“A major new thriller talent”

“A major new thriller talent”

Richard Davis (OE 2001–2008) is celebrating the publication of his first book – a hard-boiled thriller set in the USA.

Chosen by Amazon to be in its monthly book promotion alongside blockbuster authors Harlan Coben, Clive Cussler and Marcia Clark, he now shares a publisher with Eric Idle and the New York Times best-selling crime novelist C J Lyons.

After leaving QE, Richard took up a place reading English Literature and Language at University College London. Graduating with a first-class degree in 2011, he then took an M.Phil in American Literature at Queens’ College, Cambridge, which he completed in 2012.

“I wrote a novel while taking my Master’s, though it hasn’t seen the light of day,” he says. But Richard persevered: “After university, I set about writing a different type of novel – an American-style thriller. This involved in-depth research into the FBI, cultic groups, psychopathy and weaponry – and eventually led to a 100,000-word manuscript.”

This gained the attention of leading London literary agent The Hanbury Agency, and a new, up-and-coming publisher, Canelo.

The novel, False Prophet, is about Saul Marshall, a con-artist-turned-FBI-agent, who finds his son taken hostage by a serial-killing cult obsessed with having victims take their own lives. The promotional material accompanying its publication states: “Fast-paced, relentless and brutally exciting, False Prophet marks the entrance of a major new thriller talent.”

Richard drew inspiration from childhood holidays spent in the US, when he developed a taste for American thrillers.

In an interview with the Crime Thriller Fella blog, Richard said: “I am lucky enough to have travelled a good deal around America: I have visited some 14 states, and have been to most major locations featured in False Prophet – New York, Boston, Washington DC. In fact, I have stayed in a couple of the hotels I write about.

“There are no short cuts to writing a novel,” he added. “The hard way is the only way if you want to produce something worthwhile.”

His own favourite authors include G K Chesterton, Patricia Highsmith, Paul Auster and Lee Child – like Richard, another British author who is currently the biggest writer of American thriller fiction.

Richard – pictured here in unsmiling pose as instructed by his publisher! – says he spends most of his free time reading. He is already working on a sequel.