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Recently I have been interested in the crime fiction titles that are selling this year and I am hoping mine might fare well in June when I publish The Unwanted – James McKenna, my latest crime novel.

With the internet being a massive treasure trove of statistics and information we can easily check out what is shifting crate loads of copies and also how books are being marketed and where.

The ones that have caught my eye recently have been Sister by Rosamund Lupton, The Redeemer Jo Nesbo, Bloody Valentine by James Patterson and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest by Stieg Larsson. These will do for starters.

Try the Book Depository for crime fiction titles

In fact they came to my attention when I ordered some books from http://www.bookdepository.co.uk and they supplied me with a very clever bookmark outlining how four crime books fared against the top 100 in the crime fiction category. I am always interested in other ways of marketing and drawing attention to crime fiction in whatever form. I suppose we are all so good at multi-tasking that even the humble bookmark now has to earn its keep and become a powerful marketing tool, so we get a fix!

James McKenna author versus James McKenna reader

When I am not scribbling away, although right now that seems to be most of the time, James McKenna author becomes James McKenna reader and it’s strange that I should enjoy other people’s crime fiction so much. I am always fascinated how crimes are resolved, hints are dropped and plots duck and dive.

You always want what you can’t have.

I also listened to Open Book on the BBC’s Radio 4 station and there was a really fascinating article on fiction trends in Turkey and how passionate young Turks are about books as for many years many titles were banned. It seems the way to really kick start interest in crime fiction, and in fact any book for that matter, is to ban it first! Human nature always wants what it can’t have or has been deprived of, so maybe I market the next book The Unwanted as a book no one is allowed to read! After all, do we take for granted the wealth of opportunities a democracy allows us? That is another debate I am thinking which I cannot begin here.

Sister Rosamund Lupton

Anyway, I digress, I was supposed to be talking about the four books I mentioned at the beginning of this blog and as time is running away with me this morning I am going to concentrate on Sister by Rosamund Lupton. This is a really good read, dealing as it does with sisters who could not be more different, one a free-wheeling artist and the other a dull corporate type with a suitably matching husband to be. The juxtaposition is interesting as both sisters are so very different: one lives in London, the other New York, one is passionate and ephemeral, the other bossy and staid. However the bond between them is still strong and there is their shared and partly unhappy history that binds them to one another. Yet we learn almost immediately that Tess is dead, apparently a case of suicide but her older sister thinks very differently and here the plot really begins.

It is a taut novel that deals with inherited disease, fractures in families and self- recrimination. The investigation that the older sister, Bea undertakes is frenetic, even reckless, which comes as a shock.

Searching for a murderer or something else?

You are not sure whether she is really searching for a murderer or something that has perhaps died inside herself. It was interesting to discover the author has a screenwriting pedigree and this actually not surprising as the story is spiked regularly with electric moments which ‘shock’ the reader and keep them gripped and it almost felt that as a reader I was being played with as if I was watching a film.

The new James McKenna crime fiction book mark

I thought Sister by Rosamund Lupton had a synergy and electricity which is very sparky and it’s not surprising it leads the Book Depository’s recent trends list . I may well think of designing a James McKenna bookmark; it’s a simple yet neat idea. I must get back to it. See you next week.