Throwing a Lifeline #SaveCallumDoyle

It’s a huge treat for me to share this post with you. One of my favourite crime writers, David Jackson, has taken a new direction with his latest book. Not only is it slightly different in style, tone and the type of story it tells, Dave has decided to ‘go it alone’ and plunge into the world of Amazon White Glove (an agent assisted publishing programme) – in the hope of finding a wider readership for his New York detective series featuring Callum Doyle. Why he is not already a massive name, is a mystery to me; I’ve made no secret of the fact that I absolutely love this series. You don’t have to have read the others to enjoy this one, though – it works well as a standalone. What it will do though, is keep you reading all night and make you desperate for more 🙂

CRY BABY is out now. Over to you, Dave…

Throwing a Lifeline

So there’s this friend of mine, and I’m trying to save his life.

I should step in quickly here and add that this is nothing heroic. Not at all. This does not even register on the scale of what doctors and fire-fighters and police officers do on a regular basis. I certainly wouldn’t want to give that impression.

See, this guy doesn’t exist. Except in my head. And except in the heads of people while they are reading my books.

But maybe that’s enough. Fictional characters can seem real at times, can’t they? Drawn in enough detail, to include not merely their physical attributes but also their hopes and their fears and their memories and their desires, characters can leap from the page and cling to your consciousness for a long time.

When you walk down a street, what do you know of that stranger coming towards you? On a bus or a train, what can you say about the passenger opposite? They’re real – of course they are – but you don’t know anything about them. You might make certain inferences from the way they dress or walk or talk, but that’s about it.

And then there’s Callum Doyle, the detective protagonist in my crime thrillers. If you have read the books, you will know a lot about him. You will know that he has a mischievous and sometimes morbid sense of humour. You will know that he has a wife and daughter, both of whom he loves dearly. You will know that he boxed in his youth, and has a slightly bent nose to show for it. You will know that he was brought from Ireland to New York when he was just eight. You will know that he doesn’t cope well when women cry in his company. You will know that he has secrets – dark, dark secrets. You will know that he has killed.

Above all, you will have been in Doyle’s head. I’ll say that again: you have been inside Doyle’s head. How often are you able to say that, unless you are talking about a character in a book? You don’t even know your own partner or close family members that well. There’s an intimacy there that is possible only in the world of stories. And I, more than anyone, have lived Doyle’s life in parallel with my own.

It’s natural, therefore, that I should want to keep him alive. I gave him life; I don’t want to see his death. For a while, though, it has been looking as though that decision might have been taken out of my hands. I have been urged to move on to new things, new stories. And in response to that, I have begun writing another series of crime novels, based on an entirely fresh protagonist. I’m warming to this new guy. He’s going to be an interesting character to follow.

But I’m not giving up on Doyle so easily. He’s too compelling for that. He’s got more to give, more to show us.

And he does, in my latest novel called ‘CRY BABY’. This is Doyle’s lifeline. My hope is that enough readers will reach out and grasp it to make it obvious they want to grant him a future. We shall see.

* * *

 It’s every mother’s nightmare – the abduction of her baby.

That’s how it starts for Erin Vogel when she is attacked and left unconscious in her apartment. When she awakes, it is to find that Georgia, her six-month-old daughter, has been taken.

But Erin is given a chance to get Georgia back. At an unthinkable price.

Like most mothers, she has always said she would do anything for her child.Now the strength of thatbond is about to be put to the ultimate test.

And when her actions arouse the interest of a certain Detective Callum Doyle, one thing is inevitable: a confrontation that will be as explosive as it is unforgettable.

From the highly acclaimed author of Pariah, The Helper and Marked comes a nerve-shredding novel that questions the line we draw between good and evil.


If you’re looking for a tense thriller that will have you frantically trying to work out the puzzle of what the heck is going on, this is your book. Erin is sent on a horrific, unthinkable mission, and although she thinks she’ll never be able to to it, she has no choice. Either she does what she’s told, or her baby dies. Yet there is something that doesn’t add up about it all, and there’s the added mystery of Albert, who has turned up at the police station claiming to have killed his mother. You know they have to be linked somehow, but good luck working it out!

This is the fourth in David Jackson’s series featuring Detective Callum Doyle, but don’t be concerned about reading this one out of sequence. It’s quite different from the rest and works well on it’s own – Erin is a fantastic character and you’ll be rooting for her throughout, despite what she does… Saying that though, I highly recommend that you read the other three books too, because when you get to know Doyle, you’ll want more – this book has the characteristic humour of the previous three, full of the types of people you wish you could meet in real life, mixed with a stylish and gritty New York setting.

I really hope that there’ll be a follow up to this one – Doyle is definitely one of my favourite series detectives, and David Jackson’s writing is a delight.

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