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John Baker - Page 1
John Baker
White Skin ManWhite Skin Man Newpbk 19 Feb 04
The Meanest Flood
Shooting in the DarkShooting in the Dark
The Chinese GirlThe Chinese Girl
Walking With GhostsWalking With Ghosts
Audio Titles New 30/03/2004
Latest Reviews at Tangled Web by John Baker
Buy New Books at Amazon by John BakerBuy at
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About the Author

New British Pbk Original - Orion (2004)
Buy at White Skin Man
The dark, hook-nosed man held an incredible fascination for Katy Madika as she took shots of the sunlit docks. She was strangely drawn to his striking looks and it was perhaps fate that her camera ended up being the only witness to his murder ... Katy runs, clutching the precious evidence. But the killer comes after her and claims the camera - warning her against ever revealing what she saw.
But unbeknownst to him, she has already palmed the digital film. When she returns to the spot, the body is gone - and for weeks there is no indication that anything had happened.
Stone Lewis, for the first time in a long time, is happy. He has the love of a good woman and the confidence of a secure group of friends. But when Katy comes into his life and tells the story of the strange murder, he is once again drawn into the dark side of life ...
White Skin Man is John Baker at his best. Powerful, moving and very human, this is a novel both of tension and huge emotion.

`John Baker brings altogether more heart, invention and wit to the business of adapting the tough-guy novel to the realities of contemporary Britain’ Independent on Sunday
'One of Britain's most talented contemporary crime writers' The Times

Buy at The Meanest Flood
Sam Turner returns to his home town, after completing a case in Nottingham, to find storm clouds gathering and the police waiting for him. He discovers that two of his ex wives have been killed and that he is a suspect. Sam is released on condition that he does not leave York, but he sees a pattern in the two murders and guesses that the next victim will be another of his exes Julie. Sam rushes to Oslo, where Julie now lives, but his efforts are in vain. She too is killed. Her murder marks out Sam as a prime suspect. He goes on the run, dodging not only the police, but the real killer. Sam Turner finds himself embroiled in a terrifying mystery where he is both the fugitive and the detective, trying to anticipate the moves of the murderer and save his own skin.

British Pbk Original - Orion (2001)
Buy at Shooting in the Dark
Angeles Falco seemed like something straight from a fifties detective movie when she walked into Sam Turner’s office. Beautiful, dark and enigmatic but made strangely vulnerable by her damaged eyesight. All she would say is that she and her sister were being followed, but by whom or for what purpose she didn’t know. She feared for their lives.
Sam would only be too happy to help this gorgeous client - but when her sister Isabel turns up brutally murdered on a deserted hillside and he starts to feel his growing affection for his beautiful charge, the case seems to be getting beyond even his world-weary experience. And soon he finds himself up against a serial killer whose dark fantasies will try to destroy Sam’s attempt at a new life . . .
With Shooting in the Dark, John Baker returns to his favourite haunt and character to forge his most powerful novel yet. Laced with twists and turns, it is the story of vicious obsession, loneliness and the occasional depravity that can afflict the human mind.

Praise for John Baker
"John Baker brings heart, invention and wit to the business of adapting the tough-guy novel to the realities of contemporary Britain. What is more he chooses the much less obvious setting of York... it will depress the local tourist board but bring cheer to crime and mystery readers.... He has a fine eye for urban sleaze and an ear for the turn of contemporary speech.' Independent On Sunday
'One of Britain's most talented contemporary crime writers.' The Times

Gollancz (2000)
Paperback - Gollancz (2000)
Buy at The Chinese Girl
See Review by Cath Staincliffe - Author of the highly acclaimed Sal Kilkenny Mysteries set on the Mean Streets of Manchester
First in a New Series starring Stone Lewis and set in Hull
John Baker's books depress Northern tourist boards but bring cheer to crime and mystery readers. As one of Britain's leading contemporary crime novelists, with a highly-acclaimed series featuring detective Sam Turner, Baker has previously written about the underbelly of York. Verging away from the public image of the city as a rich tourist destination boasting high-culture and well kept buildings, he has concentrated on those parts of the cities where crime and violence are rife and where poverty presides.
Now in The Chinese Girl, his first non-series novel, John Baker moves away from York to concentrate on the city of Hull. In a different but equally brilliant tack, he presents the vicious low-life of Hull's docks and the criminal opportunities they provide. As with all of Baker's novels, The Chinese Girl tackles a range of social issues, including drug dealing, gang-warfare, mental illness, racism and an ex-con's attempt to rebuild his life.

Praise for John Baker
'Neatly plotted and engagingly and wittily written.' Daily Mail
'Dry and clever, this first novel boasts a fine assortment of peripheral players, with just the right blend of amoral behaviour and a sense of justice.' San Francisco Examiner And Chronicle
'Exceedingly cunning, laid-back plot. Genial, fast and funny.' Literary Review
'Great characters, idiosyncratic plot - a definite original.' Time Out
'Absorbing and well written with an exciting finale.' Evening Standard
'Steeped in the hard-boiled genre of Chandler and Ellroy. Brilliant.' Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Paperback - Indigo (2000)
First British Edition Gollancz (1999)
Walking With Ghosts
See Review by Peter Walker
Edward Blake was political lobbyist, one of those Thatcherite 80s success stories. When his wife India was kidnapped, he decided not to trouble the police, just paid the twenty-five grand. When she didn't show up and the kidnapper went to ground, he did call in the law, and they came to the conclusion that the whole thing was a set-up between India and some secret lover.
But then, three months later, she turned up in box in an allotment shed near York racecourse where she had been left to starve to death. The police became really interested especially when they found out about the two and a half million pounds' worth of life insurance he'd taken out on her the year before. But with no proof they had to let Blake go in the end.
The insurance company, however, is less than keen on paying out. Jill Sheridan, insurance assessor, needs someone to do some legwork, poking around in odd comers of Blake's life, and her thoughts turn to an old flame: Sam Turner…

Praise for John Baker:
"His characters endear themselves to us, and we care what happens to them. The writing is always quirky, never flashy and he leaves us wanting more of an engaging crew who feel like friends by the end of the book." Manchester Evening News
'Builds to a splendid climax… if you don't know John Baker's work yet, try it because it's good' Steve Freeborn, Shot in the Dark

About The Author
John Baker was born in Hull in 1942 and educated at the university there. He has worked as a social worker, shipbroker, truck driver, milkman, and most recently in the computer industry. He has twice received a Yorkshire Arts Association Writers’ Bursary. Married with five children, he lives in York


N.B. dates and publishers in dark red indicate British First Editions. Dates and publishers in black indicate recent reprints.

  • White Skin Man (Orion Pbk, 2004) New Pbk Feb 04
  • The Meanest Flood (Orion Pbk, 2003)
  • Shooting in the Dark (Orion Pbk, 2001) (Sam Turner)
  • The Chinese Girl (Gollancz, 2000) Gollancz Pbk Aug 00 (Stone Lewis)
  • Walking With Ghosts (Gollancz, 1999) Indigo Pbk Aug 00 (Sam Turner)
  • King Of The Streets (Gollancz, 1998) Indigo Pbk Aug 00 (Sam Turner)
  • Death Minus Zero (Gollancz, 1996) Indigo Pbk Aug 00 (Sam Turner)
  • Poet in the Gutter (Gollancz, 1995) Indigo Pbk Aug 00 (Sam Turner)

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