A Quickie with Simon Booker

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

Simon Kernick and Mark Billingham have both called KILL ME TWICE ‘a must-read’. Which is nice. It’s the second Morgan Vine thriller, picking up where WITHOUT TRACE left off. She’s a single mum and investigative journalist who lives in an isolated shack on Dungeness beach. Morgan is obsessed with miscarriages of justice because of events in her own family history. Tasked with proving the innocence of Anjelica Fry, a woman banged up in prison for murdering her lover in an arson attack, Morgan has doubts about Anjelica’s innocence, until the supposed victim – a man universally believed to be dead – walks past her window…

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

‘You Had To Be There’

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

None so far but I’m writing this en route to Theakston’s Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, so anything could happen. I’ll keep you posted…

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

Dorothy Parker. Her wit + my plots = book bliss!

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

When I was 19 I was a traffic reporter on Capital Radio. The late great Kenny Everett nicknamed me ‘Betty Booker’. My career has been downhill ever since…

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

Maggie O’Farrell – This Must Be The Place. I read a lot of crime novels but love dipping into other genres, and what is ‘literary fiction’ if not a genre? Her writing is superb and the storytelling is out of this world. (Apparently most men won’t read books by women. Idiots.)

Elizabeth Day – The Party. I’m just starting this but it had me at hello.

Chris Whitaker – All The Wicked Girls. The bloody man is young, ludicrously handsome and absurdly talented. If he weren’t so nice, he’d be easy to hate. Right from the first chapter you know you’re in good hands, and his ‘voice’ reminds me of Harper Lee. Can there be greater praise? I don’t think so.

Who is Simon Booker?  I’ve written many primetime dramas for BBC, ITV and US TV – everything from BBC1 murder mysteries like The Inspector Lynley Mysteries and The Mrs Bradley Mysteries starring Diana Rigg to US romantic comedies such as Perfect Strangers starring Rob Lowe and Anna Friel.

Without Trace is my debut novel, the first in a series of psychological thrillers featuring Morgan Vine, a single mother and investigative journalist obsessed with miscarriages of justice. She lives in a converted railway carriage on the beach at Dungeness, Kent.

I share Morgan’s interest in miscarriages of justice. My ex-wife married a man who spent 26 years in a US prison for a murder he didn’t commit. But that’s another story. I volunteer in UK prisons, running reading groups and working in the field of restorative justice. Although these experiences help to inform my writing, my principal aim is to produce a series of page-turning thrillers to keep readers guessing until the final page. Without Trace has already been optioned for TV, so watch this space for more news.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy getting to know Morgan Vine and her wayward teenage daughter, Lissa, and I look forward to your feedback on Without Trace via Amazon reviews.

If you’d like a FREE chilling short story please go to simonbooker.com

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