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May 2019 Fiction: Mystery & Thrillers

By (author): Ted Lewis
9781681990408 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Thrillers / Psychological Oct 01, 2019
$18.95 CAD
Forthcoming 5.5 x 8 in 0 pages Soho Press Soho Syndicate
Brian Plender is a glittering evil on par with Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley or Jim Thompson’s Lou Ford. In Plender the author of Get Carter and GBH delivered a tense and psychologically complex tale of revenge and blackmail that rightfully belongs among crime fictions most chilling ranks.

Two men share a common history. Growing up together in the small town of Barton-Upon-Humber in Lincolnshire, England, Peter Knott is everything that Brian Plender wishes he were. Knott is suave, good-looking, an exemplary student and popular. The friendship they maintain is as important to Plender as it is forgettable to Knott, and this eventually leads to a lasting humiliation for Brian.

Years later Brian Plender is a dangerous man. A private investigator who specializes in extortion, blackmail, and intimidation, Plender is a manipulative psychopath capable of anything. Knott meanwhile is a man adrift. He is beholden to his wife for money, which he makes taking photographing catalogs for her father’s large mail order company. His wandering eye, array of fetishes, and a taste for younger women, has led Knott through a series of sordid affairs.

The two haven’t met in years so Brian is surprised to spot Peter at a seedy bar with a girl too young to be his wife and he decides to follow the pair. Plender relives the humiliations of his youth just as Knott finds himself on the wrong side of the law in the most horrific way imaginable. Starting out as a long-lost friend and slowly, carefully, revealing himself to be anything but that, Brian Plender is a brilliantly macabre invention that readers won’t soon forget.

Story Locale: Hull and Scunthorpe, England

Syndicate Books has acquired North American rights to Nick Triplow’s critically acclaimed biography of Lewis, published in the UK late last year, and the entire Lewis backlist figures heavily in the novel, especially PLENDER, which has autobiographical elements.

Considered the best book from the middle span of Lewis’s writing career, PLENDER has been out of print in the US for several decades and should warrant review attention of its own.

The most requested Lewis title that has until now only been available as an ebook.

Born in 1940, Ted Lewis spent most of his youth in Barton-upon-Humber in the north of England. After graduating from Hull Art School, Lewis moved to London and first worked in advertising before becoming an animation specialist for several features, including the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. A pioneer of British noir fiction, Lewis authored nine novels, the second of which was adapted in 1971 as the now iconic Get Carter, starring Michael Caine. He wrote two other Jack Carter books, Jack Carter’s Law and Jack Carter and the Mafia Pigeon, as well as six other novels: PlenderBilly RagsBoldtAll the Way Home and All the Night ThroughThe Rabbit, and his final masterpiece, GBH. Lewis died in 1982 at age 42.

Author Residence: Barton-upon-Humber, England (Deceased)

Author Hometown: Barton-upon-Humber, England

Marketing: Adapted into the critically acclaimed French film, LE SERPENT, Syndicate will look to organize a Lewis film marathon including both versions of GET CARTER and LE SERPENT.

Digital advertising targeting look-alike audiences and fans of Particia Highsmith, Jim Thompson, Dennis Lehane, Stuart Neville, and of course, Lewis himself.

Shared advertising space alongside the Triplow biography.

Publicity: Syndicate Books has acquired North American rights to Nick Triplow’s critically acclaimed (and first of its kind) biography of the inigmatic Ted Lewis, and will be publishing it in the fall. PLENDER, considered Lewis’s mid-career masterpiece, figures prominently in the book due to some of its autobiographical elements and will be of interest to both reviewers of the biography as well as fans of GET CARTER and GBH, whose ranks include some of the US’s most prominent reviewers.

Author Website:

Author Social Media: @SyndicateBooks

Praise for Ted Lewis

“At his best, [Lewis] achieves something only a handful of crime writers ever do — the chilling sense of cosmic fatality that links noir anti-heroes to the likes of Oedipus and Macbeth.”
—NPR’s Fresh Air

“He is an example of how dangerous writing can really be when it is done properly, and Ted Lewis’s writing proves that he never ran away from the page. Because with Lewis, the page was the battle.”
—Derek Raymond, author of He Died with His Eyes Open

”Ted Lewis wrote brilliantly about ruthless men clinging to their humanity with mordant wit and misguided but powerful senses of honor. That these quintessentially British novels are finally available in the US is real cause for celebration.“
—Scott Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of The Ice Harvest

“Ted Lewis is one of the most influential crime novelists Britain has ever produced, and his shadow falls on all noir fiction, whether on page or screen, created on these isles since his passing. I wouldn’t be the writer I am without Ted Lewis. It’s time the world rediscovered him.” 
—Stuart Neville, author of The Ghosts of Belfast

“Lewis is major.”
—Max Alan Collins, author of Road to Perdition

”Ted Lewis cuts to the bone.“
James Sallis, author of Drive 

”When it comes to dealing with your actual hard man, no one does it better than the late, great Ted Lewis.“
—John Williams

”The year’s big event in international noir is the republication of the Jack Carter Trilogy by England’s Ted Lewis. Few crime writers could inject menace and desperation into small talk the way Lewis did, and he had a fine eye for period detail."
The Philadelphia Inquirer

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