Hello, and welcome to the kind of tourist trail that is more about red splats than blue plaques.
My name is David Mark, and I make people up and then kill them. Then other made-up people set about investigating the crimes. This peculiar practice is called ‘writing crime fiction’ and I’ve been doing it for a few years now. Before that I was a journalist and as such, I can proudly say that I have never had a job that didn’t involve upsetting people.
A few years back I created the character of Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy, whose latest outing, Dead Pretty, takes him to darker places than he has ever been before, and no, I don’t mean Lancaster.
Over the last few books, McAvoy has become rather popular. People are reading about him in exotic places like Milwaukee, Madrid, Milan and Mexborough. He’s been translated into Spanish, Italian, German, Turkish, Greek, Russian and Scouse. And while I hope that my descriptions of the places he stumbles through are sufficient for readers to get a sense of Hull and its surrounding locations, this map may come in handy in giving McAvoy’s fans a proper window into his world. This Murder Map shines a light on dozens of locations from the various novels. This is the place to be if you’re desperate to learn what Hull Royal Infirmary looks like and you don’t have a copy of Architectural Monstrosities to hand.
If you’re local and discover that somebody killed somebody else in your living room, please do try and keep in mind that this is fictional, and it will not affect the resale value. If you think I’ve been unfairly harsh on an area, or described somewhere as pretty when you personally think it looks like a teenager’s sock drawer, that is absolutely fine. I look at the world through many different sets of eyes, which is a poetic way of saying that not all the narration represents my own particular perspective, and not that I have some freakish eyeball collection that will eventually be displayed in court.
If you’re wondering ‘why Hull’, perhaps this map will answer that question. I don’t really have an answer. It’s just a city that speaks to my imagination. Every scene or scenario I can come up with, I can picture happening somewhere in the city. Every new character I create, I put through the filter of whether or not I can picture them having a drink in one of the pubs in the Old Town, and if I can, then that makes them believable and worth writing about. I know this city. I know how it feels. I know it well enough to pick handfuls of it up and throw it at a page and see what sticks.
Anyway, welcome to Hull. Hope you get out alive.
Hull, East Yorkshire. Two weeks before Christmas an elderly man – the only survivor of a fishing trawler tragedy 40 years before – is found murdered at sea.
In a church, a young girl who is the last surviving member of a family slaughtered during the conflict in Sierra Leone, is hacked to death with a machete.
Someone is killing sole survivors in the manner they had escaped death. And it falls to Detective Sergeant Aector McAvoy of Humberside CID to find out who.
‘An exceptional debut from an exciting new talent. David Mark is an original and captivating new voice.’
Life is never quiet with Simon Appleyard and Suzie Devlin around. Fun-loving friends – their body markings as colourful as their sexuality – the pair’s lust for life is matched only by their hunger for taboo pleasures. And life is currently anything but quiet for DS Aector McAvoy. A recent explosion in violent drug-related crime in and around Hull has seen his workload drastically increase.
But a guilty secret – born of sex, politics and the criminal underworld – has given rise to a fresh evil; one that will soon stain each of these lives, linking their fates as painfully and intricately as tattooed markings on virgin skin.
‘Compelling . . . Richly satisfying and told with remarkable flair . . . confirms Mark as one of the darkest of the new faces in British crime writing, and not one to miss.’
Philippa Longman is a 53-year-old grandmother at the centre of a loving family, who want nothing more than to get home from work before the storm breaks.
Roisin McAvoy is a young mother whose heart is as golden as the jewellery around her neck – a woman who is as fiercely protective of her closest friends as she is loyal to her husband.
DS Aector McAvoy is a man consumed with the well-being of others: whether it’s shielding his family from the world, or protecting Hull’s citizens amid an epidemic of violent crime.
But deep-seated grudges are greater than goodwill, and soon all three of these gentle souls will learn a common lesson – that bad things happen to good people.
‘In terms of food analogies, some books are bland or subtly flavoured, while others are like a fiery curry. David Mark’s DS McAvoy books are unarguably in the latter category.’
They have taken DS Aector McAvoy’s family.
They have taken DCI Colin Ray’s foundation.
They have taken DS Trish Pharaoh’s fight.
Now the ruthless criminal network that has tightened its stranglehold on Hull intends to take everything that remains from those who dare to stand in its way.
Taking Pity is a police procedural thriller that pulls no punches. It is the story of three officers who can take no more, and a merciless nemesis that takes no chances, no prisoners and no pity.
‘Excellent . . . Mark weaves a complicated web of deception, betrayal, and violence as the action builds to a stunning conclusion.’
Will Blaylock died while on day release from prison.
It was a bad death. But accidents will happen.
Detective Sergeant McAvoy isn't convinced, though. And he owes a debt to Will's cellmate Owen Swainson: a debt formed in blood and fear when they came together to catch a killer.
But their search for a murderer will rip open old wounds, and force old enemies out of hiding . . .
Hannah Kelly has been missing for nine months.
Ava Delaney has been dead for five days.
DS Aector McAvoy won’t let either of them go until justice can be done. But some people have their own ideas of what justice means . . .
Dead Pretty takes readers deep into a crime investigation, as McAvoy struggles with a case that’s leading nowhere, and the thorny issues of what right and wrong means when it comes to taking lives and saving them.
‘Breathtaking. Mark writes badness beautifully.’