Arcadia Books has revealed veteran crime writer Paul Johnston as the novelist behind "Sam Alexander" novel, Carnal Acts.
The publishers has been whipping up speculation over the true authorship of the book, which was published in June under the pseudonym, via Twitter hashtag #WhoIsSamAlexander. Crime festival Bloody Scotland has been involved in the promotion and Johnston will appear at the festival in November.
Johnston is a seasoned crime writer, who won the CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger in 1997 for his book Body Politic (originally published by Hodder, now published by Severn), part of his Quint Dalrymple series. He has also written a series set in Greece featuring detective Alex Mavros.
Arcadia has signed a new Mavros title from Johnston, as well as a sequel to Carnal Acts. Two fans on Twitter who successfully guessed Alexander's true identity will be written into the sequel.
Johnston said: "It's been incredible how much interest there's been in the campaign – well done to the superb Arcadia Books – and I'm, I mean we're, very grateful to everyone who tweeted suggestions, though maybe not the person who came up with Jeffrey Archer."
Gary Pulsifer, publisher at Arcadia Books said: "Imagine my absolute pleasure when Paul offered us his latest departure by Sam Alexander – and now another Alexander anda new Mavros. Just fantastic."
Carnal Acts is described as "Northumbrian noir" and follows DI Joni Pax and DCI Hector Rutherford as they investigate a murder at a brothel run by the Albanian mafia.