I was going to tell you all to strap on the your Mae Wests (life vests) but that would suggest THE NIGHT FERRY was about to go the way of the Titanic on its maiden voyage. That ain’t going to happen. We’re avoiding all icebergs and sailing into a long hot summer.
And to kick it off, the LA Times has given THE NIGHT FERRY an absolutely rave 1000-word review. Staff writer Tim Ruttan called it ‘a vibrant and utterly contemporary new mystery’ and went on to write, ‘THE NIGHT FERRY is an altogether superior thriller: intelligent, morally concerned, skillfully told and deeply respectful of both its readers and its characters. It is what Graham Greene used to call "an entertainment," which is a fairly serious compliment.’
CHECK OUT THE FULL REVIEW HERE:
Bravo! Hooray! I’m blushing! This more than makes up for an earlier review in an obscure Scottish newspaper in which an obscure Scottish journalist said THE NIGHT FERRY was one of the worst books she’d ever read and it was so bad it was almost good. Go figure.
It’s always exciting to launch a new book in America and this time I’m going to be there to see it happen. I arrive in New York on July 11, just in time for Thrillerfest. For the uninitiated, Thrillerfest is the annual celebration of thrillers and mysteries organised by the International Thriller Writers Association. This year it’s being held in New York from July 12-15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, and guests include Jeffrey Deaver, Heather Graham, Vince Flynn, Lisa Gardner and James Patterson (and yours truly, of course).
Check out the details at: http://www.thrillerwriters.org
New York is one of my favourite places in the world and I’m really looking forward to meeting fellow writers and talking to readers, as well as catching up with friends like Ron McLarty (author of ‘The Memory of Running’ and ‘Traveller’) and his wife Kate.
I shouldn’t be admitting any of this because I’ve just spent a month convincing my wife that the US tour will be purely work with absolutely no time to socialise. She labours under the misapprehension that writers festivals and publicity tours are the difficult part of being a novelist when the truth is they are the reward for all those months slaving away in my pit of despair (my basement office), battling loneliness, alcoholism and writers block. Once or twice a year, I am let out of my box and get tremendously spoiled. Parties, free stuff, outings, audiences, dinners - who wouldn’t want it? And the really good festivals and tours make up for those times you turn up at a library in some rural backwater to find eight people waiting, four of them who work at the library, and the others who have only come because they get a free cup of a tea and a scone afterward.
* NIGHT FERRY makes the Steel Dagger Shortlist.
* NIGHT FERRY makes the Ned Kelly Longlist.
* The US Tour
* A new book delivered
THE STEEL DAGGER The UK’s top crime writing awards were handed out at a glittering ceremony on July 5, in London. I was thrilled to be shortlisted for the CWA Ian Flemming Steel Dagger. It was an honour to be included among the likes of Harlen Coben, Karin Slaughter, Michael Marshall, RJ Elroy and Alex Berenson. The deserved winner was Gillian Flynn, author of SHARP OBJECTS (which also won the Debut Dagger). It’s a truly wonderful book and I’m jealous of her talent, her youth, her beauty and her success (does that cover everything?)
The best news of the night came when fellow Aussie Peter Temple took out the top prize, The CWA Duncan Lawrie Dagger (formerly the gold dagger) for THE BROKEN SHORE. Every judge had it has their top pick. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, this isn’t just a great crime novel, it’s a great novel.
THE NEDDIES The shortlist isn’t announced for another few weeks, but NIGHT FERRY has made the longlist for Australia’s top crime writing award, The Ned Kelly Award. Fingers crossed. The winner is announced during the Melbourne Writers Festival at the end of August.
REVIEWS Reaction to THE NIGHT FERRY has been amazing. (Aside of course from the obscure Scottish newspaper review mentioned earlier).
Judges’ comments CWA Ian Flemming Steel Dagger: ‘Very involving and accomplished, especially in the portrayal of the female Sikh lead character. Robotham handles his subject with great deftness and perception in this modern take on people smuggling.’
Barbara Fister in Mystery Scene wrote: ‘Robotham excels at braiding together gut-wrenching issues, strong characters and page-turning action without resorting to clichés. Night Ferry is a beautifully written adventure, offering an emotionally astute voyage well worth taking.’
Sue Turnbull in the Sydney Morning Herald wrote ‘THE NIGHT FERRY is a big and complex crime novel. It is certainly an entertainment though it is hardly just that. It takes us deep into a set of humanitarian concerns by making us care about the characters involved. It is also deeply moving.’
Robin Wallace-Crabbe in The Bulletin wrote: ‘In any tense he (Robotham) would rate as a writer with an eye for detail and great storytelling skills.’
Rick Sullivan in the Adelaide Advertiser wrote: THE NIGHT FERRY involves the murky world of sexual slavery and child brokering and possesses the qualities that readers are coming to expect from Robotham: an intricate plot, complex and interesting characters and a moral issue at the heart of the story.’
Christopher Bantick in The Courier Mail (Brisbane) wrote: ‘Chess seems an entirely appropriate metaphor for Robotham’s outlook on fiction. He has not made a false move with THE NIGHT FERRY. As much as we anticipate what we think are his intentions, his beguiling capacity to lead us on results in us being checkmated - albeit ever so satisfyingly.’
DETAILS OF MY US TOUR
July 12-15: NEW YORK CITY Thrillerfest 2007
July 17: HOUSTON, TX Murder by the Book/Reading & Signing @ 6:30pm
July 19: SCOTTSDALE, AZ Poisoned Pen/Reading & Signing @ 7:00pm
July 21: THOUSAND OAKS, CA Mysteries to Die For/Reading & Signing @ 1:00pm
LOS ANGELES, CA Mystery Bookstore/Reading & Signing @ 4:30pm
July 22 PASADENA, CA Book ‘em Mysteries/Reading & Signing @ 2:00pm
If you are in any of these places, come along and say hello. Everyone is welcome - even obscure Scottish journalists who hate my books.
THE NEW BOOK …has been delivered. Hooray! I’m still not entirely sure of the title, but SHATTERED ANGELS is the favourite so far. I can tell you this much, this book is dark, dark, dark. My wife would only pick up the manuscript during daylight hours. Her other reaction, which will feature in all future publicity, is that we’ll never get invited to dinner again because nobody will want a sick bastard like me in their house. (Maybe we should put it on the jacket copy. It could be the blurb.)
More about it later. I’ve bored you long enough.
WHAT I’M READING
THE UNQUIET by John Connelly Charlie Parker is back, meaner and lonelier than ever, battling bad guys and the supernatural. I know it’s in Connelly’s blood, being Irish anD all, but my God can he spin a story. (It’s a good thing he’s crap at pool).
THE TIN ROOF BLOWDOWN by James Lee Burke One of my true heroes. How can anyone not appreciate the descriptive skills of James Lee Burke. This time he takes us into the atmospheric heart New Orleans during Katrina.
WHAT I’M WATCHING
DOCTOR WHO: The new series. My children are getting into it now, which makes it even more fun.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO Still on my Jason Mraz kick.