Have you ever wondered what Robert Pimm looks like in person?
Now you can find out.
I will be performing my first public reading at 19.30 on 16 March at the Cafe Korb, Brandstätte 9, in the First District of Vienna. Details are at the Cafe Korb Facebook page.
The Cafe Korb is a fine cafe, as I have reviewed separately. Its glories include an Art Lounge – click on the link for a 360-degree view. The cultural programme is eclectic and sublime – upcoming events range from “Who’s Afraid of the Jewish Mother?”, through the Korb’s famous Philosophical Evenings, to a performance by US jazz, blues and soul singer Margaret Carter.
It is in this splendid space that I shall be reading excerpts from my thriller Blood Summit – a world premiere.
The Art Lounge of Cafe Korb – worth a zoom, or a visit
The Art Lounge is not fantastically large and I am hoping it will be pretty packed. Entry is free, and I will answer questions after the reading. I look forward to seeing you there.
Here is the text of Chapter 6 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.
“Terrorist Uli Wenger meets a mysterious Russian.”
Enjoy! You can read the first six chapters of Blood Summit together here.
The Reichstag dome. Bad things happen here in “Blood Summit”
BLOOD SUMMIT: CHAPTER 6
One day, Uli Wenger thought, he would be tagged. If he lived that long. The technology existed: the state would inject a chip into each citizen and track them by satellite. If Uli were in charge, he would have people tagged tomorrow. He would want to know where everyone was, so he could torment them as they had tormented him.
But for now, there were no tags. That was good. Otherwise, what he planned for tomorrow would be impossible. The insects had saved him. The insects hated change. They liked their old-fashioned ID cards, which could be forged and bought and fixed. (more…)
The book fits right in, between Ian Fleming and John le Carré. Good company.
“Blood Summit” at Shakespeare & Co in Vienna
It gave me pleasure when Shakespeare & Co, the famous Vienna English language booksellers, offered to stock Blood Summit. I am proud of the book and it has received good reviews (NB if you have read the book and enjoyed it, please write a review on Amazon!) But to see it in an actual bookshop was a thrill.
If you live in Vienna, I suggest you go right down to Shakespeare & Co and buy yourself a book from their well-stocked shelves.
No author can fail to be struck by the split between book sales and Kindle downloads. In my case, roughly 80% of people buy the paperback, even though it costs more (£7.74 vs £2.95 on Amazon.co.uk at time of writing – the price varies with the dollar).
I can understand that. Holding a good book in your hand gives you a surge of hard-wired pleasure.
My Hotel Stories, by contrast, are only available so far as a Kindle edition. Should I bring out a paperback? Views welcome!
The pricing of Blood Summit, incidentally, helps explain Amazon’s model. For my 295-page paperback, printing costs mean the minimum price Amazon allows me to charge is around £6.30. At that price I, as author, receive zero commission.
For a Kindle download, by contrast, an author may sell a book for any price down to 99 US cents. Oddly, between 99 (more…)
The US President, British Prime Minister, German Chancellor, Russian President and other G8 leaders are taken hostage by terrorists at a summit in Berlin.
Rescue is impossible.
One after another, hostages are executed at point-blank range, killings streamed live, bodies left on show for fifteen minutes to prove that they are dead.
Then the U.S. President is thrown into the killing chair – and shots ring out.
Who is to blame for this cataclysm? Who can resolve the crisis – against a background of terrorist demands which seem impossible to meet, yet which have demonstrators massing outside the Reichstag to support the hostage-takers? (more…)
Here is the text of Chapter 5 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.
“In which Helen Gale gets into even more trouble.”
The Reichstag dome. Warning: bad things happen here in “Blood Summit”
BLOOD SUMMIT: CHAPTER 5
Helen watched Sir Leonard Lennox grow angry. It was a rare, but frightening sight. Even when the ambassador was calm, his rugged features tended to darken in response to obstacles or unreason. Now, the combination of brilliant white bandages and a choleric outburst made his face look black with rage.
‘They say what?‘
Basil Nutter grimaced, glanced around the conference table and said nothing. Decades of experience in the back rooms of embassies from Abidjan to Yerevan had left the wizened but career-challenged diplomat equipped with two convictions. The first was that the key to a contented life was to avoid drawing attention to yourself. The second was that efforts by governments to influence the media were at best pointless and in most cases counter-productive. Basil was arguably, therefore, ill-fitted to the job of embassy press officer. He seemed physically to have shrunk as the Summit loomed. This morning’s blast had left his brow, and his suit, more deeply creased than ever.
Helen had been thinking of the injured child in the street. She saw Basil’s plight and intervened.
‘Ambassador,’ she said. ‘You need a cigarette. Possibly two.’
‘First sensible idea I’ve heard all day.’ A lighter and a packet of Benson and Hedges were in the ambassador’s big hands in an instant. ‘And before you say anything, Jason, this is an emergency. Since the windows have been blown out by a terrorist bomb, we’re technically outside anyway.’
Jason Short said nothing, but looked at the overwhelmingly intact windows and pursed his lips.
The ambassador lit a cigarette, blew a stream of smoke towards the ceiling, and turned to Basil. (more…)
Here is Chapter 4 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.
The Reichstag dome. Warning: bad things happen here in “Blood Summit”
How did Dieter Kremp, Deputy Head of the Summit Security Unit and a macho package of anger, “exquisite, toned musculature” and chauvinism, become the lover of Helen Gale – a Cambridge-educated top diplomat? How did the US Secret Service almost stop the Summit happening?
Find out now.
BLOOD SUMMIT: CHAPTER 4
As he ran towards the Summit Security Unit command bunker, Dieter Kremp was reminded with a jolt how much he hated the logo for the Children’s Summit. A Berlin bear on its back, for Christ’s sake, balancing a cute kid on each of its sharp-clawed paws. The bear was grinning playfully – hungrily, more like – as it performed this unnatural act.
Wonderful news and äußerst schön. My Berlin thriller Blood Summit is now up on Amazon, both as an e-book and as a paperback – I’ve seen, and signed, a copy. Both look terrific, thanks to Ken and Kate over at Creative Covers.
If you enjoy Blood Summit, feel free to leave a review an Amazon, repost my facebook posts, retweet my tweets, or do anything else to spread the word. The greatest challenge faced by any author is bringing her or his book – however brilliant – to the attention of people who might enjoy it.
I’ll be doing my bit on this blog and elsewhere, but all help gratefully received.
I will also be happy to sign paperback copies – these first editions will obviously be priceless collector’s items in years to come.
Potsdamer Platz – Helen Gale lives in a flat here (photo RP)
Meanwhile I shall continue to publish excerpts from the novel.
Chapter 3 develops the conflict between Helen Gale and her boss, Jason Short, and introduces several new characters including:
– Ram Kuresh: the only avowedly gay member of the Secret Intelligence Service Office in Berlin. (more…)