Archive

A Foreign Country WINS Scottish Crime Book of the Year!

Charles Cumming has been awarded the Scottish Crime Book of the Year, for his latest spy thriller A Foreign Country. The win was announced at the closing of the inaugural Bloody Scotland crime-writing festival in Stirling.   The judges chose A Foreign Country out of 40 entries, with the chair of the panel Sheena McDonald saying that "A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming is far more than a pacy novel with a satisfactory ending. This book is exciting, imaginative and well-written. It doesn't simply tick the crime-fiction boxes – it's simply an outstanding novel."   A delighted Charles Cumming said, "It's a huge honour to win such a prestigious award in the first year of this fantastic festival." Read More

Q&A with Zoran Drvenkar

With the recent paperback release of Sorry by Zoran Drvenkar, a book that each member of the Killer Reads team has been hooked on at some point over the last year, his editor decided it was about time to spend a few extra minutes at the end of a meeting with Zoran to ask him the questions that the KR team have been wanting to know. Below is the result. So, if you're a fan of Zoran, you've recently read Sorry or you just want to know how crime thriller authors manage to come up with such spine-tingling plots then delve into the following Q&A.     1. What prompted you to write your first novel? Read More

Homeland Series 2: a killer reads review

This weeks review is brought to you by our very own Laura Deacon   For the next three months we have more to look forward to than ballroom dancing, Z-list popstars and upstairs-downstairs costume drama. Yes, Antiques Roadshow returned last night much to my joy! But that’s not what I’m here to write about. Last night, nearly 3 million eager viewers tuned in to the return of Homeland. Each week we will write an episode review and we want to know what you think! Be warned, there are spoilers contained in this review! Read More

Paul Finch: Take 2

Former The Bill scriptwriter turned author, Paul Finch, tells us how his time working for the Manchester police force was the starting block for his passion of crime fiction writing. Read Paul's second instalment into the killer reads diary...   There’s no question that my police service gave me an excellent grounding from which to write crime fiction. It’s not just about procedure, you see – it’s an innate understanding of the police officer’s role in society, and more importantly, the role the police may play in his or her life.   Being a cop is not like any other work. You can’t just put it away at the end of your shift. By its very nature, the job can alienate you from everyone you know. It can depress you, frighten you, outrage you. But by the same token it can empower you, and be massively rewarding. Above all though, it’s a weird occupation – where the complexity of experience can truly be stranger than fiction. And this air of the unreal is something I feel honour-bound to try and bring to my crime-writing, particularly in my forthcoming trilogy of cop thrillers from Avon Books.   But where does having actually been a cop leave you as a crime writer? Read More

ALoveAFAIR with Crime

When we asked our beautiful New York based crime writer Alafair Burke, where she gained her passion and experience for all-things-crime we weren't expecting the incredible behind the (crime) scenes story she was about to tell. From childhood to her newest book, Never Tell, the article below uncovers why Alafair is just so good at writing crime:   Where it all began... It all began in Alafair's childhood. Her parents moved the family in the late 1970's from the chaos of a changing southern Florida to a supposedly quiet and provincial neighborhood in Wichita, Kansas. The moving boxes had just been unpacked when Wichita police announced a connection between seven unsolved murders of women and children. The man who claimed responsibility called himself BTK, a gruesome acronym, short for "Bind, Torture, Kill." The Burke's new home fell squarely within the serial killer's stalking territory. Like other children in Wichita in that era, Alafair learned to check the phone lines to make sure they weren't cut, to keep the basement door locked at all times, and to barricade herself in the bathroom with the phone if she had to call 911. Read More

Enter the mind of Stuart MacBride

  Our No.1 bestselling author Stuart MacBride talks ‘Tartan Noir’ on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book Channel – a term being used to  describe the abundance of exceptional crime fiction coming out of mighty Scotland. MacBride also explains how music  really helps  to influence his characterisations and thrilling storylines. Read More

Cosy Mystery or Dark and Twisty…? (Prizes Involved!)

This week sees our Killer Reader Kate Stephenson (pictured right) asking for your views on modern Twisted Thrillers Vs. the classic Murder Mystery... Earlier this year at the Oxford Lit Fest, Sophie Hannah and Simon Brett discussed the respective merits of the dark and twisted new school and the cosy old school of murder mysteries in a panel entitled Murder Mystery: Blood Bath or Brain Teaser? Has crime fiction become too gory? It’s a question hotly debated amongst readers and writers alike. Some hark back to the masters of the cosies like Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, and despair that contemporary crime fiction has gone too far, indulging in graphic violence – particularly the torture of women and children – for sensationalist purposes. Others don’t have a problem with it, being that it is fiction, after all. The authors are not committing the violent crimes they describe, nor inciting readers to do so. And surely we’re all consenting adults, making our own reading choices – if what you’re reading offends you, all you need to do is put the book down. Read More

Sacrilege Competition Giveaway

We have a little competition for you to take part in with the opportunity for 8 lucky readers to get their hands on a copy of S.J. Parris's Sacrilege.   Summer, 1584: the Protestant Prince William of Orange has been assassinated by a fanatical Catholic, and there are whispers that Queen Elizabeth will be next. Fear haunts the streets of London, and plague is driving many citizens away. Giordano Bruno, radical philosopher and spy, chooses to remain, only to find that someone is following him through the city  As Bruno begins his hunt for the real killer, he is drawn into the heart of a sinister conspiracy hiding in the shadow of England’s holiest shrine…  In the pursuit of power, nothing is sacred… Read More

The making of Kimberley Chambers’ new video

Kimberley and Pete enjoy a cuppa One wonderfully sunny day earlier in the year, two members of the Marketing team strode out to meet Kimberley Chambers, her agent Tim and her typist Sue in Dagenham – but we were not simply meeting them for pie and mash, oh no, we were here with expert camera man Pete in order to film a video to give her readers a real taste of her latest book, The Schemer. No hard task, then.We all agreed to meet at Roy’s Pie and Mash shop, where the lovely staff gave us a cup of tea and settled down into it. By going back to Dagenham where Kimberley grew up and the book is set, we hoped to really capture a feel of the people and the place. Read More