Sunday, December 31, 2017

My Crime Novel Top Picks of 2017!!!

It is always a joy to look back over the books you’ve read in any given year, and reflect on the wonders of those special one that stay with you long after you finish the final page. If there is a sadness, it is all the books you wanted to read, but time and commitments got in the way. So, apologies in advance to all the writers I didn’t get to read this year, and here’s hoping in 2018, I will reduce that ‘To be Read’ pile even more.

Anyhow, here are the CRIME NOVELS, over a variety of sub-genres that gave me the most creative enjoyment in 2017!



After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago, when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke's steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn't tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead. Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there's more to Luke's death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.



Before Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich begins a summer job at a law firm in Louisiana, working to help defend men accused of murder, she thinks her position is clear. The child of two lawyers, she is staunchly anti-death penalty. But the moment convicted murderer Ricky Langley’s face flashes on the screen as she reviews old tapes―the moment she hears him speak of his crimes―she is overcome with the feeling of wanting him to die. Shocked by her reaction, she digs deeper and deeper into the case. Despite their vastly different circumstances, something in his story is unsettlingly, uncannily familiar. Crime, even the darkest and most unsayable acts, can happen to any one of us. As Alexandria pores over the facts of the murder, she finds herself thrust into the complicated narrative of Ricky’s childhood. And by examining the details of Ricky’s case, she is forced to face her own story, to unearth long-buried family secrets, and reckon with a past that colours her view of Ricky's crime.



When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how? 

The trail leads Lottie to St. Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal. As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?  Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice. 



Detective Max Rupert is convinced that Jennavieve Pruitt was killed by her husband, Ben. Max's friend, attorney Boady Sanden, is equally convinced that Ben, his client, is innocent. The case is pushing their friendship to the breaking point and forcing each to confront personal demons. Max is still struggling with the death of his wife four years earlier and the Pruitt case stirs up old memories. Boady hasn't taken on a defense case since the death of an innocent client, a man Boady believes he could have saved but didn't. Now he is back in court, determined to redeem himself for having failed in the past. Vividly told from two opposing perspectives, the story of Jennavieve Pruitt's death disrupts many lives and the truth remains a mystery till the very end.



Beth has been keeping secrets from her beloved son, refusing to tell him who his father is. When an unforeseen tragedy takes him from her, she is compelled to face the demons she has been running from all these years. She has come full circle, and with nothing left now but her memories and her knowing, the need for revenge scratches inside her veins. Lady Beth is an urban thriller.



Applecote Manor captivates Jessie with it promise of hazy summers in the Cotswolds. She believes it's the perfect escape for her troubled family. But the house has an unsettling history, and strange rumours surround the estate.
to the fifties . . . 
When teenage Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote during the heatwave of '59, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter, Audrey, five years before. The sisters are drawn into the mystery of Audrey's vanishing - until the stifling summer takes a shocking, deadly turn. Will one unthinkable choice bind them together, or tear them apart? Step back in time for a richly evocative mystery, where the beauty of a Cotswolds summer is vividly contrasted with the violence which shatters it. 



When eighteen-year-old Chloe Emery returns to her West London home she finds her mother missing, the house covered in blood. Everything points to murder, except for one thing: there’s no sign of the body. London detective Maeve Kerrigan and the homicide team turn their attention to the neighbours. The ultra-religious Norrises are acting suspiciously; their teenage daughter and Chloe Emery definitely have something to hide. Then there’s William Turner, once accused of stabbing a schoolmate and the neighbourhood’s favourite criminal. Is he merely a scapegoat, or is there more behind the charismatic façade? As a body fails to materialize, Maeve must piece together a patchwork of testimonies and accusations. Who is lying, and who is not? And soon Maeve starts to realize that not only will the answer lead to Kate Emery, but more lives may hang in the balance.


When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behaviour if she wants to keep her job. Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder. 


Don Winslow announced as first headline in Harrogate!!

Crime author Don Winslow has been announced as the first headliner in Harrogate!!!

The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival has announced the New York King of Crime, Don Winslow, will be a Special Guest.
In the first announcement from the festival’s 2018 Programming Chair – the fellow blockbusting author Lee Child - Winslow will join the line-up of up to 90 authors at the festival, which takes place 19-22 July in Harrogate.
Winslow has sold over 100 million books worldwide. His latest, The Force, about a corrupt New York cop, has earned him the best reviews of his career.
Don Winslow said: “I’m really thrilled to be coming to the UK. I’ve heard great things about the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival from my dear friend Lee Child who was kind enough to invite me to come this year. It's always great to hang out with Lee and I look forward to meeting the authors, readers and booksellers who will be attending the festival.”
Dubbed ‘America’s leading crime writer’ he has been profiled in Rolling Stone magazine; Hollywood directors like Oliver Stone and Ridley Scott promptly turn his novels into blockbusters.
Variety recently announced The Force will be released by Fox in March 2019, with Logan’s James Mangold slated to direct, and Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet as screenwriter, whose credits include Glengarry Glen Ross, The Postman Always Rings Twice and The Untouchables. Leonardo DiCaprio is set to star in a £40 million Hollywood version of another of his books, The Cartel, to be directed by Ridley Scott.
Lee Child, who lives in New York, is a long-time supporter and fan of the Festival. Lee said: “I have access to people in America so we’re going to see some big names from America, and I think people are going to be thrilled with the line-up when we reveal the full list of names, I think everyone’s going to say ‘wow’.”
Title sponsor and executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “As a festival that seems to get better each year it’s hard to know how to top the previous year, but 2018 looks like it will be a very special year indeed. It’s a testament to the programming committee, chaired by the legendary Lee Child, and Harrogate International Festivals that the event has secured Harrogate at the centre of the international literary map.”
Giants of the genre have featured over the years including JK Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith, Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbo, PD James and Ruth Rendell.
The festival was co-founded by crime author Val McDermid, agent Jane Gregory and arts charity, Harrogate International Festivals in 2003. It has grown into the biggest celebration of the genre in the world.
The event features the coveted Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award supported by media partner, the Mail on Sunday.
Fans of Winslow’s The Force, include Stephen King, who said it was: “Mesmerizing, a triumph…Think THE GODFATHER, only with cops. It's that good.”
Winslow spent five years researching the novel on NYPD stakeouts. He said, it was “the book I’ve wanted to write my whole life.”

2018 Special Guests will be announced in the coming months. harrogateinternationalfestivals.com  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Before going into writing hibernation!!!

Last event of 2017 before going into writing hibernation....Thanks to Offaly Libraries for the invite!  Edenderry Library this evening 6.30 - 7.30 - Free Event All Welcome!!!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Julie Parsons Wins Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year!

Bestselling author, Julie Parsons (Mary, Mary, I Saw YouThe Hourglass), Wins Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.

“A powerful, compelling, and darkly chilling novel of violence, shame and deceit.”

On Sundays peace was restored. He would lie down, dream and remember. He would enjoy. And later on the bell would ring. He would get up and walk downstairs. He would open the front door. And his life would come to an end . . .
Garda Inspector Michael McLoughlin is trying to enjoy his retirement – doing a bit of PI work on the side, meeting up with former colleagues, fixing up a grand old house in a genteel Dublin suburb near the sea.
Then he discovers the body of his neighbour, a retired judge – brutally murdered, shot through the back of the neck, his face mutilated beyond recognition. McLoughlin finds himself drawn into the murky
past of the murdered judge, which leads him back to his own father’s killing, decades earlier, by the IRA.
In seeking the truth behind both crimes, a web of deceit, blackmail and fragile reputations comes to light, as McLoughlin’s investigation reveals the explosive circumstances linking both crimes – and dark secrets are discovered which would destroy the judge’s legendary family name.

The Therapy House is clever, beautifully written and thoughtful…Parsons at her subtle, psychologically astute best. Well worth the wait.’ – Sunday Independent
The Therapy House, her first novel in nine years offers up a paean to her beloved home town…There is much to admire in this impressive return to form. Parsons writes crisply and there is a strong moral sensibility at work throughout, despite the extreme violence and the burgeoning body count…. Ireland, like Dun Laoghaire, has had its problems but in virtuous McLoughlin, the wonderful Gwen and love interest Elizabeth, Parsons holds out a possibility of redemption.’ –  The Sunday Times
‘Julie Parsons was Irish Crime Fiction before there was Irish Crime Fiction…Set against a vividly rendered Dún Laoghaire of crumbling old Victorian houses and smart seafront apartments, the action unfolds during a heatwave, proceeding inexorably and violently to a complex and immensely satisfying climax…In the form of a gripping thriller, Parsons has given us an incendiary analysis of our history of violence in all its hypocrisy, vainglory and denial.’ – The Irish Times
‘Julie Parsons’s international legion of fans have had a long wait for her new novel…the wait was worth it…Her new novel shows her to be in cracking form as she re-introduces some characters from her previous mysteries – heroes and villains alike – and produces yet another page-turner.’ – Sunday Independent
‘Clever, complex…has a rhythm and power that lifts the reader along…reminded me at times of the great James Ellroy, as did the tortuous story line, explosions of shocking violence and unflinching ­exploration of the black heart of humanity.’ – Irish Independent 

Julie Parsons is one of Ireland’s most accomplished crime writers and was previously a radio and television producer at RTÉ. Her first novel in nine years, The Therapy House, is a fast-paced and multi-layered tale that heralds the return of an author with an impeccable track record, whose work has been published in over twenty countries and numerous languages.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Lee Child Takes Helm of Theakson Crime Festival!!

The biggest celebration of the crime genre in the world has announced one of the biggest crime writers in the world will take the helm of its 2018 Festival.
Lee Child, author of the global bestselling Jack Reacher series, is Programming Chair of the 2018 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, which takes place 19-22 July in Harrogate.
Established in 2003 by crime author Val McDermid, agent Jane Gregory and arts charity Harrogate International Festivals, 2018 marks the 16th Festival, held at Agatha Christie’s haunt, The Old Swan Hotel.
The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is regarded as the world’s best, achieving international acclaim for the programming, organisation and inclusive atmosphere. Over the years, it has hosted iconic names such as PD James, Jo Nesbo and JK Rowling (as Robert Galbraith).
Lee Child said: “It’s a challenge to follow in the footsteps of authors such as Peter James, Val McDermid and Ann Cleeves as previous Programming Chairs, but I guarantee I’ll be bringing some very special names to 2018’s Festival.”
“Harrogate is by far my favourite on the circuit, so it is a real honour – and a delight - to be taking the helm. My grandma lived in Otley so Harrogate is a place that has fond memories for me, and the Festival has a real warmth and laid back atmosphere. It’s a chance for readers and writers alike to hang out in a beautiful part of England. I’m looking forward to welcoming new and old friends.”
2017’s event sold out with 16,500 tickets over the four day festival. It is routinely cited as one of the UK’s top literary festivals. As well as over 90 authors, it attracts stars of stage and screen. Past events featured comedians Eddie Izzard, Susan Calman and Rory Bremner, actors Brenda Blethyn, Jodie Whittaker and Robson Green, alongside media heavyweights James Naughtie, Mark Lawson, and Jeremy Vine.
Lee Child, who resides in New York, launched his new Reacher thriller, The Midnight Line, on November 7 in the UK. It sees his iconic 6ft 5 inch hero on a quest for justice in the wilds of Wyoming. His last book, Night School, was the UK’s biggest selling hardback novel of 2016.
With over 100 million books sold, it is said a Reacher novel is sold somewhere in the world every nine seconds. As well as being published in over one hundred territories, the novels have been adapted to two Hollywood films starring Tom Cruise.
Lee Child won the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award in 2011 and received the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award in 2017, joining the pantheon of Colin Dexter, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Reginald Hill, Lynda La Plante, Sara Paretsky and Val McDermid, who have received the honour.
Title sponsor and executive director of T&R Theakston, Simon Theakston, said: “Lee Child is nothing short of a phenomenon, and as a regular Special Guest at our festival, it’s wonderful that he’s now our next Programming Chair. He is an inspiration to his fellow writers, but most importantly a hero to his millions of readers. No doubt, he will make 2018 a very special year indeed.”
Sharon Canavar, CEO of Harrogate International Festivals, said: “It’s hard to top the success of the festival year-on-year, but with Lee as Chair it really electrifies the programme. He is a huge advocator and supporter of the genre.”
2018 Special Guests will be announced in the coming months. harrogateinternationalfestivals.com 

Monday, November 6, 2017

There are few things better...

For a writer, there are few things better than getting a great email from a reader about one of your novels. This has made my Monday!!!

"This is the first time I've read one of your books. Normally, I would skip parts of a story that I felt were not important. With this story I couldn't do that, the story kept my attention all the way to the end.The best book I've read for a long time, I will be looking out for more of your books." THE GAME CHANGER

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Irish Independent Crime Novel of the Year - Shortlist!!

It's that time of the year again, when the shortlists of books in the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards are announced.

As always in the Irish Crime Fiction Section, the competition is fierce, but sending huge congratulations to all these fantastic writers who made the shortlist!!

You can view the full list of shortlisted books HERE 

And you can VOTE for your favourites HERE

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year 
  • Can You Keep A Secret? – Karen Perry (Michael Joseph)
  • Here and Gone – Haylen Beck (Harvill Secker)
  • Let the Dead Speak – Jane Casey (HaperCollins Publisher)
  • One Bad Turn – Sinéad Crowley (Quercus)
  • There was a Crooked Man – Cat Hogan (Poolbeg Press)
  • The Therapy House – Julie Parsons (New Island Books)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

C.A.P. Awards 2017!!!

It was a terrific celebration last night at the 2017 C.A.P. Awards. Congrats again to all the winners, but especially Caroline E Farrell, who won the C.A.P. Novel of the Year Award 2017.

Congrats also to each of the shortlisted authors in the novel category, Simon Burke, for his novel AND THE BIRDS KEPT ON SINGING, Catherine Kullmann, for her novel THE MURMUR OF MASKS, and finally, Caimh McDonnell for his novel A MAN WITH ONE OF THOSE FACES....

Enormous thanks to Carolann Copland of CAROUSEL CREATES, for asking me to judge this year's novel entries, to DUBRAY Books for sponsoring the awards, to all those involved with the amazing charity AWARE and everyone who helped to make last night such a great success!!!

This is what I had to say about the winning novel...."A very worthy winner of the C.A.P. Novel Award 2017, LADY BETH by Caroline E Farrell is a thrilling journey into a dangerous world fueled with tension and high stakes. It delivers exceptional characters and terrific prose within a page-turning unrelenting story that digs deep into the underbelly of our capital city."
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...