New Blood 2016 announced for Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Last week, Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in partnership with HW Fisher & Company, invited 50 authors and publishing professionals to its ‘New Blood’ reception in London. The event was designed to showcase new talent in the crime fiction genre in advance of the announcement of the New Blood panel for the July festival.

The event was hosted by leading crime writers Mark Billingham, author of the Tom Thorne series, and David Mark, creator of the hit DS McAvoy series of crime fiction books.

David Mark, who was one of Val McDermid’s New Blood picks at the 2012 crime festival, said: “The Festival is the most important in the literary calendar for the crime genre. I was incredibly excited, and proud, to be one of the New Blood authors chosen by Val. It was part of the whirlwind that led me to being signed in Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and America. I know how much it means when you’re starting out to not only get that recognition and platform, but the support of veteran crime authors, which is why I felt honoured, and delighted, to co-host this inaugural London New Blood celebration.”

For the 2016 festival, Val McDermid’s 2016 New Blood authors have been announced as Martin Holmen for Clinch, JS Law for Tenacity, Beth Lewis for The Wolf Road and Abir Mukherjee, author of A Rising Man.

Gemma Rowland, Literature Festivals Manager at Harrogate International Festivals – the arts charity that delivers the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – said: “As well as celebrating the best crime writers around, the Festival is also about introducing new writers to crime fans.”

One of the top crime writing festivals in the world, Theaksons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is a must attend weekend for all crime fiction fans.

Val McDermid’s New Blood panel takes place at 12pm on Saturday 23 July at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate during the 14th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

This year the Programming Chair is Peter James, and Special Guests include Jeffery Deaver, Martina Cole, Neil Cross, Tess Gerritsen, Gerald Seymour and Linwood Barclay.

For the full programme, visit www.harrogateinternationalfestivals.com

CTG Reviews: DEAD PRETTY by David Mark

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What the blurb says: “Hannah Kelly has been missing for nine months. Ava Delaney has been dead for five days. One girl to find. One girl to avenge. And DS Aector McAvoy won’t let either of them go until justice can be done. But some people have their own ideas of what justice means …”

The latest book in the DS McAvoy series is one hell of a read.

DS McAvoy has been haunted by the missing girl Hannah Kelly ever since her disappearance was reported. Unable to get the case from his mind, he’s taken to visiting the last place she was seen on his days off, taking his wife, Roisin, and his young family along with him.

Meanwhile, his boss, DSU Trish Pharaoh, is battling troubles of her own. The high-profile release of Reuben Hollow from prison after the Court of Appeal overturned his murder conviction is bringing her professional reputation into disrepute, and some dodgy-looking thugs are hanging around her home looking to call in favours that her now disabled husband can’t deliver on.

When another young woman is found murdered, and McAvoy and Pharaoh are called in to run the investigation, the pair become ever more disturbed as they start to spot parallels with earlier cases. But as the evidence mounts up – sending the duo in different directions – the case becomes increasingly personal to both of them. As they unravel the sequence of events that led to murder, the danger to them and their families increases with dramatic consequences.

The two main characters – the gentle family man of a Detective Sergeant, Aector McAvoy, and determined, outwardly confident, yet internally doubting, DSU Trish Pharaoh, really make this book something special. The close third-person perspective gets the reader deep into their thoughts, and the present tense narration gives the action an immediacy that had me flying through the story.

As well as a twisty-turny plot and some great characters, there is a poetic, gritty darkness to David Mark’s writing – it’s brutally unflinching yet really rather lyrical – which makes this book a real delight to read.

Perfect for fans of police procedurals.

 

DEAD PRETTY is published on the 28th January 2016 (tomorrow!). To buy a copy from Amazon click here

To find out more about David Mark and his books hop over to his website here and follow him on Twitter @davidmarkwriter

 

[With thanks to Mulholland Books for my copy of DEAD PRETTY]

Events Alert: So You Wanna Be A Crime Writer?

Crime Author, Nick Quantrill

Crime Author, Nick Quantrill

As part of the Heads Up Festival in Hull, on Saturday 28th September crime author Nick Quantrill, published by Caffeine Nights and the creator of the Joe Geraghty series, will be joined by fellow crime writers David Mark and Nick Triplow to investigate what it takes to be a crime writer, in the session ‘So You Wanna Be A Crime Writer?’

It promises to be a lively event, with a combination of readings, conversation, panel debate and audience interaction. And what’s more, it’s FREE!

To find out more, pop over to the the festival website at http://ensemble52.com/news/show/61 

Notes from Harrogate: Part 2

Lee Child interviewed by Sarah Millican

Lee Child interviewed by Sarah Millican

Saturday at Harrogate was again gorgeously sunny. After a fabulous breakfast, I went along (with minimal hangover) to Forensics: Val McDermid in conversation with Sue Black. It was a great session, and especially useful for any budding crime writers. Sue Black demystified the world of forensics with a special focus on identity including DNA sampling and facial reconstruction.

After a quick coffee (my fifth of the day) I went back into the hall for the New Book panel. Expertly chaired by Val McDermid, debut authors Derek B. Miller (Norwegian by Night), Anya Lipska (Where The Devil Can’t Go), Malcolm Mackay (The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter) and Colette McBeth (Precious Thing), discussed their novels, their journey to publication, and what was next for them. From this panel I heard one of my favourite quotes of the festival. It was from Derek B. Miller, who said, “crime writers don’t love crime, they love justice.” Brilliant.

After a quick lunch (sandwiches and crisps on the lawn – no alcohol) I headed to the Library for the C&R Crime party (and a glass of wine!). It was great to catch up with the team from C&R Crime, hear about all the exciting releases they’ve got coming up, and talk to their authors.

By this point it was almost five o’clock, and that meant it was time to get my seat for the Lee Child interview. The hall was packed to bursting, but with my trusty Festival Friend card (which gave the equivalent of ‘speedy boarding’ into the hall) I was able to get a seat three rows from the front. Comedienne Sarah Millican did a superb job with the interview – it was witty, insightful and all round entertaining. The hour-long session went past far too fast, but I was thrilled that I managed to meet Lee Child afterwards (he is my literary hero) and get a photo with him. I was grinning for the rest of the evening.

Anyway, from there it was a mad dash to the License to Thrill dinner. Author David Mark had written a bond themed murder mystery puzzle for the tables to solve during dinner. It was great fun and although the table I was on didn’t win, we had a lot of fun trying.

After a brief rest in the bar (!) it was on to the Late Night Quiz with quizmasters Mark Billingham and Val McDermid. Although the rules clearly stated teams should have six members, we flexed the rules a little and went with seven. It didn’t matter, we reasoned, we were going to lose anyway. But, with plenty of wine (plus the Theakstons beers that we ‘had to’ drink as part of the Name That Beer Round) we discovered that we were not quite as rubbish at the questions as we had thought that we would be. We didn’t win a prize, but we weren’t too far off. So to celebrate we returned to the bar until the early hours.

And then it was Sunday. After a ridiculously late night/early morning I needed a bit of a lie in, so I only made it to one session. But what a great one it was. Charlaine Harris, author of the Sookie Stackhouse series (which became HBO’s True Blood) and a whole bunch of stand-alone novels and other mystery series’, was interviewed by Paul Blezard. An inspiring and highly entertaining hour.

And then it was over.

As I packed up my bags, loaded the car, and said goodbye to all the fabulous people I’d met over the weekend I knew one thing for sure. I’ll definitely be back next year.