll Funeral which touches on many of the same themes: parents and children, self-discovery and mental health delivering what The Guardian has called ‘an elegiac and uplifting novel about the indissoluble bonds between mothers and daughters and a reminder of how the imagination can set you free’. Hamer is certainly no stranger to the art of the page-turner, but what are the books that are keeping her from turning out the light? We asked her to give us a tour of her own bedside reading.

Extract: The Dry by Jane Harper

Extract: The Dry by Jane Harper

Posted on 6th Feb, 2017 by Sally Campbell

Jane Harper's stripped-down, heat-scorched debut thriller The Dry has been turning heads the moment review copies were first released into the wild. ‘The no-frills storytelling is indicative of Harper’s career as a journalist… The Dry is skilfully written and absorbing,’ concluded the Financial Times, marvelling at the novel’s rural Australian-set air of sombre, brutal menace, as a Melbourne cop seeks out the truth behind his best friend’s apparent double-murder and suicide.

Why Brighton is the Perfect Setting for a Crime Novel

Brighton is a seaside resort of many colours. For some, it’s the quintessential British holiday destination, a place of piers and pebble-laden beaches; for others, it’s the focus of vibrant cultural diversity, a town at the vanguard of LGBTQ equality. For all its kitsch appeal and liberal idyll, there the other Brighton, the place where the neon meets the darkness: from Brighton Rock onward, bestselling crime author Elly Griffiths and ex-detective Graham Bartlett, explain why this south-coast resort is the perfect setting for murder most foul.

Teaching Myself a Lesson: Maz Evans on writing Who Let The Gods Out?

Our Children's Book of the Month for February combines Greek mythology with the author's own sharp wit to create a high-octane adventure story that is absolutely perfect for that sometimes tricky 9-12 audience. Maz Evans’ Who Let The Gods Out? is a whirlwind of entombed demons and wild gods with feet of clay, written with all the gusto and energy that is spot-on for young minds. Although this is indeed her debut, Maz Evans has very much cut her teeth teaching the art of story to many, many others: for Waterstones, this spectacular new talent fills us in on how teaching writing transformed her own game.

Leap In: A Guide to Taking Your Swimming to the Next Level

Alexandra Heminsley won a legion of fans with her effervescent Running Like a Girl, her manifesto-cum-memoir  for anyone who has looked on with sadness at their running shoes lying discarded in the hall. Now Heminsley weaves the same magic in Leap In, her spellbinding account of challenging our basic fears of the water and rediscovering an almost spiritual new realm. Basic questions around swimming however abound, and in the following extract from the book, the author assembles her top tips toward diving into a new life of fitness and meaningful pleasure.

A Letter from Ali Land, Author of Good Me, Bad Me

It’s no secret that almost every publisher is seeking the next Gone Girl or The Girl on The Traingenerating a fair number of copycat psychological thrillers. Good Me, Bad Me is most probably the book they are looking for, with word-of-mouth already declaring this tale of serial-killing motherhood the debut of 2017. In the following letter penned by author Ali Land – a sometime nurse for Child and Adolescent Mental Health – she covers the motives behind the novel’s genesis.

A Day in the Life of Children's Author Lisa Thompson

The Goldfish Boy is our Children’s Book of the Month for January. Perhaps described best as a Rear Window for younger readers, Lisa Thompson’s debut is a deft combination of thriller and a heartfelt portrayal of a young boy overcoming sky-high hurdles. Although it takes real writing chops to create something this assured, Thompson unveils some writing tips to the aspirant, including the most effective ways to battle that most terrible of demons – procrastination.

Cast Iron: Peter May on Researching the Final Enzo

As the publication of the final Enzo Macleod novel, Cast Iron, nears, and in an article written exclusively for Waterstones, award-winning crime writer Peter May shares some of the locations and individuals that inspired him to write the final Enzo File.

Space Odysseys: The Royal Institution's Christmas Lectures

Mankind's fascination with the cosmos stretches back long before the first unmanned mission of Sputnik 1 in 1957. The Royal Institution's Christmas Lectures can attest to this long-held curiosity; taking place almost every year since 1825, the lectures have so often been devoted to unravelling the mysteries of our universe. Freelance astronomy writer Colin Stuart was lucky enough to gain access to the RI's archive and has published a hand-picked selection of the lectures in the handsome and insightful collection, 13 Journey's Through Space and Time, with a foreward by astronaut Tim Peake. Stuart shares some thoughts on our passion for space exploration. 

Exclusive to Waterstones – Chapter One of Zadie Smith’s Swing Time

A powerful, sweeping meditation on the very nature and purpose of friendship, Swing Time has all the hallmarks of Zadie Smith at her finest. Sample the first chapter here and prepare to be swept into the dance.

Exclusive Extract: Stephenie Meyer's The Chemist

Stephenie Meyer’s hotly anticipated first adult novel The Chemist has arrived; and without a single vampire in sight. From the same imagination that brought us Twilight’s star-crossed lovers and the 2008 New York Times number one bestseller The Host, comes a taut, fast-moving adult thriller. When an agent from a black-budget government agency is declared a lethal liability, to survive she is forced to deploy the very skills that have made her such a danger. As a taste of Meyer's exciting new change in narrative direction, we present an exclusive extract from The Chemist.

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