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Well, I survived my first ever Bloody Scotland! Obviously I would have loved to have won the Debut Prize, but massive congratulations to Claire Askew for her amazing win with All the Hidden Truths.

Great to meet fellow Debut Prize shortlistees Claire, G.R. Halliday and Allan Martin (and discover surreal “6 degrees of separation” connection to the latter). Muchas gracias to Gordon Brown for chairing the Debut Prize panel on Saturday!

Also fantastic to catch up (albeit briefly) with familiar faces James Oswald, Caro Ramsay and Neil Broadfoot, and to make the acquaintances of Denise Mina, Douglas Skelton and the other McIlvanney nominees. Apologies for being even more monosyllabic than usual. Crowds of three or more people tend to make me shut down.

Apologies also to everyone I’ve missed out. I rubbed shoulders with so many writer-type people over the last couple of days that listing them all would be a novel in and of itself.

Finally, and this obviously goes without saying, massive thanks to Bloody Scotland for allowing me to crash the party, and to the judges for nominating me for not one but two prestigious awards. I’m totally bowled over by the massive vote of confidence in my writing.

Above: McIlvanney Prize and Bloody Scotland Debut Prize 2019 shortlisters. Top row (l-r): M.R. Mackenzie, Chris Brookmyre & Marisa Haetzman (Ambrose Parry), Douglas Skelton, Claire Askew. Bottom row: Denise Mina, Doug Johnstone, Manda Scott. Photograph by Paul Reich.


Apologies for not providing a breakdown of my Arrow projects for the past few months in the usual timely fashion. I’ve had a lot on, both in terms of my production job and my novel-writing. Better late than never, here’s what was announced between July and September…


Satanic Panic

Satanic Panic

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Death to the weak. Wealth to the strong.

Murder goes luxe in this hilarious horror romp produced by the top tome in terror, Fangoria. From the creative pairing of renowned author Grady Hendrix (Horrorstör, My Best Friend’s Exorcism) and a cast led by Rebecca Romijn (X-Men, The Librarians) and Jerry O’Connell (Billions, Piranha 3D), Satanic Panic is a delightfully camp peek into the dastardly vice of the 1%.

When Sam’s first day slinging pizza is a total wash-out, she decides to go against the advice of her colleagues and take one last delivery in the wealthy enclave out of town. Once again stiffed for a tip, she breaks into an imposing mansion to try to convince them to pay up. Unfortunately, she’s stepped right into a Satan-worshipping, demon-summoning, virgin-sacrificing coven! The bad news just keeps coming for our hero, as these society sorcerers are down a virgin and today is sacrifice day. What ensues is a fight for survival as Sam takes on murderous babysitters, blood-crazed soccer mums and more than her fair share of lustful demons.

Welcome to the 1%, where the rich get richer and the poor get offered to Baphomet.

Special Edition Contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and 2.0 PCM stereo audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Director Chelsea Stardust’s video introduction to the Arrow Video FrightFest UK premiere
  • The Making of Satanic Panic, featuring interviews with Chelsea Stardust, screenwriter Grady Hendrix and multiple cast members
  • Girl Power - members of the cast and crew discuss working on a female-driven horror movie
  • Sam & Judi - Chelsea Stardust and actors Hayley Griffith and Ruby Modine discuss two of the film’s central characters
  • Behind the scenes reel
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two choices of artwork

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas


Nightbreed

Nightbreed

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From the mind of writer/director Clive Barker - the macabre visionary responsible for Hellraiser and Candyman - comes Nightbreed, a nightmare-induced fantasy set in a world like nothing you’ve ever experienced before… one which will leave you questioning who the real monsters are.

By night, Aaron Boone (Craig Sheffer, Teen Wolf) dreams of Midian, a hidden subterranean world where monsters have created a haven from humanity. Under pressure from his girlfriend Lori (Anne Bobby, Born on the Fourth of July), he attends psychotherapy sessions, unaware that his shrink, Dr Decker (Videodrome director David Cronenberg), is setting him up to take the fall for a series of violent murders. Convinced he no longer belongs in the human world, Boone goes in search of Midian - not realising that the real killer has plans for both him and the colourful cast of outsiders who call it home…

The victim of studio interference and an unrepresentative marketing campaign, Nightbreed was poorly received by critics on its initial release and failed to ignite the box office, but has since undergone a radical reappraisal. Arrow Video is proud to present two versions of this depraved cult classic: the studio-approved theatrical cut and the reconstructed, reinvigorated director’s cut, for the ultimate nightmarish viewing experience.

Limited Edition Contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentations of the 120-minute director’s cut, transferred from the original camera negative, and the 102-minute theatrical cut, transferred from the original interpositive
  • Lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and uncompressed 2.0 PCM audio on the director’s cut
  • Uncompressed 2.0 PCM audio on the theatrical cut
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • New audio commentary on the theatrical cut by critics Adrian J Smith and David Flint
  • Audio commentary on the director’s cut by writer/director Clive Barker and restoration producer Mark Alan Miller
  • Introduction to the director’s cut by Clive Barker and Mark Alan Miller
  • Memories of Midian, a new interview with actor Nicholas Vince
  • Walking the Line Between Heaven and Hell, a new video interview with critic Kat Ellinger
  • Speaking up for the Monsters, a new video interview with critic Kim Newman
  • Tribes of the Moon: Making Nightbreed, an extensive documentary on the making of the film, featuring actors Craig Sheffer, Doug Bradley, Anne Bobby and many more
  • Making Monsters, a documentary on the film’s creature designs, featuring special makeup designer Bob Keen
  • Fire! Fights! Stunts!, a video interview with second unit director Andy Armstrong
  • Deleted and alternate scenes
  • Monster Prosthetics Masterclass
  • Cutting Compromise, a video interview with editor Mark Goldblatt
  • The Painted Landscape, an exploration of the work of concept artist Ralph McQuarrie
  • Matte painting tests
  • Makeup tests
  • Lost stop motion footage
  • Extended torture scene
  • Rehearsal test
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Rare TV spots
  • Multiple image galleries, including early sketches, set photos, poster and pre-production art, stills from the UK launch party at Tower Records, and more
  • Original screenplay (BD-ROM content)
  • Reversible sleeve feature original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
  • Double-sided fold-out poster
  • Limited edition 40-page booklet, featuring new writing on the film by author and critic Amy Simmons and an in-depth history of the film’s development, release and rehabilitation by Mark Salisbury, co-author of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed: The Making of the Film

The Limits of Control

The Limits of Control

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When it comes to American independent cinema, there’s no one quite like Jim Jarmusch, the celebrated auteur behind such classics as Stranger Than Paradise and Only Lovers Left Alive. Eschewing his usual American landscapes in favour of a variety of locations throughout urban and rural Spain, his 2009 anti-thriller The Limits of Control remains one of his most alluring and multi-layered creations.

An enigmatic loner (Isaach de Bankolé, Black Panther, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai) arrives in Spain, instructed to make contact with a series of strangers in different locations throughout the country, each of whom provides a cryptic clue which propels him further towards his mysterious goal. But who is the Lone Man? Why is he here? And how does the recurring figure of an alluring femme fatale (Paz de la Huerta, Enter the Void) fit into the puzzle?

Boasting stunning cinematography by the award-winning Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love) and featuring cameos from an array of celebrated character actors, including Tilda Swinton (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Gael García Bernal (Y Tu Mamá También) and the late John Hurt (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy), The Limits of Control is a languid, hauntingly beautiful film that combines the best of American and European arthouse sensibilities.

Special Edition Contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation
  • Original lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and PCM 2.0 stereo soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • An American in Europe, a new video interview with Geoff Andrew, author of Stranger Than Paradise: Maverick Film-Makers in Recent American Cinema
  • The Rituals of Control, a new video essay on the film by author and critic Amy Simmons
  • Behind Jim Jarmusch, an archival documentary on the making of the film
  • Untitled Landscapes, an archival featurette showcasing the film’s locations
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring two choices of artwork

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Geoff Andrew


Model Shop

Model Shop

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Two lovers from very different walks of life collide in Model Shop, the first film by French New Wave luminary Jacques Demy (Bay of Angels, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) to be shot in the United States and a zeitgeist-capturing portrait of the late 1960s.

Los Angeles architect George Matthews (Gary Lockwood, 2001: A Space Odyssey) is down on his luck. Unemployed, broke and facing imminent deployment to Vietnam, he suddenly and unexpectedly finds himself transfixed by the captivating Lola (Anouk Aimée, reprising her eponymous role from Demy’s 1961 film), a pin-up who works in a low rent “model shop” specialising in erotic photographs. After spending his last $12 to photograph her, George realises they are kindred spirits, both adrift and without hope in the City of Angels, and, during a night of drinking and lovemaking at Lola’s apartment, he forges a connection with the damaged woman that will have lasting consequences for them both…

Dismissed as a minor entry in Demy’s canon at the time of its original release, Model Shop later made Sight & Sound’s list of “hidden gems” that had been unduly overlooked. Replete with Demy’s sharp-eyed observations on the human condition and showcasing a masterfully realised sense of both time and place, Demy’s American debut is a dreamy, devastating love story about a city and characters at a crossroads between the past and the future.

Special Edition Contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation of a 2K restoration of the film
  • Original lossless mono soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • Isolated music and effects track
  • New audio commentary by actress and writer Illeana Douglas, author of I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies
  • A City Full of Poetry, a new video appreciation by author and critic Philip Kemp
  • Alternate French-language opening and closing titles
  • Theatrical trailer
  • TV spots
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Ignatius Fitzpatrick

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Neil Mitchell


Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five

Billy Pilgrim lives – from time to time to time…

Past, present and future collide in darkly satirical fashion in Slaughterhouse-Five! Based on Kurt Vonnegut’s classic 1969 novel, this tale of time travel and alien abduction emerged as part of a wave of more cerebral science-fiction films in the late 60s to early 70s, elevating the genre beyond the B-movie fare of previous decades.

Upstate New York, 1968. Mild-mannered Billy Pilgrim (Michael Sacks, The Sugarland Express) finds himself “unstuck in time”. Traveling back and forth across the entire span of his existence, he experiences key events of his life in a random order, including his formative years, the firebombing of Dresden and finally, at some undefined point in the future, his surreal adventures on a distant planet.

Praised by Vonnegut himself for its fidelity to his novel, Slaughterhouse-Five boasts assured direction by George Roy Hill (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) and a memorable score by renowned concert pianist Glenn Gould. Now exclusively restored in 4K, Slaughterhouse-Five shines like never before, reinforcing its timeless appeal.

Special Edition Contents:

  • Brand new 4K restoration from the original camera negative, produced by Arrow Video exclusively for this release
  • High Definition (1080p) Blu-ray™ presentation
  • Original lossless mono audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • New audio commentary by author and critic Troy Howarth
  • New video appreciation with author and critic Kim Newman
  • Pilgrim’s Progress: Playing Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with actor Perry King
  • Only on Earth: Presenting Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with Rocky Lang, son of executive producer Jennings Lang, about the film’s distribution
  • Unstuck in Time: Documenting Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with behind-the-scenes filmmaker/producer Robert Crawford, Jr.
  • Eternally Connected: Composing Slaughterhouse-Five, a new video interview with film music historian Daniel Schweiger
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Corey Brickley

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Peter Tonguette


Additionally, the previously UK-only THE RING COLLECTION, APPRENTICE TO MURDER, FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC and JAKE SPEED are all getting US releases.


Who Saw Her Die?

Who Saw Her Die?

Former Bond star George Lazenby (On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Man from Hong Kong) headlines this classic giallo directed by Aldo Lado (Short Night of Glass Dolls, Night Train Murders) — as compelling for its haunting atmosphere, twists and turns as for its parallels with another great Venetian horror/thriller - Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now.

Sculptor Franco Serpieri (Lazenby) welcomes Roberta (Nicoletta Elmi, Deep Red) — his young daughter from a failed marriage — to Venice, unaware that a disturbed child-killer is stalking the city’s canals. When Roberta’s body is found floating face-down in the river, the lives of Franco and his estranged wife Elizabeth (Anita Strindberg, The Case of the Scorpion’s Tail) are ripped asunder. Desperate for vengeance, Franco turns detective in a bid to track down his daughter’s killer, and in the process unearths shocking evidence of depravity and corruption which implicates some of the most respected figures in Venetian society.

Released at the height of the giallo boom, this gripping mystery thriller boasts some of the most iconic names associated with the genre on both sides of the camera. Co-starring Dominique Boschero (The Iguana with the Tongue of Fire) and Adolfo Celi (Thunderball), and featuring one of the all-time greatest scores from maestro Ennio Morricone (What Have You Done to Solange?), Who Saw Her Die? thrills anew in its high definition debut.

Special Edition Contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration of the full-length Italian version of the film from the original 35mm camera negative
  • High Definition Blu-ray™ (1080p) presentation
  • Uncompressed mono 1.0 LPCM audio
  • Original English and Italian soundtracks, titles and credits
  • Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtrack
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtrack
  • New audio commentary by author and critic Travis Crawford
  • I Saw Her Die, a new video interview with director Aldo Lado
  • Nicoletta, Child of Darkness, a new video interview with actress Nicoletta Elmi
  • Once Upon a Time in Venice, a new video interview with co-writer Francesco Barilli
  • Giallo in Venice, a new video interview with author and critic Michael Mackenzie
  • Original Italian and English theatrical trailers
  • Poster and fotobusta gallery
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Rachael Nisbet and Troy Howarth


Macabre Visions: The Films of Mario Bava

Macabre Visions: The Films of Mario Bava

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The legendary Mario Bava has inspired generations of filmmakers, including names as wide-ranging as Martin Scorsese, Tim Burton and Guillermo Del Toro. With their virtuoso photography and budget-belying visual effects, his films transcend their unassuming origins and played a vital role in shaping the horror movie as we think of it today. This exclusive collection from Arrow Video gathers together nine films from Bava’s diverse catalogue — including gothic horrors, giallo thrillers and even a real-time crime drama.

Our journey through the maestro’s output begins with Black Sunday, the ground-breaking gothic shocker that defined the Italian horror film, before launching the “giallo” phenomenon with the twisty The Girl Who Knew Too Much. Up next is a triple bill of terror with the gruesome anthology Black Sabbath, followed by a further slice of the macabre with the spine-tingling Kill, Baby… Kill! Next, Bava channels his inner Agatha Christie with the Ten Little Indians-inspired Five Dolls for an August Moon, followed by the proto-Friday the 13th slasher A Bay of Blood (aka Twitch of the Death Nerve). Bava then returns to his horror stomping ground with the twisted and atmospheric Baron Blood and his surreal classic Lisa and the Devil — widely considered to be his masterpiece. The collection concludes with Rabid Dogs (aka Kidnapped), a gritty, frenetic crime thriller that grabs the viewer by the throat and refuses to let go.

This stunning collection represents one of Italian cinema’s unsung heroes at the height of his creativity, ably assisted by a diverse and talented cast of cult actors, including Barbara Steele (The Pit and the Pendulum), Telly Savalas (Kojak), John Saxon (Tenebrae), Edwige Fenech (Strip Nude For Your Killer), Erika Blanc (The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave) and Boris Karloff (The Comedy of Terrors). Whether you’re a newcomer to these films or experiencing them for the umpteenth time, Macabre Visions: The Films of Mario Bava is a must-have addition to your library.

Limited Edition Contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentations of all nine films
  • Original lossless mono Italian and English soundtracks
  • English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
  • Alternative cuts of Black Sunday, The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Black Sabbath, A Bay of Blood, Baron Blood, Lisa and the Devil and Rabid Dogs
  • Audio commentaries on every film by Bava biographer and expert Tim Lucas
  • Numerous interviews with critics, cast and crew members
  • Mario Bava: Maestro of the Macabre, a documentary profile of the director, hosted by Mark Kermode and featuring interviews with Joe Dante, John Carpenter and Tim Burton
  • The Devil’s Daughter, a video essay by critic Kat Ellinger
  • Multiple introductions by author and critic Alan Jones
  • Yellow, Semih Tareen’s short film homage to Bava’s cinema
  • Multiple theatrical trailers and TV spots
  • Limited edition packaging featuring original theatrical artwork
  • Collector’s souvenir hardcover book featuring writing by Matt Bailey, Alan Jones, Kier-La Janisse, David Cairns, Tim Lucas, Travis Crawford, Glenn Kenny, Adrian Smith, Jay Slater, Oliver James, Stephen Thrower, Peter Blumenstock, Michael J. Carroll and Helen Mullane
  • And much, much more!

I’m absolutely thrilled to report that my debut novel, In the Silence, has been both shortlisted for the prestigious McIlvanney Debut Prize… as well as being longlisted for the main McIlvanney Prize. It takes its place alongside a seriously impressive line-up of titles, including some of the biggest names in Scottish crime fiction.

The longlist and shortlist were chosen by an independent panel of readers and booksellers and the finalists for the McIlvanney Prize 2019 will be revealed at the beginning of September. I’ll be appearing at the debut panel on Saturday 21st September at Allan Park South Church in Stirling alongside the rest of the nominees, and tickets can be ordered now.

Full information on both prizes, including all the nominees, are on the Bloody Scotland website.


It’s finally here! Today sees the launch of my second novel, CRUEL SUMMER — sequel to last year’s highly-praised IN THE SILENCE and the second instalment in a project trilogy of mystery thrillers set in Glasgow. The Kindle eBook edition is now available to download from Amazon, and paperbacks are available as well if you’d prefer a physical copy to hold in your hands. Signed paperbacks will hopefully be available via Gumroad within the next week or so; stay tuned for further details.

When I finished writing In the Silence, I knew I’d lobbed a grenade slap bang into the middle of my characters’ lives and that things would never be the same for them again. In most mystery series, the individual books are self-contained, with the detective protagonist moving onto the next case, the events of the previous novel only referenced fleetingly, if at all. But I knew I wanted to do things differently. I wanted to explore the aftermath. What does being at the centre of a murder spree do to a person? How do you pick up the pieces and carry on after such a life-changing experience?

Cruel Summer (cover)Click here to order on Amazon


BluCaps: Hannibal

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  • Label: Kino Lorber
  • Disc Locality: USA
  • Region: A
  • Codec: AVC
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Source Format: 35mm (spherical)

Cruel Summer extract

Saturday 11 May, 2019 16:32

With just over two weeks to go until Cruel Summer launches, I’ve posted an exclusive preview, consisting of the prologue and an extract from Chapter 3.

Cruel Summer (cover)

Read it now!


Fancy an advance review copy of Cruel Summer? They’re now available through Booksprout. In exchange for a review, a mobi, epub of pdf copy of the novel is yours to keep!

Zoe Callahan is having the summer from hell… and it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

She’s stuck in a dead-end job, her relationship is going nowhere and the memory of the Kelvingrove Park Murders three years ago continues to cast a long shadow over every aspect of her life.

When a prostitute is brutally assaulted by Dominic Ryland, a rising political star with a suspiciously spotless personal reputation, Zoe leaps at the chance to embroil herself in a noble cause and sets out on a one-woman crusade to bring Ryland to justice.

But in doing so, she quickly finds herself on the wrong side of some very dangerous people - people who have reputations to protect and who would think nothing of silencing Zoe by any means necessary.

An explosive thriller set against the backdrop of a sweltering heatwave, Cruel Summer is the sequel to M.R. Mackenzie’s critically acclaimed debut In the Silence and the second instalment in the Kelvingrove Park Trilogy.

Cruel Summer (cover)


The Loveless

The Loveless

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They’re going nowhere… fast!

The United States, late 1950s. A time of generational conflict, of immense social change, of bold fashions and toe-tapping music — just some of the elements that collide in thrilling fashion in The Loveless, the feature debut of both its star, Willem Dafoe (To Live and Die in LA), and its directors, Monty Montgomery (producer, David Lynch’s Wild at Heart) and future Academy Award®-winner Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, Detroit).

A motorcycle gang roars into a small southern town en route to the Daytona races, unnerving and angering the locals with their standoffish attitude and disrespect for social niceties. When one of their number, the charismatic Vance (Dafoe), hooks up with sportscar-driving Telena (Marin Kanter, Endangered Species), he incurs the wrath of the girl’s father, setting the gang on a collision course with the rest of the town as simmering tensions boil over into violent retribution.

Raw, angry and honest, The Loveless evokes, with unflinching clarity, both an attitude and a bygone era, exploring the tensions between two very different Americas — now fully restored and presented in high definition for the first time in this feature-packed new edition from Arrow Video!

Special Edition Contents:

  • Brand new 2K restoration from the original camera negative by Arrow Films, approved by co-writer/co-director Monty Montgomery and director of photography Doyle Smith
  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original lossless mono audio
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • New audio commentary with co-writer/co-director Monty Montgomery, moderated by Elijah Drenner
  • No Man’s Friend Today: Making The Loveless, new video interviews with actors Willem Dafoe, Marin Kanter, Robert Gordon, Phillip Kimbrough and Lawrence Matarese
  • U.S. 17: Shooting The Loveless, new video interviews with producers Grafton Nunes and A. Kitman Ho
  • Chrome and Hot Leather: The Look of The Loveless, new interviews with production designer Lilly Kilvert and director of photography Doyle Smith
  • Relentless, new audio interview with musician Eddy Dixon
  • Extensive image gallery, including on-set photographs, storyboards and original production documentation
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Peter Stanfield


The release date for Cruel Summer, the sequel to the critically acclaimed In the Silence, has been confirmed as 28th May 2019. Additionally, the Kindle edition is now available for pre-order from Amazon from the following link:

Click here to order on Amazon

Due to the way Amazon’s KDP programme works, pre-order links for physical copies of self-published titles aren’t possible. If you want to pick up a paperback edition, you’ll need to wait until the 28th May.

Cruel Summer (cover)