Today I’m delighted to be taking part on the blog tour for Rocco and The Nightingale by Adrian Magson. I’ll be sharing my review as well as a Q&A that I got to do with Adrian as well!
About the book:
When a minor Paris criminal is found stabbed in the neck on a country lane in Picardie it looks like another case for Inspector Lucas Rocco. But instead he is called off to watch over a Gabonese government minister, hiding out in France following a coup. Meanwhile, Rocco discovers that there is a contract on his head taken out by an Algerian gang leader with a personal grudge against him.
Published by The Dome Press, you can order your copy HERE!
About the author:
Hailed by the Daily Mail as “a classic crime star in the making”, Adrian Magson’s next book is Rocco and the Nightingale (The Dome Press – October 2017). This is the fifth in the Inspector Lucas Rocco series set in France in the 1960s.
Before this, Adrian had written 21 crime and spy thriller books built around Gavin & Palmer (investigative reporter Riley Gavin and ex-Military Policeman Frank Palmer) – “Gritty and fast-paced detecting of the traditional kind, with a welcome injection of realism” (The Guardian); Harry Tate, ex-soldier and MI5 officer – “fast-paced, with more twists and turns than a high-octane roller coaster” (New York Journal of Books); Inspector Lucas Rocco (crime series set in 1960s Picardie) – “Deserves to be ranked with the best” (Daily Mail), “Captures perfectly the rural atmosphere of France… a brilliant debut” (Books Monthly); Marc Portman (The Watchman) – prompting one reviewer to write: “the most explosive opening chapters I have read in a long time. Give this man a Bond script to play with!”; investigators Ruth Gonzales and Andy Vaslik – “Magson takes the suburban thriller overseas and gives it a good twist. [Readers] will happily get lost in the nightmare presented here” (Booklist Reviews).
Adrian also has hundreds of short stories and articles in national and international magazines to his name, plus a non-fiction work: Write On! – The Writer’s Help Book (Accent Press).
Adrian lives in the Forest of Dean and rumours that he is building a nuclear bunker are unfounded. It is a bird table.
I was looking forward to reading Rocco and The Nightingale as Adrian Magson is a new-to-me author and I do love a series. It is safe to say I wasn’t disappointed with it, as I couldn’t put it down once I started.
Rocco is a really genuine character, and I didn’t feel like I was missing any back story by not having read the previous books. In “The Nightingale”, Rocco assumes he will be investigating the death of a criminal from Paris, but instead he is tasked with watching a Gabonese government minister who is hiding out in France. This leads the reader, and Rocco, to question why exactly he was taken of the first case in lieu of babysitting a minister.
Along with this, Rocco discovers that someone has put a hit out on him. With his life in danger, its safe to say he is in a bit of trouble. To make life harder for himself, he continues to investigate the murder, and he has to deal with the consequences and the fallout from that!
I don’t want to say much more about the plot, but it is definitely a gripping story. I really liked Rocco as a character and the various story arcs made for some great change of pace throughout the book. I will most certainly be adding more Rocco books to my TBR after reading this one!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m married, to Ann, am a full-time writer of crime novels and spy thrillers (22 published to date) and live in Gloucestershire.
How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?
Absolutely. I got hooked on books at the age of 8, starting with crime novels and westerns, and decided then that it must be a great way to earn a living, being paid to tell stories. It took me many years to do it, but I began by selling lots of short fiction for women’s magazines, then features and a few other things in between, and finally made the jump to books, which was where I’d been aiming all along. And I’m still learning.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I wish I knew for sure. Sometimes it can be something in the news, or an idea prompted by something I’ve read. Other times an idea comes out of nowhere, although clearly there has to have been some kind of prompt. Because I write series, though, using the same main characters and settings (as with Detective Inspector Lucas Rocco in the French police in this case), I do tend to look for specific areas to write about within that frame. With the Rocco series, I start off looking at events in French history during the 1960s to see if there’s anything to bounce off. In previous books this meant echoes of WW2 and France’s war in Indochina, the effects of Algerian Independence, assassination attempts on President de Gaulle. That might all sound rather heavy and historic, but it’s really not, as I use them only as a backdrop to a plot, helping me put the story together.
How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your book?
I hope, easy to read, entertaining, with plenty of pace, interesting characters and settings. I also try to inject some humour where I can (although not always possible in spy thrillers). I like to think readers will be satisfied at the end of the book and want to come back for more.
Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?
It certainly seems to help at the moment, I think, and thank goodness. Publishers these days do not or cannot do a full job of marketing or selling on all books, and there’s no other way of getting exposure short of getting some prominent press reviews or being in the news. As an author, trying to get your book into bookshops is extremely tough because of the competition and pricing, over which we have no control, and every minute you spend on marketing is another minute away from your main job of writing.
What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?
Well, seeing the finished published book has to be way up there – always a huge buzz, because it means you’ve done it and all that hard work has come to fruition. Writers live to write but we also want to get our work out there. But for me it’s beginning another book, because that’s exciting on a different level, involving research, creating characters, events and plot twists and turns. And I can’t ignore the enormous buzz when someone tells you out of the blue that they’ve enjoyed your book. That’s huge and very uplifting.
What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?
We all get indifferent or poor reviews, which can be depressing. But you have to learn to accept them because not everyone likes the same kind of book. Editing can be rewarding on one level, but a painful chore you have to deal with, when you’ve read the book through several times and find yet another typo! There’s also the not enough time in the day problem, which can be frustrating when you just want to write another scene… !
Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?
Hopefully, no different in writing terms from now, because that’s what it boils down to – being a full-time writer. On a purely base level, there’s always the hope that sales will increase, a fabulous tv or film deal will come along and I’ll be rich and famous!
What’s next for you?
I’m currently editing a standalone book, which is nearly done, and have another Rocco book bubbling away. But I’ve also got another spy thriller in the Harry Tate series in mind. All this means I just have to go without sleep or food for about 6 months and I’ll get it done!
I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?
I love books and always have. I read crime and spy thrillers, an occasional biography, but I’m probably less adventurous than I should be when it comes to broad reading. My problem with reading books in my own genres, be it spy or crime, can sometimes fill my head with the wrong kind of voice, which is off-putting. So occasionally I avoid them until I’ve finished writing.
Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?
Not so much books, but authors, definitely. In no particular order or genre, Leslie Thomas, Bill Bryson, John Sandford, Robert Crais. Thomas Enger, too.
Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?
I don’t think so. I admire lots of books by different authors, but on a professional level I have to keep coming up with my own ideas – and to be pleased with them.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
Watching too much television and DVDs, doing DIY, walking, being with Ann.
Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?
Woodwork, I think. I like to make stuff, although nothing too fancy. It’s the physical focus which takes me right out of writing for a while. Then I’ll start thinking about a plot point and I have to down tools and go make some notes.
What’s your favourite holiday destination?
Best remembered, the Maldives. Superb. Paris and New York, of course. But I like to try different places. Otherwise, anywhere with a beach and/or some good places to eat. And home.
Ann’s chorizo pizza – my weekly treat. Curries, a good burger or an egg-and-bacon sarnie.
Not necessarily together.
Vodka and tonic. Or a nice glass of Merlot. Depends on the weather.
Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?
Because I never really wanted to do anything else. I’ve done other things, worked in the corporate sector, but they never quite cut it for me… or maybe I was never really good enough at them. I’m shamelessly shallow.
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