Archive

Pole dancer… #killerfest15

Every character starts out with a few short sharp details. In the opening sequence of a Bond movie in that one small circle, you get: man suit gun bang. When I first created my heroine I got: bipolar FBI agent bang. Because with that one adjective “bipolar”, everything kicked off. Read More

Q&A with author Alex Barclay #killerfest15

Photograph by Muireann Brady Your (author) name: Alex Barclay Tell us about yourself: I live in Cork, I write crime novels, I love coffee. Tell us about your latest book: It’s called Killing Ways and it’s the fifth featuring Ren Bryce. Brief lowdown: a serial rapist and murderer is… Read More

Behind the Title of Harm’s Reach by Alex Barclay

Alex Barclay’s latest crime novel is called Harm’s Reach. She explains why… At the dark heart of every crime novel is a secret – a buried thing that throws together people who otherwise may never have met: the initiator of the secret, the keeper of it, the victim of it,… Read More

Exclusive: An Author's Story Behind her Leading Lady

    Before Homeland’s Carrie Mathison, there was Special Agent Ren Bryce of the FBI – created by bestselling author Alex Barclay. Like Carrie, Ren struggles with bi-polar disorder, and in this exclusive post, Alex explains why it was so important to her to create a successful, functioning bi-polar character, who is not the bad guy.   Pole Dancer… Read More

Exclusive Q&A with Alex Barclay

Seeing as Alex Barclay’s new Ren Bryce thriller Blood Loss has just been released in the UK, we decided to ask her the questions you’re all dying to know the answers to. So here’s the first of what I hope will be many a Q&A session with our brilliant authors. Keep reading to find out how a working day in the life of Alex plays out, where she gets her ideas from and what she loves to read and watch…   What sparked your interest in crime writing specifically? It was more that I was struck with an idea for an opening scene: a surveillance operation in New York and what, at first, appears to be the successful resolution of a child abduction. It was so vivid to me, it still is, and I just felt compelled to write it. I thought it would be a screenplay, but once I had written it, I knew it would be a novel. I’ve been reading crime ever since I was fourteen, so it was no surprise that I would have criminal intent… Read More

The books that have recently given us nightmares…

As we are leading up to Halloween I decided it was the prime opportunity to ask the Killer Reads team what books they have each recently read that gave them nightmares. Being a group that love thrillers, crime and anything that means you spend the next week leaving the lights on just so you can sleep, they all proceeded to pull at least one book out of their bag that had given them the heebie jeebies. So we thought we would share them with you so that you, like us, can start preparing your scare-o-meters for the ever looming fright night...   Blacklands by Belinda Bauer Chosen by Emad Akhtar   Blacklands is a story that unsettled me for a long time – it’s an unusually absorbing and affecting story. This is partly because Blacklands, as Belinda Bauer says in her afterword, ‘was never intended to be a crime novel’. It began as a way of exploring ‘the impact of crimes such as Avery’s, how they affect people for years, lifetimes – maybe even generations’. Read More

Alex Barclay on big crime in a small place

Colorado is where people go to disappear. It was a throwaway remark from a detective friend, but as soon as I heard it, I knew I wanted to hide a killer there. I planned to give Colorado a special guest appearance in a New York-based novel. Instead, I created a whole new series, with a new heroine, FBI Special Agent Ren Bryce, working for a violent crime squad based in Denver. Colorado deserved a starring role. What I needed next was a small-town crime scene. And it was then that I discovered what came to be one of my favourite places in the world: Breckenridge, a small and beautiful resort town ninety miles west of Denver. I love a big crime in a small place, and with Blood Runs Cold, the first Ren Bryce novel, the body of an FBI agent is found close to Breckenridge on a snow-covered mountain called Quandary Peak. Read More

Why are women so attracted to crime fiction?

Genevieve is currently working with the Crime and Thriller department for two weeks in order to gain work experience. Look out for another article from her on her experience in our department.     "Crime novels are about life, death, love, loss and broken minds" Alex Barclay   I read a fascinating article in the Irish Examiner about female crime fiction writers and it got me thinking…why are women so attracted to this particular genre?   The presumption is that men, seen as naturally more aggressive, are more inclined to read novels of crime, violence, blood, guts and gore. But it seems as if the opposite is true.   The article, Murder, She Wrote by author and journalist Declan Burke, explores the opinions of four of the leading lights of the current wave of Irish crime writing - Alex Barclay, Arlene Hunt, Niamh O’Connor and Ava McCarthy. All women who prove that the female author is very often deadlier than the male.   One of the explanations given for this gravitation towards the more sinister side of fiction is due to what Barclay sees as “a compulsion to understand” a broken mind; a need to know how the darker side of humanity works. Perhaps the reason for this attraction is that crime fiction gives women an opportunity to explore the psychological motivations of a killer in the safe confines of the pages of a book. Read More