I have no idea how many e-books we sold on Kindle when Polygon arranged a Daily Deal promotion on Amazon; I’m sure Polygon will let me know when they find out from their distributor. I probably won’t be able to share that information; book sales are often confidential, particularly where Amazon is involved. However. I know that for a few hours, we were number one in books generally (which was amazing) and that two weeks later, Midnight in Havana (better known in the US and Canada as The Beggar’s Opera) is still in the top thousand book ranking.
Where I am seeing a huge pay-off, however, is in Amazon reviews. There were four new reviews posted since this morning, which may not seem like a lot to someone like J.K. Rowling, who probably gets that every hour but it’s huge when The Beggar’s Opera, which has been out for more than two years, has something like thirty posted in total.
Which goes to show that the people who buy e-books at 99 cents actually read them. Here’s the most recent one, and thank you, Anne from Sheffield, for your kind words — very much appreciated!:
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, original and clever, 13 Oct 2013
By Anne (Sheffield, Yorkshire)
This novel is set in Cuba and the author obviously knows the country well (or is faking it magnificently) with the setting playing an important part in this novel. The story revolves around the death of a small boy. A Canadian detective on holiday, Michael Ellis, is suspected of the crime and arrested. His employers send a female lawyer to look after his interests. The novel follows the viewpoint of all three characters as it tries to resolve the mystery about what has happened and who has committed the crime.
This is a police procedural novel with the investigation team led by Inspector Ramirez having to follow the legal system of the country in presenting the crime. There is, however, also a lot of political pressure as Cuba’s leaders do not want it to become a destination for sex tourism in the way that Thailand is, and therefore want the foreigner to be punished in a way that makes an example of him. Ramirez is also very challenged by the corruption in the system and the lack of resources. The Inspector is also aware that he has a life-limiting medical condition which is causing him to have hallucinations – he sees dead people around him which he finds distracting and frightening.
Mike Ellis doesn’t know what has happened to him and, in the aftermath of the end of his marriage and a recent incident at work which left him scarred and his partner dead, he is frightened of his fate. Celia Jones is a lawyer who had been a police officer in the past but had to leave because of the psychological effects of a hostage negotiation which went very wrong. She is aware that she doesn’t know the country but she realises that she is the only one who can stop Mike being convicted of something she is convinced that he didn’t do.
This is a great story with more than one twist and some engaging minor characters. I didn’t have a clue what had happened to the boy until the very last page and I really admire the way in which the author has woven together lots of small plot points into a satisfying and clever ending. Although the portrayal of Cuba is sad and worrying (I have taken it off my holiday wish list after reading this book) and what has happened to many of the characters is horrible, the author hasn’t written this book in the dour and depressing style of many ScandiCrime novelists. The book has lovely, touching moments and is written with a wry wit. I really enjoyed Inspector Ramirez as a main character and would read more books about him and his investigations.