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‘Ice-pick-sharp, packed with intrigue, action and spine-chilling suspense. Devour will keep you gripped from the very first page’ Kathryn Fox

Larkin's Latest

Welcome to my blog, Larkin’s Latest. News on thriller authors and great books to read, the writing process and festivals, incredible people I interview and exciting story locations, courses I run, and things that make me laugh!

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Culture Fly: review of Devour

January 21, 2017

“If you’re only going to read one novel in 2017, I suggest you make it Devour.”

Here is the five star review of Devour in CultureFly, 10 January 2017:

Action books almost always feature a male protagonist, but Devour is different. L.A. Larkin has crafted a strong female lead in the form of investigative journalist Olivia Wolfe, a career woman driven by a thirst for knowledge and justice. Trained in Jiu-jitsu and martial arts, Wolfe can hold her own against the terrors that her investigations throw at her.

This is the type of book that once you start reading you just can’t put down. The tale jumps from Afghanistan to London to Antarctica, all forming pieces of an intricate plot. It begins at a research camp in Antarctica as they’re drilling into a frozen lake to find prehistoric microbes. Mysterious things keep happening, equipment is sabotaged and things go missing – then there’s a murder. Which brings us to the question: Why is this expedition so important?

In Afghanistan, while on the case of a story, Wolfe pulls up to the house of one of her informants. Yet it all goes wrong and the informer dies, whilst Wolfe is kidnapped. Thankfully the martial arts skills come out, along with help from a few essentials taken from her trusty backpack, and she escapes with her life, returning home to London. It isn’t long until she’s sent to Antarctica to investigate the murder though.

The characters in the book are so well thought out and described, conjuring a vivid image in the reader’s head. The plot gets deeper and deeper, as more things start going wrong, and Wolfe starts uncovering secrets she shouldn’t know, putting herself and others in danger.

Larkin put a lot of research into Devour, travelling to Antarctica on a Russian Ship: “I was told to stay in my bunk bed and hang on for dear life as the vessel corkscrewed through ten-metre swells. When I tried to get to the bathroom, the ship tilted forty degrees and I was hurled on to the door.” She also visited the British Antarctic Survey to learn about the equipment they would need to go there, as well as trying out martial arts. All this first-hand experience and research really pays off, resulting in a truly gripping action-thriller.

This is one of the best books I’ve read in the last couple of years, and if you’re only going to read one novel in 2017, I suggest you make it Devour.

★★★★★

Devour is published by Constable on 26 January 2017

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Review of Devour by Literature Works

January 19, 2017

‘Wolfe is so refreshing. A female protagonist in crime fiction who isn’t a victim, isn’t an unreliable narrator (whilst still remaining intriguingly flawed) and who knows how to defend herself, she is certainly going to shake up the genre.’

‘Without giving away the plot, the central mystery and its many offshoots in the novel certainly had me ‘devouring’ the pages of this exciting, original and utterly captivating new release from L A Larkin and I cannot recommend it enough!’

‘The rawness and the futility of the Afghan war zone is perfectly evoked in the novel’s opening sequence and the reader is drawn into the world of desperation and fear that war has created. Through the eyes of Olivia Wolfe – set to be the star of a series of novels, which I can hardly wait for – we see a world almost devoid of humanity struggling to support those who do survive. We see the pointlessness and pain of the war and then we leave it, somehow wiser, for the icy isolation of Antarctica where the novel’s central mystery unfolds.’

To read more click here.

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Crime Fiction Lovers on Shake, Rattle and Kill!

Thanks so much to Crime Fiction Lover for including Devour in your Shake, Rattle and Kill round-up on 19 January 2017:

British-Australian author LA Larkin is fascinated with Antarctica and here poses the questions: what if ancient microbes were living in a subterranean lake underneath the polar ice cap; and what if those microbes were dangerous superbugs? The book begins with a murder as someone tries to sabotage a British Antarctic mission, and investigative reporter Olivia Wolfe is sent to investigate. More used to reporting on wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya, she gets caught up on the problems the mission faces with a Russian team also in Antarctica. Somebody is spying on Wolfe, and somebody wants to get their hands on the bacteria samples the British are discovering. Badly. It’s out 26 January.

 

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UK Launch of Devour at Waterstones Piccadilly

January 15, 2017

‘If you are only going to read one novel in 2017, I suggest you make it Devour’   Culture Fly

To celebrate the UK launch of Devour, I am joined by fellow thriller author Tom Wood for a highly entertaining discussion on the dark and dangerous world of crime-thrillers. Joining us is the author of British Crime Writing, broadcaster and editor of Crime Time, Barry Forshaw.

Action and assassin thrillers are often associated with heart-pounding, high stakes plots, yet it is the central characters who win our hearts. Why did I create investigative journalist, Olivia Wolfe, and Wood, Victor The Assassin, and what is involved in writing a series?

Date and time: 7 pm, February 2017

Venue: Waterstones Piccadilly, 203-206 Piccadilly, London W1.

Free event.

Here is an extract from Chapter 1 of Devour to whet your appetite:

Annoyed, Knox leaves, letting the fifty-mile-an-hour wind
slam the door for him. The field site is a swirling mass of snow.
He grips a thick rope, frozen so solid it feels like steel cable,
secured at waist height between poles sticking out of the ice
at regular intervals. Only thirty feet to the boiler. He carefully
plants one boot after another. He staggers a few times. Head
down, body bent, he throws his weight into the storm like a
battering ram. Where the hell is Vitaly? That bloody Heatherton
is probably wanking on about loyalty and reminding Yushkov, in
his unsubtle way, that he now works for the Brits. The man is
bloody paranoid.
Someone takes him in a bear hug from behind. He thinks
Yushkov is mucking about, but when a cloth is held hard over his
nose and mouth, he begins to panic. It has a chemical smell he
can’t place. Confused and disoriented, he tries to turn. He feels
light-headed and his eyelids droop.
Knox wakes. He hears a high-pitched buzzing, then realises it’s
the retreating sound of a Bombardier Ski-Doo. Soon, all he can
hear is the buffeting wind. He wants to sleep, but his violent
shivering makes it impossible. He opens his heavy eyelids and
sees nothing. Just white. Where is he? The hardness beneath his
cheek tells him he’s lying on one side. Knox tries to sit up, but
his head pounds like the worst hangover, so he lies back down.
He blinks eyelashes laden with ice crystals, trying to take it all
in. Of course. The boiler. He must have fallen. Maybe knocked
his head?
This time, Knox manages to sit up and waits for the dizziness
to pass. He can’t see the horizon or the surface he’s sitting on, or
even his legs. Like being buried in an avalanche; there is no up or
down. He’s in a white-out – the most dangerous blizzard. He sucks
in the ice-laden air, fear gripping him. Ice particles get caught in
his throat and he coughs. His heart speeds up and, instead of energising
him, it drains him. He racks his brain, trying to remember
his emergency training. But his mind is as blank as the landscape.
Think, you fucking idiot. Think!
It’s pointless shouting. He doesn’t have a two-way radio.
Nobody can see or hear him. Christ! What happened? His jaw
is chattering, his body wobbling, and now he can’t feel his hands
or feet. He lifts his right arm so his hand is in front of his eyes,
but it doesn’t feel as if it belongs to him. His fingers won’t flex
and the skin is grey, the same colour as his dear mum when he
found her dead in her flat. Frostbite and hypothermia have taken
hold of him. What he can’t understand is why he isn’t wearing
a glove. He checks the left hand. No glove and no watch, either.
Nothing makes sense.
Knox attempts to bend his knees. His legs are stiff and movement
is painful. He manages to bring them near enough to
discover he wears socks, but no boots. The socks are caked in ice
and look like snowballs. His shivering is so violent that when he
tries to touch them, he topples over.
Stunned by his helplessness, Knox stays where he fell. He
places a numb hand on his stomach but he can’t tell if he’s still
wearing a coat. He can’t feel anything. He blinks away the ice in
his sore eyes and peers down the length of his body. He sees the
navy blue of his fleece. No coat. The realisation that he will die if
he doesn’t find shelter very soon is like an electric shock and his
whole body spasms. Terrified, he scrambles to a sitting position,
battling the blizzard and his own weakness.
‘Help!’ he shouts, over and over, oblivious to the pointlessness
of doing so.

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What a line up at CrimeFest 2017

January 13, 2017

I am so happy to be participating in the UK’s CrimeFest and to be in such great company. Roll on May – I can’t wait. If you love crime fiction and are in the UK between 18-21 May, then head to Bristol and come and say Hi! CrimeFest has been described by both The Independent and The Guardian as one of the top 50 best festivals in the world and here are some of the great authors attending: Anthony Horowitz, Elly Griffiths, Antonia Hodgson, Zoe Sharp, Stav Sherez, CJ Box, David Young, and the charming Barry Forshaw, as well as my own literary agent Phil Patterson who will be doing Pitch-An-Agent.

I’m really looking forward to meeting Iceland’s Queens of Crime, Jónína Leósdóttir, Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Sólveig Pálsdóttir & Lilja Sigurðardóttir.

I hope I will see you there!

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