Cadavers breathe life into Victoria author's new novel
Adrian Chamberlain / Times Colonist - The notion of regular folk who become embroiled in the crime world is a constant throughout McKenzie’s novels. His heroes are everyday citizens, the bus driver or the failed-actor-turned-security guard. “What I like to do is write about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances,” said McKenzie. - Read more here
Listen to an Audio Excerpt from Audible :
Speak The Dead - International Thriller Writers
Grant McKenzie doesn’t pull punches, but they’re not thrown without purpose. His new thriller, SPEAK THE DEAD, opens with three different people experiencing brutal encounters; splits time between a mortician and a hardened detective; and involves a misguided, bloodthirsty cult, none of which is gratuitous. The book moves at a fast clip, and McKenzie does a terrific job of weaving the tension into the plot; one element is never abandoned in favor of another.
McKenzie cut his teeth on five thrillers before SPEAK THE DEAD, as well as the three books in the Dixie Flynn series (under the pen name M. C. Grant) including the Shamus-nominated Beauty with a Bomb. He was kind enough to discuss his new thriller, his craft, and his journey (both the past and what comes next) in the interview here.
Speak The Dead - Land of Books interview
Speak The Dead is first and foremost the type of edge-of-your-seat thriller that my readers have come to expect from me, but with a slight supernatural twist. Read more at Land of Books.
Beauty With A Bomb - Shamus Award Finalist
Dixie Flynn's third adventure, Beauty With A Bomb, is a Top 5 finalist for the Shamus Award presented by The Private Eye Writers of America. The winners will be announced at the PWA Banquet at Bouchercon in Raleigh, North Carolina on October 9, 2015. Past winners include many of my favourite writers, including: Harlan Coben, Ken Bruen, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Lawrence Block, Max Allan Collins, Sue Grafton, James W. Hall, Dennis Lehane, Laura Lippman, John Lutz, and many, many more.
What can readers expect from Beauty With A Bomb?
ITW INTERVIEW: Thrills, chills and a few laughs along the way. This is Dixie Flynn’s third adventure, and picks up a short time after the events of DEVIL WITH A GUN. Like her first two adventures, BEAUTY WITH A BOMB starts out with what Suspense Magazine calls “one of the most dramatic and shocking scenes I have ever read.” Dixie is also quite a bit different from the stand-alone thrillers that I write as Grant McKenzie. For one, Dixie is written in first-person, present-tense, female perspective, while my thrillers are third-person, past-tense. I also try and have more fun with the Dixie books by including more humour and quirky, fun characters. With that said, however, the plots can be dark and dangerous, but only because I know Dixie can handle them. FULL INTERVIEW HERE
McKenzie signs five-book deal with Polis Books USA
VICTORIA NEWS: Grant McKenzie has signed a five-book deal with Polis Books of New York City for a series of stand-alone thrillers. The first book in the new deal brings his novel SWITCH to the U.S. for the first time. FULL STORY
Tess Gerritsen loves Dixie Flynn - 'most kick-ass heroine ever created'
"Dixie Flynn may be the most kick-ass heroine ever created. Kudos to Grant for giving us the ultimate 'girl power' thriller." — NY Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen after reading a preview copy of Devil With A Gun - my upcoming sequel to Angel With A Bullet.
First teaser reviews of Devil With A Gun
Blogger/reviewer Marina Sofia writes: "Another great holiday read, this time a would-be noir set in San Francisco, featuring the Russian mafia and starring Dixie Flynn, the most feisty, witty, don’t care-ish female detective (actually, a journalist) since V.I. Warshawski and Kinsey Millhone. Review coming soon on Crime Fiction Lover.
Blogger/reviewer Chris Mclean writes: "What's not to love about Dixie Flynn? She is tough as nails, unafraid of anything (at least on the outside) and she is a newspaper reporter with a great assortment of friends, including a guy who owns a taxi company and a hitman. When Dixie takes on the Russian mafia, to try to help two sisters find out what happened to their long lost father, her wits, intelligence, courage and friends are all tested. Dixie is the epitome of the tough heroine of female oriented mysteries. Very satisfying read!"
July 1, 2013
Killer Thrillers Interview
Thriller writer J.F. Penn interviews me as part of a Killer Thrillers series of video interviews with authors in their natural environment. Interviews with those in captivity is to follow shortly ;) The Video can be found here.
May 22, 2013
Groza released as Ebook short
Originally written to be part of a new anthology by R.L. Stine (who loved the story, by the way) until the publisher changed the rules slightly and "Groza" was bumped for a house author. Anyway, their loss is your gain as Groza is now available as a 99 cent short story, including the bonus, dark tale of urban horror, Ragamuffin Girl. Here's the quick blurb for Groza: You can't choose your family. When a young boy arrives home to find an armed intruder in his mother's kitchen, he quickly realizes that the stories his Russian grandfather have told him are true. Groza, a Russian word that translates as both thunderstorm and terror, has come to town looking for answers. Available on Amazon and Smashwords.
March 15, 2013
K.A.R.M.A. is #1 in the UK, #4 in USA, #3 in Canada
In its first free giveaway, the ebook version of K.A.R.M.A. is currently sitting on Amazon at:
#1 in Suspense and #6 of all books in the UK
#4 in Suspense and #103 overall in the US
#3 in Suspense and #42 overall in Canada
Jan. 17, 2013
Port of Sorrow - first reader reviews
The first reader reviews for my new thriller Port of Sorrow have been posted on Amazon UK - and I'm happy to report that all four are 5 stars.
Emma Rostron says: "After reading all of Grant McKenzie's other books, I expected this book to be as fantastic as it is. A fast paced page turner. I loved it."
D. Farrell says: "Another great thriller from Grant McKenzie. As with all of Grant's books the characters are very real and likeable. Faced paced and gripping from the first page, I couldn't put it down."
Jan writes: "Yet again it's another fast paced page turner from the moment you pick the book up to the very last page, my only disappointment was that I finished it so quickly, all i can say is I can thoroughly recommend all of Grant's books, you won't be disappointed I have read them all. I just have to wait patiently now for my next installment."
Andrea writes: "With a great story and interesting, believable characters, Grant McKenzie has delivered another fabulous page-turner. It's un-put-down-able, and leaves you wanting more!"
Jan. 17, 2013
Port of Sorrow - new thriller released
I have just released my new thriller Port of Sorrow as an ebook original on Amazon in North America and Europe. The trade paperback edition will be released shortly. Port of Sorrow was written before K.A.R.M.A., but has never been available until now. Here's the blurb:
A sadistic killer has turned Port Sorrow into his personal hunting ground.
Traveling the stripper circuit of small town America, Finn is a female impersonator with a golden voice who never made the big time. His latest stop is Port Sorrow, a rough-and-tumble coastal town on the northern edge of the Olympic Peninsula. In the audience tonight, rookie deputy sheriff Julia Rusk has drawn the short straw and is scanning the rowdy audience for signs of a suspected serial rapist. A shotgun blast brings these two strangers together as a young stripper bleeds out on stage. While Julia tries to find the gunman and prove she's worthy to wear the badge, Finn takes the law into his own hands. Tracking through seedy dockside bars and the hidden world of the homeless, Finn comes to realize just how many lives this killer has touched. But what neither of them realizes is the killer doesn't work alone, and not even the police can protect them when he finally shows his face.
Oct. 24, 2012
Angel With A Bullet - "Endearing series debut"
Fun new review of Angel With A Bullet from Booklist Online. Reviewer Barbara Bibel writes: "With lots of action, colorful characters, and a surprising plot twist, this is an endearing series debut that will have readers eager for Dixie to solve more cases." Read the full review here
Mystery Scene magazine also reviews Angel With A Bullet, saying: "Dixie amuses readers with her self-deprecating wit and her spot-on thoughts about journalism." Read the full review here
Oct. 13, 2012
No Cry For Help - "Frenetic, atmospheric"
"One of the most frenetic, atmospheric and imaginative books I’ve read this year. “No Cry For Help” by Grant McKenzie is one of the quickest page turners I have at the pleasure of reading in quite some time. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! When I first began reading “No Cry For Help” I couldn’t help but compare the storyline to that of Linwood Barclay’s “Never Look Away” - a woman goes missing and her husband investigates her disappearance. If you liked that book, you’ll love this one." Full review can be found here.
Switch is still being noticed - and enjoyed
I missed this review of SWITCH when it was first published, but enjoy how the reader compares it to Harlan Coben and James Patterson: "Switch is one of the quickest reads I have undertaken in awhile. I completed much of it in one weekend. Not because it was simplistic, but because it was so fast-paced and urgent I really needed to get to the end and find out if the hero rescued his family. The story is compelling and creepy and a bit in the tradition of James Patterson and Harlan Coben." Full review is here.
Video review of Angel With A Bullet
This is a first for me, a reader posted a video book review of Angel With A Bullet."This was a great crime/mystery novel with a light-hearted female lead. Highly recommended ..."www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4WgvxciFX4
First reader reviews are all 5-star
On Goodreads, Crystal writes: “I absolutely loved this book! . . . Dixie's personality is great. She is hilarious, rough around the edges, and has a true heart. . . . The writing is very cheeky and humorous. I laughed out loud constantly throughout the book at the jokes, awkward situations, and descriptions. . . . As for the ending? It was great! It was realistic, had a great twist, and tied together really well. I highly recommend this book! A great light read with fun, likable characters, and an intriguing mystery.” You can read the full review here.
On Amazon, Nancy writes: "There is definitely a new "girl" detective on the scene . . . Like many of her contemporaries, namely; Lauren Henderson's "Sam Jones", Janet Evanovich's "Stephanie Plum" and Sparkle Hayter's "Robin Hudson", M.C. Grant's "Dixie Flynn" finds herself at the center of a mystery that the police aren't much interested in pursuing. Undaunted she starts digging up clues to why her ex-lover committed suicide in such a dramatic fashion. We quickly get to know Dixie and her co-workers and friends who populate a somewhat shabby side of San Francisco. The action is pretty much non-stop and the plot twists as nicely as Lombard Street. This is a solid, fun read and I'm looking forward to the next installment.." You can read the full review here.
Interview on International Thriller Writers
Aug. 27, 2012
Vintage crime on the Lighter side of Noir
Criminal Element reviews Angel With A Bullet today, saying: "If you have a taste for vintage crime fiction, screwball comedies, and the lighter side of noir, Angel With a Bullet might be right up your alley." Full Review
Kirkus Book Reviews calls Angel With A Bullet: "A fast-paced combination of violence and sex and a game-changing twist" Full Review
July 28, 2012
Now in U.S.: Switch, K.A.R.M.A., No Cry For Help
June 10, 2012
K.A.R.M.A. available in 1st ed. trade paperback
My new thriller that has already received a glowing 15 5-star reviews on Amazon UK for its Kindle exclusive run is now available in a brand new trade paperback edition at: Amazon's new CreateSpace store, Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Here's a look at the new cover, spine and back page.
March 10, 2012
SWITCH gets glowing library review
Just received a lovely email from the CEO of the Greater Victoria Public Library. She wrote: "Well, my name FINALLY came up on the holds list and I just read ‘Switch’ over the weekend. Wow – what a page-turner! I have to tell you, from the very first page I was hooked! You are an amazing writer and I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book. It was on a limited loan period because of the number of holds waiting, so I have to admit, I was worried that I might not have time to get through it but then once I started, couldn’t put it down!"
Jan. 14, 2012
K.A.R.M.A leaps up Amazon charts
Currently sitting at No. 19 on Amazon UK thrillers, K.A.R.M.A. receives its 12th fabulous 5-star review. Reader M. Sharp writes: "Another brilliant book from Grant McKenzie who has quickly established himself as one of the best thriller writers in the business . . . The plot fizzes along, the characters are well drawn and interesting. I certainly hope we get to see more of Hackett, Fats and Chandra!"
Dec. 29, 2011
New Review of No Cry For Help
Reviewer calls No Cry For Help "one of the most frenetic, atmospheric and imaginative books I’ve read this year" and concludes "building on a solid foundation plays the story like a concert pianist; faultless anticipation and an all engulfing plot; this is one not to be missed. Powerful stuff." You can read the full review here.
K.A.R.M.A. earns its 11th 5-star review
On Amazon UKwith the latest reviewer commenting: "As in true Grant McKenzie style, this book would not let me put it down."
Oct. 19, 2011
Reader support continues to amaze
It's no secret that I have been blessed with fantastic readers around the world who seem just as excited for me to publish new books as I am to write them. One reader recently wrote: "I am a fan of Linwood Barclay. I'd read all of his books when I found SWITCH. Half-way through it and you are already in my Top 3 with Linwood and Harlan Coben."
Another reader posted a blog titled 'What Readers Really Want and What Publishers Need To Hear' in which she proclaims: "Over the last few weeks I embarked on reading writers that are not given the shelf space or publicity or deals they deserve. Grant McKenzie is one of the exceptional talents of our age, he is up there with my A listers, yet in the UK he is not advertised enough for people to realise just what an exceptional writer he is. K.A.R.M.A his latest outing was one of the most original and gripping narratives I have read. One of my favourite books ever is Linwood Barclay, No Time For Goodbyes, Grant is of that calibre. He needs exposure and is being over looked."
Humbling to say the least.
Oct. 8, 2011
K.A.R.M.A. receives its 7th 5-star review
I'm so pleased that readers are connecting with my latest thriller. It's not an easy topic to tackle, but the readers are definitely getting it. Here's the latest review: "Grant McKenzie deserves better than what he gets. He is of equal calibre to Linwood Barclay and Harlan Coben, his novels are fresh, gripping and real page turners. I have loved every single thing this author has turned out, K.A.R.M.A is exceptional. Not only is the story an excellent narrative, it is gritty and touches a very sad and traumatic subject, one that lurks beneath so many lives. Grant has managed to create a believeable story that held me from the opening sentence. The mystery is tinged with pity, for this is not your usual murder mystery, today such people exisit and this book gives an insight and understanding for compassion for such victims. Read it you won't be sorry." - Jan Erlam
Oct. 5, 2011
Column: As Day turns to Night
In the wee hours after dark, downtown takes on a different beat from its sleepy, daytime pulse. At the witching hour, the air becomes electric as literally hundreds of gaily dressed young women — and their darker companions — line the streets outside a plethora of nightclubs and bars. Read the rest here.
Sept. 28, 2011
Column: Don't mourn the monster
We are taught from a young age that death is to be respected — as though the simple act of drawing one’s last breath is capable of washing away a lifetime of misery and sin. But here’s some cold truth: we don’t have to mourn the dead or dying if we can’t celebrate their life.Read the rest here.
Sept. 22, 2011
Column: To the thief who stole my GPS
To the thief who stole the GPS unit from my vehicle last week, I hope it helps you find your way. There have been many crossroads in my life where an electronic signpost would have been welcome; where the gentle nudge of a UK Samantha or U.S. Carl robotic voice was needed to sound out the best way to turn.Read the rest here.
Sept. 9, 2011
K.A.R.M.A praised by author Stephen Leather
Bestselling UK thriller writer Stephen Leather dropped me a note about K.A.R.M.A. to say: "Lots of violence, snappy prose and dialogue that jumps off the page. What more could you want from a thriller? I was gripped from page one." K.A.R.M.A. is an ebook exclusive available at Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon Germany
August 30, 2011
K.A.R.M.A launches as ebook original
This is the book that first brought my writing to the attention of NY publishers and landed me my wonderful agent. Although its subject matter is dark, the storyline will keep you gripped to the end. Hang on tight. Here's the pitch: The children want revenge. Tech-savvy victims of abuse unite to turn their collective pain into bloody retribution. The group calls itself K.A.R.M.A: Kids Against Rape, Murder and Abuse. To ensure the group’s message is heard, K.A.R.M.A’s leader enlists the aid of Tom Hackett, a rebellious freelance photojournalist who flaunts his willingness to break the rules for that perfect moneymaking shot. By tipping Hackett to the location of fresh kill, the group ensures sensational front-page media play. But when the identity of the first victim hits too close to home, K.A.R.M.A awakens a haunted past that could destroy everything Tom holds dear. In struggling with his conscience, Tom becomes an obstacle that K.A.R.M.A can’t allow to live.
August 15, 2011
New reader review for No Cry For Help
"This is the first book I have read by this author, after coming across him through recommendations on Amazon, and I wonder what took me so long. The main character Wallace is a unusual character compared to most hero’s, he is a bus driver with a limp! No Cry For Help drags you in from the first page, and keeps you riveted throughout. Why would a “average Joe”, who has led a quiet life have his family taken from him? I tried to guess through much of the book, but it is full of twist and turns and keeps the suspense going right to the last chapter. The story moves fast and is hugely enjoyable. I was rooting for Wallace throughout, as his love for his family make him do things that are completely out of character, this is a man who will cross the line to have them found. The chapters are short but are full of suspense, and I flew through this book. I do not want to spoil the story for you by giving away to much of the plot, but if you love a good thriller I would highly recommend giving this book ago.... A well-written thriller and one of those books that is almost impossible to put down!" http://forums.readitswapit.co.uk/forums/t/94557.aspx
July 19, 2011
Two new covers - Taiwan & UK
Complex Chinese language version of Switch to be released in Taiwan and Hong Kong this summer by Spring International Publishers of Taiwan, and the Large Print edition of No Cry For Help to be published simultaneously in the UK and Australia this month by Clipper, a division of W.F. Howes in the UK.
July 8, 2011
SWITCH paperback gets some buzz
Interview ran in the Victoria News and Oak Bay News, while the review ran in Monday Magazine and Vancouver's Westender. Above, is the half-page ad that Penguin placed in Monday Magazine to announce the Canadian launch of the paperback. Click on the interview and review images for stories.
June 28, 2011
Elite Magazine: Author to Author
Elite Magazine Online published a great author-to-author interview with me, conducted by UK novelist Richard Ronald. You can read the article online here.
June 17, 2011
Tess Gerritsen in a delightful conversation
Tess Gerritsen has a lovely write up on Murderati about our wee chat at Bloody Words in Victoria. She writes: "Grant McKenzie is a Scottish-born Canadian journalist whose crime novels have been translated into German, Chinese, and Russian. He interviewed me for an afternoon session, and it was a truly delightful conversation. He's a terrific novelist who's published internationally -- just not yet in the U.S. I hope American publishers are taking note!"
Column: Bloody Words 2011 - Victoria
From the framed photo in the hallway, I knew the woman once studied the world through curious ice-blue eyes. Slumped on the floor beside the bed, the ice remained, but the blue . . . its colour had diluted into a milky glaze with a pebble of granite at each core. Her hands were turned palm-side up in repose as though she had just been too damn tired to stay on her feet. The pillow beside her was soaked in blood. Read the rest here.
Column: The Debate of Death
An age-old debate has been sparked back to life by the father of murdered Vancouver Island teen, Kimberly Proctor, calling for the return of the death penalty to Canada. This father’s pain is understandably palpable. His innocent daughter, a beautiful young woman of only 18, was killed in the most premeditated and vicious of ways by two soulless monsters. Read the rest here
May 27, 2011
Draws readers from the very first line
“McKenzie always manages to draw his readers from the very first line . . . and it is just as impressive that he keeps this tension to the end with a breathtaking pace” - German website hammett-krimis.de review of Ohne einen Laut / No Cry For Help, where the reviewer also compares me to two of my favourite authors: Andrew Vachss and Joe R. Lansdale.
Column: An attack of conscience
Somewhere in Victoria, a young man is finding it difficult to look at himself in the mirror. He’s frightened of the dark and crumbling visage that he knows is lurking beneath the reflective surface — a monster’s face with guilt-ridden eyes. He’s thinking it might get better with time . . . that maybe he can learn to live with what he’s done. But no matter what his friends tell him, and no matter how drunk or stoned he gets, the guilt will grow teeth to gnaw deeper and deeper into his guts until his soul becomes a weeping charcoal stain. Read the rest here.
Column: For the Love of Women
I love women. Always have. And although in my travels I’ve met a fair share with whom I would rather not be trapped on a submarine, I have been fortunate to encounter far more wherein the experience would be an altogether pleasant one. Read the rest here.
April 14, 2011
Switch - Large Print edition
Large Print rights for SWITCH have been sold to Clipper, a division of W.F. Howes in the UK. It will be released in this unique format in the UK - May 2011.
Feb. 10, 2011
No Cry For Help climbs UK charts again
No Cry For Help climbs a couple of notches to No. 40 on Amazon UK's Top 100 Thrillers chart, but this time it's not alone. SWITCH returns to the charts, too, at No. 85. And to make it a triple threat, the UK publication of the First Thrills anthology (featuring my short story, UnderBelly, which The Independent on Sunday called "a remarkably good piece for an author so new to the scene.") enters both the hardcover charts and hits No. 1 on the Kindle charts.
Jan. 16, 2011
Fun blurb tweaks Lee Child
UK reader Cormac McCarthy just finished reading No Cry For Help and writes: "(With Switch) I recall writing that Lee Child needs to look out, I was wrong, he needs to look up! Great book, great read, thank you grant, I am looking forward to your next."
Jan 8, 2011
No Cry For Help climbs UK thriller charts
No Cry For Help climbs to No. 45 on Amazon UK's Top 100 Thrillers chart, squeezing into place between James Patterson and the lovely Simon Kernick. It also happens to have a higher star rating than either of those two talents thanks to reviews from readers such as:
Janet Perry: "I finished this today and it was exceptional. I love an author who can create a unique story and you did that. I like something I cannot predict, you did that too. The motive when it came was brilliant, hidden in plain sight and I hadn't figured it out, which is unusual for me. Your talent is equal to Linwood Barclay and Harlen Coben whilst being unique in your field. I loved it so I will chase up the other listed book now. I love a good book."
And Joe Ellis: "Hey Grant, I have to admit I am a die hard (Lee Child) Reacher fan, but thought I would indeed give your books a go. Finished reading Switch, after genuinely not being able to put the bloody thing down. very good book indeed and I will be recommending you to all my Reacher pals. Started No Cry For Help last night and 150 pages in, decided I had to put it down or would not be in work today. I read many books, but only have 2 or 3 authors whose books I always buy regardless. You have just joined that list. when is the next one out?"
Dec. 16, 2010
Top Books of 2010: No Cry For Help
BBC Blogger Milo picks No Cry for Help for the No.10 spot in his Top 15 Books of 2010. And what awesome company to be a part of: Matt Hilton, Linwood Barclay, Jo Nesbo and more.
Dec. 1, 2010
No Cry For Help 'cold sweat suspense'
The Peterborough Evening Telegraph compares No Cry For Help to the best of Linwood Barclay filled with "cold sweat suspense" and "a compelling treat" in their Sunday edition.
No Cry For Help gets rave UK review
Awesome new review of No Cry For Help from BBC blogger Milo. "One of the most frenetic, atmospheric and imaginative books I’ve read this year . . . McKenzie, building on a solid foundation, plays the story like a concert pianist; faultless anticipation and an all engulfing plot; this is one not to be missed. Powerful stuff." Full Review Here
Dec. 1, 2010
First Thrills anthology
gets two new covers
New and much more appealing covers posted for the upcoming UK hardcover version of the FIRST THRILLS anthology on Feb. 1, 2011 - and the mass market paperback on May 24, 2011. This anthology features my humorous action-packed short story, Underbelly.
Nov. 9, 2010
No Cry For Help
enters UK charts at No. 74
No Cry For Help - my second thriller published in the UK by Bantam/Transworld - will be officially released on Nov. 11, but today Amazon UK ripped open its boxes and started shipping copies out to eager readers. Amazingly, this broke No Cry For Help onto Amazon's Top 100 thriller list at No. 74. Very cool.
Nov. 8, 2010
First interview for No Cry For Help
Author Michael F. Stewart interviews me about No Cry For Help for the International Thriller Writers fabulous online magazine. You can find the full interview here. Here's one question.
Can you tell me more about your novel and why readers should go order it now?
Excitement! No Cry for Help is one of those stories that begin with a heart-wrenching scene anyone who is a parent can relate to, but then starts to spiral in a direction that only a thriller can with the mystery and action piling on until you just can’t stop reading.
Sept. 23, 2010
"Fast paced, urgent, compelling & creepy"
"SWITCH is one of the quickest reads I have undertaken in awhile. Not because it was simplistic, but because it was so fast-paced and urgent. The story is compelling and creepy in the tradition of James Patterson and Harlan Coben." Full review on thriftymommasbrainfood.
Aug 27, 2010
Switch ebook hits #12
The Kindle edition of SWITCH just hit No. 12 on Amazon UK today. What a treat to see new readers embracing my debut. Brilliant stuff! Thanks all.
Aug 26, 2010
First Thrills "not a clunker in the bunch"
Crimespree magazine gives the First Thrills anthology a great review and adds an extra nod to my short story UnderBelly as one of the standouts in this thriller collection. Reviewer Jon Jordan writes: "This is another thriller anthology and it’s got the big guns it. Ken Bruen, Lee Child, Rebecca Cantrell, Heather Graham, Gregg Hurwitz, John Lutz, Karin Slaughter and many more. All the stories are brand new and have not been anywhere else before. Some stand outs for me were: EDDY MAY by Theo Gangi, THE PLOT by Jeffery Deaver and UNDERBELLY by Grant McKenzie. As these are short stories I really can’t say much without giving things away, but I’ll tell you, there’s not a clunker in the bunch, these are all stories by authors at the top of their game." You can read it here.
Also, I forgot to post earlier that First Thrills received a fantastic review in Bookreporter where it was called a masterpiece collection and "all of the stories included in this collection, for one reason or another, is a keeper." The Gem of the review for me, however, was when reviewer Joe Hartlaub gave a wee shoutout to my short UnderBelly as his favorite story of the bunch. You can read the full review here.
Aug 16, 2010
Media Blurb of the Day: "SWITCH moves at a breakneck pace"
Grant McKenzie Harlan Coben - Winnipeg Free Press
Aug 13, 2010
"Rip-snorting, page-turning, suspense"
The Coast Reporter newspaper on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast gives SWITCH a stellar review in this week's issue. Associate Publisher Cathy Roy calls it: "A rip-snorting, page-turning, suspense novel . . . not for the faint of heart. . . . Right from the first page this modern-day morality story will have you squirming with questions you don’t want to answer — What would I do to save my family? . . . McKenzie builds real characters with real foibles and using great dark humour, he manages to lighten the story. If ever you had a life dream that didn’t quite make it you’ll be able to identify with McKenzie’s Sam, a good guy who seems to be crapped on continually. Set in Portland, Oregon, the best part of McKenzie’s writing is his ability to paint word pictures. You can actually picture the people and the surroundings. And as a lifelong claustrophobic the description of the underground area where some of the victims are being held gives me the creeps even now. And that’s just one of the ‘oh my god’ moments in the book." You can read the full review here.
Okotoks Western Wheel in Alberta interviews me about SWITCH's Canadian debut under the headline: New thriller crosses cultural barriers. You can read the full interview here.
Aug 5, 2010
Review: Switch "one to get your hands on"
Luanne at A Bookworm's World writes: "Caught up with all the Harlan Coben and Linwood Barclay thrillers? Here's one you'll want to get your hands on . . . Tight, fast paced prose, non stop action and a diabolical plot made SWITCH a one day read for me! I adore suspense thrillers and McKenzie has done a bang up job with his debut novel." You can read the full review here.
And blogger Simply Stacie agrees with a lot of readers when she writes: "This book could be developed into a great movie."
July 21, 2010
Grunt goes to Canada on Mystery Writers
My essay, Grunt goes to Canada, has just been posted on the Calgary-based Mystery Writers Ink blog for those interested in the humorous travails of emigrating from Scotland to Canada at the awkward age of thirteen. You can read it here.
July 17, 2010
UK readers rally to send Switch to new heights
Fun surprise this morning when Amazon UK reported that Switch had taken a further jump up the Top 100 charts to reach No. 38 - its highest position yet that I've personally witnessed. It turns out that earlier in the day it reached higher in the charts, but I missed the moment so I don't know what number it actually reached. Still, how wonderful to have finally broken into the Top 50 just as Switch is preparing to make its debut in Canada.
July 14, 2010
Reader calls Switch 'superb thriller'
Just received a terrific review from reader Steven Ridgewell. He says: "Just finished Switch. Absolutely fantastic. A gripping read which compels you to turn page after page. Best novel I've read in ages. Would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good thriller. However, this isn't a good thriller. It's a superb thriller!"
July 5, 2010
More Canadian reviews of Switch appear
Blogger Shirley Rempel says: "If you want to read a thriller that will take you on more twists and turns than a roller coaster, you must read Grant McKenzie's debut novel, Switch. This book had me wondering what was going to come next, with every turn of a page. A very intense, fast-paced, high-emotion and intense psychological thriller that you will not put down until the last page. . . . With a writing style that is crisp and reminiscent of crime writers like Patterson and Grisham, along with a great group of characters, this is a fantastic debut novel" Review here.
Mark Leslie, writer, editor, blogger and bookseller from Hamilton, Ontario says: "With a 'regular guy caught in a terrible nightmare' scenario, reminiscent of some of the recent novels of Linwood Barclay, McKenzie has crafted a brilliantly paced thriller certain to be enjoyed and quickly consumed by thriller lovers everywhere." You can read the full review here.
Teena Dawson of the Teena in Toronto blog says: "Hard to put it down! The chapters are short and snappy ... and I kept saying, "I'll just read one more chapter ... one more chapter". The pace is quick and frantic and kept my attention. I wanted to know who was behind it and why." You can read the full review here.
June 14, 2010
First Canadian review of Switch is fantastic
Advance Reading Copies of SWITCH are starting to make the rounds to book bloggers and media reviewers. The first review to go viral is just terrific and I couldn't be more pleased. I'm truly hoping that Canada embraces it and I can't wait to be able to walk into an actual book store and see my wee debut sitting on the shelf and, more importantly, in readers' hands.
Here's a blurb from Nicola's excellent review: "All I can start out with is a big WOW! ... What an incredible story that in truth could happen to anyone ... An amazingly intense read. This is one that hits home, uncomfortably close. How far would you go to save your family’s lives? Read this one!"
Full review is also available on Chapters and Amazon.ca
May 27, 2010
Switch climbs UK Top 100
UK readers have been such great supporters of my debut novel SWITCH that it recently climbed Amazon UK's Top 100 chart to land at No. 51. Switch will be released as a trade paperback original in Canada from Penguin on August 3, so I am very excited to see how Canadian readers will react. In the meantime, the First Thrills anthology will be released in North America on June 22, and No Cry for Help is scheduled for the UK on Nov. 11. I'm still awaiting word on when the German translation of No Cry is expected to be published.
April 9, 2010
First Thrills new cover unveiled
My short story UnderBelly — a wild ride of a crime caper with a touch of love gone wrong, skintight black leather, chocolate cravings and dark, claustrophobic places — gets the hardcover treatment when it mingles between the pages with some of the biggest names in the thriller game. First Thrills: High-Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors is edited by NY Times bestselling author Lee Child and will feature stories from "the bestsellers of today and tomorrow." Published in hardcover by Tor/Forge in June 2010, First Thrills will contain stories by such luminaries as Ken Bruen, Stephen Coonts, Jeffrey Deaver, Heather Graham, Gregg Hurwitz, John Lescroart, John Lutz, Alex Kava, Michael Palmer/Daniel Palmer, Karin Slaughter and Wendy Corsi Staub. It will also feature stories by twelve writers who have just broken onto the thriller scene. The ISBN is: 9780765326485 and is available for pre-order now.
Jan. 28, 2010
Switch a bestseller in the UK
I was delighted to discover that Switch unexpectedly broke into the Top 100 ranks on Amazon UK — hitting the #74 mark in thrillers. The rankings on Amazon are updated hourly, so unless you're constantly checking (which leads to depression, anxiety, excitement and, ultimately, madness) you only know a book's ranking at the moment you check, but as far as I'm aware this is the first time that Switch has broken into the Top 100. As you can see in the snapshot to the left, Switch is sandwiched directly between Jeffery Deaver and Simon Kernick. Nice company. Those wonderful readers who have been supporting me from the beginning must have really ramped up the word of mouth. I can't express how much it means to me to have such wonderful people rooting for me.
Jan. 1, 2010
Kindle edition of Switch on Amazon
The electronic Kindle edition of Switch has just appeared on Amazon.com for download. You can find it HERE.
December 10, 2009
First Thrills anthology announced
The International Thriller Writers today announced the upcoming publication of First Thrills: High-Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors. This hardcover anthology will be edited by NY Times bestselling author Lee Child and will feature stories from "the bestsellers of today and tomorrow." It will be published by Tor/Forge in June 2010 and will contain stories by such luminaries as Ken Bruen, Stephen Coonts, Jeffrey Deaver, Heather Graham, Gregg Hurwitz, John Lescroart, John Lutz, Alex Kava, Michael Palmer/Daniel Palmer, Karin Slaughter and Wendy Corsi Staub. It will also feature stories by twelve writers who have just broken onto the thriller scene, including yours truly. My story is entitled UnderBelly. As Lee Child says, "This is an incredible lineup of new talent. I'm delighted to be part of their introduction to an eager fan base. Readers will be surprised by just how good they are." The ISBN is: 9780765326485 and you can read the official ITW announcement here.
Dec. 4, 2009
I just received a link to Penguin's 2010 catalogue featuring SWITCH. This is the catalogue that will go to all the stores, libraries, etc. SWITCH is scheduled to arrive in stores on Aug. 3 in the wonderful trade paperback size (ISBN: 9780143173359) and according to the catalogue I'm scheduled to make a 2-city tour. You can read the pdf from the catalogue by clicking on the photo to the left.
October 26, 2009
Fun new interview on Authors Toolbox
Authors Toolbox pitches some unusual questions at me for a lengthy UK interview.
And from the woman who accidentally peed on the toilet lid while engrossed in reading Switch, her full review is posted on Authors Toolbox, too. Despite that mishap, she really enjoyed it, saying "It takes a damn good book to hook me from the start, but Switch gripped me and didn’t let me go."
September 10, 2009
UK Magazines take note of Switch
Left: Portunus Club Magazine — PO Cruises' members mag (readership of 320,000) — gives Switch a very nice two-page spread and a glowing review in their latest issue.
Right: While the October issue of Writing features a profile of myself in their New Author section.
August 29, 2009
Switch garners positive reviews in Germany
The German media has been very kind to Switch/Die Stimme des Dämons with some wonderfully positive reviews. Radio station 1 Live said (roughly translated): "Die Stimme des Dämons is a fast-paced debut that places McKenzie in the top league of crime writers." You can read the full review in German here. And literary website krimi-couch said (roughly translated again): "Who does not remember nights where you could not put down a particular book, because you just HAD to know how it goes, and especially how it ends. Die Stimme des Dämons reawakens those feelings again." You can read the full review in German here.
August 20, 2009
Grunt goes to Canada - emigrating at 13
I posted a fun essay about the trials and tribulations of emigrating to Canada from Scotland with my family when I was 13. You can read it here.
August 13, 2009
Switch to be published in Taiwan
Good News Alert: SWITCH will be published in Taiwan. Spring International Publishers has bought the "complex Chinese" rights to translate Switch for Taiwan. No details available on publication date, yet, but I'll keep you posted. It will certainly be interesting to see what they do with the cover. This brings Switch's international reach up to 7 countries and 3 languages — so far ;-)
August 12, 2009
Now this is what I call a review ;-)
Received this hilarious note from a reader: "Still reading Switch while walking, I went off to use the toilet, engrossed, didn't want to put the book down...and PEED ON THE CLOSED TOILET LID. — Switch by Grant McKenzie. Buy your copy and pee on a toilet lid today!"
Author interview behind the shadows
Author Kathy-Diane Leveille interviews me about Switch for her blog and asks, among other things, what advice I would give to writers trying to get published? Also details my first attempts to translate the iconic Hong Kong Phooey cartoon for the stage ;-) HERE
August 3, 2009
Switch a bestseller in Germany
As an author, one is told never to pay any attention to Amazon rankings as they'll drive you crazier than you already are. However, in ignoring this advice, as of this particular moment in time, Switch is an official bestseller on Amazon Germany. Die Stimme des Dämons is sitting at No. 32 on Mysteries & Thrillers and No. 137 in the overall category of Books. It is sandwiched directly between Clive Cussler and Ken Follett. And according to the Amazon.de site, it has spent 2 days in the Top 100. I know these numbers are fickle, but it is such a nice feeling to know that readers are picking up the book and enjoying it. (Snapshot at left was taken when book was ranked at 34th place. See how fickle and fleeting these numbers are ;-)
July 28, 2009
Readers are really responding to Switch
Readers in the UK have been just terrific to my wee debut, and thankfully they haven't been shy about telling everyone to give Switch a try. There are now 15 five-star reviews on Amazon.co.uk, 6 five-star reviews on Play.com and a new five-star review has just appeared on Waterstone's.
July 24, 2009
Taking Chesire by storm
I have to share this hilarious story that shows how wonderful all my readers are. Toni Prescott wrote on my Facebook page: "I've just managed to reserve my copy in Borders for next week, when I asked the assistant if they had it in stock she replied: "I don't know who this guy is but he's come from nowhere and is taking Cheshire by storm, everybody wants this book." How fantastic is that?
July 21, 2009
Fantastic five-star reviews on Amazon
Several wonderful readers have posted five-star reviews on the Amazon.co.uk site. C.P. Garfield writes: "This book is addictive from the start, every page turn leads to another and another, the story is captivating." Red Books wrote: "Good strong characters, twists & good ending. Kept me on the edge throughout." Elly Ormson writes: "It's a great read and you can't wait to find out what happens next." and Sue Miller writes: "Started to read this book and couldn't put it down!!!! I couldn't wait to turn the page to see what else was going to happen." You can read more on the Amazon page HERE.
Switch goes into first reprinting
My editor informed me today that Switch has gone into its first reprinting in the UK. The original printing kept the international red cover, but I believe this new printing will switch to the new blue version. This new printing will make Switch available at more brick and mortar book shops as well as all the online venues. I'm told that Border's has copies now and that Waterstone’s should have it on display by early next week.
July 13, 2009
EuroCrime tweaks us over copycat cover
While browsing through the paperbacks section at her local bookshop, EuroCrime's Karen Meek noticed a similarity between Robert B. Parker's 2002 novel, Widow's Walk, and my just released debut. It's shameless what I'll do to rub shoulders with the greats ;-)
July 4, 2009
Great review on LoveReading
Sarah Broadhurst (who writes for The Bookseller among others) just gave Switch a terrific review on the LoveReading website. She said: "Terrific, you’ve got to read this one. It’s a race-against-time thriller with a husband/father forced to commit crimes (including murder) to protect his kidnapped wife and child. Talk about warped, especially when you find out why! The emotions, both good and evil, that run through the book set it above most in this area, and the perverted mind manipulating the action is brilliantly drawn. Great stuff." You can find it here.
July 3, 2009
Switch spotted in Notting Hill
Max, a friend of my daughter's, spotted Switch at Waterstones in Notting Hill Gate, London today and took this photo.
July 1, 2009
Switch goes travelling to Houston, Texas
I just received an email from David Thompson at Houston’s Murder By The Book, one of the nation’s oldest & largest bookstores to inform me that the store is "importing SWITCH from the U.K., so if you have any North American friends/fans looking to buy from an independent, please send them our way. I can’t wait to read it … it looks totally like my kind of book!"
June 29, 2009
Interview on Suite 101
Robin Jarossi of Suite101 called me up last week for a quick chat about Switch's UK debut and the long journey to publication. The results can be found HERE, although he must have misheard part of what I said because I don't recall ever mentioning a story about a mole.
June 25, 2009
Four-star review & Pick of the Month
Switch has just received a four-star review from New Books magazine in the UK. New Books is an influential magazine for book clubs. Switch was also selected as the Recommended Read by Portunus Club Magazine - PO Cruises' members mag (which has a readership of 320,000).
June 24, 2009
Free sneak peek at Switch: Book Widget
I just discovered that Random House has placed a free sneak peek at the first several chapters of SWITCH online. It appears to be Flash based and can be found HERE
June 23, 2009
Facebook disabled: Too many friends
My Facebook account was disabled today for making too many friends, too quickly. So if you're reading this, please understand that I'm not ignoring you and I certainly didn't defriend you. I'm hoping my account will be restored, but it may not as my whole Facebook site seems to have vanished. Sigh! This one hurts as I put a lot of time and effort into making that site work.
June 11, 2009
ebook version appears online
I just happened to notice today that SWITCH is available as an electronic book. It is in the ePub format, which makes it compatible with most ereaders, including the Kindle, iPhone and Sony Reader. It is currently listed at W.H.Smith and Waterstone's and Books on Board
June 1, 2009
Suite101: A frantic adrenaline blast
Robin Jarossi of Suite101.com gives Switch a glowing review this week. He writes: "Switch is a frantic, adrenaline blast of a thriller. Without doubt, a pulsating debut that will grab many thriller-lovers by the lapels and refuse to let them go." You can read the full review here (Warning: There are a couple of plot spoilers.)
April 12, 2009
EuroCrime give a shout-out to Switch
EuroCrime takes a look at some "running man" crime covers with a special shout-out to the new blue cover of the UK paperback edition of Switch. You can find the story here.
April 8, 2009
Switch reviewed in South Africa
I just noticed that South African newspaper, Volksblad, published a review of SWITCH. The review is written in Afrikaans, but Roger Smith, author of the South African thriller Mixed Blood, managed to translate a portion . It reads: "A thriller that got me asking questions. Switch is a promising debut, a well-conceived thriller with no loose ends. Reminiscent of Dean Koontz. I’ll be watching out for his next book." Lientjie Mentz – Volksblad, South Africa. Here's the url: http://www.news24.com/Die_Volksblad/Boeke/0,,5-1969_2466676,00.html
March 6, 2009
The curious blue cover of Switch
This curious blue and gold version of SWITCH popped up on Amazon.co.uk recently. Since it contains the old tagline, I assume it must be a discarded mockup design that somehow snuck through the cracks. It is nice to see my name given such prominence, even though no one yet knows who the heck I am ;-) I'll post more info when, and if, I receive it.
UPDATE: Turns out, Transworld decided to redesign the cover for Switch's UK debut. In their words, the new blue cover is "cleaner and more punchy, and we think rather more dramatic."
* Click on the small cover for a larger view.
Feb. 12, 2009
Penguin Canada to bring Switch home
Senior editor Laura Shin of Penguin Canada has bought Canadian rights to SWITCH, to be published in July 2010. Naturally, I'm thrilled to have been picked up by such a prestigious publisher and editor, and since I live in Canada, this is doubly exciting.
Jan. 31, 2009
Switch hailed as "wonderfully devious"
The Jan. 9 issue of UK trade magazine The Bookseller marks SWITCH as One to Watch for July and a "wonderfully devious début thriller" in Jonathan Ruppin's Cream of the Crop pick of the paperbacks set to prevail over the rest of the field in 2009.
Jan. 1, 2009
International Thriller Writers interview
Contributing editor Janice Gable Bashman chats with me about SWITCH for the International Thriller Writers monthly newsletter. You can read the interview here.
December 23, 2008
German ARC arrives
A great Christmas present arrived today, courtesy of my wonderful foreign rights agent— an Advance Reading Copy of Die Stimme des Dämons that Heyne has produced for the German market.
It's difficult to describe what a thrill it is to actually hold the first copy of my translated book, and Heyne has done such a fabulous job on it.
To go along with the ARC, they have also produced a postcard (shown at left) as an additional promotional item for booksellers. It translates as: "Are you ready to kill for your family?"
December 4, 2008
Switch arrives in Australia
A friend Down Under picked up a copy of SWITCH today at his local bookstore and sent a couple of pics to prove that I'm a published author. Since I haven't seen the trade paperback yet, it was a thrill to know it really did exist ;-)
To celebrate the launch, Australian author JJ Cooper posted a Q&A with me on his crime blog wherein I divulge my secret plan to appear on Coronation Street ;-) You can read it Here.
November 13, 2008
Heyne previews German cover for Switch
Heyne just sent over their cover for the German edition of Switch, which is set to debut in August, 2009. The title has been changed to Die Stimme des Dämons, which translates roughly into Voice of the Demon or The Demon's Voice.
Heyne has high expectations for the book and will be releasing advance reading copies, plus dedicating two pages in their summer catalogue for book buyers. The book is translated by Norbert Jakober who has worked on all of Vince Flynn's novels. Naturally, I couldn't be more thrilled.
October 19, 2008
Switch gets shout-out on Shots
Mike Ripley gives SWITCH a nod in his Getting Away With Murder column on Shots Ezine. Shots bills itself as the UK's leading online website for Crime, Thriller and Mystery Books, Films and DVDs.You can find SWITCH at the bottom of the left-hand column here.
September 30, 2008
UK debut switched to 2009 - Australia first?
Just received news that the UK debut of SWITCH has been moved to July 2, 2009 where it has been selected as a lead title.
With the UK switching its publication date, it appears Australia may be the first country to debut SWITCH. I've just been informed the thriller is expected to arrive Down Under in trade paperback format on Dec. 4, 2008.
Aug. 14, 2008
The Bookseller likes SWITCH
The July 25 issue of UK trade magazine The Bookseller marks SWITCH as One to Watch and "an excellent read" in Sarah Broadhurst's November Preview column of upcoming paperbacks. I'm also thrilled to note that #1 NY Times best-selling author Lee Child agrees. He calls Switch: "A terrific little-guy-in-big-trouble thriller . . . think Saw meets Payback moving at Warp Speed — with the emphasis on Warp."
Aug. 1, 2008
Switch cover proofs arrive
My lovely editor at Transworld sent over a couple of the official printed covers for the UK paperback edition of Switch. They added a new teaser line above the title that flows through to a teaser on the back, and they embossed the title for that little extra oomph. I haven't heard if they plan to add a blurb at the top, but the ever-lovely Irish crime writer Ken Bruen provided me with a beauty. He wrote: "Think Harlan Coben on speed with a heart breaking compassion that will literally have you biting your nails and you have some idea of this nerve jangling wondrous debut."
June 27, 2008
Switch ARC arrives
A lone copy of the uncorrected book proof for Switch arrived in the mail today. It was a real thrill for me to finally see the manuscript in bound book form. The book was selected by Bantam for their "Proof of the Month" promo, so everybody in the company was invited to pick up a copy. Now the proof will be sent to a few established authors in the hope they'll give me a few nice quotes, plus it will be distributed to book-store buyers and the media. Here's hoping everyone loves it.
June 23, 2008
Q&A in Spinetingler omnibus
The Summer 2008 issue of Spinetingler mag has posted a nice little Q&A with yours truly in their newest issue. The Q&A appears in the downloadable pdf version of the mag, while my short story, Out of Order, appears both online and in the pdf. You can find it here if interested.
May 16, 2008
Switch sells to Germany
Following a mini-auction, Heyne (a division of Random House) won the bid to translate Switch into German. Heyne publishes such authors as Robert Harris. Robert Ludlum, Nicholas Sparks and Michael Connelly. The book will be produced in mass paperback (same as the UK) in 2009. Exact date is still to be determined.
March 5, 2008
Old Sleuth - An unusual Ebay find
I just found this Old Sleuth pulp magazine from 1897 on Ebay. How could I possibly resist? The headline reads Grant McKenzie: A Boy's Battles and Struggles.
Old Sleuth was a dime novel series of novellettes of about 80 pages that were published in New York from 1895 to 1898 by J.S. Ogilvie. They were primarily detective stories set in New York, though several are romances as well. Content is usually boys adventure, or detective/mystery, with some attention to gender and race. Advertisements at the front and back often include ads for "guides to courtship" and "guides to kissing".
I'm looking forward to seeing it when it arrives.
Snitch - Giving up the Boss of Bosses
Rising star John McFetridge puts me on the hotseat at Central Booking for a wee feature he calls Snitch — where the only way out is to give up the name of a mystery writer who has been an influence on you. You can find my answer here.
Jan. 9, 2008
Cover Image arrives
My first look at the proposed cover arrived in my inbox today. I love it, or as my agent says: "They really nailed it!" The switched reflection of the title is a very nice touch. It definitely says big, commercial thriller — and hopefully blockbuster debut ;-) Sales and Marketing have approved it, but say the shoutline needs to be changed to better reflect the title. Plus it needs a glowing quote from someone the average reader will recognize and think, "Hmmm, I better buy this book."
Dec. 24, 2007
A FedEx package arrived on the doorstep this morning containing my editor's notes on the first draft. I'm told the editor went easy on me ;-) Deadline for the second draft to be completed is Jan. 18.
Nov. 29, 2007
The Big News
My agent, Amy Moore-Benson, has sold World English rights for my novel Switch to Bantam Transworld UK (a division of Random House) for mass-market paperback on their thriller list (alongside authors such as Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen and Dennis Lehane). The book will be launched in the UK on November 6, 2008. The editor is Selina Walker. North American and foreign publication dates are still to come.