The Vikström Papers - Coming Soon

The Vikström Papers - Coming Soon

Added at 10:42 on 10 March 2024

Citizens of the earth, there’s another crime series coming from Long Midnight Publishing.

My favourite books are the original Ian Fleming Bond novels. But I’ve always been more interested in Bond himself, and the comings and goings of his life, than in the familiar plot with the megalomaniacal bad guy. Once the action starts, they get a bit dull for me. I’d happily spend two hundred pages in Bond’s company, while he’s bored in London. Going to clubs, spending his days at the shooting range with Tanner, reading reports on the latest Chinese technology, having affairs with married women, and getting told off by May his housekeeper for smoking too much and not eating properly.

The best of the lot is Moonraker, because Bond spends more than the first third of it in London, dining with M, and playing cards at M’s club against Hugo Drax, at this point unaware that Drax is the villain of the piece. (Even though he’s called Drax, and is one of the most obvious villains in literary history.)

It’s how I now feel about my own characters. I’m much more interested in them as people, than I ever am in the drama of a plot, or the whodunnit of a crime mystery. I literally never care who did it.

If I’m reading, writing, watching a movie… zero interest in who the killer is. The contrivance of it, the agonies the writer will have gone through to try to fool the reader/viewer, the plot twists and turns and red herrings and so on. I like the darkness of the killer’s mind, the black humour, the shades of grey, the menace that lurks in the shadows. But, for whatever reason, I never care who that person is. Ultimately, it’ll be someone, and maybe you worked it out, and maybe you didn’t.

It’s about the journey, not the destination, that’s what I’m trying to say.

I loved writing in DS Hutton’s voice. But the trouble with concentrating on the character, rather than the crime narratives, is that there are only so many times someone can fall in love/nearly get kicked out of the force/get stabbed/end up in hospital etc before it gets repetitive and silly. I felt like Hutton had reached that point. Some may have thought it came way earlier than book 11, but that was when it felt like the end for me.

But I knew I’d miss writing him. And I knew when I finished that, I’d come back with a new first-person narrative character.

And here he is. Sam Vikström. Scottish private detective in New England. (Swedish grandfather, which explains the name.) Basically, Vikström is Hutton, without the PTSD, endless affairs (Vikström’s just having the one), and a lot less swearing. Set in the fictional town of Glasgow, Massachusetts, on the coast of the non-fictional Cape Ann.

Book 1 will be unleashed upon the earth on 21st March. Click here to share in the magic.


Markus - 13:45 on 15 March 2024
Ordered it right away. Sounds perfect. I also never care who did it and I did not even read any crime novels before your's because I just don't care. Hutton etc al. are just different enough and contain enough of your voice that I enjoy reading them. Wish the new one all the best!

Thanks, Markus! d
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