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I blame Eddie Collins.

You know when you get to Sainsbury’s for the fish fingers for tonight’s tea, and you curse because the carrier bags you’d set neatly aside on the hallway table are still there? These are the carrier bags you’d bought on the last shopping trip because the ones you’d bought the time before are also on the hall table.

My point is that these little annoyances throw a spanner in your day, and I try so hard to eradicate them.

The old cover

The old cover

One such annoyance, other than perpetually forgetting the carrier bags, is my constant inability to put my life in order. Take my e-books for example. All are available from Amazon, and also from other platforms, but the paperbacks (and I believe you should offer paperbacks – some people, myself included, often prefer the feel of woodchip over microchip) are scattered between two publishers.

So I’ve begun hauling them all across to Amazon’s CreateSpace.

That was the plan. But I thought about The Third Rule for some considerable time. I thought it an unwieldy tome, and how it would read better if I worked on it. When it began life in 2004, it wasn’t part of a series; it was just a good old stand-alone crime epic to get your gnashers into. Born out of The Third Rule was the lead character, Eddie Collins. And I liked him. He was a bastard most of the time – to his colleagues and even to the public – but he had redeeming features which became obvious throughout the course of the book. Anyway, I didn’t want to ditch him and begin another book using someone else. I wanted Eddie.

So I used him in the following books, Black by Rose and Sword of Damocles. And I’ll use him again in future books. I like him that much, yes.

That made The Third Rule part of a series and not a stand-alone crime epic. And its size made it the odd one out. As you know from a previous post, I managed to whittle it down by 70k words – I modernised it! And this new edition needed a new coat and a new blurb. So here they are.

The new cover!

The new cover!


And here’s the blurb too…

Capital Punishment is back!

When you’re accused of murder, you’d better hide, run, or fight.
The Third Rule is England’s new infallible capital punishment. But absolute proof of guilt is no longer required, so there’s a queue at the Slaughter House doors.

CSI Eddie Collins hasn’t killed anyone, but he knows who has. That’s why he’s on the Slaughter House list, and when a government hunter tracks him down, Eddie has to fight or die. 

“If you want to kill serious crime, you have to kill serious criminals.”

Sir George Deacon, Minster of Justice.