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Peter James on cracking the US thriller market

The WSJ asks why American thriller writers are huge in the UK and yet British thriller writers struggle to sell books in the U.S.?

For bestselling British crime writer Peter James, it’s not an academic question. Mr. James’s novels are published in 34 languages and have sold more than 10 million copies. His books regularly hit the best-seller lists throughout much of Europe, and in England he often claims the No. 1 spot. “I’m a rock star in Russia,” he says. “I do really well in China.” In the U.S., however, Mr. James’s books haven’t made much of a dent.

Mr. James, 63, is determined to change that. His new novel, Dead Man’s Grip, centers on a New York criminal family. The book follows Mr. James’s famous character, British detective Roy Grace, as he investigates a fatal road accident. A dead biker turns out to be the grandson of a New York mafioso, and a twisted revenge plot unfolds.

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