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Jon Barton Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Jon Barton
Jon Barton is a London based stage and screenwriter. Jon’s theater work has been performed at major venues across the UK, including Lyric Hammersmith, The Old Vic, Almeida, HOME Manchester, and Birmingham MAC.

He’s written for the BBC, and is a member of BAFTA. Jon edits for The Literary Consultancy, and he tutors writers at Iconic Steps, City Academy, The Princes Trust, City Lit, and Lambeth Adult Learning.

When he was younger, he loved reading Michael Crichton. His mix of science fact with science fiction and fast paced action just ticked the boxes for him at that time in his life. He has always loved children’s writing. He also got into Jean Hanff Korelitz and Michael Connelly. Anything that Jon finds propulsive and exciting will inspire him in some way or other.

As a child, he read a lot of Terry Pratchett and Roald Dahl, and since he loved movies he read a bunch of novel adaptations for the movies he enjoyed at the time. That’s probably why he found his way to Michael Crichton while Jon was still too young to truly understand what he was actually writing about.

Jon gravitates to commercial fiction, but doesn’t discriminate if he can help it. He likes good science fiction if it is grounded, and he has a lot of time for horror. “I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson was a seminal moment when he read it for the first time, however he’d say the same thing of “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo and “The BFG” by Roald Dahl. He likes to think that he reads widely.

Jon has done a lot of things. He graduated in the year 2011, at a time when there were no jobs to be had thanks to the aftershock of the financial crisis. So he found himself working in theaters, pubs, bookshops, anything that would help pay the rent.

When Jon was coming up as a screenwriter, his side hustle was pulling pints at the Captain Kidd pub in Wapping, located just next door to Thames River Police. Divers would come in to offload after a shift and they’d share their war stories with trademark black humor. And it struck Jon that divers are neglected characters in fiction. Because they are basically non speaking characters, however they are doing one of the diciest jobs in all of the met.

Jon was excited by the potential of this murkier world of policing which puts the Thames right at the heart of the action. The river is the UK’s largest crime scene, since it holds macabre secrets and has got a habit of exposing them. It felt like it would make for the perfect setting for a thriller, and a chance to explore perspectives that he had never seen in crime fiction before.

“Dive” started out as a screenplay before it became a novel, and he spent six months writing that before he thought of it in another form. All told it then took him another six months for him to write the first draft. And he easily spent another two years editing and revising it.

Twenty publishers turned the novel down, and it went as far as acquisitions elsewhere before Joffe Books acquired it.

He submitted it to agents during the first lock down, and it was then that Kate Nash Lit who picked it up. He spent six months developing the book before it went to editors in Spring of 2021. This was a painful ten weeks, with a lot of rejection. It went to acquisitions with two other publishers before it was picked up for a three novel deal.

He had spent four years working on the novel off and on at this point, so it was tough not to take this personally. When you know you have written the very best book that you are capable of, and people still do not like it, that can take some getting used to it.

A great motivator for Jon is that he loves telling stories. Loves breaking them, finding a way into them, spending time with the characters. He writes since he often struggles expressing himself. Writing is a way to articulate this lived experience.

“Dive” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2023. Dive right into London’s most dangerous crime scene: the River Thames.

A high-flying detective recently tossed out of the CID. A police diver with an imploding home life. And a case which could get them both killed.

David Cade (police diver) lives by this one simple rule: pull out the bodies and just move on. Detective Naomi Harding cannot abide that. All that she has ever wanted is just to fight the good fight. However one critical mistake has cost her everything and left her fighting to hang onto her career. Then the corpse of this dead girl surfaces, broken and bloated, on the Thames. And then another.

Each time David pulls out a new victim from the water, he fears that it is Lex, his own estranged fifteen year old daughter. She went missing right after they had this fierce argument and he has yet to hear from her again after that. These dead girls have got the same nightclub stamp on the backs of their hands, and it’s the same stamp that David’s daughter wore the day she vanished.

Then this briefcase is found on the same stretch of water where these dead girls were found, and all of a sudden the higher-ups at CID, which includes Naomi’s rival, Detective Chief Inspector Shannon Barnes, begin showing an interest. Something big here is happening.

Naomi and David will need to learn how to work together on this if they are going to solve this murder and find Lex. Then they find something which threatens to blow the case apart. Assuming it doesn’t get them killed first.

This is a brilliantly written book that is intriguing, unsettling, and suspenseful story that is filled with police drama and fractured family relationships. There are some well developed twists which keep you captivated and lead to a pretty satisfying conclusion.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jon Barton

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