Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Why I commissioned… THE DEAD WAYS

Twitter-style summary: A network of paths across the country is all that’s keeping this world from the next but the government plans to eliminate them – and unleash hell on earth.

The Dead Ways is Christopher Edge’s debut and what an explosive one it is! The action centres around Scott Williams, whose government-employed father kills himself leaving behind a very cryptic message for his son. With washed-up detective, Jason, whose career came to a dead end after admitting to seeing ghosts walking a motorway tailback, as his minder, Scott is plunged into a non-stop dangerfest with very little reprieve.

When I say non-stop, I mean it, this is breath-takingly paced and the reader is left with no option but to turn the page. There’s a multi-layered conspiracy to be uncovered, where the police, the government and even the undead are united in preventing Scott from finding out the truth. Action scenes pelt through hospital morgues, abandoned motorways and across the streets of London, providing just enough detail to place you right in the thick of it.

Despite being the first of a trilogy, this book answers the questions it raises, whilst leaving plenty of room for ‘But what if…?’ once you’re done. This is a fantastically escapist read for anyone 10+ where young Scott really rises to the occasion of having the weight of the world land squarely on his shoulders. He’s more charismatic than Jason, who just can’t seem to get anyone to do what he says, bless him, and but it’s when he teams up with slightly gothy Avalon, daughter of an antiquarian bookdealer that Scott really comes into his own. If you want someone to be saving you from being dismembered by the undead, you could do worse than having Scott on your side. He’s no Buffy, he’s not as pun-based, nor has he supernatural powers of his own, but he’s tough and he's sensible in the way I think we'd all like to be if we had to save the world.

So, this book is fantastically pacey, has a sound premise for a trilogy, and is bang on-trend within the industry (zombies are, like, so hot right now... OK, so they're probably cold, sans beating heart, but you get the drift), but that's not all. It's also written by a really lovely bloke. If you’re a debut author and you come to the table full of energy and inspiration for how to promote your book then we publishers tend to sit up and pay attention. Chris is the kind of author we all want on our list, after we had a discussion about twitter, blogging and facebook, Chris took to is so naturally that I actually did an air punch of joy. He’s as lovely in real life as he is online and he’s an author for whom good things will happen.

Hopefully none of these good things will involve the undead…


  1. totally agree about how wonderfully awesome this book and Chris are.

  2. I have to agree, this is fast, and breath taking, its also incredible! I can't wait for the ret of the series! X