A thrilling new standalone novel set in Dungeness, Kent.
"Superb description of a haunting, blighted landscape. His best book so far" C J SANSOM
"Shaw's most accomplished and most visceral book yet"
BARRY FORSHAW, THE INDEPENDENT
The Breen and Tozer books
Book 4, Sympathy For The Devil, will be published by riverrun in the UK in May 2017.
Join our Readers’ List
Win books and prizes
Book groupsI'm more than happy to meet up with book groups. Get in touch via the contact form.
SUBSCRIBE: FREE e-Book
A great way to connect and win free books, the Reader's List gives you a chance to win something special with each bulletin.
Once you've submitted your email address, you'll receive a confirmation email and you're set to go.
If you don't receive a confirmation email, make sure it's not been sent to your junk folder.
A NEW SERIES FEATURING DS ALEX CUPIDI
'William Shaw is a superb storyteller' PETER MAY
No-one knew their names, the bodies found in the water. There are people here, in plain sight, that no-one ever notices at all.
DS Alexandra Cupidi has done it again. She should have learnt to keep her big mouth shut, after the scandal that sent her packing - resentful teenager in tow - from the London Met to the lonely Kent coastline. Even murder looks different in this landscape of fens, ditches and stark beaches, shadowed by the towers of Dungeness power station. Murder looks a lot less pretty.
The man drowned in the slurry pit had been herded there like an animal. He was North African, like many of the fruit pickers that work the fields. The more Cupidi discovers, the more she wants to ask - but these people are suspicious of questions.
It will take an understanding of this strange place - its old ways and new crimes - to uncover the dark conspiracy behind the murder. Cupidi is not afraid to travel that road. But she should be. She should, by now, have learnt.
Salt Lane is the first in the new DS Alexandra Cupidi series. With his trademark characterisation and flair for social commentary, William Shaw has crafted a crime novel for our time that grips you, mind and heart.
Breen & Tozer 1
A Song from Dead Lips, published in the US as She's Leaving Home.
London, October 1968. As Beatles fans encamp outside Abbey Road Studios up the road, the Marylebone CID is as much an old boys' club as it ever was: comfortably sexist, racially prejudiced and crawling with corruption. And then a body is found...
Breen & Tozer 2
A House of Knives, published in the US as The Kings of London
London, November 1968. The decade is drawing its last breath. In Marylebone CID, suspects are beaten in the cells and the only woman is resigning. Detective Sergeant Breen has a death threat in his intray and a mutilated body on his hands.
Breen & Tozer 3
A Book of Scars, published in the US as A Song for the Brokenhearted. Chosen as a Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year.
1969. Five years ago, teenager Alexandra Tozer was murdered on her family farm. Her sister Helen Tozer will never forget. Returning home after quitting the Met Police, she brings with her the recovering Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen, who slowly becomes possessed by the unsolved case. He discovers the Tozers were never told the whole truth.
Breen & Tozer 4
Sympathy For The Devil Coming in 2017
She made a profit from her youth. She's not beautiful anymore - but she will be young forever. Called away from his pregnant girlfriend, Detective Sergeant Cathal Breen knows the sight of the murdered prostitute will be with him all his life. But this is what he does: he finds killers. Helen Tozer, more than most, understands why.
A gripping story, impeccably researched
Breen & Tozer 1, The Guardian
Best Crime of 2013
Breen & Tozer 1, The Evening Standard
Breen & Tozer 1, The Mail on Sunday
A modern crime master
William Shaw makes his sentences sing
New York Daily News
Cathal Breen is altogether the most welcome crime solver in British fiction
A contender for thriller of the year
The Birdwatcher, The Sun
Salt Lane, Wall Street Journal
Insightful . . . An elegy for an entire alienated generation
New York Times
The question of why a killer kills is always central. William Shaw delivers a perfect motive in the third of his excellent Breen and Tozer mysteries…
Crime Book of the Year
BREEN & TOZER 3, SUNDAY TIMES
What a pleasure it is when one discovers a writer who combines ironclad storytelling techniques with the linguistic finesse of more literary novelists
Barry Forshaw, Independent
William Shaw's The Birdwatcher, set in Kent and Northern Ireland, longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year, was hailed as “a contender for thriller of the year” in The Sun. His books have also been nominated for a Barry Award, and the CWA Historical Dagger.
Salt Lane, also set in Kent, launches a new contemporary series featuring DI Alex Cupidi and has been optioned for TV by Expectation Entertainment.
The New York Times has called William Shaw’s series of detective books set in late sixties London “an elegy for an entire alienated generation.” Featuring DS Cathal Breen and the brash young constable Helen Tozer, they are set against the cultural and political revolution of the times. The Barry Award nominated A Song from Dead Lips was picked by Time Out as one of the crime books of 2013; The Daily Mail hailed A House of Knivesem as “a distinctive British crime drama, which benefits from a clear moral sense”. A Book of Scars, was picked by The Sunday Times as their Crime Book of the Month, and subsequently as one of the picks of the year.
On the release of the fourth in the series, Sympathy for The Devil, the Daily Mail said, ‘Shaw goes from strength to strength, while making it all seem effortless.’
Before becoming a crime writer, William Shaw was an award-winning music journalist and the author of several non-fiction books including Westsiders: Stories of the Boys in the Hood, about a year spent with the young men of South Central Los Angeles, and A Superhero For Hire, a compilation of columns in the Observer Magazine.
Starting out as assistant editor of the post-punk magazine ZigZag, he has been a journalist for The Observer, The New York Times, Wired, Arena and The Face and was Amazon UK Music Journalist of the Year in 2003.Photo © Kitty Wheeler-Shaw