BAPTISM reviewed in Mystery People Magazine

‘The author is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Brunel University and his technical skills are clearly evident in this nerve-racking, impeccably researched and violent thriller. The chapters are very short, switching from George to the terrified passengers (who include George’s wife) to the various people involved in the negotiations, with the time line, precise to the minute, at the head of each chapter. This is a masterly technique which ratchets up the suspense to an almost unbearable level.’ Radmila May

To read the full review, please go to www.mysterypeople.co.uk and sign up for the November Issue of Mystery People.

Baptism Reviews (October)

October 2012

 
Baptism is e-thriller’s Book of the Month for October. Sophie Scott’s 5 star review can be read in full here: http://www.e-thriller.com/ and also on Sophie’s blog here: http://www.sophiescott.org/sample-reviews.html.
 
US mystery novelist and professor, Margot Kinberg, puts Baptism “in the spotlight” in her excellent blog “Confessions of a Mystery Novelist”:

Praise for BAPTISM from the Crime Bloggers…

CRIME THRILLER GIRL

“From the shocking first chapter, through to the dramatic conclusion, this is a fast-paced, seat-of-your-pants action thriller that had me reading far later into the night than I intended because, quite simply, I couldn’t put it down.”

http://crimethrillergirl.com/

E-THRILLER

“Kinnings imbues his book with the sounds, smells, and heartbeats of human fear.  He captures the memories of life people – we – fear to lose.  Let’s hope his imagination isn’t ‘one step ahead’ of the terrorists’.” Sophie Scott

http://www.e-thriller.com/

CONFESSIONS OF A MYSTERY NOVELIST

“Baptism is a modern thriller with an innovative setting and some very high stakes…plays out with the fast pace, tension and action that keep the story moving along.” Margot Kinberg

http://margotkinberg.wordpress.com/2012/09/24/in-the-spotlight-max-kinnings-baptism/

REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE

“I was hooked…BAPTISM provides characters to care about and a great scenario. This is a book worth picking up and well worth sticking with.” Linda Wilson

http://www.reviewingtheevidence.com/review.html?id=9338

CRIME PIECES

“a fast moving and enjoyable read” Sarah Ward

http://crimepieces.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/review-max-kinnings-baptism/

 CRIME FICTION LOVER

“a novel of almost unbearable tension…audacious and ambitious” David Prestidge

http://www.crimefictionlover.com/2012/08/baptism/

Baptism Crime Blog Round-up

Some further crime blog activity for BAPTISM. Crime writer, Martin Edwards, discusses the book on his blog “Do You Write Under Your Own Name”: http://doyouwriteunderyourownname.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/new-books.html.

US mystery novelist and professor, Margot Kinberg discusses Baptism as part of her piece about trains being effective contexts for crime novels on her blog “Confessions of a Mystery Novelist”:                                  http://margotkinberg.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/and-the-rhythm-of-the-rails-is-all-they-dream/.

Linda Wilson reviews Baptism very positively on her blog “Reviewing the Evidence” despite criticising some perceived grammatical errors and Police terminology: http://www.reviewingtheevidence.com/review.html?id=9338.

Sarah Ward also has positive things to say about the book on the Crimepieces web site: http://crimepieces.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/review-max-kinnings-baptism/.

Baptism is not really to Lynn Harvey’s taste on the Eurocrime web site. Read more here: http://www.eurocrime.co.uk/reviews/Baptism.html.

Baptism Reviews (August)

More reviews for BAPTISM. The Peterborough Evening Telegraph says: “This thriller has more twists than a bagful of snakes – and as much bite…A must read.”

The Crime Fiction Lover web site describes it as “a novel of almost unbearable tension…audacious and ambitious” (4 stars). The latter review can be read in full here: http://www.crimefictionlover.com/2012/08/baptism/

Some further crime blog activity for BAPTISM. Crime writer, Martin Edwards, discusses the book on his blog “Do You Write Under Your Own Name”: http://doyouwriteunderyourownname.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/new-books.html.

US mystery novelist and professor, Margot Kinberg discusses Baptism as part of her piece about trains being effective contexts for crime novels on her blog “Confessions of a Mystery Novelist”:                                  http://margotkinberg.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/and-the-rhythm-of-the-rails-is-all-they-dream/.

Linda Wilson reviews Baptism very positively on her blog “Reviewing the Evidence” despite criticising some perceived grammatical errors and Police terminology: http://www.reviewingtheevidence.com/review.html?id=9338.

Sarah Ward also has positive things to say about the book on the Crimepieces web site: http://crimepieces.wordpress.com/2012/09/11/review-max-kinnings-baptism/.

Baptism is not really to Lynn Harvey’s taste on the Eurocrime web site. Read more here: http://www.eurocrime.co.uk/reviews/Baptism.html.

Feature Film ACT OF GRACE Released on DVD

Actofgrace

 

When Dezzie befriends new boy Yasin at his school, little does he know his life will take an unexpected turn that will ultimately shape his future. Having witnessed the perpetual racist taunts and bullying to the quiet Chinese newcomer, Dezzie, no stranger to beatings himself, stands up to Yasin’s persecutors and wins the respect, not only of his tormentors, but more importantly of Yasin, and his family. Dezzie takes Yasin under his protective wing and they become firm and loyal friends until Yasin’s Godfather Kai arrives to take the teenage Yasin back to Hong Kong. Ten years pass without a word until Yasin, aged twenty-five, comes back to Manchester to find his friend Dezzie and offer him a lucrative position at his side within the family firm. But this is a firm with a difference: Dezzie, the only white man to do so this side of the Atlantic is to be a Triad member and run the family business in Manchester and Liverpool And here our story begins. Just as Yasin was once thrust into the weird and wonderful culture of Manchester Dezzie quickly rises through the ranks to becomes a linchpin in the world of the Chinese Triads, a world of family values and feuds, legal and illegal activities of the underworld, but also a world of beauty, love and above all, respect.

Tweets from a hijacked tube

This post originally appeared on the Shooting People Screenwriters’ message board: 

For those of you who missed my original post and Andy’s response, I conducted a storytelling experiment via Twitter last Thursday. To mark the release of my new novel, Baptism, I sent a series of tweets as a fictional character trapped on the hijacked Tube train featured in the book.

Baptism, the novel, is a high concept thriller that is told from multiple points of view and covers a time period of about sixteen hours. I’m hoping to adapt it into a screenplay very soon. The main focus of the story is the hijacking of a London Tube train from where hijackers issue their demands. Around the time that I completed the book – Autumn 2011 – I started using Twitter, enjoying its immediacy in terms of its dissemination of news and comment. But I could also see its potential in terms of allowing people to digest narratives and interact with them in a way that is beyond the bounds of traditional storytelling. With this in mind I decided to create a ‘tweetcast’ to coincide with the release of the book.

The central component of my intended narrative was relatively straightforward; the tweets would be written and sent in real time according to the chronology and storyline used in the novel and be sent as though from a character reacting to the various events taking place around him. While I didn’t want to spoil the potential enjoyment of the book for those inclined to give it a read, it was also important to include key plot points in order to lend narrative realism. However, when I started to plot out the tweets and their specific timing, a friend of mine highlighted a potential problem.

Just as the great Orson Welles had caused panic in the US in 1938 with his radio broadcast of War of the Worlds which listeners had mistaken as a genuine news broadcast, it was pointed out that my somewhat more humble effort in 2012 with its mention of bombs and terrorists on a Tube train might have a similar outcome. With the country being on such high alert with the Olympics only days away and in light of the recent panic over the fake cigarette on the M6 coach, I decided that I needed to trail the tweets with disclaimers and include a link to my web site and details of the fictional nature of the project.

With this worry eased, I set about planning the tweets. Authenticity (within the fictional parameters) was crucial, so I didn’t want long wordy perfectly spelled tweets; they needed to appear to be from a nervous panicky passenger trapped in a scary situation who is riddled with self-doubt and fear. In July 2005, I was trapped on a Tube train in a tunnel on the Northern Line. It transpired that we were in the train behind the one in which Jean Charles de Menezes was tragically mistaken for a terrorist. While frightening and unsettling, it was also, from the point of view of a writer, invaluable research into how people behave when on the brink of desperation. The passengers’ behaviour was not what you might expect. There was a lot of nervous laughter; people started speaking to one another, something that is almost unheard of on the London Underground. So in the writing of the Tweets, I wanted to capture some of this mood.

Interaction with other Twitter users was also important. The character asks questions of his readers, mainly as to whether to join an attempt to retake control of the train. On the day when I was writing and sending out the tweets, this did prompt some responses from readers and there were many other responses throughout the duration of the story. But to be honest, it would have been good to have had more. I think in my focus to ensure that the project was clearly a work of fiction, I had compromised the potential for the tweets to go viral. It may have been possible with no disclaimers and if I had included links to Transport for London and various London media to convince users that what they were reading was for real. But as with the person who shouts fire in the crowded theatre, it would have been incredibly irresponsible. As a younger man with no family and less responsibilities, I might have considered it but nowadays, I don’t fancy getting my collar felt by the feds! This did, however, give me an idea for a little tongue-in-cheek twist in the tail for the end of the Twitter story.

I’m planning on conducting another similar project soon and will probably employ images and links to audio and video within the Tweets to add another layer to the story. I had the feeling while I was sending the tweets on this occasion that certain Twitter users – or my users at least – felt a certain amount of squeamishness about interacting with a fictional character. Maybe this will begin to lessen as others create similar stories and narratives.

As a means of generating publicity for the book, it’s difficult to say whether it will have had a great impact. Only time will tell. But from the point of view of someone who is fascinated in the nature of storytelling, it’s been an excellent learning experience. With this in mind, I’d love to hear from other Shooters in terms of suggestions and ideas. The tweets are all still there on my timeline so feel free to have a read.

https://twitter.com/maxkinnings

screenwriter and novelist