For the past few days I’ve been rolling through the Sam Blake covers on social media, leading up to two very exciting reveals, and this is the first!
I’ve been dying to share news of this – High Pressure is a very special new book that is coming out as a digital exclusive on September 22nd (available for preorder now) – it’s unusual because it’s a spiderweb book, connecting the series books I’ve written with the standalones. You don’t have to have read any of the other books to enjoy it, but if you have, you’re in for a treat!
For those of you who have read the Cat Connolly books, more specifically, No Turning Back, you may remember Anna Lockharte, a character whom a lot of readers felt should have her own story.
With each new book I’m discovering strong new women’s voices, three-dimensional female characters with lives and loves, hopes and fears who are as important as my twisty plots. I love writing women who know their own minds and go after what they want. But some of them don’t want to keep quiet!
Professor Anna Lockharte is a terrorism expert based in Dublin’s Trinity College. Her brother-in-law is the US Ambassador to Moscow and his wife, her sister Jen, was killed in a terrorist attack in Paris. Suffering from PTSD as a result of the attack, that she survived while shielding her neice Hope, in No Turning Back, Anna finds herself landing right in the middle of things when she is invited to talk at New Scotland Yard. As she walks into St Pancras Station, a series of life threatening events begin to unfold, very fast.
When I read about pop celebrity Ollie Murs, who thought he’d heard gunshots in Selfridges in London, and the chaos caused by his subsequent tweet, it started me thinking about the impact and power of social media – and how dangerous it could become.
A little while later I was on the Tube, sitting near a girl with amazing neon pink hair – shaved up both sides in a double undercut, and I literally had a lightbulb moment. She became the inspiration for a character called Brioni O’Brien who is travelling in Thailand during her gap year when she’s mugged. She heads to London to find her sister, but her suitcase gets stolen at the airport, and *then* she can’t get hold of Marissa.
A story began to simmer, my thoughts around the potential misuse of social media falling into Anna’s area of expertise, and dovetailing with Brioni’s story. I’d been to a reception in the Irish Embassy one very, very hot summer evening and it seemed the perfect place to bring Anna and Brioni together.
High Pressure is a spiderweb book that links the series books with the standalones, it’s set in London and Wexford and is written in the same world as the other Sam Blake books so if you’ve read more than one, you’ll recognise references – Brioni’s diamond nose stud is from No 42, the exclusive New York jeweller where Lily Power ends up working in Keep Your Eyes on Me. Lily is also related to Anna’s love interest, American Rob Power, and is the reason Anna meets Vittoria Devine and ends up staying at The Hogarth Hotel…you’ll have to read High Pressure to find out more!
High Pressure also gave me an opportunity to bring another KEY character back for a significant, if fleeting, appearance…here’s the blurb:
As temperatures soar across Europe during the hottest summer for forty years, a series of hoax terrorist attacks is generating panic in London. Then a bus blows up on Oxford Street and the hoaxes have suddenly become real.
Student Brioni O’Brien has been desperately trying to contact her older sister since she unexpectedly returned early from travelling, so when Marissa’s bag is found near the site of the explosion, she fears the worst.
Teaming up with terrorism expert Anna Lockharte to search for Marissa, Brioni discovers that her sister had got herself into a very dangerous situation – and that now she and Anna could be caught in the fallout.
#HighPressure is book no 6, and a digital exclusive that is released on September 22nd. It’s available worldwide, and it’ll be out in audio in December. ❤️🙏
Keep an eye out on Monday for news of book 7 and an exciting cover reveal that Eason will be doing! When I’d finished High Pressure, Brioni was such a great character, I knew she had more story. But you’ll have to wait until Monday for more on *that*!
Click to preorder now!