Posts Tagged ‘crime novels’

As the October 31 launch date nears for the Kindle version of our new release crime-thriller Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes), a new paperback giveaway competition is underway on – open to all Goodreads members worldwide.

The competition ends October 29.

To enter go to:


Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes)

Paperback giveaway underway.


Silent Fear continues to attract rave reviews. Check them out at:




The new release crime-thriller Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) resonates with the critics if early reviews on Amazon are any guideline. Reviews to date are all five stars.


Product Details            Product Details

     The (Pre-order) Kindle eBook.                The paperback…available now!


Silent Fear  is the latest novel by Lance and James Morcan, co-authors of the international thriller series The Orphan Trilogy  and the historical adventure novels White Spirit and Into the Americas. The paperback is available now via Amazon; the Kindle eBook version is available via Amazon Pre-orders and will be auto-delivered to buyers’ Kindles on October 31st.


Here’s what Amazon reviewers are saying about Silent Fear:

★★★★★ “Silent Fear is a thriller unlike any you’ve read before…I highly recommend (it) for anyone who enjoys books that incorporates interesting characters and a story-line that is not only entertaining, but also will touch upon our basest fears.”-Ila in Maine

★★★★★ “Whoa! What a ride. Excellent book, well constructed, and with brilliant delivery. Great to have a female lead character who is: clever, resourceful, and adaptable. And love requited – or is it? Loved it. The re-romance of the central characters was engaging…(a) bewitching book.”-Jonno

★★★★★ “The premise of this book alone is extremely enticing and original, which means my expectations were high from the start, but boy, do the authors deliver!… It’s superbly written, and there are plenty of red herrings and clues throughout to make you try to guess who the killer is, only for you to then completely change your mind a few pages later.”-Amazon Customer

★★★★★ “Can you hear me now? What a great story! I didn’t figure out who the killer was until the last chapter, and it still had a surprising twist! I had to read the book in one sitting!”-bccopanos

★★★★★ “Spellbinding! I couldn’t put it down…The characters are very realistic and are described so well, they take root in your mind and become alive. The plot has so many twists and turns. Just as you think you have it figured out, they throw another twist in which sets you off in a different direction.”-P. Blevins

★★★★★ “This was a thrilling and captivating novel. Suspenseful, full of twists and engaging from start to finish. Also love how the authors have written about the deaf community as they are an underrepresented minority in current reading markets…A stunning, atmospheric murder mystery, with its riveting combination of the claustrophobia of the situation combined with unrelenting fear.”-Amazon Customer

★★★★★ “Excellent thriller. Simply Splendid…‘Silent Fear’ is right up there as one of my favourites…Hands down this is a wonderful book, and well worth a read.”-Todd Simpson, Top Ranked reviewer Amazon Australia


Silent Fear  is available via Amazon as a Kindle Pre-order book (launch date October 31) via

The paperback version is available now via

Bloggers and reviewers note! ARCs (advance review copies) of Silent Fear  are available via this link:



UK author and reviewer Harry Whitewolf has posted the most insightful review yet of our new release thriller Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) on the literary site so we have opted to run it in full – and here it is:


The premise of this book alone is extremely enticing and original, which means my expectations were high from the start, but boy, do the authors deliver!

There are three main facets to this story:

1) It is a whodunnit mystery thriller, where the main protagonist, detective Valerie Crowther tries to track down a serial killer who’s targetting deaf students at a world-renowned university.

2) There is a worldwide virus known as Monkey Flu which is killing hundreds of thousands of people. The U.K has escaped the epidemic until there is a breakout at the very uni Crowther is conducting her investigations, so the school soon becomes quarantined and shut off from the outside world.

3) The story is a great insight into the deaf community.

Combining these three facets makes for an exciting and interesting read. At first, I was a little cautious at embarking on an 800 page story, but I needn’t have worried. It doesn’t feel like a long book at all, and the authors are so adept at breaking up the scenes and the various tangents, and pacing it so well, that I didn’t feel like I was reading a mammoth book at all. I’d thought it would probably take me a couple of months to get through it, but I raced through this in a week. Like all clever and well written thrillers, there are enough cliff-hanging chapters and side stories which made me think I’d just read one more chapter and then before I knew it, I’d read another fifty pages. So don’t let the length of this book put you off at all – it’s exactly the right length that the book needs to be – especially when it’s effectively combining two stories in one (the outbreak of the virus and the whodunnit mystery).

It’s superbly written, and there are plenty of red herrings and clues throughout to make you try to guess who the killer is, only for you to then completely change your mind a few pages later.

There are also plenty of other side stories going on, such as – unexpectedly – Satanic rituals, and the personal stories of the characters. And man, for a book with so many characters (as there needs to be), the authors make it such an easy read to follow who’s who and to have such solid, well-rounded, believeable characters. There are the students – who are a vast array of different types, including some punkish ruffians, there’s the main protagonist Crowther; and her Superintendent ex husband on the outside, there are two news reporters who have bluffed their way into the school and who soon find themselves being quarantined with the rest and becoming the eyes and ears of the media, there are… so many engaging characters with their own stories – and they are all effortlessly portrayed well throughout.

Even the opening scene in the prologue is exceptionally brilliant – it feels like a classic scene from a classic film: where the killer is taking care in bricklaying a wall to conceal his first victim behind it. The attention the killer has to using three parts sand, one part cement and the skill of angling his trowel, with little thought towards the fact that he’s just killed someone in cold blood, is the perfect introduction to a disturbed psychopathic mind. Not to mention that he also then masturbates upon finishing the job.

And knowing that this book is going to be made into a film, I can already see that scene being chillingly played out as clear as mud.

No way will you figure out who the killer is, but you’ll enjoy trying to figure it out. I can guarantee it.

This is such a meaty book, that I could go on for another thousand words detailing just how well it’s all been put together and how well it’s been written, but this review is already turning out to be a long one, so I’ll leave it on this point:

Not only is this a great epidemic-sci-fi and mystery thriller, it’s also a fantastic insight into the deaf community, and it’s very apparent how much research has gone into this book. Reading the afterword from the authors’ consultant makes this clear, and it’s good to know that the writers have gone to lengths to show a very realistic portrayal of that community. Forget the whodunnit and epidemic stories, this book works just as well at being a much needed insight for hearing people into a community we may not know much, or anything, about. As their liaison Brent Macpherson says in the afterword:

“Silent Fear is one of the few mainstream novels to address the unique challenges faced by members of the Deaf community in any great detail. As a member of that community, and as someone who has been Deaf since birth, I believe this book is an important addition to the dearth of literature that exists about Deaf people and Deaf culture.”

Harry Whitewolf is the author of several acclaimed books, including The Road To Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash  and Matrix Visions.


To see all the reviews of Silent Fear go to Goodreads:


Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes) by [Morcan, Lance, Morcan, James]

Amazon pre-orders for this book open now.



Feisty Detective Valerie Crowther kicks some serious butt when she takes on a serial killer and a killer virus in Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes), the new release thriller they’re all talking about.


Detective Valerie Crowther

Meet First Class Detective Superintendent Valerie Crowther, of New Scotland YardValerie has been assigned to investigate the murder of a student at Wandsworth University, a learning institution for the deaf in London, England. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it becomes clear there is a serial killer operating within the sealed-off university. A chilling cat-and-mouse game evolves as the unknown killer targets Valerie and the virus claims more lives.

Fortunately, our Val knows how to look after herself — as the following excerpt from Silent Fear  demonstrates. (To set the scene, our heroine is attacked by rebellious deaf students intent on escaping the deadly quarantine they’ve found themselves caught up in)… 

…The door burst open and Cassidy and his three mates piled into the room. They headed straight for her. The Mohawked One was closest to her, and she could see he wasn’t here for a friendly chat. There was murder in his eyes.

Valerie dropped her phone without pausing to end the call and she reached for her Taser.

Not there!

She realised too late she’d left her Taser on the desktop. She realised also that Cassidy had seen the electroshock weapon for his eyes were now locked on it and he changed direction slightly to grab it. He was closer to it than she was.

Valerie gambled. She gambled that Cassidy wouldn’t know how to disengage the Taser’s safety mechanism – a recent design improvement in the latest model – and she gambled she could subdue him and his mates before he worked out how to disengage it.

As Cassidy grabbed the Taser, Valerie turned her attention to the next in line. That happened to be Wolf who was almost upon her.

The detective deftly stepped to one side and employed a judo throw, using the big Swede’s forward momentum to send him flying across the room. He hit the wall headfirst, and was momentarily stunned.

Unbeknown to anyone in the room, Kent was now filming all the action through the open door. Hillary was beside him, microphone in hand, describing what she was seeing.

Out of the corner of Valerie’s eye, she could see Cassidy lining her up with her Taser.

Please let the safety be on!

She couldn’t remember whether she’d left the safety on after charging the weapon that morning.

There was no time to think about that now for Warne and Harris were onto her.

Valerie backed up furiously as she tried to keep the two Colonial boys at arm’s length. Warne and Harris were both big bastards – not as big as Cassidy and Wolf, but big nevertheless – and they were both swinging wild punches in her direction.

Cassidy meantime was cursing as he unsuccessfully tried to activate the Taser.

When the detective felt the edge of the desk at her back, she threw herself forward, elbows raised out in front of her. In the heat of battle, she preferred elbows over fists. She’d learned the hard way a female’s small fists were more likely to suffer damage than achieve anything of note if used in anger. Especially a slim lightweight like herself. However, her elbows – bony and sharp as they were – could cause some real damage with little risk of injury to herself if used the right way. And so it proved.

Valerie’s sudden change of direction placed her exactly between Harris and Warne, and her extended elbows connected simultaneously and with considerable force with the foreheads of each student. Warne was out to it before he hit the floor. Harris, who was now on his hands and knees and evidently wondering where he was, was sent into Disneyland with a well-placed kick to the side of his head.

Valerie turned too late to avoid being hit by Cassidy. He’d given up on trying to activate the Taser and had decided to sort the detective out the old-fashioned way – with his fists.

The blow caught Valerie on her cheek. If it had caught her flush, it would have sent her through the wall or flying out into the corridor. As it was, she’d had enough foresight to ride the blow, throwing her head and bodyweight to one side so that the force of the punch was greatly diminished. Even so, it rattled her teeth and sent her crashing to the floor.

When she hit the carpet she saw stars, but she still had the presence of mind to roll over and over toward the near wall to distance herself from her attacker. As she rolled, she saw two things of interest. One caused her concern, the other gave her hope.

By the far wall, she saw that Wolf was now on his feet and on his way to help Cassidy subdue her; and on the carpet by the wall she saw her Taser. Cassidy had evidently thrown it there when he found he hadn’t been able to operate it.

The gang leader saw the danger too late. He lunged at Valerie to stop her, but she was too quick. In a flash, she grabbed her Taser, disengaged the safety, aimed the weapon at Cassidy and fired. The two barbed electrodes, or probes, stopped the gang leader in his tracks. He fell to the floor, twitching violently, as electricity coursed through him.

Hillary and Kent were catching all this live through the open door. The reporter was still talking into her mic and her cameraman was still filming the mayhem.

Valerie, who was now back on her feet, knew she should apply the voltage for the recommended thirty seconds to ensure her attacker was fully immobilised, but she didn’t have thirty seconds. She had no more than five seconds before Wolf was onto her.

A blow from the big skinhead sent the Taser flying out into the corridor. The blow had been meant for Valerie’s head, but she’d blocked it with her right arm. Which was just as well because the force of the blow spun her around and left her arm completely numb.

Fighting one-armed now, she ducked and weaved as Wolf lashed out at her with his fists and feet.

Meanwhile, Cassidy had recovered from his brief but painful Tasering, and he was coming for her, too.

All the combatants had to step over and around Harris and Warne who were still out cold. They weren’t all that was out of place. The room by now was a mess. The desk, fans, couch and chairs had been upended, the mirror and other items had been broken, and Valerie’s spare clothes and other personal effects lay scattered about.

Worst of all, from Valerie’s perspective at least, the expensive fish tank had been shattered, and Nemo the Angelfish, Bennett the Puffer Fish and other tropical fish lay flapping and gasping on the carpet. Nemo gasped his last when he disappeared beneath a size 12 shoe.

Bill Prescott, who had finally checked his phone messages and retrieved the detective’s urgent message, appeared in the doorway. Shocked, the portly guard ran to Valerie’s aid. He grabbed Cassidy in a headlock and dragged him out into the corridor where the two ended up wrestling, kicking and cursing on the floor.

Screams could be heard coming from startled staff members who had been alerted to the commotion.

Valerie by now was nearly spent. Gasping for breath and fighting one-handed, she copped another blow – this time on the mouth – from Wolf. The Swedish student grabbed her and pushed her backwards onto the desktop. Then he placed his hands around her neck and began to throttle her.

The detective fought back, but it was a losing battle. She was feeling faint and her efforts to resist grew weaker.

The bugger means to kill me!


Silent Fear  is available now on Amazon’s Pre-order Program at and will be auto-delivered to your Kindle on October 31.

The paperback will be published by early October.

ARCs (advance review copies) of Silent Fear  are available now. Interested? Leave your email address and a bit about yourself (for security reasons) and we’ll email a pdf of the novel to you.




Advance review copies of our new crime-thriller SILENT FEAR (A novel inspired by true crimes)  are available now for interested book bloggers courtesy of publisher Sterling Gate Books.


Silent Fear (A novel inspired by true crimes)

ARCs available now.


Scheduled for publication as a Kindle ebook early November, SILENT FEAR  is the latest novel by New Zealand father-and-son writing team Lance & James Morcan, authors of seven other published novels including THE NINTH ORPHAN, WHITE SPIRIT and INTO THE AMERICAS.

The SILENT FEAR  storyline is:

Detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the deaf in London. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it’s clearly the work of a serial killer. The stakes rise when Valerie becomes the killer’s next target and the deadly virus claims more lives.

Although a crime-thriller, this novel also has shades of horror and sci-fi as well as romance.

As you can see on the book’s Goodreads page, early advance reviews are excellent:

Bloggers: We would be happy to email an ARC pdf of SILENT FEAR  to your followers for advance reviews or simply for their reading pleasure. No-obligation to review!

Better still, you may prefer to do this or to set it up so that followers can download the manuscript themselves direct from your site. Over to you.

Incidentally, the paperback version is likely to be available via Amazon late September/early October.

We have also set up a new discussion group on Goodreads to promote the book at:

And here’s a YouTube video promoting the book and planned feature film:

If this ARC offer appeals, contact the authors direct via Morcan Books & Films blog or email    

All enquiries welcome!




Coming soon!


For lovers of crime-thriller-horror novels with a touch of sci-fi here’s Chapter 6 from the upcoming novel Silent Fear — co-authored by the writers of The Orphan Trilogy, Into the Americas and White Spirit.

First, here’s the storyline in brief:

Detective Valerie Crowther is assigned to investigate the murder of a student at a university for the deaf in London. The murder investigation coincides with a deadly flu virus outbreak, resulting in the university being quarantined from the outside world. When more deaf students are murdered, it’s clearly the work of a serial killer. The stakes rise when Valerie becomes the killer’s next target and the deadly virus claims more lives.


Silent Fear – Chapter 6

The two law enforcement officers looked on as Wandsworth University’s chancellor adjusted his hearing aid. It was one of several little idiosyncrasies Valerie had noticed Ron Fairbrother indulge in every so often on the other side of the large desk he occupied. Another was removing and polishing his fashionable glasses, which he had just finished doing before attacking his hearing aid for the second time in the last five minutes.

Sitting alongside Bennett, Valerie sensed the chief was growing impatient, but he hid it well. She knew him better than most so picked up signs others may miss.

On the desktop between the two parties lay a copy of today’s Daily Mirror newspaper. Its centre spread was devoted to the global flu pandemic, and the main headline screamed “Global death toll soars as Monkey Flu claims more victims!”

Neither Fairbrother nor his two visitors mentioned the H7N7 pandemic, but they didn’t have to: it was always there, in the background, whenever they opened a newspaper, turned on the television, checked social media sites or listened to the radio.

Valerie turned her attention to a spiral-bound set of profiles of all Wandsworth’s students and staff. It was one of three sets Fairbrother had ready and waiting for them upon arrival – Bennett now had the other two – and it was in addition to an electronic copy he’d emailed to the chief thirty minutes earlier. The glossy printouts included head-and-shoulder photographs of everyone involved with the uni – even cleaners, security guards and part-time teachers on call – together with personal details for each.

Fairbrother finished fiddling with his hearing aid, and eyeballed his visitors. “Nothing like this has ever happened here before,” he lamented. “I’m still reeling. I can’t believe such a horrific… thing” – he couldn’t bring himself to use the word murder – “happened right under our noses.”

“We are sparing no resources to solve this crime,” Bennett assured him. “As you know, Detective Superintendent Crowther is spearheading the investigation.”

Valerie noticed the dapper West Indian cocked his head slightly to one side whenever someone spoke, a sign he favoured one ear when listening.

Fairbrother looked at Valerie. “The Chief informs me you are proficient in sign, Detective Crowther,” he said.

Valerie confirmed that by answering in sign language. “Yes, that’s why I’ve been brought in to head this investigation,” she signed.

Responding in like fashion, the chancellor signed, “It’s a relief you’re here. Police efforts to date have been hopeless.” Fairbrother remembered Bennett and reverted to the spoken word. “Sorry, Chief Superintendent. We use sign all day here and it’s easy to forget our manners.”

If he was annoyed, Bennett hid it well. “Are you aware of friction between any of the students?” he asked. “Especially the international students?”

“You must understand, Wandsworth is more than a university,” the chancellor said. “It’s a minority community.” He swivelled ninety degrees in his chair and looked up at the large, framed photograph of Wandsworth’s four hundred and fifty students hanging on the near wall. “There’s a common bond inside the deaf community… it seems to cancel out other differences. They’re accepted for who they are here in Wandsworth. Within this institution, they have a sense of belonging. Outside, beyond these walls, only the strongest of them will cut it.”

Valerie stood and walked over to study the photo up close. She noticed Jamie Lewis. The nuggetty student was hard to miss given he was near the middle of the front row of students. He was smiling directly at the camera. His was an endearing smile. Valerie’s heart went out to his family as she replayed his ghastly death in her mind.

Fairbrother continued, “These students become like family during their time here. You would not believe how tight-knit they are. It’s just such a shame that some outside influence has breached the walls of this sanctuary under cover of darkness and committed the ultimate evil.”

Dismissing the chancellor’s comments as highly speculative, Valerie tapped the glass covering the photo. “That’s a lot of students to keep track of.”

“Yes, and I know every one of them personally. None would ever harm a fellow student. Whoever killed Jamie was an outsider, trust me.”

“We’ll see. For now, every single student, staff member and associate of Wandsworth will be treated as a potential suspect.”

Fairbrother looked at the chief to ascertain whether he agreed with the high-flier female detective who, if he wasn’t mistaken, seemed to be Bennett’s equal in every way except rank.

“Detective Crowther will tread carefully, Chancellor,” the chief said a little too quickly for Valerie’s liking.

The chancellor took that on board and wondered if in fact the career woman standing close by was the subordinate in this relationship. Not for the first time since meeting them he sensed the pair shared some kind of personal history. Looking at Valerie, he asked, “Where do you want to start, Detective Crowther?”

Valerie returned to her chair. “I’d like to start by addressing the students and staff as soon as possible… together.”

Humming to himself, Fairbrother casually referred to a diary planner on the laptop screen in front of him.

Valerie bridled at the lack of urgency the chancellor showed. She felt it was as if she was some trainee teacher who had just requested a meeting concerning the amount of calories being served up in students’ lunches in the cafeteria. “Like now, Chancellor,” she prompted, “as in this morning.” She ignored the sideways glance Bennett flashed her way.

A perturbed Fairbrother looked up from his electronic diary. Shaking his head, he said, “I have a meeting soon with the family of the deceased, and then I have an urgent meeting with the board about the state–”

“The board members will have to wait,” Valerie said in a tone that signalled she’d brook no argument.

The chancellor immediately backed down and nodded. “I could arrange for students and staff to assemble in the assembly hall on the first floor in, say,” – he glanced at his watch – “forty-five minutes.”

“Thank you,” Valerie said. “I also need to requisition a roomy office to serve as my site headquarters whilst I’m here.” She wasn’t asking. She was demanding.

“There is a spare office on the first floor.”

Valerie shook her head. “It needs to be here on the ground floor. I want to be close to your office and to the main exit so I can come and go easily.”

Fairbrother thought for a moment. He glanced at a closed door behind his chair. “There is an office through there I often use as a meeting room. I guess you could have that.”

“Can I see it?” Valerie was already standing.

The chancellor stood and opened the door.

Valerie marched through, took one look around and saw immediately that it would meet her needs. It had lockable filing cabinets and a large desk complete with a high quality printer-scanner and desktop computer. There was a comfy couch, which she could see pulled out into a bed, a well-stocked bookcase, glass coffee table, wall-mounted television set and an expensive fish tank complete with rare and even more expensive-looking tropical fish. There was even a bench and sink with tea and coffee-making facilities, and there was an outer door leading to the corridor. “This will do fine,” she said. “Can this door be locked?” she asked, referring to the connecting door Fairbrother had opened.

“Yes I’ll have my PA provide a key for you.”

Valerie took a final look at the room then resumed sitting next to Bennett who was now studying the framed photo on the wall.

“Four hundred and fifty students actually doesn’t seem that many for a university this size,” the chief observed.

“It’s all about maintaining efficient student-teacher ratios,” Fairbrother explained as he sat down. “That and future-proofing the university.” When he saw Bennett wasn’t following him, he said, “For optimum academic results we have found a ratio of one staff member per ten students works best. Hence the forty-five educators we have on staff.” The chancellor added, “And they’re the best available.”

“Sounds costly,” Valerie said.

“It is,” Fairbrother admitted. “Hence our high fees. Wandsworth is one of the most expensive universities in Britain to attend.” Returning to Bennett’s question, he said, “As for future-proofing the university, our founder Lord Wandsworth wanted to establish a learning institution that would last a hundred years. The only way to do that was to attain and maintain high standards of academic excellence, which I believe we are doing, and to ensure we have the space to accommodate future growth, which we obviously have.”

“I understand,” Bennett said, glancing at the wall clock behind the chancellor’s desk. He saw the morning was already half over. Standing, he said, “Well, I will leave you in Detective Crowther’s good hands. Thank you for your time.”

The two men shook hands. Fairbrother didn’t immediately relinquish his grip. Holding on to the other’s hand firmly, he said, “We are relying on the police to solve this terrible crime quickly, Chief Superintendent.”

Bennett nodded and only then did the chancellor release his grip.

On the way out, Valerie paused in the doorway and looked back at Fairbrother. “What are the board members discussing, by the way?” she asked.

“Whether to cancel this afternoon’s lectures, and tomorrow’s, too… Out of respect for Jamie Lewis and his family,” the chancellor said.

“We’d prefer they don’t,” Valerie said quickly before Bennett could comment. “It will make my job easier if all students and staff are here and accessible.” She turned and strode off down the corridor.

Behind his subordinate’s back, Bennett flashed a look Fairbrother’s way that signalled the board would be well advised to do as suggested. He hurried to catch up to Valerie.

Fairbrother observed the two law enforcement officers with some trepidation as they left his office.

Here endeth sample chapters from Silent Fear. (See recent blogs for earlier chapters). If you want to read more, the novel will be published soon… Watch this space!


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