❉ Due for Winter 2018 – a new Mark Caine novel as Jason King from Department S!
Chinbeard Books are very proud to announce that author and genre researcher Johnny Mains (editor of Best British Horror, Dead Funny) has ‘unearthed’ the long-lost Jason King novel, Thin Strand of Hair, featuring one of the greatest adventurers in modern literature, the legendary Mark Caine. This will be on sale, purely for charitable causes, later in 2018.
“I was on holiday in Crete last year with my family. As someone who is addicted to reading, the two books I brought with me were quickly consumed and as the hotel stocked nothing of note, I was directed to a dusty old bookshop hidden away in a back street. The owner, a lovely lady (who had taken over the running of the shop as her father had died ten years before) said there was some English language stock but it was in the basement. She said her father bought a consignment in the 1970s and had done nothing with it. There were ten boxes at the far corner of the basement, and the books were mainly biographies of explorers, lovers and stories of the unexplained. There was a last box, full of papers and half-way through I noticed a bound and yellowed manuscript called Thin Strand of Hair by Jason King. My heart leapt into my mouth, there was only one Jason King that I knew of, and he was the creator of Mark Caine.
I opened up the first page, it was typed on near-transparent paper and the first sentence leapt out at me:
‘Mark Caine was smoking a gold-tipped Muratti Ariston which he had specially customized for him at Inderwicks on Carnaby Street.’
Once back home I tried to track down Jason’s publisher, Nicola Harvester, however I found out that she had died 2010. I then discovered Jessica Twofruit, Nicola’s then PA, who confirmed that Jason had been paid a healthy advance for the book but had never handed it in. King had claimed to have been kidnapped whilst writing the book in Greece and had barely escaped with his life. King despaired at the manuscript’s loss as he claimed it to be even better than his best-selling work, Index Finger, Left Hand – but try as he might, Jason could not re-write Strand and the project was abandoned.
As Jason’s current whereabouts are unknown, Jessica, who controls Nicola’s estate, has licensed the rights to A Thin Strand… with any money resulting from the sale of the book to go to a theatre-related charity, as Jason and Nicola spent a great deal of time together visiting them all over the world.”
Mains continues: “As this is the first draft manuscript, there is a bit of work to be done on it, but when finished, Thin Strand of Hair will continue to showcase the jaw-dropping talents of the much-loved Jason King.”
About The Author:
Jason King, born in Darjeeling, India, on Christmas Day, 1941, has led an extraordinary life – a child protégé when it came to music, a journalist, a Forensic Adviser with the Hong Kong Police Department and was also involved with the late Sir Curtis Seretse’s controversial Department S (although their exploits are currently bound by the Official Secrets Act).
King left Department S after he took a bullet to the leg in 1971 and threw himself into writing his Mark Caine novels, which are said to have sold over 136 million copies. King became a recluse in the seventies after the death of his partner Toki, and apart from an uncredited newspaper article saying that he was living in Surrey, his current whereabouts are unknown. King has not appeared on any British electoral roll, registry or other Governmental databases since the early 1980s.
About The Editor:
Johnny Mains, born April 1976, is a Scottish author, editor and genre historian. He is known for the Dead Funny series which he co-edited with comedian Robin Ince and his three collections of macabre short stories, which are With Deepest Sympathy, Frightfully Cosy and Mild Stories For Nervous Types and A Little Light Screaming. Mains lives in the South West of England with his family, dog and a lot of books.
❉ News source: Chinbeard Books.
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