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Friday 9 July 2021

ℚ♫ Kill Shot: The Fighting Detective [1] - Blair Denholm

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Kill Shot (, Blair Denholm, 248 pages), a Thriller, book one in the The Fighting Detective series.

"The settings are hot, humid, and exotic. The action electric, and brutal. You wouldn't expect Lisbon to pull any punches, and nor does the author as he delivers a tough, no-holds-barred thriller that augurs well for the future. I'm looking forward to the next case for Lisbon & Taylor already" - Ted Tayler, international best-selling author of the Freeman Files and Phoenix series

"Denholm is a masterful story teller with realistic facts and hardcore action scenes throughout! Readers looking for a real page-turner have found it here!" - Goodreads reviewer

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Blair Denholm; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music, so Blair Denholm has shared with us his music playlist for Kill Shot - enjoy! (We certainly did!)

What was the inspiration for Kill Shot?
"I grew up watching and loving TV cop shows.  I absolutely adored them.  Stories that were packed with excitement and action, but also revolved around baffling crimes that required tenacity and brainpower to solve them.

Some of my favourites were American series like Kojak, Columbo, Starsky and Hutch, Police Woman, and UK police dramas like The Bill, The Sweeney and The Professionals.  And, of course, I was addicted to our homegrown Australian dramas like Cop Shop, Blue Heelers and Water Rats, just to name a few.  These days I’m a huge fan of Scandi noir, both books and TV series.  Can’t get enough of them. 

My flawed hero with a trunk full of dark secrets, ex-boxer Jack Lisbon, draws on all of these sources, as well as my own fertile imagination."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"The first thing I’d put on this list is setting.  I’m from a warm and sunny part of Australia (Queensland) but currently live in its coldest state (Tasmania).  So I guess I’m harking back to my younger years.  The action in Kill Shot takes places in the fictional city of Yorkville, located in the steamy tropics of North Queensland

As far as my own personality being reflected in the main character, I’d say “I wish!”.  Jack is much more fearless and determined than I am, although we do share a love of 1980s punk music and a growing appreciation of classical (if you can get your head around that combo!)."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Kill Shot - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The original cover of Kill Shot depicted a snarling, angry boxer glaring at the reader.  I chose it because of the subject matter of the book, and also because the main character, Detective Sergeant Jack Lisbon, has a boxing background.

After some reflection and feedback, I realised this cover didn’t fit the genre particularly well.  The new cover, featuring the silhouette of a man (scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the fandango? … only kidding) holding a gun, better represents the theme of a detective thriller.  It still retains the element of “fighting” with an illuminated MMA octagon in the background.  I love big, bright, almost fluorescent text for titles, so I made sure that was incorporated.

The cover designer is by an Aussie guy called Willsin Rowe.  He does all my covers and he’s a legend."
Why should we read Kill Shot and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your series unique?
"Kill Shot is the first full-length novel in The Fighting Detective series.  I offer readers a teaser prequel to this series (Fighting Dirty, which is permanently free to download from Amazon and other major platforms), which describes Jack Lisbon’s departure from the London Metropolitan Police under dubious circumstances and his move to Australia.  All of the novels can be read as standalones, however readers will enjoy a sense of continuity if they read them in order.

As far as a “unique selling point” goes, all of my stories have a sporting flavour.  So far this has included professional boxing and cage fighting (Kill Shot), basketball (Shot Clock) and snooker/billiards/pool (Trick Shot). 

Another departure from the norm is my choice of setting.  Most Australian crime novels use predictable settings, either metropolitan Sydney or Melbourne or a clichéd outback town complete with dust and dingoes.  Instead, I’ve placed my “fish out of water” English-born detective smack bang in the middle of the steamy tropics. 

Another element I strive to embed into all my work is a laconic sense of humour, no matter how gruesome the crime."
Can you tell us something quirky about Kill Shot, its story and characters?
"One of my hobbies is international travel.  It’s off the agenda for now, but hopefully we can recommence some time soon.

A favourite country to visit is Portugal. I’ve been there a couple of times now and plan to return again.  Last time we visited the city of Porto for the first time, home of a famous bookstore that, legend has it, partly inspired JK Rowling to write Harry Potter.  But I’m digressing!  My main character in The Fighting Detective series is called Jack Lisbon, his last name being the Anglicised version Portugal’s capital city.  Jack’s late father, Alfonso Lisboa, was a motor mechanic who immigrated to Britain from Portugal in the early 1960s. 

Nothing to do with the book, but my partner and I named our dog Bruno after a great friend we made while staying in Lisbon a couple of years ago."
Who would you recommend Kill Shot to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Kill Shot is a book that I think appeals across a wide age spectrum, and also to men and women in equal measure.

Fans of British crime writers Ian Rankin and Val McDermid, as well Sweden’s Jo Nesbø should enjoy the novel.  As should people who like more action-oriented authors such as Ian Fleming, Elmore Leonard and even Lee Child.  I’ve also been inspired by the off-the-wall gonzo style of Irvine Welsh (author of Trainspotting), and I guess some of that is echoed in my work.

There is some violence and swearing in my stories, but by no means is it at the top of the scale.  Jack even tries to curb his enthusiasm for profanity by substituting “effing” for…you know what."
If you could / wished to turn Kill Shot and the The Fighting Detective series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"On April Fools’ Day this year, I put up a Facebook post about one of my books being contracted for film adaptation. I made the same announcement in my newsletter.  The director was going to be Guy Ritchie and the cast included Chris Hemsworth, Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor.  I couldn’t believe how many people fell for it.  As it happens, I wouldn’t be disappointed if these people were involved, although I reckon Tarantino and the Coen Brothers would also be fantastic directors to have on board.

Many readers tell me they can envision my work on the big screen.  Indeed, my first novel, SOLD, was longlisted for movie adaptation by Screen Queensland a couple of years ago.  Therefore I live in eternal hope."
Guy Ritchie Quentin Tarantino The Cohen Brothers Chris Hemsworth Nicole Kidman Ewan McGregor
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Real people in realistic situations is my stock in trade.  I’ve never been one for writing fantasy or sci-fi, although I have read a lot in those genres.  In my proverbial drawer I have the outline for a horror sci-fi novel set in Antarctica, but that’s not something I’d tackle until I was done with my Fighting Detective crime series.  As it stands, I’ve become so enamoured of Jack Lisbon I plan on writing stories about him for years to come.

I have completed another novel, a crime story called Revolution Day, set in Moscow in the late 1980s.  I’ve entered it in a competition, but if it doesn’t win, I plan on self-publishing it later this year. "
What is your writing process?
"As a general rule, I start off with a vague idea, generally a character, an incident or a setting.  Then I start writing and see what develops.  I’m an adherent of the “write into the dark” method.  This is an approach espoused by many people, but it’s best described and explained by a writer I admire by the name of Dean Wesley Smith.  He eschews planning of all kinds and is the epitome of the “pantser”.

I’ve done some plotting, but I’m not great at it.  OK, let’s be honest, I suck at it (as I do at marketing my work, but that’s another story!).  The big twists, the dialogue, new characters, they always come to me during the writing process, out of the blue.  And I don’t think switching to become a “plotter” would help me write any better or faster. 

As far as my writing day goes, it’s very haphazard.  I’m terrible at focussing and I’m easily distracted by trivial things.  I think it’s called “shiny ball syndrome.”  Wait, there’s a Facebook alert…"
I know that condition well...

What is in store next?

"I’m currently working on Book 3 of The Fighting Detective series, Trick Shot.  Again, I’m adding a sporting element to the story.  This time the action centres on a well-known pool hall owner murdered on the eve of an important international government meeting.  As usual, there’s plenty of action and intrigue, including a massive twist I hope will make readers gasp.

Following that will be Book 4, Shot to the Heart.  I’ll be sending Jack Lisbon back to London to be reunited with his daughter Skye, who he hasn’t seen for years.  Of course, it won’t be smooth sailing and Jack will be up to his eyeballs in trouble again."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"As I mentioned before, I have a pet dog called Bruno.  He’s a bundle of mischief and we all love him to bits.  When I’m writing in my office, he sits on a bench by the window and protects me from all the bad guys his little imagination can conjure up.  Here he is with what’s left of the postman."
Oh... vicious!
Hello Bruno, lots of head-scratches and belly-rubs to you from all of us at BooksChatter!
Blair, thank you for sharing Bruno with us and your fantastic playlist; we hope you are having a great tour :-)

Violent crimes. Missing people. Dark secrets.
Only one driven detective can unearth the truth.

Kill Shot
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from find on Goodreads


Wall-to-wall books said...

Nice interview!
One of my favorites used to be The Rockford Files, ever watch it? I was a Starsky and Hutch fan myself though!
"silhouette of a man (scaramouche, scaramouche, will you do the fandango?)" - HA!!!

Sounds like a great book!

BooksChatter said...

yes! I used to love The Rockford Files. I grew up with Kojak and Columbo (I still watch them now,
I love Columbo), and Starsky and Hutch, as well as C.H.I.P.S., Magnum P.I., Miami Vice and T.J. Hooker LOL.

Quincy M.E. has to be my favourite after Columbo.

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