Thursday, 18 February 2010

Serpentine to be distributed in the USA and Canada

Just heard from Mainstream that the book is going to be available in the USA through Trafalgar Square, who distribute many of the major UK publishers, and in Canada through Random House Canada. From September this year, so don't all rush at once!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

'Horrific yet gripping'

....says The Skinny....

Monday, 10 August 2009

New review in Highland News

...thanks again to Margaret Chrystal:


THERE’S a real thrill about seeing your own city turned into the setting for a violent life or death struggle.

It’s not an experience Invernessians have enjoyed too much to date.

But as the first of a planned series, Tom Morton’s thriller SERPENTINE (Mainstream, £9.99) sets the heart racing and the pages turning as dark deeds from Ireland’s Troubles resurface and bring secret lives bobbing to the surface on the streets of Inverness.

Mike Murricane – these days a well-paid but bored consultant mercenary in the Gaza Strip – is called in to help ex-lover and former colleague Millie Jones when their past in Northern Ireland brutally catches up with her quiet retirement.

Ruthless violence is on their trail. And somehow it all leads back to the mysterious Serpentine and a black operation from decades ago with the plot neatly twisting Ireland’s past and the present troubles of the Middle East into a hell-for-leather race for survival.

Murricane is a tough guy with a hatred of salmon farmers and a love of life’s finest gadgets, guns and motors, while Millie is a thorn in his side he can’t ignore. But also dragged into the affair is Northern Constabulary’s disgraced sergeant, Zander Flaws. Happily whiling away his time – when not having hot sex with a motorbike-riding pathologist – by quietly running his ‘department of lost causes’, he spends his time looking into the deaths of forgotten corpses. Until, that is, a horrific killing ties him into the race to track down Serpentine.

Impressive on music references – each chapter is named by a song title – and the everyday detail of real lives, the book has the trick of keeping the plot racing while finding enough time to flesh out the people who make the whole device tick. Each page has more than its fair share of black jokes and pithy one-liners, such as Millie getting her own back on an American colleague: "Always the American way, Clara. Neutral until it starts to put the price of petrol up."

And another boon is that there are plenty of useful, well-researched tips for would-be spies and assassins to pick up along the way.

You’ll never look at a razor blade or a cable tie the same again, after

Or Inverness, for that matter.

Serpentine sets it in stone – the Highlands is the new dark heart of Scotland.

Just follow the satnav up the A9 for the Scottish thriller’s hottest new destination – a hotbed of teuchter noir. MC

Friday, 31 July 2009

All future posts at The Beatcroft

The Beatcroft

Thursday, 2 July 2009

'Ex-spooks in Inverness, claims author.'

Serpentine in the news! The Highland News, to be precise.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Big Issue - four star review!

Better known as the smooth voice of Radio Scotland's afternoon show, but here Morton proves his renaissance-man credentials with a rattlingly good dark comedy thriller. Murricane is our flawed hero, searching for rogue terrorist Serpentine in the Gaza Strip, the Scottish Highlands and Northern Ireland.

Smooth voice? All those years smoking Golden Virginia, wasted!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Serpentine reviewed in The Scotsman...and one reader's 'first book for 30 years' Lesley McDowell. I suppose it was inevitable that Serpentine would be coupled with Alan Clements' Rogue Nation (same publisher, both authors working in the Scottish media, although I'm not the zillionaire boss of STV.) Fair points made, I think, though obviously as a writer you don't really want intelligent objectivity, you want TOTAL AND BREATHLESS ENTHUSIASM.
Read the review here:
My favourite extract would have to be:
I never knew Inverness was such a hive of secret government and anti-government activity, where not even retired lesbian agents can enjoy their peaceful Sapphic idyll without being captured or beaten to death by Irish Unionist thugs

Which only goes to show what a sheltered life Ms McDowell has led. It must be said that both Rogue Nation and Serpentine are treated with the same unwillingness to suspend disbelief. Ah well.

Meanwhile, I received an email this week from a woman who'd bought the book for her husband who, she said "had not read a book in 30 years." At the end of the first chapter he apparently said "this is hopeful" and proceeded to finish it in double quick time. Result!