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Simon Kernick - Author

About the Author

Simon Kernick was our Guest Editor in February 2010 - click here - to see the books that inspired his writing.

Simon Kernick is one of Britain's most exciting new thriller writers. He arrived on the scene with his highly acclaimed debut novel The Business of Dying, and his big breakthrough came with his novel Relentless which became the bestselling thriller of 2007. Simon's research is what makes his thrillers so authentic. He talks both on and off the record to members of Special Branch, the Anti-Terrorist Branch and the Serious and Organised Crime Agency, so he gets to hear first hand what actually happens in the dark and murky underbelly of UK crime.

Below is a Q&A with this author.

1. Does your writing ever scare you?
Maybe not my writing, but my vivid imagination does.

2. Are you a disciplined writer?
Yes, I think so. I tend to write five days a week and roughly between the hours of 9 and 5 (and longer if I’m behind). I don’t think you can wait for inspiration to take hold otherwise you could be waiting a hell of a long time! In the end, you have to treat it like a job, albeit one that’s great fun.

3. Who is your most recognised character? What/who was the inspiration behind that character?
I have two central characters in my books. One is Dennis Milne, my renegade cop from The Business of Dying and its two sequels, and the other is Tina Boyd. Dennis was an amalgamation of a few cops I knew at the time (although none of them were killers as far as I know!), and Tina was a minor character from the early books who just became more and more central to my plots. I’m not quite sure how that happened. It just did.

4. Where do you write?
Usually in a bedroom upstairs in my house facing out on the road and the trees beyond. It’s a relaxing view.

5. Which crime fiction related book, TV programme or film have had the most impact on you or your writing?
Get Carter (originally Jack’s Return Home) by Ted Lewis has always been a huge inspiration. It’s one of the best thrillers I’ve ever read. A real noir classic.
 
6. What is your favourite scene or line from any crime fiction book?
‘The right apartment was hard to find so they murdered the old lady.’ It’s the first line of ‘Don’t Say a Word’ by Andrew Klavan, a fantastic thriller that I’ve re-read twice, and that line’s been imprinted on my memory ever since I first picked up the book in a second hand bookshop in Tenerife in 1993.

7. Which non-fictional killer frightens you the most?
They all do, to a certain extent. It takes a certain darkness in the soul to be able to kill another human being.

8. What tip would you give any budding writers?
Be patient, don’t spend too much time worrying about editing until you reach the end of your story (the most important thing is always to get words down on a page), and develop a thick skin. You will face many rejections in your struggle to get published, but if you’re determined enough, and your work is good enough, you’ll get there in the end.

9. E-book or paper?
Still paper. I’m a bit of Luddite.

10. If you were a fictional character, how would you write your own death?
In a blaze of glory, gunning down the bad guys in a ferocious firefight before being caught from behind by a lucky shot!

11. …and what would your final meal be?
If I had time between all the shooting, I’d dine on a dozen oysters followed by a rib eye steak, lobster and French fries, ending with my Mum’s trifle. I think that lot would probably finish me off anyway…

Author photo © Johnny Ring

Featured books by Simon Kernick

The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/04/2018

A house deep in the countryside where the remains of seven unidentified women have just been discovered. A cop ready to risk everything in the hunt for their killers. A man who has seen the murders and is now on the run in fear of his life. So begins the race to track down this witness before the killers do. For Ray Mason and PI Tina Boyd, the road ahead is a dangerous one, with bodies and betrayal at every turn... Find out what readers are saying: 'an enthralling, twisted and absolutely unputdownable read' - Noelle on Goodreads, 5 stars 'thrilling, gripping, shocking and a complete page turner. I literally couldn't put it down' - Claire on Goodreads, 5 stars 'I had to finish the book and did so in the early hours. Pulse-racing, heart-stopping action led to a nail-biting finish. Wow!' - Mike on Goodreads, 5 stars 'Fast paced and gripping from the start - absolutely loved it' - Nerys on Goodreads, 5 stars 'My pulse rate has finally returned to normal. What a fantastic ending to an excellent book' - Jen on Goodreads, 5 stars

ebook of the month
The Final Minute

The Final Minute

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/01/2015

Featuring Simon Kernick's maverick detective, Tina Boyd, this is the gripping new race-against-time thriller by the best-selling author of Relentless, The Last 10 Seconds and Stay Alive. 'It's night, and I'm in a strange house. The lights are on, and I'm standing outside a half-open door. Feeling a terrible sense of forboding, I walk slowly inside. And then I see her. A woman lying sprawled across a huge double bed. She's dead. There's blood everywhere. And the most terrifying thing of all is that I think her killer might be me...' A traumatic car-crash. A man with no memory, haunted by nightmares. When the past comes calling in the most terrifying way imaginable, Matt Barron is forced to turn to the one person who can help. Ex Met cop, turned private detective, Tina Boyd. Soon they are both on the run...

ebook of the month
Stay Alive

Stay Alive

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/06/2014

The gripping new race-against-time thriller by the best-selling author of Relentless, The Last 10 Seconds, Siege and Ultimatum. One Witness - You're on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out - and your whole life changes in an instant. One Secret - A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don't know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She's in terrible danger. And now you are too. No Escape - You're running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that the men hunting you have killed before. And if they catch you, you'll be next . Brilliant . (Sunday Mirror). Hang on tight! (Harlen Coben).

ebook of the month
Stay Alive

Stay Alive

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Hardback Release Date: 30/01/2014

The gripping new race-against-time thriller by the best-selling author of Relentless, The Last 10 Seconds, Siege and Ultimatum. One Witness - You're on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out - and your whole life changes in an instant. One Secret - A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don't know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She's in terrible danger. And now you are too. No Escape - You're running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that the men hunting you have killed before. And if they catch you, you'll be next . Brilliant . (Sunday Mirror). Hang on tight! (Harlen Coben).

ebook of the month
Ultimatum

Ultimatum

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/06/2013

THE THREAT 8am: an explosion blasts through a cafe in Central London. THE ULTIMATUM Minutes later, a call from an unknown terror group warns that a far greater attack will be launched in 12 hours' time. THE PRISONER William Garrett, AKA Fox, is awaiting trial for mass murder. He claims he can name the bombers. But only at a price. THE CLOCK IS TICKING It's a terrifying race against time for DI Mike Bolt and DC Tina Boyd as they chase their targets across the city in a desperate bid to stop a major atrocity - before it's too late ...

ebook of the month
Wrong Time Wrong Place Quick Reads 2013

Wrong Time Wrong Place Quick Reads 2013

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/2013

You are hiking in the Scottish highlands with three friends when you come across a girl. She is half-naked, has been badly beaten, and she can't speak English. She is clearly running away from someone. Do you stop to help her? Even if it means putting your friends' lives - and your own - in terrible danger?

ebook of the month

Other books by Simon Kernick


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The Witness

The Witness

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 07/04/2016

The gripping new race-against-time thriller by the best-selling author of Relentless, The Last 10 Seconds and The Final Minute. `I had a simple choice. Stay here, and almost certainly be discovered. Or get up and run.' THE WITNESS When Jane Kinnear sees her lover being murdered, she suddenly finds herself in danger. Taken to an anonymous police safe-house, it soon becomes clear that her lover was an MI5 informant with important information about an imminent terrorist attack. THE DETECTIVE DI Ray Mason of Counter Terrorism Command is a man with a controversial past, but his effectiveness at getting results means that he's now been given the task of preventing the attack from taking place. But can he be trusted, and does he know more about the attack than he's letting on? THE KILLER In the safe-house, Jane is trying to piece together a description of her lover's killer. But what she doesn't know is that the killer has already found out who she is, and where she is hiding. And now he's coming for her ...


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One By One: After

One By One: After

Author: Simon Kernick Format: eBook Release Date: 01/05/2015

One week, three digital shorts.The final part in a direct to digital short-story in a murder mystery three-part thriller from the bestselling author of Ultimatum, Stay Alive and The Final Minute.Six people met together on a remote island and with a killer on the loose, only four remain.Three have been brutally murdered in front of their eyes as a punishment for their actions on a night over twenty years ago.But as the old school-friends start to turn on each other, will any of them leave the island alive?


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One By One: During

One By One: During

Author: Simon Kernick Format: eBook Release Date: 29/04/2015

One week, three digital shorts.The second part in a direct to digital short-story in a murder mystery three-part thriller from the bestselling author of Ultimatum, Stay Alive and The Final Minute.Six ex school-friends met together on a remote island being stalked by an unseen killer, and unable to contact help.But who is after them and why? As the body count mounts, it becomes clear that at least one member of the group can t be trusted.And the surviving members need to figure out who it is before it s too late.


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One By One: Before

One By One: Before

Author: Simon Kernick Format: eBook Release Date: 27/04/2015

One week, three digital shorts.The first part in a direct to digital short-story in a murder mystery three-part thriller from the bestselling author of Ultimatum, Stay Alive and The Final Minute.Six ex school-friends have been brought together on a remote island.They haven t all been in contact since a fateful night twenty-one years ago, when their friend Rachel Skinner was found dead. The man arrested for her murder has now been acquitted, and the seven friends are fearing for their lives.But are they hiding from the right person? Or have they fallen into a deadly trap?

Stay Alive

Stay Alive

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/06/2014

The gripping new race-against-time thriller by the best-selling author of Relentless, The Last 10 Seconds, Siege and Ultimatum. One Witness - You're on a trip with your family, miles from anywhere. A shot rings out - and your whole life changes in an instant. One Secret - A woman is racing towards you, chased by three gunmen. Although you don't know it, she harbours a deadly secret. She's in terrible danger. And now you are too. No Escape - You're running, terrified, desperate to find safety. You know that the men hunting you have killed before. And if they catch you, you'll be next . Brilliant . (Sunday Mirror). Hang on tight! (Harlen Coben).

ebook of the month

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Dead Man s Gift: Today (Part 3)

Dead Man s Gift: Today (Part 3)

Author: Simon Kernick Format: eBook Release Date: 05/06/2014

A THRILLER IN THREE PARTS The FINAL installment in this direct to digital short-story. A race-against-time three-part adventure from the bestselling author of Relentless, Siege and Ultimatum, Simon Kernick.Ex-soldier Scope has less than 12 hours to find his kidnapped nephew and he's only got one lead to go on. The clock's ticking and, as Scope gets to work, he soon discovers he's up against a vicious and dangerous criminal network, and he's going to need all his determination and ingenuity just to stay alive 'Simon Kernick writes great plots, great characters, great action.' Lee Child 'Simon Kernick writes with his foot pressed hard on the pedal. Hang on tight!' Harlen Coben


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Dead Man's Gift

Dead Man's Gift

Author: Simon Kernick Format: eBook Release Date: 05/06/2014

A race-against-time short story from the bestselling author of Relentless, Siege and Ultimatum, Simon Kernick. MP Tim Horton arrives home to find his seven year old son has been abducted by a ruthless gang of kidnappers. All they have left behind is the brutally murdered body of the Horton's nanny. The gang's demands are simple: Tim must sacrifice his own life in order to save his son's. It's the ultimate dead man's gift ...


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Dead Man s Gift: Last Night (Part 2)

Dead Man s Gift: Last Night (Part 2)

Author: Simon Kernick Format: eBook Release Date: 29/05/2014

A THRILLER IN THREE PARTS The SECOND direct to digital short-story in a race-against-time three-part adventure from the bestselling author of Relentless, Siege and Ultimatum, Simon Kernick.MP Tim Horton is waiting to hear from his son s kidnappers. Knowing he s being watched, and too scared to go to the police, he contacts the only man who may be able to help him, his brother-in-law: an ex-soldier called Scope who has a reputation for sorting things out and getting things done 'Simon Kernick writes great plots, great characters, great action.' Lee Child 'Simon Kernick writes with his foot pressed hard on the pedal. Hang on tight!' Harlen Coben


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Dead Man's Gift: Yesterday (Part 1)

Dead Man's Gift: Yesterday (Part 1)

Author: Simon Kernick Format: eBook Release Date: 22/05/2014

A THRILLER IN THREE PARTS The FIRST direct to digital short-story in a race-against-time three-part adventure from the bestselling author of Relentless, Siege and Ultimatum, Simon Kernick.MP Tim Horton arrives home to find his seven year old son has been abducted by a ruthless gang of kidnappers. All they have left behind is the brutally murdered body of the Horton s nanny. The gang s demands are simple: Tim must sacrifice his own life in order to save his son s.It s the ultimate dead man s gift 'Simon Kernick writes great plots, great characters, great action.' Lee Child 'Simon Kernick writes with his foot pressed hard on the pedal. Hang on tight!' Harlen Coben

Ultimatum

Ultimatum

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/06/2013

THE THREAT 8am: an explosion blasts through a cafe in Central London. THE ULTIMATUM Minutes later, a call from an unknown terror group warns that a far greater attack will be launched in 12 hours' time. THE PRISONER William Garrett, AKA Fox, is awaiting trial for mass murder. He claims he can name the bombers. But only at a price. THE CLOCK IS TICKING It's a terrifying race against time for DI Mike Bolt and DC Tina Boyd as they chase their targets across the city in a desperate bid to stop a major atrocity - before it's too late ...

ebook of the month
Wrong Time Wrong Place Quick Reads 2013

Wrong Time Wrong Place Quick Reads 2013

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/2013

You are hiking in the Scottish highlands with three friends when you come across a girl. She is half-naked, has been badly beaten, and she can't speak English. She is clearly running away from someone. Do you stop to help her? Even if it means putting your friends' lives - and your own - in terrible danger?

ebook of the month

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The Payback (Dennis Milne 3)

The Payback (Dennis Milne 3)

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/07/2011

Dennis Milne is a former cop and part-time assassin. He kills the bad guys - people who, in his opinion, deserve to die. Now he's in Manila, waiting for his next target: a young woman who's made some deadly enemies. DI Tina Boyd is in Manila hunting down the man responsible for the death of her lover. She knows he's dangerous. She knows he's ruthless. But she's determined to bring him to justice - even if it kills her. Two cops with pasts that haunt them - and a present that could see them both dead. They are about to meet. And when they do, it's payback time.


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Deadline (Tina Boyd 3)

Deadline (Tina Boyd 3)

Author: Simon Kernick Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 12/05/2011

'We've got your daughter.' It's evening, you're back late from work - and the house is in darkness. You step inside, and the phone rings. You answer it - and your world is turned upside down. Your fourteen-year-old daughter's been taken, and her kidnappers demand half a million pounds in cash. They give you 48 hours to raise the money. If you call the police, she will die. As the nightmare unravels, you can be certain of only two things: that you will do anything to get your daughter back alive - and that time is running out ...