First review of The Garden of Angels… ‘one of his best’

Mike Ripley, the veteran critic of Shotsmag, is the first to offer an opinion on The Garden of Angels. Very flattered to have impressed Mr. Ripley. No idea how many reviews I can expect in the weeks to come in these extraordinary times. As I said earlier, if you want to get your hands on a physical copy of the book, you need to plan.

Here’s an extract from Mike Ripley’s piece. You can find the full review here. Many thanks to all at Shotsmag which has been doing such a sterling job for many years.

…this is not a straightforward thriller of wartime heroic. Yes, there are heroics, sometimes in the most unlikely way, betrayals and great tragedies, proving that in such a situation, nothing is straightforward and passive inaction might just be the greatest sin. The Garden of Angels is populated by complex, superbly-drawn characters and Hewson cleverly creates sympathy for even the most unlikely ones, but the star of the show is Venice itself, its dank, cramped alleyways and faded glories. This is not the Venice of tourists sunning themselves in St Mark’s Square or on lazy gondola rides, but of an icy winter in a city under occupation where fishermen, weavers, policemen, café owners and disillusioned priests struggle to survive and do the right thing, whatever that is.

David Hewson has written some excellent thrillers. This one, by turns suspenseful and achingly sad, is one of his best.


Devil’s Fjord deal of the month on Amazon US

You can find my Faroes Island mystery on Amazon US as deal of the month throughout January for just $1.99. Just go here.

Fellow writer Christopher Rice wrote this about the book…

Wow. This was my first David Hewson, and I was not disappointed. Even though I’ve been a big fan of Scandinavian crime fiction for a while, I learned of the Faroe Islands only recently. Alone in the temperamental seas between Denmark and Iceland, they’re the beautifully stark setting for this utterly arresting and exceedingly dark crime novel. And indeed, the proceedings are quite dark. That said, the strong marriage between the two central characters who’ve retired to the Faroese countryside believing they’ll find a quieter life – we all know how that goes! -gives a weighty moral center to the proceedings and also offers brief respites from this unflinching exploration of rural poverty and the criminal enterprises it spawns with ease. I’m a sucker for any novel in which setting is a character, and the stark green mountainsides and meandering trials atop perilously high cliff faces play a central role here. The prose is crisp and energetic and the dialogue feels utterly authentic. The novel also packs a wallop of a final page which I’m sure I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come.


How to order The Garden of Angels

We’re a little over three weeks away from the launch of my one 2021 release The Garden of Angels. Given these extraordinary times I thought it worthwhile if I made it clear that getting your hands on this book is going to be a bit more complicated than usual – and for lots of other people’s books too. If you want The Garden of Angels on release I’d advise you to read on and act soon since the chances of you finding it in any bookstore as stock in the UK – even if they were readily open – are slim.

First, the easy bit, the audiobook narrated by Richard Armitage. This will be published by W.F. Howes on January 29 worldwide and available digitally through all the usual audio outlets, from Audible to Amazon, Apple and Google Play.

Now to the book, published by Severn House, which is more complex. The UK hardback edition is also released on January 29. But given the current state of play if you want to get it around then I strongly advise pre-ordering it now. You can do this through all the usual retail channels, the big ones online and through your local bookshop if you mention the title and, if they need it, the ISBN number, 0727850113. If you want to put money into independent book stores the best way to do it is to order directly through them. Encounter any problems then please alert me on Twitter at @david_hewson. Nothing an author can do personally to change much in these circumstances but I can raise the matter elsewhere.

The e-book will be released in English worldwide on March 1. Again, available through all the usual online outlets. And finally the US print edition will be out on April 6. The same constraints apply here: if you want it on release I’d advise ordering, either online or through a book shop.

Finally, the Dutch edition will be out from Boekerij on March 23 and here, I’m happy to say, you should find the title in book stores on launch, provided, of course, they’re allowed to open.

Sorry about the inconvenience. Many of the things we’ve taken for granted in publishing for years – events, stock signings, being able to get out there – vanished during 2020 and sadly I can’t see them hurrying back in 2021. The mass market paperback is due out some time in 2022 and, fingers crossed, life will be closer to normal by then.


Realer… the beginning

One of my projects this year was Realer, an audio exclusive from W.F. Howes, narrated by Gemma Whelan. I wrote the first version of this story four years ago but it was so different to my usual work no one was interested (least of all my then agent).

Then, when the pandemic came along, I realised it provided the perfect frame for a rewrite. Realer is the first person story of a young woman called Charlie Mackintosh, living in difficult and impoverished circumstances in Yorkshire. The country is crumbling in the wake of lockdowns and Brexit. Charlie is being tempted to seek solace in a virtual reality device being pushed by the giant global corporation that runs the warehouse up the road.

When she does she sees something that terrifies her… the murder of her beloved father. A crime that doesn’t much interest the police. One she realises she must try to solve herself through the device she’s come to hate.

It’s a story about love and redemption, and finding a path through grief and poverty to acceptance. The work is audio only for the moment, available through all the usual channels including Audible, Amazon and Apple. Gemma’s performance – she comes from Leeds, close to where the book is set – is pitch perfect for a story with a narrator who’s charming but borderline unreliable.

Here is the opening…

Realer: Part One

I told them people were hanging round the house. There’d been noises at night. Outside in the garden. Once I felt sure they’d come indoors, padding around in the dark while I shivered in my tiny room, single bed shoved up against the door.

No one believed me. It wasn’t that long after the pandemic. Lots of people went a bit strange, started telling funny stories, seeing funny things. Why wouldn’t a sixteen-year-old schoolgirl called Charlie Mackintosh be one of them?