Simon Kernick is a British author of crime thriller books, with bestselling series such as Tina Boyd, Denise Milne, Sope, DI Ray Mason, and Bone Field written so far. He also wrote a few standalone thrillers over the years. He is often called the British Harlan Coben, and with good reason. His books are usually dark, fast-paced, and take place in the ganglands of north London with evil cops, rings of pedophilia, and kidnapping, with stories that keep the readers’ hearts racing at all times.
Here are the Simon Kernick books in order for his numerous novels written over the years in his various series since his debut novel, The Business of Dying, was published back in 2002.
New Simon Kernick Books
Dennis Milne Series
Tina Boyd Series
- The Crime Trade, 2004
- Relentless, 2006
- Deadline, 2008
- Target, 2009
- The Last 10 Seconds, 2010
- Ultimatum, 2013
- The Final Minute, 2015
Bone Field / DI Ray Mason Series
Standalone Simon Kernick Books
- The Murder Exchange, 2003
- Severed, 2007
- The Debt, 2012 (novella included in Dead Man’s Gift)
- Wrong Time Wrong Place, 2013
- Dead Man’s Gift, 2014
- One by One, 2015 (included in Dead Man’s Gift)
- Flytrap, 2016 (novella included in Dead Man’s Gift)
- We Can See You, 2018
Simon Kernick Biography
Simon Kernick was born in 1967 in Slough, a large town in Berkshire, England, 20 miles (32 km) west of central London. He grew up up in Henley-on-Thames, a small town 40 miles west of London. Simon always wanted to write, ever since he could first hold a pen in his hands. From a very young age he knew what he wanted to do later in his life: write entertaining stories, write books, despite his mother cautioning him that writers never really made much money at all.
During his earlier years, Simon loved reading science-fiction novels such as The Lord of the Rings, and these books helped him eventually write longer stories than he did before. His first stories that he started writing at the age of 6 were sci-fi and fantasy initially. At the age of 17, he wrote an 80-page fantasy novel, which he now considers to be rubbish. Eventually, he moved on to write crime thriller books.
After graduating from college at the age of 19 from Gillotts School, he started working as the assistant plant and transport manager at a local company of civil engineers. As his work was more relaxed than he thought it would be, he got a lot of free time to read books and to also write some. He remained at that job for a year, and then he moved to Canada, living in Toronto for a few years.
There he continued his college education and took several odd jobs over the years. After a while, he moved back to England, where he started university in Brighton. During his time at the Brighton Polytechnic, he wrote several short stories that went unpublished. After graduation with a degree in humanities in 1991, he worked some other odd jobs like laborer building roads, barman, fruit picker, and Christmas tree uprooter.
In 1992 he met Sally, who would become his wife in 1994. He also started working as a computer salesman at the IT and Business Consultancy Metaskil plc in Aldermaston, Berkshire in 1998, where he remained for several years.
Before writing his debut novel, The Business of Dying, Simon Kernick wrote a few unpublished crime books which were rejected, and he never got to release them after. The first crime book he wrote and sent to publishers was rejected around 300 times. Then he wrote a second book which became a huge tome of 700+ pages, and it was also unreadable, except for one chapter, that he kept. He sent this one chapter to publishers, and they wanted to read the whole book, which the author didn’t have. Thus he spent his time frantically writing to have a book put together, which became The Business of Dying.
Also, the main idea behind creating his popular character Dennis Milne came after speaking with a few actual London cops who were very unhappy about their jobs, the pressure they got from everybody around them including their bosses and politicians, and how the main reason they still were cops were the pensions to receive at the end. As depressing as this was, it gave Simon an idea of how easy it could be for a lesser policeman to succumb to corruption instead or to send them straight over the edge.
After writing the book, Simon sent it to an agent who initially was interested in it, but the agent straight out rejected the story. So with some nudges from his wife, he kept sending that manuscript to other agents across the country after rewriting a few chapters and polishing the book a bit more. Eventually, a new agent liked what she saw, and they sold it to Transworld, who not only bought this book but also a sequel yet to be written at the time. He was, at the time, around the age of 35, which means never give up if your life-long dream is writing. Eventually, you will get there.
The first Simon Kernick book got lots of praise all over the world, with many critics and reviewers giving it full support and rating. Soon after, he kept on reading more books which kept selling better and better. His fourth book, A Good Day to Die, sold 15,000 copies, and his next book, Relentless, sold over 50,000 copies. Once it got picked up by Richard and Judy on their “Summer Reads” section of their TV show in 2007, Relentless went on to sell over 350,000 copies.
Before writing his books, Simon Kernick does a lot of research. For example, for writing A Good Day to Die, where a big chunk takes place in the Philippines, the author traveled to the country for additional research. In terms of writing, he has a basic storyline plotted out, although sometimes he plots out each chapter, and then everything else is fleshed out while writing. Also, even if he has part worked out in his mind, he has been known to change it before the book goes for publication.
In an interview, he mentioned that the reason he mostly writes thrillers is that “I’m only trying to write what I love reading – and I love reading thrillers.” Many of his books deal with ordinary people put in strange and dangerous situations that they can’t control. This is partly based on one of the author’s early experiences as a 16-year-old when he, along with two friends, was abducted, beaten, and finally released before Simon was sure he would be going to die. To have such a nightmare situation upon you at such a young age leaves one with a fear and a mark that will never go away. The author, however, successfully manages to channel those fears into his books instead.
Currently, Simon Kernick is living in Oxfordshire with his two daughters and his wife, where he is working on his next book.
Praise for the Simon Kernick Books
Simon Kernick is an absolute master of the adrenaline-fuelled ride (Peter James)
An emotionally punchy domestic noir blended with the pace and action of a high-octane thriller, WE CAN SEE YOU will keep you breathlessly on the edge of your seat, wondering which character you can trust, if any at all, until the final brilliant twist! (Sarah Pinborough)
Simon Kernick writes great plots, great characters, great action (Lee Child)
Simon Kernick writes with his foot pressed hard on the pedal. Hang on tight! (Harlan Coben)
Full of Kernick’s trademark cheerful amoral characters, it’s irresistible entertainment. (Sunday Mirror on The Witness)
British author Simon Kernick shows every sign of being a major talent…Powerful prose, tight plotting and a clever fair-play puzzle add up to a remarkable first effort. (PublishersWeekly on The Business of Dying)