A Killing in November
SHORTLISTED FOR THE CWA GOLD DAGGER 2023
‘[A] terrific crime novel’ Mick Herron
‘This moody, atmospheric novel is full of surprises’ Sunday Times (Crime Book of the Month)
‘[W]ell plotted and very funny’ ***** Sun
‘This has a TV series written all over it’ Daily Mail
Ryan Wilkins grew up on a trailer park, a member of what many people would call the criminal classes. As a young Detective Inspector, he’s lost none of his disgust with privileged elites – or his objectionable manners. But he notices things; they stick to his eyes. His professional partner, DI Ray Wilkins, of affluent Nigerian-London heritage, is an impeccably groomed, smooth-talking graduate of Balliol College, Oxford. You wouldn’t think they would get on. They don’t.
But when a young woman is found strangled at Barnabas Hall, they’re forced to.
Rich Oxford is not Ryan’s natural habitat. St Barnabas’s irascible Provost does not appreciate his forceful line of questioning. But what was the dead woman doing in the Provost’s study? Is it just a coincidence that on the night of her murder the college was entertaining Sheik al-Medina, a Gulf state ruler linked to human-rights abuses in his own country and acts of atrocity in others?
As tensions rise, things aren’t going well. Ray is in despair. Ryan is in disciplinary measures. But their investigation gradually disentangles the links between a Syrian refugee lawyer now working in the college kitchens, a priceless copy of the Koran in the college collection and the identity of the dead woman.
A Killing in November introduces an unlikely duo from different sides of the tracks in Oxford in a deftly plotted murder story full of dangerous turns, troubled pasts and unconventional detective work.
This is a terrific crime novel, with a startlingly original protagonist we're going to see a lot more of. Oxford's mean streets just got meaner. * Mick Herron * This moody, atmospheric novel is full of surprises, with subplots about sexual harassment and the impact of the Syrian civil war. * Sunday Times (Crime Book of the Month) * It's a brave writer who sets a new crime series in Inspector Morse's Oxford but Mason has come up trumps with chalk-and-cheese cops DI Ryan Wilkins and DI Ray Wilkins...It's well plotted and very funny. ***** * The Sun * The first novel in a promising new police series set in Oxford that explores the working relationship between a chalk-and-cheese detective duo. * Sunday Times Crime Club (Star Pick) * This has a TV series written all over it. * Daily Mail * Simon Mason has reformulated Inspector Morse for the 2020s. This angelic two-year-old son, Ryan Jr ("Is it hard being a daddy?"), are superb and his relationship with Ray, a snob with a heart of gold beneath the sharp suit, shows huge potential. The good news is they'll be back. * Mark Sanderson, Times (Best New Crime Fiction for Jan 2022) * The story has modern relevance, ingenious plotting, vivid characterisation, a touching father-son relationship and impressively accurate city geography. * The Times (Audiobook of the Week) * [T]his is a very individual piece of work, with a satisfying plot involving Syrian refugees, snobbish dons and nimble interaction between the ill-assorted protagonists. There is real craftsmanship at work here. * Financial Times * Ryan Wilkins is about as far removed from George Smiley as a protagonist can be, he may in time become as memorable. He's an extraordinary creation, and demonstrates that even in the most suspenseful thrillers, character is king * The Spectator * Mason avoids the obvious tropes, and rather movingly focuses on Ryan's relationship with his young son. Well plotted, too. It's the first in a series: start now and avoid the rush. -- Mick Herron * Guardian (Best Holiday Reads) * Mason has reformulated Inspector Morse for the 2020s * The Times (Best Books For Summer) *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?