Behind the Book: Five Locations in Manhattan Where...

Everyone who writes anything about the history of New York quickly comes to realize that the city has not always been about office towers and skyscrapers. New York, in the half-century from 1880 to 1930, was distinctive among American cities for the beauty of its architecture but tragically, in the rush to build bigger and higher, the majority of its most striking buildings have disappeared. The destruction of Penn Station in 1963 remains the most notorious demolition of a landmark building but there have been many others. Here are five Manhattan buildings, all associated in some way with crime and criminal justice; two have survived and...

A NEW SERIES, A NEW FEMALE LEAD

Starting a new series can be challenging and fun. The world I am about to create is a vast, infinite world where I have complete freedom to create and explore, however I wish. The moment a new concept for a story comes to me, my imagination soars with ideas for scenes and characters. I usually have no idea how my book or series will end, and that gives me the freedom to go down unseen paths. For me, the characters are the most important part of every series. The protagonist takes priority, because if I’m going to be inside her head for years to come, she must be clear in my mind. She has to be clever and capable of overcoming any and all...

FALSE WITNESS by Andrew Grant

FALSE WITNESS is the third in Andrew Grant‘s Cooper Devereaux series. It is a breakneck thriller in which Cooper Devereaux chases a serial killer…as well as demons from his past.  You’re from Birmingham, England. What made you set your Cooper Devereaux series in Birmingham, Alabama? To make the plot for the first book in the series – FALSE POSITIVE – work, I needed a location with a major city that was close to woods / forests where you could plausibly find old-time ramshackle cabins. I knew that Birmingham, AL would fit the bill after visiting the city for the Murder in the Magic City conference a few years ago, but...

World War 2 on the British Home Front: Criminal Vi...

I write a crime series set in World War 2 London. It features Frank Merlin, a tough Scotland Yard detective battling domestic crime as his country struggles for survival against Germany’s might. I chose this period as the setting for my books not only because of a long-standing fascination with the war, but also because the wartime years were a boom period for crime in Britain. Between 1939 and 1945, reported crime in England and Wales grew by nearly sixty per cent. There were a number of key factors behind this rise. The blackout and the chaos caused by the German bombing raids made it easier for criminals to go about their business....

CONEY ISLAND AVENUE Behind the Book

A SHORT HISTORY OF GRAVESEND The street where I was born and raised in Gravesend, and those surrounding, was populated by Italian immigrants and their first-generation American children with very few exceptions—one of those exceptions being my mother who was a Russian-Jew from Kiev. The Dutch were the first to colonize the western edge of what was then The Long Island, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the Long Island Sound and the East River. Breuckelen originally included six parishes—the first, Gravesend, was settled in 1643 by English Quakers who were granted the land from the Dutch. The town was annexed by the City of Brooklyn in 1894...

Behind the Book: Dana King

I’m from Penns River. Not Penns River by name, but the three small cities that make up the city in my books. Born in one (the hospital has since closed and become an urgent care/testing facility), taken home to another (the apartment has since burned down), and grew up in the third (my parents still live in the house). All three combined cover 16.6 square miles (the rural township that makes up “unincorporated Neshannock County” is another 15.2 with 2,240 people crammed into it.) For comparison purposes, the land area of Manhattan Island is 22.8 square miles. These are not metropolii. The average household income is about three-quarters the...