Russell James


Russell has been a published writer for some 25 years, is an ex-Chairman of the Crime Writers Association, and has written a dozen and a half novels, in the crime and historical genres.
He has published various non-fiction works, including 4 illustrated biographical encyclopaedias: Great British Fictional Detectives and its companion work, Great British Fictional Villains, followed by the Pocket Guide to Victorian Writers & Poets, and its companion, the Pocket Guide to Victorian Artists & Their Models.

His books include:
STORIES I CAN'T TELL (with Maggie King) (Prospero)
EXIT 39 (Prospero)
RAFAEL'S GOLD (Prospero)
THE ANNEX (Five Star Mysteries)
OH NO, NOT MY BABY (Do Not Press)
COUNT ME OUT (Serpent's Tail)
SLAUGHTER MUSIC (Alison & Busby)
PAYBACK (Gollancz)
DAYLIGHT (Gollancz)

Where to find Russell James online

Where to buy in print


After She Drowned
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 103,670. Language: English. Published: January 19, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Victorian, Fiction » Romance » Historical
Victorian England, 1891. A tragic drowning. A small town dependent on the local lead mine, which is losing money. Two celibate young priests, both of whom have secrets. A ‘modern woman’. What could possibly go wrong? A girl goes missing…
Stories I Can't Tell
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,440. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Romance » General
An outrageous take on the celebrity bio, written by a star of the first half of the 20th century who began in music hall, made early 78rpm records and rocketed to stardom. But then came scandal. Her loves and life – they're all here.
The Newly Discovered Diaries of Doctor Kristal
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 84,930. Language: English. Published: July 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Black comedy
A black comedy set in the Swinging Sixties (1963-4) and revealed through the diaries of a doctor – 35 years old and still a virgin – whose curious obsessions drive him to start murdering his patients.
Exit 39
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 71,860. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
The entire story, a modern quest, is narrated into an iPhone. Why? Crosby Ravensworth is so busy he can’t make time to scatter his father’s ashes, nor to sort out the dysfunctional family he hoped he’d left behind, nor to decide which of the four women in his life he should connect to. But his life is about to change.
Rafael's Gold
Price: $3.49 USD. Words: 106,240. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Will the film crew discover sunken gold? Will the film star lose to her rival? If they find gold, who will be left alive to share it? Alongside the story of their quest is a tale from the Spanish Armada itself, a tale of love and tragedy, revealed in documents from the time.
No One Gets Hurt
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 113,000. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Women Sleuths
Kirsty Rice is a video journalist whose friend died in the 'harmless' sex industry. After a break-up with a fellow journalist Kirsty is pregnant – and as she worms her way in with the pornographers she finds that he is close to them. They have him on film. Now they have a little job for Kirsty. It's perfectly simple: play things their way, do this one little thing – and no one will get hurt.
The Annex
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 59,230. Language: English. Published: May 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
A modern take on one of the most notorious Jacobean tragedies, Thomas Middleton’s, The Changeling, brought up to date in present-day England. This violent and sexy version homes in on the basic plot of an older man losing his luscious new wife to a virile young blood. Praised by Library Journal and Publishers’ Weekly.
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 14,600. Language: English. Published: March 29, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British
Two crime stories from the man Ian Rankin once called ‘The Godfather of British Noir’, early stories from the years when Russell James was establishing himself as ‘one of the best of Britain’s darker crime writers’ (as the Times called him). The first is the author’s only crime story to feature a detective, and the second, although a tale of prison life, is in lighter vein.
The Break
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 19,600. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General, Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure
Paul’s life is ordinary, until the night he stops his car to take a walk, Stumbling into – and hoping to avoid – a domestic affray, he finds himself the reluctant guardian to a homeless young woman and her shabbily-dressed child. It’s late. Where can they go? Paul has access to a boat moored on the Thames. They’ll be safe there, won’t they?
Brace Yourself
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 10,070. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories
Betrayal and murder at a country house shooting party. When this story appeared in a characteristically yellow and black Victor Gollancz anthology, 'Crime Yellow', the Times review picked it out as ‘a splendid country house shocker from Russell James’.
Terri's Tales
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,560. Language: English. Published: March 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Two crime stories from the man Ian Rankin once called ‘The Godfather of British Noir’. These are early stories from the years when Russell James was establishing himself as ‘one of the best of Britain’s darker crime writers’ (as the Times called him). They tell of the young woman Terri and her hard-scrabble existence in south London among criminals and hard types.
My Bullet Sweetly Sings
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 86,630. Language: English. Published: December 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Crime thriller
Tim Hawk is young, virginal – and a hit-man. But he is obsessed by baroque opera – Handel, Telemann and Purcell. His employer, Alexei Kazan, born Ukrainian but now a leading London gangster, returns from the Ukraine with a new bride-to-be – beautiful, naive and vulnerable – and as Kazan’s marriage and criminal empire are undermined, the doomed trio rush to a violent and operatic climax.
The London Sextet
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 64,290. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
An original collection of six stories from the writer Ian Rankin called ‘The Godfather of British Noir’. James is ‘surely the best of Britain’s darker crime writers’ said London’s Times, and although the Encyclopaedia of Modern Crime Fiction said he wrote ‘some of the best crime fiction being written today’ we find within these stories a surprisingly human delicacy.
Count Me Out
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 98,970. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Jet Heywood stars in Britain’s last fairground boxing booth and lives for his little daughter. His brother Scott is a security van driver, sick of his boring life, who agrees to help in a banknote heist – then disappears with the money. Scott’s gang think Jet knows where he is. They’ll pressurise him and, if that fails, they’ll take his daughter. But Jet’s no pushover.
Painting in the Dark
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 117,070. Language: English. Published: March 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
'His masterpiece to date,' said the Guardian. An old woman has dark secrets in her past, when she and her sister were intimates of Hitler & Goering. During the 1997 Election, as Tony Blair sweeps to power, art dealer Gottleisch and his evil helper Ticky think she has hoarded her sister’s valuable paintings. They're determined to get them, whatever it takes. 'Exceptional,' said Booklist.
Pick Any Title
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 104,820. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Traditional British
In this black comedy ‘Lord Clive’ inveigles Jane Strachey into helping him sell British ‘Lord of the Manor’ titles to Americans. Among his gulls are a shrewd businessman, a hell-fire preacher and a New York gangster. When lawyers pounce and guns start to fire, Strachey finds she need more than good looks and smart words to save her skin. ‘A brilliant page-turner,’ said the Times.
Requiem for a Daughter
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 95,080. Language: English. Published: March 2, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
Police Firearms Officers Tom and Abi are in trouble. Tom’s wife has shacked up with a dodgy Russian billionaire, a developer for the London Olympics, 2012 – and Tom’s daughter has been kidnapped. The billionaire won’t pay, he says, he’ll fight. Meanwhile, a deadly mistake has put Abi’s job on the line. Who can put things right? First in the Tom Fortune and Abi Wilde series.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 87,480. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Was Albie Carter murdered? After ten years away his brother Floyd, an ex-professional boxer, comes home to learn the truth. Floyd’s lumbering giant of a younger brother has a mental age of twelve. And his old girlfriend is still around. Within days they are plunged into a world of guns and drugs and south east London gangs. ‘A first class story of London gangland,’ said Time Out.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,810. Language: English. Published: February 12, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Reissue of the first book from the British crime writer whom Ian Rankin would later call 'The Godfather of British Noir'. The hero of this tense thriller has been lying low in the urban decay of south-east London, waiting to be called on for his 'job'. Is he a crook or a terrorist? What is he about to do? 'Britain seen through a gun-sight,' said the Literary Review.

Russell James' tag cloud

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