Rachel Abbott is the British author of the DCI Tom Douglas series and the newer Stephanie King series. Especially for the longer series, the Rachel Abbott books should be read in order, as there is a strong focus on the main character’s past and development. The stories themselves read more like psychological thriller than proper police procedurals.
Here are the Rachel Abbott books listed below for her two book series. The list is updated regularly.
New Rachel Abbott Books
DCI Tom Douglas Series
- Only The Innocent, 2011
- The Back Road, 2013
- Sleep Tight, 2014
- Stranger Child, 2015
- Nowhere Child, 2015 (novella)
- Kill Me Again, 2016
- The Sixth Window, 2017
- Come A Little Closer, 2018
- The Shape of Lies, 2019
- Right Behind You, 2020
Stephanie King Series
Other Rachel Abbott Books
Killer Women Crime Club Anthology 2, 2017 – anthology with authors also including Tammy Cohen, Julia Crouch, Elly Griffiths, Sarah Hilary, Amanda Jennings, Erin Kelly, Colette McBeth, Mel McGrath, Kate Medina, Louise Millar, Helen Smith, Louise Voss and Laura Wilson
Rachel Abbott Biography
Rachel Abbott was born as Sheila Rodgers in 1952, Northern England, near Manchester, where she also grew up. After finishing school, she worked for a time as a systems analyst, and then she went self-employed and started an interactive media company focusing on developing software and websites for the education market.
In 2000, she sold her company for around £5 million, after which she moved from Lancashire, England, to Italy. There she began working on a life-long dream of buying and restoring a 15th-century Italian monastery which was used by her family for a while as a venue for weddings and holidays.
While working as a managing director of her own company, Rachel was always writing scripts for dramas for teaching and for entertainment, so she was always writing something. Thus she was not completely new to crafting a manuscript.
While she had the idea for her debut novel for years in her head, she started working on her first novel in 2009. She wrote the first draft of the book for 18 months, after which she tried to pitch it to publishers. None of the publishing houses accepted her manuscript, so she finally decided to get her book published on her own. The book titled Only the Innocent became the first in the Tom Douglas series, and it was published under the author’s pen name when she was 59.
While initially, it didn’t sell all too well, eventually the author worked on a strong marketing campaign which made the book popular and brought in more sales. In fact, the book reached the number one position in the Kindle store just over three months later. She continued writing books, while at the same time, in 2012 found an agent and soon her books became published both in the UK and the US by publishers: in the UK by Black Dot Publishing, and in the US by Thomas & Mercer.
It took the author only a few years of writing fiction for her combined sales of her books to reach 1 million copies in 2015. One year later, her books doubled sales to 2 million copies, and the author has often reached Amazon’s number one e-book seller in crime and thriller writing.
In 2017, after a 5-way auction, Rachel Abbott signed a 2 book deal with Headline Publishing Group, following whcih she became what is called a hybrid author, which means an author has books published independently as well as through a deal with a publishing house.
It is important to read the Rachel Abbot book series in order because it follows a lot of Tom Douglas’s background and story, many a lot of personal details would be lost by reading the novels randomly. The stories themselves are standalone, however, Tom is the constant in each book. While her books are classified as crime fiction, they are actually heavy psychological thrillers with people put in all sorts of crisis-bringing situations. Rachel likes to learn what makes people tick in real life and to explore relationships using darker themes.
The author’s book series are translated in over 20 languages, and the list is constantly growing.
In terms of research for her book series, Rachel makes a lot of use of her ex-police detective chief inspector friend who helps her with questions regarding procedural elements in Tom’s job. Also, she does a lot of research about the places she writes, focusing on the Manchester area. She also keeps various character sheets that include a lot of background information, traits, likes and dislikes, and pretty much everything a person would need to have in a life of fiction. In addition, to have a better idea of how each character might look like, she searches for online photos that would match to the respective character, so when she’s writing the book, she keeps the image of that character in mind.
While she does like reading other genres, thrillers are her favorite, so she continues reading and also writing psychological thriller fiction mixed with a little police procedural, focusing on people who kill, who harm, and those who are the victims. Usually, the main protagonist in her books are women, and the author mentioned in an interview that they all share the same moral code she approves of.
Currently, Rachel Abbott and her husband alternate between living in Italy and the island of Alderney, a Channel Island while she is working on her next book. She is one of the most popular British authors of psychological thrillers today on the market.
Her book series constantly grow with every book, and now her new book series featuring Stephanie King is another one that long-time fans of reading this author’s book are eagerly looking forward to getting more. The second book in the series is out early 2020 with the title The Murder Game.
Praise for Rachel Abbott
Utterly, spine-chillingly brilliant. I loved how it tapped into our deepest fears and I never quite knew what to expect. So addictive and tense! I actually felt goosebumps! (Karen Hamilton on The Shape of Lies)
I devoured The Shape of Lies. Full of intrigue, secrets and compelling sub-plots that intertwine to a devastating and heart-stopping finish. (Mel Sherratt on The Shape of Lies)
Rachel Abbott will keep you guessing long into the night and just as you think you’ve figured it out – think again! (Suspense Magazine on Stranger Child)
Masterly and compelling. (Robert Bryndza on The Sixth Window)
- Author’s official website
- Telegraph article on Rachel Abbott as a bestselling author
- Interview with The Guardian