Wheel of Fire: Hilary Bonner talks to Crime Time
My latest novel, Wheel of Fire, brings a tale of international financial intrigue, culminating in arson and violent death, to the rolling green hills of the English countryside. The book is inspired by the tragically curious real-life story of Edmond Safra, one of the richest men in the world, who in 1999 choked to death along with his nurse in a fire at his Monaco penthouse. For some time after the fire broke out he could have opened the door to the specially fortified bathroom in which the two bodies were foud, and escaped to safety. He did not. And it is believed that when the nurse tried to flee he fought her into submission.
TO THE MAX: Maxim Jakubowski on New Crime
Autumn always brings a sheer avalanche of books as so many publishers put their eggs in one basket, and this September selection offers a sheer plethora of wonderful books and a level of quality that leaves me breathless. Indeed, some titles had to be left out (some...
End of Term: A.C. Koning talks about the Blind Detective series
I started writing my ‘Blind Detective’ series almost by accident. I’d wanted to write about my grandfather, a soldier during the First World War, who was blinded at Passchendaele in 1917, and Line of Sight—which was published in 2014 to tie in with the WW1 centenary—began as an exploration of how my character, Frederick Rowlands, has coped with the loss of his sight in the ensuing decade. We first meet him when he is working as a telephonist in a London solicitor’s office. Connecting a call at his switchboard one day, he overhears a conversation which may or may not refer to murder… From then on, he’s hooked—both on the excitement of solving the crime, and on the need to bring the perpetrator to justice. Writing from the perspective of a blind character has been challenging, but I hope I’ve conveyed Fred’s experience of the world, relying as it does on his use of his remaining senses, as accurately and convincingly as possible.
Festival America launches in London
We live in dark times. The world appears to be dislocating, with new forces in power and new allegiances being formed at both high and grassroots levels. As Britain continues its preparations for Brexit and the world appears to be retreating from its hard-won 20th century compact, our relationships with Europe and the Americas remain crucial for writers, readers, and audiences alike, the entire fragile global ecosystem of literature.
2018, therefore, is the ideal moment for London to provide a satellite for the much-lauded Festival America, founded in Vincennes in 2002. A large group of writers from across the continent will visit their French publishers and readers, and we are delighted that a contingent will travel on to London.
Wonder Valley: Ivy Pochoda talks to Crime Time
The first time I wound up in the Mojave Desert I was immediately struck by the various ways people managed to live off the grid, tangentially connected to society, playing by whatever rules appealed to them and then making up their own. It’s a wild and untamable landscape, a place where it is trivial to disappear. Depending on your outlook, the desert can appear both mystical and spiritual, filled with energy or power. Or perhaps it is just simply strange, remote, confusing, distracting, and possessed of a gritty beauty, a place where it is possible to be deluded into beliefs that are not your own.
BELIEVE ME by JP Delaney
Barry Forshaw in the ‘I’
In the thriller genre, psychological crime reigns supreme at present, but with an avalanche of new novels, something special is needed to rise above the throng. And that extra ingredient is unquestionably provided by JP Delaney’s Believe Me, the follow-up to his highly successful The Girl Before. The new book is actually a reworking of something previously written by the pseudonymous author, but it has no sense of being anything other than fresh material. Claire Wright is an attractive young British woman with aspirations to becoming a successful actress in the US.
The Daughter of Time & Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey/Folio Society
It’s comforting to say that a particular book is an author’s best – particularly when few well-read people are likely to gainsay you. So, without hesitation, let’s say that The Franchise Affair is Josephine Tey’s best book – and that in a career studded with many literary triumphs. Interestingly, this much-loved crime novel doesn’t actually contain a murder – though Tey gets away with the omission swimmingly. However, other Tey books have great distinction – such as The Daughter of Time and Miss Pym Disposes. Continuing The Folio Society’s celebrated Josephine Tey collection, beautifully bound new editions have appeared, illustrated by award-winning artist Mark Smith with bindings in the series style.
Three from Brash Books
Jimmy Sangster, Touchfeather, too (Brash Books); Gerald Duff, Memphis Luck (Brash Books); Max Allen Collins, Black Hats (Brash Books)
Agatha, Murder and Me
From actor and crime aficionado Sven W Pehla (whose Hercule Poirot incarnation is second to none): a new crime fiction site: Agatha, Murder and Me
Major news for crime writers and readers: Verve launches
Oldcastle Books is launching a digital-only sister company, Verve Books. This announcement comes as the company prepares to launch their first title for publication, The Righteous Spy, an espionage novel by British author Merle Nygate. The novel won The Little, Brown Award for crime fiction at the University of East Anglia (UEA) and will be the first book from the course to be published. World English language rights were bought by Clare Quinlivan from Jon Elek at United Agents
The Piranhas by Roberto Saviano (translated by Antony Shugaar)
When Roberto Saviano wrote Gomorrah he created something radical and different in the crime genre. The uncompromising descriptions of Italian urban crime made his book something of a phenomenon and led to a variety of death threats to the author — and a life in hiding. Gomorrah’s refusal to construct a linear formal structure, but to present a piecemeal approach to the lives (and sometimes violent fates) of the characters was a particularly canny tactic, and granted total plausibility to the often gruesome narrative. Saviano painted his bleak picture on the most ambitious of canvases.
Gianrico Carofiglio at Waterstones Bath
Gianrico Carofiglio will be discussing his new novel The Cold Summer (and other thngs) at Waterstones Bath (4 Milsom Street) at 6 for 6.30 on Wednesday 19th September); Caroglio aficionados can just turn up or ring the shop on (01225)448515 for more info.
‘Italian crime fiction seems more ready to take on uncomfortable social issues than the home-grown product, and Carofigilo’s trenchant prose makes for irresistible reading.’ Barry Forshaw, Financial Times
The Marseille Trilogy & Others: Ruth Morse on New Crime
Europa Editions are re-issuing Izzo’s Marseille Trilogy in Howard Curtis’s translation. The first novel, Total Chaos (orig. 1995), ended with a tribute to Marseille as ‘une ville selon nos coeurs’, and that runs true in this second book, full, as it is, of family links and shared youths. I have to say that Izzo’s French and his ex-cop Fabio Montale’s Marseille dialect lose a lot along the way. ‘Chourmo’ is dialect for the civil society of friends and relations in the transactions of warmth and awareness of one’s debts that make Marseille feel like a village.
No Exit Press has acquired a new World War Two historical thriller from bestselling author, Howard Linskey
No Exit Press has acquired a new World War Two historical thriller from bestselling author, Howard Linskey, Ungentlemanly Warfare. Ion Mills, Managing Director at No Exit Press, bought WEL rights from Phil Patterson at Marjacq. Ungentlemanly Warfare will be published...
The Cold Summer by Gianrico Carofiglio (translated by Howard Curtis)
Who better to tell you how the Mafia works than the man who in real life was an Italian prosecutor and advisor to the government’s anti-Mafia Committee? His latest tale is set during the upsurge in Mafia violence in 1992 during which two of the most prominent anti-Mafia prosecutors in Sicily and those accompanying them were murdered by the mob. Here we learn of the gang wars going on at that time in Apulia. Forget the hype. Carofiglio’s Mafia is not a supranational highly organised criminal network of unholy families but a ragbag of violent street gangs, each defending its turf and squabbling – albeit murderously – with its neighbours.
Crime at Cheltenham
Barry Forshaw writes: I’ll be chairing a panel at this year’s Cheltenham Literature Festival, In Cold Blood: Scandi and Nordic Noir, with the creator of the Killing, Søren Sveistrup and Quentin Bates, who’ll be talking about their new novels. But there are a host of events for crime and thriller fans at the festival this year… the irrepressible Anthony Horowitz introduces his second James Bond book, Mark Billingham reveals how to plot the perfect crime novel, Ian Rankin shares his ‘Desert Island’ books and Sophie Hannah celebrates the Queen Of Crime, Agatha Christie
Wilbur Smith surpasses Agatha Christie in the longest running series by the same author in publishing history
Novelist Wilbur Smith, whose books have sold more than 130 million copies in more than 30 languages, will publish his 17th novel in the international bestselling Courtney series on September 6th, 2018. At 54 years, the Courtney series is international publishing’s longest-running ongoing saga by a single author in the history of the industry. The 17 Courtney novels began with Smith’s first published work, When the Lion Feeds (1964). Other long running series include Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe series which ran from 1934 to 1975 with one novel, Death Times Three, published posthumously in 1985. Ngaio Marsh’s Roderick Alleyn series ran from 1934 to 1982. With Courtney’s War, Smith will surpass the record which is currently held by Agatha Christie’s Poirot series. Christie published her first Poirot novel in 1920 and her last in 1974 (Curtain was published in 1975 while the author was still alive but it was written in 1940).
Crime Science vs. Crime Fiction at UCL
Barry Forshaw writes: The ace UCL panel I moderated at Crime Science vs Crime Fiction: Imran Mahmood , Vaseem Khan, Val McDermisd, Elly Griffiths, me, Richard Wortley. Fun & instructive evening! (photo: Pippa McAllister)
New Crime Blu-rays
The recent Sally Phelps adaptation for television of this Agatha Christie classic was far darker than Billy Wilder’s film (very much in the manner of the earlier Phelps updates such as And Then There Were None), but Wilder’s adaptation is unalloyed joy from beginning to end — not least for the bantering relationship between husband-and-wife actors Charles Laughton and Elsa Lanchester as the acerbic, ailing judge and his fussy nurse. Their scenes are actually the best thing in the film, which is not to say that Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich do not acquit themselves well in the main plot…
Crisis: Felix Francis’s Thirteenth ‘Dick Francis’ novel
CRISIS is the thirteenth ‘Dick Francis’ novel by Felix Francis following on from the thirty-nine penned by his late father. Of all of those, CRISIS is the first to be written from the point of view of a first-person character that knows nothing about horse racing, indeed Harrison Foster is more than a little afraid of horses. Anyone picking this book up who similarly has no knowledge of racing will have no fear that they will be left behind and might even develop an interest in the sport as a result. Conversely, people who follow racing closely may pick up a few choice nuggets along the way.
Memo from Turner by Tim Willocks & A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay
Barry Forshaw in The Financial Times
If the words ‘South African-set crime fiction’ suggest to you the rigorous, measured novels of Deon Meyer, take a deep breath — the abrasive Tim Willocks is a very different kettle of fish. Memo from Turner — borrowing its title from the Mick Jagger song in Performance — is every bit as viscerally violent as that film
The First Prehistoric Serial Killer and other stories by Teresa Solana
If none of these crime short stories wins a prize this year the judges will have proved they have no sense of humour. To be blunt, I can’t recall a cleverer comic crime story collection – probably because there hasn’t been one.
Written in Blood returns
“WRITTEN IN BLOOD” featuring bestselling crime authors and their true crime influences, and “EVIDENCE OF EVIL” about the role of forensics breakthroughs, return with all new episodes. LONDON, UK – 17 August, 2018 – CBS Reality, owned by AMC Networks International – UK and CBS Studios International, today announced the return of two exclusive CBS Reality Original commissions, “Written in Blood” and “Evidence of Evil,” which will both air as part of the channel’s autumn line up.
The Forger: Cay Rademacher talks to Crime Time
It started all with an unsolved quadruple murder near the house where I lived peacefully with my family back in 2010. I stumbled over these events by sheer chance – if one permits a word like “chance“ with its rather positive connotations to be used in context with such a horrible crime…
Sarah Ward’s The Shrouded Path: What is it about the 1950s?
My crime novels set in the Derbyshire Peaks usually have two timelines. I’m fascinated by crimes which have a long gestation, old hurts that simmer away for years, even decades, until they explode into violence. In my first three books I wrote about periods I remembered. Being a child in the 1970s, for example, in my first book In Bitter Chill where I described the party dresses we wore and the freedom of playing out on the streets until dusk. For my next two books, it was the turn of the 1980s, remembering my visits to dodgy pubs where you could get a drink aged fifteen and also the vast amount of Hammer films I watched late at night.
Wanted by Robert Crais
Devon Connor hires Elvis Cole because she’s found a Rolex and wads of cash under her teenaged son’s bed. Tyson Connor goes to a special school, has troubler socializing, is a gamer. But checking into the watch, Elvis soon discovers Tyson is part of a trio of kids robbing houses in wealthy LA neighbourhoods. Kids who aren’t too sharp about keeping their identities hidden. Which is a shame, because there are two other men after them, who want back something they’ve stolen. And these guys are not as kind nor gentle as Elvis Cole.
To the Max: Maxim Jakubowski on New Crime
Summer inevitably comes to an end, but the heat is still on in many of this month's reading choices, which take us to a fascinating world that allegedly lies beyond the doors of death, London under the Blitz, the Lybian desert, the fleshpots of Italy, the French...
Gallows Court: Martin Edwards talks to Crime Time
Much of the joy of writing lies in the chance to keep trying something new. Like many other crime novelists, I love writing series, but even with a new novel in a series, I find that part of the pleasure comes from varying my approach from book to book. For me, it’s really important to avoid sticking to a formula. As a crime fan, I prefer books that have a freshness about them. And keeping my writing fresh ensures that I stay motivated.