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Christopher J. Yates Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Black Chalk (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Grist Mill Road (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Christopher J Yates

British-American author Christopher J Yates is a mystery writer who really knows how to evoke a sense of the atmospheric through his work. Getting to the heart of his subject matter, he works towards a climax building suspense, as the story gains a creeping momentum throughout. Carefully constructing his characters too, they definitely come to life off of the page, drawing the reader in and holding them there.

Constantly revealing another surprise round every corner, he fills his stories with plenty of exciting twists and turns. This has proven to be a highly successful formula, as he’s achieved international recognition for his work, with positive reviews from all corners. Working as an editor too, which previously included puzzles, he definitely understands what goes in to creating an intricate mystery that keeps his audience guessing.

Early and Personal Life:

Born in Bromley, Kent in the United Kingdom on the 4th of February, 1972, Christopher J Yates would grow up there with a strong passion for literature from an early age. This would develop throughout the years, as he was constantly reading and writing, something which he’d continue into his adult life. Taking this love of all things literary into higher education, he’d continue to hone and refine his craft throughout university.

Attending Oxford University, he would graduate with a law degree in 1993, which would see him soon working in London. Forming the basis of his literary career to soon follow, he was always looking for new ideas to help inspire him and his work. Often taking from his own life, he’d let his own experiences pave the way, giving him the foundation he needed to continue.

Working in London as a puzzle editor for some time prior to becoming a fiction writer, Yates would learn how to create intricately woven narratives. This would establish him as an author who knew how to intrigue the reader, giving them clues, but constantly surprising them. Working for a wide audience too, he created a name for himself, becoming a strong and recognizable brand in the world of literature.

Moving to New York City, he continues to write on a regular basis, happily living with both his wife and his dog. Creating mystery stories, his work has gained an international audience, as more and more discover him every day. With a lot more to come yet, he isn’t finishing any time soon either, as his career grows from strength-to-strength.

Writing Career:

Releasing his first novel back in 2013, Christopher J Yates would arrive on the literary scene with his debut title ‘Black Chalk’. This would be a thriller novel, introducing his style to the reading public, showing what he had to offer as an author. Drawing somewhat from his own life too, it used the location of Oxford University, something that he was already well familiar with.

Yates would immediately make an impact with his first novel, reaching readers worldwide and becoming a bestselling success. Bringing the mental puzzle aspect to a well plotted mystery novel, he’d pace it with expert precision, carefully crafting every single beat. This would also be the same for his characters too, as they’d feel entirely real, and not just two-dimensional stand-in for plot points.

Winning awards for his work too, he’s managed to create a name for himself, as the likes of NPR championed Black Chalk in 2015, and Grist Mill Road received great reviews from the New York Times, along with a Kirkus Star. This means that there’s plenty more on the horizon yet to come, being a writer to definitely watch in the future.

Black Chalk

First published in 2013 through the Picador publishing label, this would originally come out on the 19th of September that year. It would be the debut novel from Christopher J Yates, not being a part of any overall series, with an entirely self-contained narrative. Telling a thriller story set in Oxford University, it’s a compelling and well crafted mystery that effectively makes the most of its intriguing premise.

The story itself is one of many twists and turns, with the characters pushing each other constantly throughout. Never knowing where it’s going to go next, it’s constantly surprising the reader, and the characters are cleverly balanced between being unlikeable in many ways, whilst also keeping you intrigued and hooked at every single page turn. Using the location of Oxford University to full effect too, it makes the most of its setting, as Yates really brings it to life.

Six best friends meet at Oxford University to play what they first think to be a silly, fun game of dare, which seem juvenile to begin with. Then it becomes more personal with tragic results, as the dares begin to get out of hand, with each of them pushing the one another to the limit. Facing humiliation and outright viciousness, they undergo an ordeal that takes things way over the edge, with unpredictable results. Now they’re meeting up fourteen years later to start again, meeting for the final round to end all rounds once and for all. Will they be able to see it through to the end? Can they survive the full game? What will become of them as they face the black chalk?

Grist Mill Road

Released through the Picador USA publishing outlet, this would originally come out on 9th of January in 2018. Being another stand-alone, it’s a thriller novel set near to New York this time, in the rural countryside of America. Developing his style since his first novel, this is a must for any followers of Christopher J Yates, and fans of suspense in general.

Set in a small idyllic hamlet just ninety-two miles north of New York City, it’s 1982 and three friends find themselves bound to one another. In the wake of a terrible crime that ties them together, Matthew, Patrick, and Hannah find themselves sworn to secrecy amongst the picturesque lakes, mountains, and rocky cliffs. Meeting once more twenty-six years later in New York, they find themselves facing the past once more, as they’re living lives they could never have dreamed of. Could this potentially ruin everything? Where will their journey take them? What exactly happened upon Grist Mill Road?

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