Set in Venice, 'The Bookbinder's Apprentice' is a hugely atmospheric tale, full of underlying menace and with a chilling ending. Having read it, I fear I'll never look at certain things in quite the same light ever again!
On a smaller scale than Daphne du Maurier's Don't Look Now or Ian McEwan's The Comfort of Strangers, 'The Bookbinder's Apprentice' is nevertheless a worthy and unsettling addition to the canon of Venetian horror. There's just something about that place, isn't there?
Probably best read from the comfort of home rather than at the airport en route to a holiday in the watery city . . .
'The Bookbinder's Apprentice' is published in The Mammoth Book of Best British Mysteries. (For a list of the other stories in the anthology, click here and scroll down.)
You can read Martin's account of the awards ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Park Lane - and see some photos - on his blog.