Friday, November 20, 2009

Press Release: Reviving Great British Thrillers

A Clear Road to Archangel by Geoffrey Rose

November 2009: Using the latest print-on-demand technology, Top Notch Thrillers, a new imprint of Ostara Publishing based in Essex, England, aims to revive the best of British thriller writing from the 1960s and 70s by republishing titles which “do not deserve to be forgotten.”

Ostara has already established a reputation for high quality trade paperbacks of out-of-print detective stories and crime novels under various thematic imprints such as College Crime, Clerical Crime and Medieval Mysteries. For Top Notch Thrillers, they have brought in critic and award-winning crime-writer Mike Ripley as series editor.

“There is a staggering variety of style and breadth of imagination in British thriller writing which is in danger of slipping from popular memory,” says Ripley. “I think of the Sixties and Seventies as a Golden Age for British thrillers, much as the 1930s were for the detective story. The big names are still remembered, if only just – writers such as Alistair Maclean, Len Deighton and Gavin Lyall – but many are unjustly forgotten. It is a labour of love for me to bring back some of the favourite titles of my youth and put them before a new generation of readers before it’s too late.”

The first four Top Notch Thrillers, published this week, are Snake Water by Alan Williams, The Terrible Door by George Sims, Night of Glass by Philip Purser and A Clear Road to Archangel by Geoffrey Rose. Eight more titles are expected in 2010.

Tracking down authors and agents turned into something of a quest for Ripley. He found Geoffrey Rose, who only wrote three novels, living in retirement in southern England despite the fact that his original publisher had lost track of him in 1980.

“Finding Geoffrey Rose alive and well and happy to see his novel back in print makes it all worthwhile,” he said. “He was an amazing stylist and his books, which have a dreamlike almost surreal quality, were once compared to the early work of Graham Greene, but as a thriller writer he was a genuine one-off.”

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