The Hammer by R.J. Mitchell
After escaping the clutches of a Glasgow drug lord nicknamed ‘The Widowmaker’, the newly promoted Detective Constable Thoroughgood heads for Manchester. The northern powerhouse is home to two rival gangs: ‘The Maine Men’ and ‘The Devils. When a drug deal goes wrong and Thoroughgood fails to stop it, a full-scale turf war is ready to take over Manchester — a city split into red and blue halves.
Seconded into an undercover Greater Manchester Police unit under the command of the legendary DCI Marty Ferguson, Thoroughgood soon finds that the drugs war is not the only battle being fought in the city.
‘The Hammer’ takes Thoroughgood out of the character’s typical Scottish stomping grounds, with 1990s Manchester and a nightmare at the Theatre of Dreams forming the perfect backdrop for Mitchell’s brand of gritty, high-octane crime writing.
Book #6 in the DS Thoroughgood series.
Where did the inspiration come from for your new release?
Being an ex-cop, I have plenty of friends who are still involved in the criminal justice system, one of whom is the foremost private investigator in Scotland! He was kind enough to bring a story to my attention that involved an escapade in Manchester involving ‘gentlemen’ from Glasgow that went wrong…it proved inspirational!
How does it feel to know your characters are out and about in the reader’s imagination?
This is the sixth outing for Gus Thoroughgood with an almost three-year hiatus since the previous book: ‘The Blood Acre’ so yes it will be good to know Gus is back live and dangerous as he charts the unknown territory in what I hope is an adventure that will really capture the imagination of readers.
Do you miss writing about them?
The Hammer was written in 2020 and I had a Scottish signing tour with WHSmith booked for later that year but that didn’t happen for obvious reasons, and it is all history.
So, Gus had to take a back seat in the recesses of my mind while I worked on a World War Two novel based on the premise Hitler didn’t die in the bunker and written from a German perspective.
But earlier this summer I was out on a five stop promotional tour with WH Smith to plug The Hammer with an excellent taster booklet of the new novel produced by MJP and that brought Gus right back to the front of the queue in my consciousness!
What was your publishing journey highlight?
That part is still to come! For me, the moment when I get that first copy of ‘The Hammer’ in my paw from MJP and hand over a signed copy to the first reader at stop one of my forthcoming WH Smith Scottish tour, in my home city of Stirling, on Saturday, September 24, will definitely be a moment I will savour!
What was the last book that made you laugh out loud?
What was the last book that made you cry?
Two spring to mind and since I cannot remember which order I read them or separate them here are both:
‘Provided You Don’t Kiss Me’ by Duncan Hamilton is a poignant and excellent account of his time spent covering the life and times of the great Brian Clough when he managed Nottingham Forest for a local Nottingham paper.
The final Inspector Morse Novel: ‘The Remorseful Day’ I finished this on a Christmas Day morning…and howled!
If you were on an island for a year what two books would you bring?
I have become a huge fan of the late Philip Kerr and his Bernie Gunther Berlin Noir series.
I haven’t read them all yet, but A Man Without Breath is excellent and would definitely come with me.
This is for the sheer escapism in the detail, humour and darkness surrounding a horrific event in history which it brings.
My other favourite author is Bernard Cornwell….take your pick anything from the Sharpe series of The Warlord Chronicles.
For me no one brings history, which was my degree at Glasgow University, alive like Cornwell in all its sights, sounds and treachery!
Great escapism both!!
Lastly, what is your favourite book quote?
“To be empirical is to be guided by experience, not by sophists, charlatans, priests and demagogues.”Willard Mayer from Hitler’s Peace by…yes, you’ve guessed it Philip Kerr!
In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog
contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for us (at no extra cost for you).