Wednesday, 20 January 2016

More Reviews for 'The Perfectionist'

A big thank you to Rowena Hoseason at Murder Mayhem & More, to Léa at Léa Touch Book, and to author Carla Kovach. This is what they say:

"This intriguing mix of investigative procedural and road trip, wrapped around a tale of personal redemption, is given a chilling menace by a calculating, appallingly accomplished serial killer ... Author Simon Duke incorporates some clever plot conniptions and a selection of plausible supporting characters – each presented as a potential suspect for our consideration. In this respect, The Perfectionist echoes an old-fashioned whodunnit, where the reader gleefully participates in the investigation (although I totally missed the final twist) ... The Perfectionist is something of an American epic, spanning three decades and sprawling from one side of the continent to the other. Yet, like the very best crime fiction, it tells a relatively simple story – of an isolated man, who is reunited with the better aspects of humanity through an encounter with the very worst that man can accomplish." - Murder Mayhem & More. Full review available at:

"This is a very good crime fiction: a terrifying serial killer, mastered writing and a surprising end! ... This is a real page turner with a wonderful and very surprising ending. The writing mixes fitting dialogue, fascinating descriptions and impactful action scenes." - Léa Touch Book. Full review available at:

"The Perfectionist is an epic feeling, crime investigation novel. It spans many years and follows the gathering of evidence intricately. The characters are real and gritty, and the story is dark and compelling. If you are a crime novel fan, this book is a must. It also has a ‘killer’ ending with more than a couple of well laced surprises." - Carla Kovach. Full review available at:

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Perfectionist: Happy Launch Day

Well, today’s the day! My second book, 'The Perfectionist', is out. It's been a long but very enjoyable road - and not always a straight one.

This particular trail started about two years ago. I began writing the first words and drafting the storyline in January 2014; put the project aside while promoting the launch of 'Out of Bounds' in the March-April period, before putting pen back to paper all through spring, summer and the start of autumn 2014. Re-reading and proof-reading took a few months and then I began sending submissions to agents and publishers as 2015 started. January-September 2015 was marked by promising leads, some agent interest in getting the full manuscript, a deal with an indie publisher I decided to turn down, and the writing of my third novel. And since September 2015, I have been preparing for this launch and promoting the book well in advance while crafting my own video trailer and working on some pre-launch promotional pictures, while not losing track of the third novel. My efforts to find pre-launch publicity for 'The Perfectionist' paid off as early as November and December with some nice reviews, and January is following that same pattern. And now here we are. Everything is ready and I sit back and watch the world go online to buy 'The Perfectionist' and make my new book viral. Well, at least I hope so. Fingers crossed.

The release of 'The Perfectionist' today not only marks the end of the lengthy pre-release publicity period but also the beginning of a new phase for me. I could go as far as saying that the lion's share of the pressure is gone. And now I can be happy to say "the book is here" instead of "the book will be here soon."

Book launch days are weird days. Mostly I walk around trying to figure out what is happening, how to measure reader reactions, or how to ignore my impatience. My eyes are glued to the screen, scrutinizing any online activity associated with the book. My mind is occupied with puzzling thoughts and uncertainties, only to be temporarily put at rest with the occasional rewarding phone call or words of encouragement that arrive in one form or another. 

I hope you’ll help me spread the word and boost the post-launch promotion. Short reviews on Amazon and Goodreads are ideal. Sharing them or anything else about 'The Perfectionist' on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms is great too. But above all, do read the book and enjoy. Dear readers, thanks so much for tuning in and sharing the excitement of my book launch with me!

The paperback and the Kindle versions of 'The Perfectionist' are available on Amazon. The ebook can also be found at Smashwords, and very soon at most online retailers such as Barnes & Noble, FNAC or Kobo. (Paperback price $9.99 / Kindle price $3.25):

Smashwords ebook (Price $2.99):

Thursday, 7 January 2016

2 New Reviews as Book Launch Day is Nigh

Only 11 days left till the book launch and 2 more reviews for 'The Perfectionist' to report!

First of all, here are the kind words written by Paul Norman at "Books Monthly":

"If it wasn't set in the USA I'd say that Neil Cross of Luther had crossed the pond..., Simon Duke has gone to the trouble of self-publishing this intriguing, stunning story, and I have to say I'm surprised he couldn't get a mainstream publisher interested, because the end result is amazingly good. There are elements of Koontz and Connolly in this superb story, but Simon's own voice shines through and the result is fantastic. Give it a look, you won't be disappointed!"

Check out Paul's other reviews in the January 2016 edition (Crime Books of the Month):

And here is the rewarding opinion of David Prestidge who works for "Crime Fiction Lover":

"This is a thoroughly readable and workmanlike addition to the serial killer genre. There are a couple of problems with the central character. Given that Stokes is in full time employment in 1988, he would have to be at least in his 40s when the 2010 action kicks in. Yet he continues to behave more like a 20-something who is too much in touch with his own sex-drive. Second, he is really not a very lovable person. Anti-heroes are all well and good in certain literary genres, but in the realm of serial killers it doesn’t help if readers struggle to root for the good guy.

Despite these reservations, there is much to like about The Perfectionist. Stokes’s relationship with his brother is sensitively described and, despite the action sometimes  darting to different times and locations, the final 100 pages or so are nicely concentrated, and the narrative is, consequently, much more coherent. I can also confess that I didn’t see the plot twist coming, so Simon Duke deserves credit for that."

Read the full review and others on Crime Fiction Lover:

Here's a sample of the graphic countdown till launch promo I'm carrying out on social media. There are a few more to go before the launch date of January 19, 2016.