Max Kinnings is a novelist and screenwriter based in Oxford, England. He is the author of four novels: Hitman, The Fixer, Baptism and Sacrifice. He is the writer and co-writer of a number of screenplays in various stages of development, including the forthcoming Alleycats, and was the ghost writer on actor/comedian Rik Mayall’s autobiography, Bigger than Hitler Better than Christ. Max was recently part of the writing team for Sony Computer Entertainment’s Little Big Planet 3. He is Programme Leader in Creative Writing at Brunel University in London.

For further information, agent details or to make a general enquiry, please navigate via the links at the top right hand side of the page. 

ALLEYCATS at the East End Film Festival


ALLEYCATS has been selected to be the opening night gala film of the 2016 East End Film Festival on June 23rd. This will be the film’s world premiere. It is an exciting prospect to see the film on the big screen for the first time. It will also be the culmination of five years of writing, rewriting and generally obsessing over the screenplay alongside my co-conspirators, director Ian Bonhôte and producer Andy Ryder.

Making an independent feature film is never easy, particularly one in which the story demands that cyclists hurtle at  break-neck speeds through the rush-hour streets of central London. But with the film picked up for international distribution by Universal Pictures and with a theatrical release pencilled in for later in the summer, this fast-paced urban thriller looks all set to be a winner and one with which I am very proud to be involved.

Click here for further details and here to buy tickets to the premiere.


I first got to know the director, Ian Bonhôte, when we met to discuss working together to develop the screenplay for a feature film idea Ian had, called Alleycats. The premise was intriguing, an action-thriller set against the back-drop of illegal bicycle races through the rush hour streets of central London. I was immediately hooked. I’d lived in London for twenty-five years and thought I knew about most interesting subcultures but the Alleycat Race was something that had passed me by. To calleycat_spokecardreate a story set amidst the underground world of Alleycat racing was a fascinating challenge; and to do it alongside someone like Ian, a co-founder of Pulse Films and leading commercial and music promo director who brings his mad Swiss charm and passion to every project he works on, was something I relished. It’s taken a while – as so many good things often do – but I’ve never had any doubt that Ian would get the film made. He’s not a man who’s short on commitment. So here we are, so close to bringing Alleycats to the screen. In order to achieve the very best stunts and action sequences that will recreate the frenetic thrills of genuine Alleycat races, Ian and his co-producer, Andy Ryder of Elephant Gun Films, have launched a Kickstarter campaign. If you’re interested in getting involved in the production of an exciting and genuinely original British action thriller, here’s your chance:

Tribute to Rik

Mr_RichardAt some point in the future – and I can’t be sure when exactly as the emotions are still raw – I intend to write about my ten year friendship with Rik. Whether it will be a memoir of some sort or something more personal based on the stories and scripts we wrote together, I have no idea. But in the meantime, here’s a short tribute that I was asked to write for Express Magazine at Brunel University where I’ve been involved in the establishment of the Rik Mayall Comedy Genius Award that will be given – occasionally and only when truly deserved – to a student that displays comedy genius in the spirit of the great man himself.

Reviews for the US Publication of Baptism

baptism_USBaptism has received an excellent reception in the US following its publication there in February. Here are some links to trade and blog reviews. Please click on the titles to link to the full reviews. To read David Marshall’s interview with me about the writing of both Baptism and Sacrifice, please see the “Thinking About Books” review below.

Publishers Weekly *Starred Review* 

“Kinnings (The Fixer) offers keen insights into the psychological ramifications of desperate hostage situations as he ratchets up the tension to near-unbearable levels.”

Kirkus Reviews

“A greased-lightning thriller that will doubtless make a perfect summer movie—preferably one to sit through on the hottest day of the year.”

San Francisco Book Review

Baptism by Max Kinnings is a top class thriller…The author triumphantly carries all before him.”

Thinking About Books

Baptism proves to be excellent entertainment and well worth reading.”

Here is an interview with yours truly by David Marshall of Thinking About Books.

Book Geek

“The whole book is a great spin on terrorism and the ‘conventional’ perceptions of perpetrators. A real page turner of a book. Action and emotion and adrenaline packed.”

Read Me Deadly

“Kinnings draws compelling psychological portraits of his characters…Riveting; the hours will fly by.”

Please also check out the growing number of four and five star reviews of Baptism on Amazon.com (along with a couple of dodgy ones too!).

Sacrifice Reviews

sacrificeHere is a round-up of recent crime/thriller blog reviews for SACRIFICE. Please click on the blog title to link to the full review. If you are a crime/thriller reviewer and would like a review copy of the novel, please email me via the ‘contacts’ page.

Crime Thriller Girl

“The tension starts high and doesn’t wane as the story unfolds…A non-stop rollercoaster ride from start to finish. Highly recommended.”

e-thriller.com *February 2014 Thriller of the Month*

“Another deftly crafted, page-turning thriller…from an author who knows what he’s doing.”

This review is also available on reviewer Sophie Scott’s Literary Consort blog here:


“A few pages in and guess what? Turns out I bloody love hostage stories. Who knew, eh?”

Thinking About Books

“I find Sacrifice more compelling because it takes its time to capture and analyse the strengths and weaknesses of all involved…The result is highly readable and strongly recommended.”

Here is an interview with yours truly by David Marshall of Thinking About Books.

SHOTS: Crime & Thriller Ezine

“The intricacies of hostage negotiation are well explored and gripping to read…the plot drives forward relentlessly to produce a page-turner that rarely takes its foot off the gas.”

The Book Geek

“Another excellent, gripping story with a gorgeous main character.” 

An American Baptism

baptism_USJohn Godey’s The Taking of Pelham 123 was an influence on Baptism only in as much as I knew that if I was going to create a story about a hijack on the London Underground, there were going to be comparisons. But I also knew that the similarities would be superficial because – while I had always loved the 1974 film adaptation starring Walter Matthau – the story that I wanted to create was very different from the story of a gang of criminals who wanted to hold New York City to ransom to the tune of “one million dollars”.

Baptism is very much a London story and one that is decidedly post 9/11 – and post 7/7 for that matter too. It was inspired in part by my experience of being trapped on the Tube train behind the one in which Jean Charles de Menezes was mistaken for a terrorist and shot by armed police officers in 2005, a couple of weeks after the 7/7 bombings, and the day after another four bombers had failed to detonate their explosives on Tube trains. Sitting there in a crowded Tube carriage for nearly an hour as the driver of the train tried to keep the passengers calm, while clearly nervous himself at what might be taking place further up the tunnel, was something that I knew I would want to write about at some stage. Perhaps subconsciously influenced by watching The Taking of Pelham 123 as a child, I had always thought how easy it would be to hijack a London Tube train. But why would anyone want to? The rail network beneath London is housed in some of the deepest narrowest railway tunnels in the world. Escape would be impossible. Wouldn’t it?

At the time that I ended up trapped on that Tube train in 2005, I was already writing a story featuring hostage negotiator, Ed Mallory. It wasn’t a bad story but I knew that a hostage crisis on the London Underground was going to be an altogether more scary proposition, playing on people’s primal fears and claustrophobia. So I set about writing Baptism. It took a while. The characters and plot changed quite a few times before the final draft was complete. And now I’m pleased to see the book published in the US and hope that American readers will enjoy a story that takes them to a dark nerve-jangling place deep beneath the streets of London and keeps them guessing right up until the final page.

Baptism is published in hardback by Quercus USA.