Related to: 'Ben Hatch'

Wildfire

The Tall Man

Phoebe Locke
Authors:
Phoebe Locke

HE WAS JUST A PLAYGROUND STORY, UNTIL THEY LET HIM IN.'THE MUST-READ SUMMER CHILLER' Daily Express'IF YOU READ JUST ONE PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER THIS YEAR - MAKE IT THE TALL MAN' CultureFlyThey went looking for a story. What they found was a nightmare.It started as nothing, just a scary story passed around between schoolchildren. But for Sadie and her friends, the rumours soon became an unhealthy obsession - and the darkness all too real.Years later, Sadie's teenage daughter Amber has been charged with murder, and her trial shocks the world. How could such a young girl commit such a terrible crime?It seems the secrets of Sadie's past have come back to haunt her daughter. And the terrifying truth of what happened all those years ago is finally about to come out . . .'So creepy and chilling' Laura Marshall, Friend Request'Relentless and needle-sharp' Cara Hunter, Close to Home'Fantastic' Fiona Cummins, Rattle'Absolutely brilliant' Cass Green, In a Cottage in a Wood

Headline

Road to Rouen

Ben Hatch
Authors:
Ben Hatch

From the bestselling author of ARE WE NEARLY THERE YET? (Radio 2 Book of the Year & voted Amazon Customers' Fave Kindle Read 2011) comes a new hilarious and touching story of travel chaos.Chosen as one of Amazon's Best Kindle Books of 2013 Ben Hatch is on the road again. Commissioned to write a guidebook about France (despite not speaking any French) he sets off with visions of relaxing chateaux and refined dining. Ten thousand miles later his family's been attacked by a donkey, had a run-in with a death-cult and, after a near drowning and a calamitous wedding experience involving a British spy, his own marriage is in jeopardy. A combination of obsessions about mosquitoes, French gravel and vegetable theme parks mean it's a bumpy ride as Ben takes a stand against tyrannical French pool attendants, finds himself running with the bulls in Pamplona and almost starring in a snuff movie after a near fatal decision to climb into a millionaire's Chevrolet Blazer.Funny and poignant, Road to Rouen asks important questions about life, marriage and whether it's ever acceptable to tape baguette to your children's legs to smuggle lunch into Disneyland Paris.

Headline

Great Olympic Moments

Sir Steve Redgrave
Authors:
Sir Steve Redgrave

Complete with stunning, specially selected photographs, Sir Steve Redgrave recounts his favourite Olympic stories and reveals what it is that makes these moments truly great. All the stars of past and present are here, including Seb Coe, Steve Ovett, Nadia Comenech, Mark Spitz, Jesse Owens, Fanny Blankers-Koen, Bob Beamon, Ed Moses, Flojo, Eric the Eel, Michael Johnson, Eric Liddell, Daley Thompson, Chris Boardman, Cassius Clay, Kelly Holmes and the Jamaican Bobsled Team. Also included are some of the more infamous moments of Olympic history, including Black Power 1968, the Munich massacre of 1972, Mary Decker Slaney's clash with Zola Budd in LA 1984 and Ben Johnson's disqualification at Seoul 1988, to name but a few.

Headline

Running Scared (Fran Varady 3)

Ann Granger
Authors:
Ann Granger

When a stranger is stabbed to death, Fran's own life is put in danger...Amateur sleuth Fran Varady has to stay ahead of a killer in Running Scared, the third exciting mystery in Ann Granger's Fran Varady series. The perfect read for fans of LJ Ross and Elly Griffiths. 'One of crime fiction's most engaging heroines' - Yorkshire Post Aspiring actress and part-time private investigator Fran Varady knew there would be maximum disruption when her friend Ganesh decided to modernise his uncle's newsagents, starting with the washroom. But she isn't prepared for the nightmare that begins when an agitated passer-by asks to use it: hours later, he's found stabbed to death, leaving a message for Fran to meet him, and a mysterious roll of film hidden behind the old pipes... Fran realises that whoever wanted the negatives knows where they were hidden. And, probably, where they are now. With her police protection more a hindrance than a help, an old friend, Tig, on the verge of collapse, and the builders wreaking havoc in the shop, can Fran find out why someone is prepared to murder for the negatives - before they find her?What readers are saying about Running Scared:'The heroine is a very convincing and likeable character, living almost on the fringes of society''Loved this book as I have in all the Fran Varady books; gripping plot as normal with a twist at the end''From the start I felt like I know the characters! It's a great read, very believable storyline and some humour as well'

Headline

Nobody's Darling

Josephine Cox
Authors:
Josephine Cox

Lizzie Miller worries about her beautiful eldest daughter. A mother shouldn't have favourites, but Ruby wins a special place in Lizzie's heart. Money is short in their little house in Blackburn, and Ruby yearns to give her beloved family a better life. Determined to enjoy the security only wealth can bring, she stifles her feelings for handsome Johnny Ackroyd. Ruby knows he cannot offer her the life she craves. She works as a maid for Mr Banks and his daughter, Cicely. The two girls hatch a mischievous plan to introduce Ruby to society at a party for the 'gentry' of Blackburn, where Ruby meets Luke Arnold, the dissolute heir to his father's fortunes. Seeing Ruby's dark beauty, he determines to despoil her innocence. When Luke slyly turns his charm on Cicely, Ruby feels compelled to warn her friend of his evil nature. Ruby quickly finds employment in a milliner's shop, and eventually takes over the business. But her worldly success still leaves an emptiness that riches cannot fill, and Ruby learns at last that the love of family and friends is beyond price . . .

Headline

Death in Disguise

Caroline Graham
Authors:
Caroline Graham

When the death up at the big house is announced to the village of Compton Dando, few are surprised. Given that it's the home of an unlikely bunch of New Age oddballs, perhaps it was a only a matter of time before one of them came to a bad end. The verdict: an accident.But only weeks later, another death is reported, and this time there's no doubt about it - it's murder. To Chief Inspector Barnaby, hurriedly summoned to the scene, it is immediately apparent that the case is far from straightforward, the suspects being among the most bizarre he has ever encountered...

Headline

Her Father's Sins

Josephine Cox
Authors:
Josephine Cox
Posted by Ben Hatch, Author

Blog: Down the Hatch

Daniela, our forager, meets us at our hotel. She’s tall and willowy with mesmeric upper class teeth, the front bottom two of which seem to slope slightly forward like an old-fashioned up and over garage door. She’s wearing brown furry boots, jogging bottoms and a gilet and bounces like a spaceman on the moon. On the drive to the foraging place Daniela tells us she’s also a body and mind therapist and that her boyfriend’s one of the country’s foremost experts on fungi. ‘Self-taught,’ she adds, meaning I’m thinking, ‘Lots of trips to the hospital to have his stomach pumped.’ It’s half-term, we’re in Devon and I don’t want to go foraging. Neither do the kids (Phoebe, 8 and Charlie, 6). It’s windy, cold, too early and I’d rather be eating breakfast back at the hotel. The buffet bangers are under a metal hood beside cooked tomatoes and mushrooms and the toast’s brought straight to the table. There’s no need to forage. But my wife Dinah wants to. Foraging is new, sustainable, cool and growing in popularity, and besides she has to write an article about it. We’re foraging in Sidmouth and, as Daniela scours the banks of the river Ford, the first edible plant she discovers is hogweed. It has a purple furry stem, smells like orange peel, is apparently the poor man’s asparagus and is not to be confused, she tells us, after we’ve eaten some, with giant hogweed that looks a lot like it but has photosensitive juice, which can cause burning of the skin, blisters and lifelong changes to skin colour. As we wait nervously for the potential third degree burns and permanent disfigurement, Daniela snaps off the top of a nettle in her gloved hand and fans it out for us like a bouquet of peonies. It’s great in nettle soup, abundant and our most overlooked salad leaf, she says, her eyes shining. Enthused, the kids sting themselves picking some and Dinah’s so mesmerised by Daniela she leans unwittingly forward to SNIFF the nettles and is stung on the tip of her nose. We move to the beach. It’s now so cold and windblown that Charlie, who hates his coat more than anything in the world, has not only put it on but voluntarily pulled his hood up. Daniela moves along the foot of the rocky cliff and, as the kids complain they want to go, and are periodically blown into the brambles, she finds sea radish, sea plantain, rock samphire and alexanders, although by now I’m dubious. We’ve no idea what anything is. She could be making it up – adding the word ‘sea’ to the front of ordinary vegetables. My knowledge of green things ends at rocket, and Dinah’s so un-outdoorsy she doesn’t even own a proper coat. And besides isn’t there a reason people don’t eat random plants? ‘So have you ever eaten anything poisonous?’ I ask Daniela, as we chew what she’s suspiciously claiming is sea spinach. ‘No,’ she says, picking up something that she seems to believe we’ll accept is actually called ox-eye-daisy or whoopsy-daisy or something like that, ‘but a forager friend of mine,’ she adds, ‘once ate hemlock water drop wart.’ ‘And what happened to him?’ I ask. ‘He went into a coma,’ says Daniela, matter-of-factly. ‘Oh!’ And I look at Dinah, who takes another defiant bite but quietly removes the plant from Phoebe and Charlie’s hands, I notice. ‘What's a coma?’ says Phoebe ‘It's when your heart gets out of control and you go to sleep for a few days and come close to death,’ says Daniela, breezily picking up something else. ‘Here try this. It’s Sea lettuce. No, hang on…’ She drops it, and picks something else. ‘This is Sea lettuce.’ ‘That's why it's best only to eat leaves that experts say is OK,’ I say to the kids. ‘But he was an expert,’ says Phoebe. ‘The simple lesson is never eat anything at all that looks like a flat leaf parsley plant,’ says Daniela. ‘And what do they look like?’ I ask, as Charlie reaches into the undergrowth to independently pick some furry looking leaf he immediately pops into his mouth, but my question’s swept away by the wind, as is Phoebe, who flounders in a clump of what? Sea turnips, sea swedes? sea parsnips? …who knows what this stuff is. Walking back to the car, Daniela tells us that a government minister once told a friend of hers that foraging would become more and more important as the banking system collapsed and currencies devalued and became worthless and people began scouring hedgerows to stay alive. As she says this she is childishly kicking a stone along the dirt path. ‘But that's unsubstantiated,’ she adds, to Dinah, who’s making notes, ‘So don't take it out of context.’ Back at the hotel we catch the end of breakfast. Leaving half an hour later, warm again and bloated with bacon, sausages, toast and egg, the world order still looks relatively intact, leaving me confident enough of our survival over the next 48 hours to abandon the now squashed looking fruits of our foraging labour in the bin.

EVERY SECOND LOST

Our Ebook of the Month is Dylan Lawson's EVERY SECOND LOST. Gripping and mesmerising from the first to last page, this is a thriller to challenge the best from master storytellers Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben. Here's an exclusive look at the prologue...

THE DEAD GROUND

THE DEAD GROUND is the latest chilling thriller from the brilliant Claire McGowan, author of THE LOST. Featuring the forensic psychologist Paula Maguire, this isn't one for the faint-hearted, as this gripping extract shows..

TOUCH AND GO

The Sunday Times top ten bestseller Lisa Gardner's latest thriller, TOUCH AND GO, is out now in paperback. Here's an exclusive look at chapter one to whet your appetite...

20 Nov
Chorleywood

Ben Hatch At The Chorleywood Literary Festival

7:30pm
24 Oct
Steyning

Ben Hatch At The Steyning Bookshop

7pm

Come and meet bestselling author Ben Hatch, who will be talking about and signing copies of his latest book, ROAD TO ROUEN. Where: The Steyning Bookshop Tickets: £5 redeemable against the book

News

New Hatch for Headline

Headline has acquired a second travel memoir by Ben Hatch, Road to Rouen, the follow-up to Are We Nearly There Yet?

News

New Hatch for Headline

Headline has acquired a second travel memoir by Ben Hatch, Road to Rouen, the follow-up to Are We Nearly There Yet?

THE HEIST

Our ebook of the month is THE HEIST, the first adventure in an electrifying new series from Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.

by Katie Bradburn

Launching Jill Mansell's 'You and Me, Always'

The release of a new Jill Mansell book is always greeted with much excitement at Headline, but the publication of Jill’s 27th novel caused extra buzz as this time we would be launching You and Me, Always with a very lovely party at our new Carmelite House Roof Terrace.

The perfect place to write a novel

Blog: The Writing Shed

What's your commute like? Mine's not so bad. Out the back door, across the deck, down the steps, skip across the lawn on the railway sleeper stepping stones and I'm there. My name is Julia Crouch and I am a shed worker. About ten years ago, I was running a very busy graphic design/illustration business from one end of the attic bedroom I share with my actor husband. When he was home from tour he tended to work there too, writing plays in our bed at the other end. With three kids crammed into our tiny terraced house, there was nowhere else for us to go. But our bedroom was hardly a sanctuary from our busy lives. Instead it was a major part of it all. I had two desks in it (one for computer and gear, the other for dirty work - paint/pencil/charcoal/collage), an A3 printer and a giant plan chest. Every available surface was taken up with bits of paper, books and various other sorts of equipment. And then, from time to time, Tim was there, too, with all his work stuff as well. Something had to give. So, when I had a particularly good year, I decided to invest some of my profits in building a garden studio. I bought it from a company that specialises in what they call 'huts'. All we had to do was make a level concrete base and run out the electrics and, within a couple of days, the prefabricated office was up and standing, ready for me to move all my gear out of the house and down to the bottom of our small garden. With this quiet, leafy retreat, I found that not only had I bought myself actual space, I had also secured a place where my imagination could grow and flourish. Having been with my husband since we were at university, it was the first time since childhood that I had had a room all to myself. I furnished it exactly as I wanted, filling it only with things I wanted to be there. It was, quite literally, a room of my own, kept as tidy or as messy as I feel like, removed from the domestic pressures and distractions of the house and children, yet close enough to be present in case of disaster or need. It was precisely because of all this physical and mental space that, about six years ago, I started to write in earnest. I'd do my money-earning work, then, every day, I'd stay down in the shed and work for an hour or so on short stories and, later, my novels. When I got my book deal with Headline, I happily and quickly gave up the day job, then instantly set about reconfiguring my shed. The plan chest was exchanged with an artist friend for a woodcut and the dirty work table went off to Freecycle. The liberated space now houses a cushion-covered day bed. This is where I read and dream stuff up, although I generally have to write at my desk in my fancy back-friendly chair. I've got some great wireless speakers down here now, so I can fill the space with the background music I've found helps the words out like nothing else. The walls around my desk are decorated with a mixture of artworks and ephemera relating to my current work in progress – currently lots of Greek stuff, because my fourth novel is partly set on the island of Ikaria. And behind me there is a whole wall of books – novels to be read, research items, reference books and writing books. I do about eighty per cent of my writing down here now. Although I have a heater and the shed is well insulated, sometimes, when the weather is really freezing, I prefer to curl up in front of the living room woodburner to work. Other times I need a change of scene just to chivvy things along, so I go out and work in one of the many great little cafés we have here in Brighton. But, on a day like this, when the sun is bright, and the birds are doing their spring thing, there's nowhere better. I have the doors and windows open, paperweights holding everything down against the breeze, my two cats sleep in a spot of sunlight on the day bed, and Nick Cave sings God is in the House on the speakers. What more can a writer girl want, really?

Chris Simmons vs Chris High

TURF WAR!

It's the 'Battle of Christopher' this month...

Posted by Jennie Felton, author

The Story Behind The Story: Bringing The Ten Houses Of Fairley Terrace To Life

‘In this grave is deposited the remains of the twelve undermentioned sufferers, all of whom were killed…by the snapping of the rope as they were on the point of descending into the pit. The rope was generally supposed to have been maliciously cut.’ This is the inscription on a gravestone in the churchyard of St John’s, Midsomer Norton, just a few miles from where the Somerset mining town of Radstock where I was born and grew up, and where I now once again live. In these few words it tells the terrible story of how twelve men and boys, the youngest aged just thirteen, died on that November day and it gave me inspiration for All The Dark Secrets, though I have taken the liberty of setting my tale sixty years later. In those days the Somerset coalfield was a thriving industry, producing high quality coal, but the narrow, faulted seams were difficult to work and not high enough for pit ponies, and so-called ‘carting boys’ were employed to drag the hewed coal from the face to the roadways by means of the infamous ‘guss and crook’ – a putt attached by a rope round the boy’s waist which he then dragged on hands and knees. My own father, who was middle-aged when I was born, had been one of the carting boys. He had left school at the age of twelve because he was clever enough to pass the ‘knowledge test’ and was soon underground carting for his collier father. It was to be ten years before he was able to escape this life as he was told by the management ‘if you go, you can take your father with you’, and Dad didn’t want to put his father out of work. When I was young, I loved hearing Dad relate tales of those days. He told me of the winters when he never saw the light of day as he went underground before dawn and did not emerge until nightfall. Of the mice who would emerge in search of crumbs as the miners ate their cognockers of bread and cheese. And of an accident in which he almost died when his putt ran away with him down an incline and he was thrown clean over it, scraping his back raw as it brushed against the ‘roof’. Usually injured miners were taken home by one of the coal carts queuing at the pit head for their loads – there were no ambulances. But on the day of my father’s accident no coal cart was waiting, and his brother carried him home on his back – almost a mile of a steep uphill climb. Yet strangely my father was never resentful of his lot – ‘It’s just the way it was, my dear,’ he would say. He told me too of the good times – the games they played, the concert parties, the weekly market which was a hub of activity until late at night. Besides all the usual stalls there was Smasher, the chinaware man, attracting attention by smashing crockery on the pavement, there were the quack doctors, Rainbow and Quilley, and a wagon where a dentist would pull teeth in full view of onlookers. In the evening the Salvation Army band would play, and a fair over-wintered on nearby waste ground. All this and much more inspired me to write The Black Mountains, published in 1979 under the name of Janet Tanner. This became a quartet following the lives of a mining family through the generations. Recently I had a longing to once again write a series of family sagas against the backdrop of my much loved home. It is so satisfying to be able to follow the people I came to know and love across the years, and share in their joys and sorrows, triumphs and adversities. It was the Wellsway tragedy that gave me my starting point, and I began to think about the impact such an awful event must have had on the lives of the close-knit community. If it had really been an accident that would have been bad enough – times were hard for every miner’s family, and to lose a loved one who was also the breadwinner would have been devastating. But the suspicion that it was no accident would have only added to the grief, and feelings would have run very high, with speculation as to who could have been responsible for such a terrible thing, setting neighbour against neighbour. I envisaged a terrace of mining cottages – The Ten Houses – and the families who lived there soon became very real to me. The central character of All The Dark Secrets, Maggie, is a strong young woman who loses both her father and her fiancé in the tragedy, and I hope to be able to take up her story in a future book in the series. Next, though, I have shifted to another family from Fairley Terrace’s Ten Houses whose lives were changed for ever by the accident – two young sisters, Lucy and Kitty Day for The Miner’s Daughter. Their beloved father was amongst those killed, and their mother is forced to marry again in order to keep them out of the workhouse. But it is a disastrous marriage – the outwardly God-fearing Algernon has a very dark side. Lucy is central to the story, we see her grow from a sad little girl into a talented young woman who follows her dreams – but at what expense? I do hope you will have enjoyed All The Dark Secrets, and want to know more about the families you have met. I certainly do! All The Dark Secrets is available now in paperback and ebook. Follow Jennie on Twitter @Jennie_Felton and find her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JennieFeltonAuthor.