I am utterly delighted that I have a copy of The Cover Up by Marnie Riches on my TBR and that Marnie is returning to Linda’s Book Bag today to celebrate today’s publication of The Cover Up.
I’ve been so lucky to feature Marnie before on the blog. When The Girl Who Had No Fear was published Marnie provided a brilliant post on heroines in crime fiction that you can read here. I was also privileged to help reveal Marnie’s Born Bad and you can find out more about that book here.
Published by Harper Collins’ imprint Avon Books, The Cover Up is available for purchase through these links.
The Cover Up
Watch your back. Everyone else will be.
How far would you go to protect your empire?
Manchester’s criminal underworld is reeling from the loss of its leader, Paddy O’Brien. In the wake of her husband’s death, Sheila O’Brien takes charge of the city, and for once, she’s doing things her way.
But she hasn’t reckoned with the fearsome Nigel Bancroft, a threat from Birmingham who is determined to conquer Manchester next.
As a power tussle begins, Sheila is determined to keep control of the empire she has won – even if it means she has to die trying…
Crime Fiction – A Risk Free Walk on the Wild Side
A Guest Post by Marnie Riches
Around the time that my debut crime-thriller – The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die – was published, it came as a surprise when my editor told me that women are overwhelmingly the largest consumers of crime-fiction. I was surprised because, when you consider the content of crime fiction – violence, criminality and abuse – it didn’t strike me as sitting well with the stereotypical interests of women. And yet I am a woman who both loves to read and write crime fiction. I have always adored the genre, ever since I was a child. I loved children’s mystery books just as much as fantasy tales. In adulthood, my taste remains the same. So, why was I so taken aback by the statistics?
Well, for a start, for many years, the chicklit market reigned supreme among women. When I began to write in earnest just over a decade ago, the covers that dominated in bookshops and on supermarket shelves were all pink. Bridget Jones and Love Actually were still everyone’s favourite films. Kathy Lette had paved the way with Mad Cows, writing in the late nineties about a female protagonist who walked through posh shops with frozen peas on her sore, post-natal boobies. Women seemed to need that in their lives. By the mid-late noughties, it was all Sophie Kinsella. Romance. Girly laughs. Nothing really gritty. Except, I was reading the Stieg Larsson Millennium Trilogy and I’m not a fan of girly. I had little love for a “post-feminist” literary landscape that was getting right on my emancipated tits. Seems I wasn’t alone!
The popularity of ultra-feminine, romantic women’s fiction has seen a decline over the past few years with readers migrating to psychological thrillers like Clare Mackintosh’s I Let You Go, CL Taylor’s books like The Lie and The Escape and, of course, Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on a Train. It seemed that women no longer wanted to read romance or about hot vampires in quite such huge numbers. They wanted domestic abuse, twisty dark tales…they wanted to be thrilled and challenged. And it isn’t just psychological thrillers that float women readers’ boats. We love good old fashioned police procedurals and it would seem we also love gangland thrillers. Martina Cole – the godmother of contemporary gangland fiction – has sold tens of millions of copies of her books worldwide. The likes of Kimberley Chambers and DS Mitchell follow in her wake. All female authors. All writing about gangsters and organised crime.
It was my publisher that suggested I write a series of gangland thrillers set in Manchester. The world of commercial fiction didn’t yet have a series set in the North West that would appeal to all those millions of Martina fans. I was delighted to take them up on their challenge, knowing that what readers and I would both enjoy was a walk on the wild side with absolutely no risk. This is why I think that the crime genre remains so popular and why readers – male and female – gravitate towards the sort of books I write. You can inhabit my protagonists’ bodies for a few hours and see what it’s like to live on a rough estate and work on the wrong side of the law. You can wield a gun to get what you want – in your imagination. You can drive that pimped up Porsche Panamera or the Mercedes 4 wheel drive and wear the Louboutins. You can be the boss! You can dole out death sentences and count the piles of cash, all the while, perhaps sitting in your kitchen in your pyjamas with a bag of frozen peas clutched to your chest!
(I think I’ll forego the frozen peas Marnie, but The Cover Up is something I’m definitely hanging on to!)
About Marnie Riches
Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester. She learned her way out of the ghetto, all the way to Cambridge University, where she gained a Masters degree in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist, a property developer and professional fundraiser. Previously a children’s author, now, she writes crime and contemporary women’s fiction.
Marnie Riches is the author of The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die – the first installment of the George McKenzie crime thriller series, published by Maze and Avon at Harper Collins.
In her spare time, Marnie likes to run (more of a long distance shuffle, really) travel, drink and eat all the things (especially if combined with travel) paint portraits, sniff expensive leather shoes (what woman doesn’t?) and renovate old houses. She also adores flowers.
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