Coffin Dodgers

Coffin Dodgers was my debut novel under my old name, Gary Marshall. It’s a fast, funny and fat-free thriller that’s been compared to Christopher Brookmyre, Bateman, Tim Dorsey, Carl Hiaasen and the films Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. In February 2012 it hit the giddy heights of number one in Amazon’s humour chart, number one in technothrillers, and number forty in the Kindle chart. I was quite pleased about that.

Here’s the blurb:

Eighty is the new thirty. Nobody’s having babies, the old massively outnumber the young and the hip crowd has become the hip replacement crowd.  Twentysomething barman Matt Johnson would be bored senseless if someone wasn’t trying to kill him.

When Matt isn’t playing silly pranks on his elders with his colleague Dave or laughing at Dave’s dating disasters, he’s trying to summon up the courage to ask best friend Amy out on a date. Then Matt narrowly escapes a car wreck, and he discovers that his accident was no accident. Someone’s murdering young people, and dozens are already dead. Can Matt, Amy and Dave stop the killings? The answer involves guns, gangsters, an angry bear and plenty of irate pensioners.

I’ve been lucky enough to have some people say very nice things about the book. Writing in The Big Issue Scotland, Smokeheads author Doug Johnstone said this:

“Marshall is a journalist turned novelist who has clearly been reading plenty of Chris Brookmyre and Colin Bateman, as his debut fictional outing shares with those authors a no-holds-barred thriller plot with a sense of the ridiculous, lacing nastiness with some delightfully black comedy. With society getting ever older and everyone living longer, young people are in the minority, even more so when someone starts trying to kill them off. Told with a sureness of hand, it’s not exactly high art but Marshall does still manage some astute social commentary amongst the mayhem and gags.”

The fantastic crime writer Ray Banks was nice too, saying that “you really can’t afford to miss out on this”, while Malachi at All Metaphor, TC at Booked Up, Chris at Adarna SF, Bonnie Lamer and some very kind Amazon reviewers have said good things too.

Coffin Dodgers is on sale from Amazon UK and Amazon US. If you’d like to see my Amazon UK author page, it’s over here. I also have a Goodreads profile, which you’ll find here.

If you’ve got a Kindle e-reader or tablet then Amazon’s your best bet, but you don’t need a dedicated e-reader to get your hands on Coffin Dodgers: Kindle apps are available for PCs, Macs, tablets, iPhones and iPods. If you’re determined to get Coffin Dodgers and refuse point-blank to do anything Kindle-y, drop me an email and I’ll sort you out.


41 thoughts on “Coffin Dodgers

  1. Andy says:

    I’ve supported you when you played in Kasino and I started reading blog years ago. I’m heading straight over to Amazon to buy a copy of the book.

  2. Stephen says:

    I’m about 30% of the way through and loving it! Other half was getting annoyed last night when I couldn’t stop laughing out loud every couple of minutes. Great idea, great execution. Matt is a very sympathetic character, and first-person is hard to pull off. You’ve done a brilliant job.

  3. mupwangle says:

    I notice that you’re in the Amazon Top 100 Fiction chart. Also that you’re 1,413 in paid Kindle books.

  4. Squander Two says:

    It can’t just be followers of this blog. For the most part, they wouldn’t be interested, there being no chapter about Defrost-o-Plates.

  5. Gary says:

    Chart positions are less impressive than they look. I hit number 80 in the UK fiction/humour chart with 3 sales :)

  6. rutty says:

    Lawks, there’s some crap in those Amazon charts ;)

    Have just purchased so now I have a choice between Stick Cricket and your novel when I go for a poo. Will let you know what I think :)

    (of your novel…)

    Good luck with the book sales. Really hope it does well

  7. Beverley says:

    You’re not supposed to give people the stats on becoming a best seller!!!! Just let them believe your an awesome writer and people are dying to read your stuff. :)

  8. Gary says:

    Heh :) Amazon’s charts are just weird. The more you sell, the lower down the charts you appear to go.

  9. Stephen says:

    Hey Gary, I was interested to see that Sony think you’ve written another book:

    Fate’s Cross

    Hopefully it’s just their book display system, not their payment department, which has you confused with this guy.

  10. Gary says:

    Yes, but unfortunately the plan is “wait for Kobo to get its act together”. There’s apparently a huge backlog – I’ll email the distributor and find out if there’s anything they can do.

  11. Bryan says:

    Hi Gary, just finished reading your book and really enjoyed it. I am another one of those that remembers you from your Kasino days. My band supported you at Herriot Watt Uni once and I reviewed Kasino for BFM. Do you remember that esteemed publication?

    all the best

  12. Gary says:

    Hi Bryan, it’s nice to hear from you. I remember BFM well – looks like you’ve gone on to considerably smarter things :) Do you still play?

  13. Bryan says:

    Hi Gary, BFM marked the beginning and end of my career as a music journalist! I have hung up the guitar I am afraid except for the odd drunken get-together in the house and I can still remember the chords to ‘rise’!

  14. Bern says:

    Hi Gary,
    I’m afraid I’m not an ex-fan or band member, but I have enjoyed Coffin Dodgers having stumbled across it on Amazon.
    Looking forward to the sequel and good luck.

  15. aa60 says:

    Why oh why have you only written ONE book (comedy)?
    I am at the age where the coffin cannot be dodged for much longer and I really was looking forward to another laugh out loud book from you and couldn’t find one…….Come on lad, get started while I’m still around to read it.
    Coffin Dodgers was the best read I have had in a long time.
    Good luck lad!………Ann (OAP)

  16. Gary says:

    Hi Ann, thanks so much for coming to visit. I’m going as fast as I can, I promise :)

  17. rutty says:

    OK, it took some time for me to finish it (my problem, not yours) and I have to say that I enjoyed it a great deal. The highlight for me was the characterisation of the three main characters – top class work!

    I know you’re a professional tech writer but you’ve made the jump to fiction beautifully. Such a good book.

    Improvements? Well, I was a /little/ disappointed in the ending. It didn’t seem paced very well and sort of felt like a bit of an anti-climax, but that could have been due to the inordinately long time between reading sessions.

    Still, far more enjoyable that some of the crap I’ve read from more established authors. Looking forward to whatever you do next :)

  18. rutty says:

    I’ve just noticed that it took me 18 MONTHS to read it. I really should try and wrestle the iPad away from my wife more frequently…

  19. Gary says:

    Hey Rutty, thanks very much for the feedback. Sorry the ending didn’t work so well for you – it’s something i’m going to pay particular attention to in the second one, and I’ve actually worked out what’s going to happen. It’s just the whole middle bit of the book I need to invent now :)

    If you happened to make your way to Amazon and leave a review, why, that’d be awfully nice of you…

  20. rutty says:

    There’s no need to be sorry Gary – I thought the book was ace overall, and you’ll never completely please everyone. I could tell you had fun writing it, just like I had fun reading it :)

  21. Lia says:

    Purchased this book on a whim for my kindle….. Wasn’t sure what to expect and loved every bit about it! I’ve been to LV a few times and could picture a fair bit of it all. Gutted when I got to the end this morning. Now off to see what else you have written. THANK YOU!

  22. Dave Smith says:

    I just finished it this evening. Thoroughly enjoyed it and it made a nice break from the types of stories usually read. A little bit sad though to see the sequel might be delayed :(

  23. Annie says:

    Hi Gary, I read Coffin Dodgers almost a year ago now and loved it! I remember searching for other fiction books by you after I finished it and I’m not sure if I dreamt it (or wishful thinking maybe!) but wasn’t there supposed to be a sequel released this summer? Please tell me I’m not going mad!

  24. Gary says:

    Hey Annie, glad you liked it. Don’t worry, you aren’t going mad – I had a sequel planned but got stuck halfway through. I’m hoping to pick it up again over the next few months if I can stay away from the internet :)

  25. Beth says:

    Will there be a sequel to coffin dodgers? It’s honestly one of my favourite books, and I’m dying to know what adventures the characters will get up to next!

  26. Carrie says:

    Hey Beth, I’m so happy you liked Coffin Dodgers. I did start a sequel but it got lost somewhere along the way. I’ll have to go back and have another go at it :)

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