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Danuta Reah

Danuta Reah

Danuta Reah, who also writes under the names Danuta Kot and Carla Banks, is the author of many crime novels, novellas, and short stories. In 2019, Danuta's invited contribution to our fantastic female fables anthology, The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing, won the prestigious CWA Short Story Dagger. This was Danuta's second CWA Dagger, as she was also the winner in 2005 with ‘No Flies on Frank’ (published by Allison & Busby) and was again shortlisted with her story Glazed in 2008. Several of her short stories are now available as eBook singles.


Danuta was an invited author in Fusion, the first of our charity anthologies, that came from our inaugural Sci-Fi short story competition, and later also in The Forge.   


Danuta also publishes academic books which are widely recognised as valuable resources for the study of language; you can read some of her work here, covering topics as diverse as how the press creates monsters and how to address a thousand year old vengeance demon.


She also offers courses in Creative Writing.  Danuta is past Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association.


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  1. The Dummies Guide to Serial Killing and other Fantastic Female Fables

    The Dummies Guide to Serial Killing and other Fantastic Female Fables

    WINNER of the 2019 CWA Short Story Dagger: The Dummies’ Guide to Serial Killing and other Fantastic Female Fables is a charity anthology featuring best-selling author, Danuta Reah, and critically acclaimed writer, Mary Brown, alongside the winning entries from our Fantastic Female Fables competition.

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    Starting at: £1.99

  2. The Forge by various authors

    The Forge by various authors

    Created from the best and brightest of our Fire and Ice competition entry. Foreword by Simon Fisher-Becker. Learn More

    Starting at: £2.99

  3. Fusion by Drew Wagar and various authors

    Fusion by Drew Wagar and various authors

    A collection of 25 stories of fantasy and science fiction from around the globe, each illustrated by digital artist Alice Taylor. This collection has been compiled from the winners of the Fantastic Books Publishing International Charity Short Story Competition 2012 and features 2 stories from our professional contributors Danuta Reah and Stuart Aken. 10% of the proceeds of this book will be donated to the WCRF (World Cancer Research Fund - Registered Charity Number - 1000739) who do sterling work in the field of global cancer prevention.

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    Starting at: £1.25

  4. Night Angels by Danuta Reah

    Night Angels by Danuta Reah

    Disturbing, atmospheric suspense novel from the author of Only Darkness: ‘Dark, edgy and compelling, this is a first novel from a writer to watch’ TheTimes


    Snake Pass, the Peak District: The car of Gemma Wishart, a young researcher in Russian languages, is discovered, abandoned, by a walker; the driver has vanished without trace. Over in Hull, the body of a woman is discovered battered to death in a hotel bathroom; the only clue to her identity is a card bearing the name of an escort agency notorious for its suspected trafficking in Eastern European prostitutes.

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    Starting at: £5.99

  5. Only Darkness by Danuta Reah

    Only Darkness by Danuta Reah

    Dark, edgy and unbearably tense, this extraordinarily accomplished first novel is both a love story and a gripping psychological thriller of immense power.


    Debbie Sykes is a young college lecturer whose ordered life is about to be changed forever. One stormy winter’s night, waiting for the late train home, Debbie is acutely aware of being alone – the woman who usually shares her evening vigil is not there. Vulnerability turns to fear, though, when she turns to see a sinister figure looming between her and the safety of the street. The next day, she hears that the missing woman has been found murdered by the man they call the Strangler, a brutal killer who dumps his victims on isolated stretches of railway track.


    The police renew their efforts to find the murderer before he strikes again, but how much time do they really have? When Debbie’s story is publicized by an unscrupulous journalist, it seems as though the jaws of an invisible trap are beginning to close around her – strange things start to happen and the foundations of Debbie’s life subtly shift. Only Rob Neave, ex-policeman and college security officer, appears aware of the danger but he is distracted by his own tragic past. The clock is ticking, and it will be midnight far sooner than anyone thinks.


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    Starting at: £5.99

  6. Silent Playgrounds by Danuta Reah

    Silent Playgrounds by Danuta Reah

    A dark psychological thriller that will hold the reader in its grip from beginning to end, Silent Playgrounds is the stunning follow-up to Danuta Reah’s highly praised debut, Only Darkness.


    The path through the park runs from the centre of the city into the wilds of the countryside. At weekends the area is a playground for children and walkers, but during the week it is silent and deserted.


    When six-year-old Lucy gets lost there one day, her disappearance sparks a chain of events leading to the murder of a young woman. Lucy tries to warn the people she cares about of the danger: she knows that there are monsters lurking in the rambling park, and she knows that they are getting closer.


    What should be a straightforward investigation leads DI Steve McCarthy into a web of lies and evasions, where nothing is quite as it seems and everyone seems to be hiding something. With each step forward McCarthy faces new questions, and if he is to prevent an escalation in violence, he has to find some answers – fast.

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    Starting at: £5.99

  7. How to be a Fantastic Writer

    How to be a Fantastic Writer

    This is the book our editors recommend.

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    Starting at: £3.99

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