The Killing is Apple/Starbucks Pick of the Week (which means it’s free)

The Killing - mass market pb November 2012If you’re a Starbucks and Apple fan in the UK you’re in luck. Sarah Lund’s first outing, The Killing, has been chosen as Pick of the Week for the promotion the two giants run. Which means you can get the ebook for free… and as an added treat there’s also a free first chapter from my forthcoming Amsterdam novel, The House of Dolls, at the end.

Just buy something from any Starbucks and find the promotion card at the counter. On the back will be a code to redeem The Killing free from iBooks.

After that you can read the full-length book — shortlisted for Book of the Year when it appeared — for free on an iPad, iPhone or Mac computer with the iBooks app. The promotion started today (January 27) and runs for one week. You’ll have six weeks to download the book using the promotion code.


Adapting a TV masterpiece – it’s the changes that count

The paperback of The Killing II is out in the UK tomorrow. The hardback of The Killing III appears next February (with a very special launch… stay tuned). So this very unusual project is coming to a close. A lot of the last couple of years has been spent in the company of an odd woman detective from Copenhagen, watching her on screen then trying to adapt a television narrative into the form of a book.

It’s been an educational experience, one I wouldn’t have missed. I’ve been very fortunate to be granted the opportunity. And even more lucky that everyone concerned, publishers and the DR2 TV people in Denmark, agreed from the outset that the books would be adaptations, not novelisations or souvenir brochures for the fan base.

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The Killing III and a brand new series

Here’s some news on what to expect from me over the coming year. First, in February 2014 from Macmillan, you’ll find my adaptation of the final instalment in the Sarah Lund series, based on the superlative Danish TV drama.

The Killing III follows Lund into the world of politics and big business as she hunts for the kidnapped daughter of a shipping tycoon. As the pursuit turns personal and vicious it becomes clear that the real answer lies in a solution to an older case, the murder of a young girl in West Jutland two years before during an election campaign.

The creator of The Killing Søren Sveistrup has, of course, said this is the last we’ll see of Lund on TV, and provides a fittingly moving ending in the last episode. In the book… expect some surprises, just as with the earlier adaptations. As I’ve said before, these are works of fiction in their own right, not photo copies of the TV. The Killing III is a fascinating piece of work with, for me, distinct echoes of the first in the series. So there’s much  to think about there as I write.

In April Macmillan will launch my first new crime series since the appearance of the Costa books a decade ago. This sees a change of location, and a bit of a change of style too since writing The Killing has influenced me somewhat.

The location is the fascinating city of Amsterdam, and the principal protagonists a former city detective, Pieter Vos, and a novice police officer from the provinces, Laura Bakker. At the opening of the first book, The House of Dolls, we find Vos wasting away his life in a rundown boat on the Prinsengracht canal.

Bakker, about to be dumped from the police for failing to make the grade, inadvertently offers a way back into the world through an investigation that takes in the world of organised crime and bickering Dutch politics. It’s a lean, fast-moving book, very visual in the style of The Killing but not so bleak, I think, and with a little humour. And there’s another Vos adventure on the way.

Closer to publication I’ll bring you some more details. As you may imagine I have a busy year ahead of me so I’m afraid the amount of time I’ll be spending on the blog and other webby places will be severely limited.

Below in full is the press release from Macmillan about these books. There will be more news of another project shortly… one based in Italy I’m pleased to say.

Release, 5 March


Pan Macmillan Editorial Director Trisha Jackson has acquired world novelisation rights to THE KILLING III from the Danish Broadcasting Company DR, to be written again by David Hewson. She has also bought UK and Commonwealth rights to The House of Dolls and a second title in a new crime series set in Amsterdam to feature police brigadier Pieter Vos. The deal was negotiated with Camilla Wray of Darley Anderson Literary Agency.

THE KILLING III will publish in hardback in February 2014 and paperback in Autumn 2014.

THE KILLING III is the last in the BAFTA award-winning series to feature Sarah Lund, who has been quoted as ‘the world’s best detective’, and is thought by many to be the finest story of the series.  In just eight months, sales of THE KILLING I were in six figures and Macmillan hope to replicate this success.

Trisha Jackson says,

“I am delighted to be publishing both KILLING III and David’s new Dutch series . He’s an extremely talented writer who has not only taken the wonderful script by Søren Sveistrup and his co-writers at DR and successfully developed it for the page, but he has also written this fabulous new Dutch crime series which takes the reader to the canals of Amsterdam and its underworld.”

David Hewson says,

”It’s a delight to be working with Trisha and the team at Macmillan again, both writing Sarah Lund’s last case and developing an exciting new series based in Amsterdam. Pieter Vos and his world represent a new departure for me, one greatly influenced by my work adapting THE KILLING series from screen to page.”

David Hewson is well-known for his crime-thriller fiction set in European cities. He is the author of nine novels in the highly acclaimed Detective Nic Costa series, set in Rome and Venice.  David spent time in Copenhagen researching and writing the novel of THE KILLING, which was created by Søren Sveistrup and produced by DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. THE KILLING has won prestigious awards throughout Europe including a BAFTA, Best European Production at Monte Carlo TV Festival and numerous International Emmy nominations. It was highly acclaimed in the UK and became a cult phenomenon when it was shown on BBC4.


The Killing is coming in German

Zsolnay will be publishing the translation of The Killing on January 28 next year. There are a few goodies starting to emerge, including a peek at the first chapter in German here. For the German readers among you…

893e96419eFreitag, 31. Oktober

Durch den dunklen Wald, dessen kahle Bäume keinen Schutz bieten,rennt Nanna Birk Larsen. Neunzehn, atemlos, zitternd in ihrem kurzen, zerrissenen Hemd, barfuß, in dem zähen Matsch strauchelnd. Harte Wurzeln haken sich um ihre Knöchel, dichtes Gestrüpp zerkratzt ihre wild rudernden weißen Arme. Sie stürzt, fängt sich wieder, kämpft sich aus stinkenden Tümpeln hoch, versucht das Zähneklappern zu stoppen, versucht zu denken, zu hoffen, sich zu verstecken.

Ein gleißendes Auge verfolgt sie, wie ein Jäger das angeschossene Wild.

Im Zickzack, langsam näher rückend, bewegt es sich durch den Pinseskoven, den Pfingstwald. Kahle silberne Stämme ragen aus dem kargen Boden wie Gliedmaßen uralter, versteinerter Leichen. Wieder ein Sturz, der schlimmste. Der Boden unter ihr verschwindet und mit ihm ihre Beine.

Um sich schlagend, aufschreiend vor Schmerz und Verzweiflung, stürzt das Mädchen in den sumpfigen, eiskalten Graben, prallt gegen Steine und Holz, paddelt durch scharfkantigen Schotter, spürt, wie ihr Kopf und ihre Hände, ihre Ellbogen, ihre Knie über den harten Untergrund schrammen.

Das kalte Wasser, die Angst, und er, nicht mehr weit…

You can read more about the book here.  Germany has taken Lund very much to its heart. Take a look at this fantastic website.