Monday 18 July 2022

The Hunter's Quarry, by Mark West

 I'm pleased to announce that The Hunter's Quarry, my third mainstream thriller published by The Book Folks, is now available.

Has a professional killer got the right target in his sights?

A woman is being hunted by a ruthless assassin. She has no idea why. Surely he must have confused her with someone else…

But you can’t exactly go up to someone who is trying to kill you and ask why. You can call the cops, but will they believe you? And can you trust them?

Single mum, Rachel, must use all of her wits and ingenuity to escape this threat. Maybe she can even turn the tables on her pursuers. But first she’ll have to find out what they want...

THE HUNTER’S QUARRY is the third gripping thriller novel by Mark West. Look out for his other standalone titles, the psychological thrillers DON’T GO BACK and ONLY WATCHING YOU.

If you enjoy fast-paced crime fiction full of suspense, you’ll absolutely love this book!

* * *

“You have something he’s willing to kill to get back.  You just don’t realise it yet…”
When Rachel Turner inadvertently comes into possession of a mysterious package, dropped into her handbag by a woman later killed for the item, she finds herself the target of a deadly pursuit from a ruthless gang of criminals.  As the net draws in ever tighter, Rachel needs to use her wits to stay alive.

THE HUNTER’S QUARRY is set in and around Hadlington, the same town as my second novel, Only Watching You and takes place over the course of one suspense filled night. Again, it was written during the lockdowns and plotted out with my good friend David Roberts on our Friday Night Walks. 

THE HUNTER’S QUARRY is a relentless novel of suspense, with plenty of twists and turns.

Tell all your friends!

Monday 4 July 2022

Nostalgic For My Childhood - Some More Summer Specials

A couple of years ago I had a conversation with Dude where he expressed amusement over what I had to put up with when I was his age, namely (but not limited to) very few video games, cameras that were only cameras and phones that were wired to the walls in your house.  This led to me blogging about one terrific thing I had that he didn't, the Summer Special!
As I explained then (you can read the 2018 entry here, the 2020 one here and the 2021 one here), children’s comics now aren’t a patch on what they were back in the 70s and 80s (and before that, even).  Modern titles, sealed in plastic bags and littered with free gifts, have very little in the way of comic strips or stories (in fact, most seem to consist of quizzes) but back in the day the likes of IPC and DC Thomson produced a raft of weeklies that catered for most tastes (published on newsprint with a splash of colour).

Those weeklies, in turn, gave us the Summer Special to look forward to.  A one-off edition of our favourite title, it was thicker and more colourful and the perfect reading accompaniment to a long car journey or a lazy afternoon in the back garden.

Comics historian Lew Stringer suggests (on his blog) that “today’s retailers dislike them because they occupy valuable shelf space for too many months” which didn’t bother newsagents in the 70s - Summer Specials were especially popular at seaside towns because they were pretty much guaranteed sellers, with a new batch of kids every week who’d need entertaining.

Here are a few more from my golden-era of reading them (the late 70s into the early 80s) - what were your favourites?
1979 - a team-up between Spidey & The Punisher sees people disintegrate in a poisonous gas.  Even read now, the imagery is cheerfully gruesome!
1979 - a real favourite of mine, I wrote a retrospective of Look-In which you can read here

Thanks to Lew Stringer for the history and comicvine for some of the scans.  See also David Barnett’s excellent blog piece at The Guardian.