“The Kensei”, the long awaited fifth installment of Jon F. Merz’s Lawson Vampire Series, about a hardboiled cynical elite spy/commando named Lawson who is also a member of a race of living vampires that have evolved in secret alongside humanity for millennia, recently hit the market; and coinciding with its release, the first four books in the series are now available on Kindle.
Since the older books, which were originally published in 2002 and 2003, have been out of print for a while, new cover art was in order. And gracing the artwork for “The Fixer”, “The Invoker”, “The Destructor”, and “The Syndicate” is none other than Brandon Stumpf (interview here), an up-and-coming actor on the indie horror scene who’s in a few projects we’re keeping our eyes on, especially Kevin MacDonald’s Beg.
As for the Lawson series, here’s a brief history lesson courtesy of the official Jon F. Merz website:
Around the year 2000, I started working on a short story called “Past Imperfect,” and it melded my two loves: short horror stories and espionage novels. The resulting story attracted a lot of attention among my writing group friends at Zoetrope.com and they all agreed it ought to be a novel. I took a year to flesh it out and the first book, THE FIXER, started making the rounds in early 2001. I landed an agent who sold THE FIXER and its sequel, THE INVOKER, to Kensington Publications Corp in New York. On the back of a gracious blurb from bestselling author Robert B. Parker, she then sold two more installments, THE DESTRUCTOR and THE SYNDICATE. The Lawson Vampire series was born in May 2002 with the publication of THE FIXER.
Unfortunately, things with Kensington didn’t work out very well and they dropped the series just as it was establishing itself. I’d written a 5th novel while the other books were coming out, but that 5th installment languished in limbo.
I never stopped believing in Lawson. I kept hearing from people who loved him and his world, and I knew one day another publishing house would snap him up. In late 2009, that happened when a brilliant editor at St. Martin’s read the 5th book and loved it.
THE KENSEI, which hit stores everywhere January 18, 2011, is the long-awaited 5th book in the series, but you can read it without having read books 1-4. It stands alone perfectly well and offers a compelling peek into the underworld of Tokyo as seen by Lawson. The book is getting rave reviews, and it’s one of the most important novels I’ve written to date. I hope you all enjoy it. And if THE KENSEI sells well enough, we’ll get more Lawson – including a reissue of books 1-4!
Got news? Click here to submit it!
Fix things in the comments section below!