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ISBN: 9781842433942
Price: £7.99
Casing: Paperback
Format: B (198 x 129mm)
Extent: 320pp
Rights: World
Pub. Date: April 2011


 Howard  Linskey
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Howard Linskey

Howard Linskey has worked as a barman, journalist, catering manager and marketing manager for a celebrity chef, as well as in a variety of sales and account management jobs. He has written for newspapers, magazines and websites on a number of subjects. The Drop was Howard's debut novel, published by No Exit in 2011, followed by The Damage in 2012 and The Dead in 2013.

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The Drop

by Howard Linskey


''Geordie' Cartwright has disappeared, along with Bobby Mahoney's money. I have to find him and fast, or it's going to be my face staring into the business end of a nail gun'

David Blake is no gangster, or so he likes to think. He's a white-collar criminal, working for gangster Bobby Mahoney, enjoying the good life while the money keeps on pouring in. Trouble is, a big chunk of that money has just gone missing, along with Geordie Cartwright, and Blake is getting the blame.

Has Geordie done a runner with The Drop or has he been killed by a rival gang? As Blake goes deeper into the Newcastle underworld, a seedy and violent place filled with dodgy clubs, pubs, lap-dancing bars and brothels, he slowly starts to uncover the truth; there's a rat in Bobby's crew and someone else is planning a take-over. Meanwhile the Serious and Organised Crime squad and an ambitious D.I are both closing in on Bobby. It's just a matter of time before he's finally nicked for good. Blake must uncover the truth before it's too late for them all.

If that were not enough, he has to choose between his girlfriend, the beautiful lawyer Laura and the impossible-to-resist Sarah, his boss's gorgeous young daughter. Sarah might just be the most dangerous person in his life right now, if her dad finds out.

In a desperate and bloody finale, Blake has to make an agonising choice and someone has to pay the ultimate price in 'The Drop'



Linskey delivers a flawless feel for time and place, snappy down to earth dialect dialogue mixed in with unrelenting violence and pace. A Tyneside Dashiell Hammett to put Martina Cole firmly in her place.
- Peter Millar, The Times [read the full review]

The Drop is chosen by Peter Millar in The Times as one of his Top 5 crime thrillers of the year
- Peter Millar, The Times [read the full review]

This is some exciting shit, dear reader
- Nerd of Noir, Spinetingler magazine [read the full review]

A cracking, well paced and gripping crime novel. Recommended.
- Paul D. Brazill [read the full review]

writing that leaps off the page in its lacerating forcefulness... a classic British gangster novel that evokes and matches some of the best writing in the genre
- Vic Buckner, Crime Time [read the full review]

The Drop is overflowing with the grit that defines the very best of British gangster fiction
- M. K. Hume, Bookgeeks [read the full review]

Howard Linskey does for Newcastle what Ian Rankin has done for Edinburgh
- Sam Millar, New York Journal of Books [read the full review]

a brutal, hard-hitting debut which opens up Newcastle's dark, violent underbelly like a freshly-sharpened stiletto
- Simon Kernick [read the full review]

A cracker of a tale unrolled with great understatement but loaded with verve and pace. The backdrop is brutal, harsh and downright fatal for some, the characters jump right off the page, and I found the book difficult to put down. No Exit Press has found a real winner.
- Adrian Magson, Shots [read the full review]

An absolutely cracking debut novel
- [read the full review]

a razor-sharp debut and Linskey is sure to be at the forefront of Northern crime writing in 2011. A writer to keep an eye on.
- Nick Quantrill, Harrogate Festival website [read the full review]

a very successful first novel
- Chris Shepherd, newbooks [read the full review]

Plainly put The Drop is a brilliant slice of modern Brit Grit
- Brian Lindemuth, Spinetingler Magazine - Best Mystery/Crime Fiction 2011 [read the full review]

A fast-paced, hard-boiled tale that zips along
- The Crack

Just finished reading "The Drop" which my wife and daugher bought me for father's day from Waterstones in Hemel Hempstead and I loved it!
- Jason Gulmohamed, Fan Letter [read the full review]

Linskey has a knack of expressing a mindset with clarity, humour and realism which along with the earthy vocabulary combines to create a marvellous tale.
- Crimesquad [read the full review]

A deftly written crime thriller, which really shows off Linskey's skill at storytelling
- Luca Veste, Guilty Conscience [read the full review]

Brilliant. Gangster writing at its best.
- Paul Cleave - winner of the Ngaio Marsh Award [read the full review]


'Think 'Geordie Shore' meets 'The Wire' and there's a TV masterpiece out there waiting to happen'
- Peter Millar, The Times [read the full review]

'Vicious, violent and unashamedly amoral'
- Geoffrey Wansell, The Daily Mail [read the full review]

'One of the Times Top Crime & Thriller Summer Reads '
- Peter Millar, The Times [read the full review]

'An incredibly enjoyable read, The Damage is an excellent novel which sets Linskey up as someone to watch out for'
- Luca Veste, Crime Fiction Lover [read the full review]

'Brilliant stuff'
- Ian Ayris [read the full review]

'A hard hitting crime caper which will leave the reader desperate for the next instalment'
- GS, [read the full review]

'Bristles with machismo, offers frequent violent thrills and ends with a taut finale. The Damage is Casino to The Drop’s Goodfellas.'
- Mike Stafford, Bookgeeks [read the full review]

'A colourful array of characters who spout some of the sparkiest dialogue around. More please!'
- The Crack [read the full review]

'The Damage is gripping. I finished the book in one sitting. '
- L J Hurst, Shots [read the full review]

'The King of Northern Noir... Taut. Tough. Terrifying. The Damage is a deeply atmospheric, in-your-face tale of immorality, seediness, violence, and murder, scintillating with menace from start to finish.'
- Sam Millar, New York Journal of Books



Interview with Howard Linskey on Criminal-e blog

Howard Linskey interviewed on BBC local radio (mp3 file)

Howard Linskey interviewed on Metro Radio

Howard interviewed in The Journal Dec 2013

The Dead is in the Top 10 Books of 2013 for Best Crime Books

Howard Linskey Interview at authorsinterviews

Interview at authorsinterviews

Howard Linskey Interviewed on Book Noir

In the Booth with Ruth – Interview with Howard Linskey

Writer Howard Linskey hopes to make a killing as the US warms to his tales of a Geordie gangster

One of the stars of the Brit Grit revolution

Howard Linskey tells Rosy Moorhead about the release of his new book, The Dead

Newcastle gangster novel adapted for TV

Howard Linskey on the Joys of Editing ‘The Dead’

Howard Linskey interview on BBC Radio Newcastle with Simon Logan Nov 29th 2012

There's a cracking extract from the audiobook of The Drop, read by genuine Geordie actor David Nellist available on the WF Howes site here >>

Howard on What’s your perfect writing environment and What is your actual one like?

Zeit Online: Crime Machine - that's The Drop (to you & me) debuts at 8 in Germany's Top 10 mysteries

North-East author Howard Linskey has won a legion of fans after delving into the murky waters of the criminal underworld: Northern Echo

Exclusive pic of Chris Moyles replacement - or is it the author of The Drop & The Damage

Howard Linskey makes it big in Germany: Crime Machine | CULTurMAG | Fresh blood im britischen Gangsterroman

Crime Fiction Lover Interview with Howard Linskey

Newcastle backdrop for TV gangster: Howard Linskey feature in Sunday Sun

Getting to Know You: Howard Linskey - An interview with Victoria Watson

Former Guardian reporter scoops TV deal for debut book (

Q&A: Howard Linskey (

PUSHED FOR ANSWERS: Howard Linskey @ Pulp Pusher

Paul D. Brazill's You Would Say That, Wouldn't You? - Short, Sharp Interview: Howard Linskey

Interview with Howard Linskey on Inspiration Forum

Howard Linskey on The Drop

Interview with Howard Linskey on Guilty Conscience Blog

Howard Linskey interviewed by Morgan Bailey


The Damage (pb)
The Dead (pb)