If Jack London wrote Arctic Crime Stories

Constable David Maratse debuted in The Ice Star, rocked the Scandinavian (Amazon) charts in Seven Graves, One Winter, but I really got to know him through his early adventures as a Police Constable in Greenland. Compared to Jack London stories by one Goodreads reader, Maratse’s short stories include themes that are current and relevant in Greenland, and are drawn from my own experiences when I lived and worked in remote towns, villages and settlements on the west coast and in the far north of Greenland.

These are very personal stories. They are fiction, but there is a lot of truth between the pages; some of it is difficult to think about, but important to remember. I used to blog (private for family only) about my time in Greenland – the good, the bad, and the out-of-this-world-once-in-a-million experiences. Shoveling my own experiences into Maratse’s past brings Greenland that bit closer, and allows me to explore the country, and revisit the people that shaped me during a very intense seven years.

At the same time, they are tons of fun to write, and I am very fond of Constable David Maratse. So, I am excited to say that there will be more short stories set in Greenland coming next year, 2019.

Here’s the reading order if you, like certain members of my family, are losing track:

  1. Katabatic
  2. Container
  3. Tupilaq
  4. The Last Flight
  5. The Heart that was a Wild Garden
  6. Qivittoq (2019)
  7. The Thunder Spirits (2019)
  8. Iluliaq (2019)

followed by the novels

  1. Seven Graves, One Winter
  2. Blood Floe
  3. We Shall Be Monsters
  4. Untitled WIP
  5. Untitled WIP
  6. Untitled WIP

Reaching for the Moon

Copenhagen Literary Agency

First things first, I cried in First Man, I honestly can’t remember how many times. It’s good. Ryan Gosling was amazing, Claire Foy was even better. See it, you won’t regret it.

Second thing, and I’ve been waiting to mention this, but Seven Graves, One Winter has been acquired by publishers in Portugal and the Czech Republic. This’ll be a short post as I really don’t know what to say about it, other than YES!

Right, gotta build a rocket ‘cos we’re going to the moon!

Monsters in My House

I just reread one of the chase scenes in We Shall Be Monsters. What I love about writing the Greenland Crime series is the chance to work some personal Easter Eggs into the story, and to build upon really local knowledge. I like to include action sequences in my books and I really enjoyed wrting the scene that occurs in the house Jane and I lived in during the four years we lived on the island of Uummannaq – see amazing photo above from Imgur.

Damn, I miss Greenland. But spending time with Constable Maratse and the rest of the cast of We Shall Be Monsters makes the longing that bit more bearable. I spent seven years in total in Greenland, but the four in Uummannaq were perhaps the most formative.

We Shall Be Monsters is the third book in the Greenland Crime series featuring Constable David Maratse. It is availble for pre-order on Amazon US, UK, Canada and Australia, and is scheduled for release on November 29 this year.

Just in time for Christmas.

Here’s some more Uummannaq!

More Dark Stuff for the Holidays!

The Twelfth Night, the absolute scariest night in Greenland every damn year! I just had to write a story about it. 😉

It’s available now on pre-order and is scheduled for release on, you guessed it, January 6th.

Available on Amazon at just 0.99 of everything, really, until it goes live.

USA, UK, Canada and Australia

Here’s the blurb followed by the “big cover”.

When cyberactivists incite young Greenlanders in Nuuk to riot, Police Commissioner Petra Jensen must shut them down before the Twelfth Night becomes the city’s last.

In the wake of a turbulent Christmas period, Petra Piitalaat Jensen has barely resolved one serious crime before another more urgent disturbance demands her attention.

Commanding a police force suffering from fatigue and stress, Petra must rally the department and lead them on the hunt for a group of cyberactivists inciting the young people of Greenland to rise up and take charge of their future.

In a series of escalating events, Petra is drawn into Greenland’s dark underworld during the darkest month of the year, where traditional methods of policing require new thinking to overcome the first threat to Greenland’s new-found independence.

Set in Greenland’s future, “The Twelfth Night” twists Greenlandic politics, traditions and myths into a dark tale set in the darkest month of the year, in a frighteningly imaginable future.

“The Twelfth Night” is set many years after the events in the Greenland Crime series, but features several of the characters introduced in those books.

The Holidays are Murder!

Forget hygge, this Christmas is going to be murder!

The Scandinavians and Greenlanders love their Christmas Advent Calendars. In Denmark every December, the Danish television companies – at least two of them – usually produce a new Christmas Calendar with twenty-four episodes, up to and including the conclusion on Christmas Eve, the night Scandinavians and Greenlanders celebrate Christmas. The usual premise is that Christmas is under threat, it might even be cancelled, and the viewers won’t know for sure until the very last episode. Nisse – Christmas Elves – are usually involved.

One of the best and most loved Danish Christmas Calendars is Nissebanden i Grønland from 1989 (link to Danish Wikipedia site). This is a particular favourite of mine as it is set in Uummannaq, in Greenland, where I lived and worked for four years. Funnily enough, Uummannaq is where the majority of my Greenland Crime and Arctic Thrillers are set.

Funny that, eh?

Nissebanden is a kids Christmas story. It’s a lot of fun.

Greenland runs the Danish Christmas Calendars on TV, but Greenlandic production studios have also produced their own, including Ammartagaq from Deluxus Studios. I was fortunate to work with the actress, Maria, when I lived in Nuuk. Here’s a teaser from 2010.

Side note, Deluxus Studios also produced the video for one of the best bands ever, not just in Greenland: Nanook.

The idea of writing a Christmas Calendar has been bubbling away for a bit, but, given what I write, my own Christmas Calendar has to be a lot darker, a Dark Advent if you will.

So, even though Christmas is, thankfully, way off yet, I just thought you might be interested to know that The Calendar Man will be available from December 1st, the idea being that you can read it one chapter a day all the way up to and including Christmas Eve.

Of course, you can be daring and wait until the very last day and read it in one sitting if you like. It is a “regular” book after all.

Here’s the big picture before the obligatory links to the special pre-order kindle price. However, don’t miss the “extra” bit of news after that.

Here’s the “blurb” for The Calendar Man:

When a ritual murder is linked to a long-forgotten case, Greenland Police Commissioner Petra Jensen is forced out of retirement to catch a killer seeking revenge.

Following a period of compassionate leave, Petra Piitalaat Jensen has chosen early retirement to work through the grief surrounding the loss of her partner. But when the frozen body of a young man is discovered on the eve of a referendum that will decide the future of Greenland, Greenland’s First Minister urges Petra to forgo retirement and investigate the case.

As the people of Nuuk lock their doors, and the voting booths are empty, Petra stretches the limited resources of the department and orders more police onto the streets in a desperate hunt for a killer determined to make this Christmas one to remember.

Set in Greenland, “The Calendar Man” twists Greenlandic politics, traditions and myths into a dark tale set in the darkest month of the year, in a frighteningly imaginable future.

“The Calendar Man” is set many years after the events in the Greenland Crime series, but features several of the characters introduced in those books.

The Calendar Man is scheduled for release on December 1st.

Available at a special pre-order kindle price from Amazon

USA, UK, Canada and Australia

But wait, there’s more!

One of the scariest Christmas traditions in Greenland occurs on the twelfth night, January 6th, when people with masks and sticks run through the streets and chase people. So, it makes perfect sense, for me anyway, that The Calendar Man is followed by The Twelfth Night, scheduled for release on – you guessed it – January 6th. I’ll post more information about that book later.

So I’ll be rounding off 2018 with a couple of chilling Greenland Crime books – perfect for dark evenings with a candle, a blanket and something sharp – just in case.

Yep, this is dark hygge at its best!

P.S. if you like the original iceberg photos on the covers, be sure to check out Annie Spratt’s website for more incredible photography!

We Shall Be Monsters

A quick post to say I changed my mind about the title for book three in the Greenland Crime series*. Maratse was going to return in a book called Feral, but the more I got into it, the more it niggled. So, Maratse will return in time for Christmas – yes, I said the “C” word – in a dark book with an appropriately dark title: We Shall Be Monsters.

Here’s the blurb for what promises to be a really rough ride!

An extreme environment calls for extreme methods if retired Greenlandic Police Constable David Maratse is to catch a sadistic killer.

When the body of a missing teenager is discovered, Police Sergeant Petra Jensen’s stiff and bloody clothes are found beside a nearby hole in the sea ice. The local police assume she is dead. The suicide note, written in her own hand, confirms it. 

The investigation is closed and her clothes are buried in a small casket in the pre-cut grave – one of seven dug before winter in the graveyard above Inussuk, a small Arctic settlement on the exposed west coast of Greenland.

For retired Police Constable David Maratse, the funeral is just a formality, something to be endured, if only to convince the press, the politicians, and the police, that Petra, one of Greenland’s finest officers, is dead.

As the hunt for the teenager’s killer resumes, Maratse harnesses his dog team, and slips away under the cover of the winter night to begin his search for Petra, free from the prying eyes of the press, far from the restraints of the law.

Set during the sunless and tortuous Greenlandic winter, on the sea ice over 600 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, “We Shall Be Monsters” is the third and the darkest to date of the three books in the Greenland Crime series featuring retired Police Constable David Maratse. 

Just as John Green was inspired by Shakespeare, I sought out one of my literary heroes: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Here’s the quote from Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus

“It is true, we shall be monsters, cut off from all the world; but on that account we shall be more attached to one another.”

Here’s a bigger cover – ‘cos I like big covers – followed by the usual plugs for the really cheap pre-order:

Available from Amazon

USA, UK, Canada, and Australia

Can’t get enough Arctic Noir or books set in polar regions?

If you haven’t already read it, try Frankenstein!

*The books for the Greenland Crime series on the Goodreads page are a little out of order at the moment. Rule of thumb: all of the short stories are set before the novels. So, it should read:

Greenland Crime Short Stories (80-100 pages)

Katabatic

Container

Tupilaq

The Last Flight

The Heart that was a Wild Garden

Story 6 “Untitled”

Story 7 “Untitled”

Story 8 “Untitled”

Greenland Crime Novels

Seven Graves, One Winter

Blood Floe

We Shall Be Monsters

Book 4 “Untitled”

Book 5 “Untitled”

Book 6 “Untitled”

The Heart that was a Wild Garden

I’m having fun with this one – imagining Constable David Maratse as a parent. There’s a lot of sadness and hope in The Heart that was a Wild Garden, it even starts with a funeral. But the themes are relevant, and, without giving too much away, I’ve experienced elements of this story in Greenland, to varying degrees.

The Heart that was a Wild Garden is available from Amazon for pre-order, and is due for release in October. It is the 5th in the series of Greenland short stories featuring Maratse, but it is set way into the future.

You can find it here:

USA, UK, Canada, and Australia

And get the bigger picture here:

Are you ready for it?

Weird stuff going on today, but I’m getting things done, and I’ve finally “locked” the cover for the 3rd book in the Greenland Crime series. Feral is darker – much darker. I can’t say too much, as Blood Floe has only just hit the digital shelves, but the dark nature of Feral will make sense once you get to the end of book 2.

The fun thing is – for me at least – I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift (with a bit of Childish Gambino thrown in) all day! Damn! And, yes, during that time, the cover got the finishing touches. Yeah, still wondering about that. I’ll leak some more stuff about Feral closer to the release date: sometime in December this year. But, until then, I’ll leave you with the cover(s).

And one more cover – the big one!

Yeah, it’s been a good day.

Blink and you’ll miss it!

I couldn’t resist fiddling with the cover of Seven Graves, One Winter, mostly because I like the cover for Blood Floe. Does it make a difference? Nah, probably not, but I like it, but it really is a case of blink and you’ll miss it. Of course, if that’s the case, you’ll have to keep your eyes shut tight to miss the larger version of the cover. 😉

So what’s going on? Why the subtle(ish) changes in the cover, and why… just why? Well, book 2 in the Greenland Crime Series is so very nearly ready to be released or unleashed on the world. That’s why. 🙂

Blood Floe is still available at a crazy pre-order price here, on Amazon:

USA, UK, Canada, and Australia