E-watchers everywhere will have watched with awe the clash of titans that has been played out in recent days at the head of Amazon UK’s Kindle bestseller list. At dusk on the evening of Monday 1 July a crime writer going by the name of Lesley Thomson broke, seemingly from nowhere, to wrest the number one position from a self-help book promoting sex-free Tuesdays.
The newcomer was entitled THE DETECTIVE’S DAUGHTER. It came wreathed in quotes and carried an endorsement from crime fiction king Ian Rankin. For two weeks it ruled the charts, gathering a dazzle of reader reviews, amassing sales of 150,000 downloads, and counting.
Observers gawped and asked: who is Lesley Thomson, really?
But in the background other forces were gathering. On 15 July another unknown crime writer, one Robert Galbraith, broke cover, and grasped the ladder of the Kindle charts. 24 hours later THE CUCKOO’S CALLING had ejected THE DETECTIVE’S DAUGHTER from the No 1 nest and sent her tumbling to No 2.
Then it emerged that Bob Galbraith had been unmasked as none other than JK Rowling, the well-known Edinburgh-based chronicler of wizardous goings on at a British public school.
Or was it?
Only 3 days later, as industry watchers drifted to their work pods on the morning of 18 July, the unthinkable happened: the cuckoo was ousted, and THE DETECTIVE’S DAUGHTER took up the top spot once more.
Now everybody is asking: who is the real Lesley Thomson?
But I’m not telling.