How Long is a Piece of Rope: Adrian Dawson

Codex is available for Kindle in the UK for £1.71

and elsewhere for $2.49

Sequence is published on September 1st. You can pre-order here

I came across Adrian’s work when I learned, through the Kindle forums, about a really rather fabulous thing his publisher was doing to tie in with the launch of sequence (available from September 1st). I followed it up straightaway, and will be doing a full feature to coincide with the launch of Sequence, about which plenty more below. In the meanwhile, to get a taste for Adrian’s twisty, turny, highly satisfying puzzles of thrillers, I thoroughly recommend you get to grips with Codex.


A naked male, dead in an alley with bullets that make no sense. Fingerprints burned away, tattoos completely removed and a note, written in 13th Century Latin secreted about his person, along with the name and room number of an autistic psychiatric patient. Of all the possible avenues, the last road LAPD detective Nick Lambert wanted to take was the long drive up to Oakdene to interview the girl. It gets much worse when he discovers that as well as being autistic, the girl is also mute.

But when an off-hand comment from the nurse piques Nick’s attention, he can’t help but follow the lead. What he finds will slowly turn his entire world – his entire existence – upside down. Nick suddenly finds himself at the heart of a centuries old struggle to find – and hide – the kind of valuable information that mankind should never, ever be allowed to possess.

It is only when Nick realises that he was a key player in the game long before it started that he will discover the true importance of those around him. Nick has inadvertently stumbled into the most important human being who ever lived. One who will not only change the world once, but will do it over and over again.

He will discover many things about the girl… What she has to hide is most important thing of all.


Adrian Dawson was born in Yorkshire in 1971 and currently lives in Nottingham, UK with his girlfriend and thirteen year old stepson (which is not, as his spellcheck would often have him believe, a cowboy hat). He trained as a commercial airbrush illustrator before taking delivery of his first Mac in 1987. Since then he has run his own creative advertising agency where he designs, illustrates, 3d models and (when he’s not writing his books) copywriting.


As SEQUENCE is just about to be released, we’re waiting the official reviews – although one recipient of an ARC copy won as part of a competition stated “Not my usual genre but Wonderful and thought provoking.”. In the meantime, here’s a review of Adrian’s debut novel, CODEX by Barry Forshaw of Crimetime…

Many and varied are the thrillers which vie for readers’ attention these days, so something special is needed for a novel to rise above the general run. Adrian Dawson quickly demonstrates that he has the smarts to do just that with Codex, which has already created something of a stir in its iBook incarnation. The central character is Jack Bernstein, chairman of the world’s biggest Artificial Intelligence Corporation, which has an ambitious initiative in its sights: to make available to millions access to the capabilities of a phenomenally advanced computer system. But a terrorist atrocity aboard an plane costs the life of Jack’s daughter Lara — and grief-stricken though he is, Jack doesn’t think that her individual murder was the reason for the bombing – or, for that matter, that she had been an element of a bizarre conspiracy involving a religious mystery whose roots lie in the distant past. Jack is swiftly involved in a dangerous scenario of global proportions, and discovers that the life he thought he was leading has been something of sham. With the globetrotting narrative here – along with well-orchestrated bursts of action — the market targeted here is clearly the straightforward one colonised by Dan Brown, but in actual fact, Adrian Dawson is a better writer (if anything, closer in style to Michael Crichton). While the characters are not drawn with any great nuance they function perfectly as integral parts of a pulse-raising narrative that rarely allows the reader pause for breath. And it’s refreshing in a blockbuster thriller such as Codex that one doesn’t have to put one’s intelligence on the back burner.


1. SEQUENCE is way better than I expected but one day I’d really like to be as good as I strive to be.

2. You will just love my book if you enjoyed anything by Michael Crichton but if you’re a fan of Timeline steer well clear

3. A halftone burger comes from the barrel of a gun

4. How do you see the role of food in the contemporary thriller and where does SEQUQNCE fit into the spectrum? The opening chapter whets your appetite, then the body of the novel slowly sates you until you feel you can eat no more. Just when you think you are done, the latter chapters come along with whipped cream and cherries and you just know it will be days before you eat this well again. Then there’s the closing chapter… Wafer thin mint, anyone?

5. How would it affect the direction SEQUENCE takes if the action were moved wholesale to the set of Glee in chapter 7? It wouldn’t affect it too much, I don’t think. I certainly wouldn’t make a song and dance about it.

6. When you’re writing, would you rather look out at the sea, or in at your thoughts? In at my thoughts. In my head the sea looks even better. Weirder, perhaps, but better.

7. When writing, do you start at the beginning and keep going, or start at the end and work back? I Start at the end. The end has to be the killer. I write from the beginning but initial story development is back to front.

8. A great villain or a great hero? Who, me? Both.
9. SEQUENCE will change the way a reader looks at everyone around them. They might not be ‘from around here’, chronologically speaking.

10. How long is a piece of rope? Almost always long enough to hang yourself with, if you’re not careful.


~ by danholloway on August 5, 2011.

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