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A look back at One of Us Will be Dead by Morning

All the focus has been on AUTUMN: THE LONDON TRILOGY for the last year and a bit, but as it’s five years this month since ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING was published, I thought I’d shine a light on the HATER books for a change.

If you missed it (and, regrettably, a lot of people did), OOUWBDBM was the first book in the FINAL WAR series – otherwise known as the second HATER trilogy. I think I’ve talked about the thinking behind the series before, but it’s worth repeating. Back in 2015/16 I was working on the HATER movie with ED BARRATT. Our focus shifted to TV when a major studio expressed an interest in shooting a pilot. As I thought more about the project, I realised that the scope and scale of the original HATER books would present problems for a long-form drama. They tell Danny McCoyne’s story in detail, but there’s lots happening elsewhere that’s only alluded to because our focus is almost exclusively on one man and (what’s left of) his family. In a story about division, the solution was obvious – I needed to find an Unchanged narrator and show the same events happening from the opposing perspective.

Both my agent and St Martin’s Press were supportive, and a deal was struck. OOUWBDBM was the first book out of the blocks and… and it didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. I was (and still am) very happy with the book, but it wasn’t what people were expecting. It didn’t sell well and is currently out of print. Sadly, it’s also my worst reviewed book on Goodreads. I remain very proud of the novel and of the series as a whole, particularly how the other two books ALL ROADS END HERE, and CHOKEHOLD, wrap themselves around and between DOG BLOOD and THEM OR US and massively expand the whole HATER world.

The fewer left alive, the higher the stakes.
Kill the others, before one of them kills you.

Fourteen people are trapped on Skek, a barren island in the middle of the North Sea somewhere between the coasts of the UK and Denmark. Over the years this place has served many purposes—a fishing settlement, a military outpost, a scientific base—but one by one its inhabitants have abandoned its inhospitable shores. Today it’s home to Hazleton Adventure Experiences, an extreme sports company specialising in corporate team building events.

Life there is fragile and tough. One slip is all it takes. A momentary lapse leads to a tragic accident, but when the body count quickly starts to rise, questions are inevitably asked. Are the deaths coincidental, or something else entirely? Those people you thought you knew, can you really trust them? Is the person standing next to you a killer? Will you be their next victim?

A horrific discovery changes everything, and a trickle of rumors becomes a tsunami of fear. Is this the beginning of the end of everything, or a situation constructed by the mass hysteria of a handful of desperate and terrified people?

This isn’t a melancholy post lamenting the book’s lack of sales. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I’m cautiously optimistic that 2023 will see a resurgence of interest in the entire HATER saga. If I could tell you what I want to tell you about HATER right now, I think your heads would probably explode. But I can’t. Not yet.

ONE OF US WILL BE DEAD BY MORNING is available as an ebook and audiobook.