Showing posts from August, 2014

Bloggers Blag: Only two weeeks left to apply and become a Peter May superfan!


Young Adult Review : Elixer by Ted Galdi How would you like to be 14, the smartest person in the world and at the mercy of the FBI?

Geeky 14 year old genius Sean Malone discovers a ground breaking mathematical formula with the potential to derail the world as we know it.  He signs a secrecy clause and tries to forget all about it , However when he sees his formula being used in a way that risks innocent lives he becomes a threat to homeland security and is sent to Italy under Witness Protection providing he doesn’t return to the states. He builds himself a new life, grows up and falls in love and his secret remains hidden until he finds himself having to use his exceptional IQ for personal reasons and finds himself up against Government , big business and Time. This is an empathetic, imaginative and poignant story of a young man struggling to come to terms with guilt at the loss of his parents, his unusually high IQ and his own moral code.  It is at times emotionally charged, often fast paced and is wonderfully insightful about the psyche of a teenager who doesn’t quite fit.
I would definitely recommends it for the 1…

Author interview: An interview with Anya Lipska who brings to life a rich and genuine picture of life and crime in London's Polish community

R: The Crime Warp’s latest interview is with Anya Lipska.  Anya was one of the New Blood authors at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in 2013 and has recently published the second novel in her Kiszka and Kershaw series, Death Can’t Take a Joke.  I first met Anya in Harrogate - welcome Anya, it’s great to have you as a guest on The Crime Warp.

Book Review: Broadchurch by Erin Kelly and Chris Chibnell from TV screen to Crime Novel

I was hesitant to open this book in case it didn't live up to the TV series, however I had no need to worry because Erin Kelly has SMASHED it!.  It's a damn good novel that incorporates everything that made the series so good.
There were three things I loved about the TV Broadchurch: The amazing huge sweeping cinematic shots across the beach and the way the camera took us into the heart of the town, making Broadchurch itself a main character,  The fantastic acting that really got into the emotions of a small community and the way a horrible isolated incident like Danny's murder throws up a whole plethora of secret's, weaknesses, and strengths that simmer just beneath the surface.  I wondered how those things would transfer to the written word.  Well I have to say Erin Kelly came up with the goods -  BIGTIME!

Tip Offs: My Top Ten Bloody Scotland Tips- 19th - 21st Sept 2014

Tip 1 Mark Billingham/ Stuart MacBride: Dead Funny Friday 19th 8:30 – 9:30

Ex- standup comedian Mark Billingham and Scotland’s own hilarious crime writer Stuart MacBride are not to be missed.Together they will be criminally insanely, murderously, deadly uproariously funny.
Tip 2 Nele Neuhaus and Danielle Ramsay Saturday 20th 11:45 – 12:45
Nele Neuhaus, German author of Snow White must Die and Bad Wolfin conversation with Scottish Belle, Danielle Ramsay will be enlightening.Nele’s books are beautifully written and I enjoyed the insight into German policing and the class barrier

True Crime: Sicilian Shadows by Francesco Scanella. What happens when a seven year old boy is uprooted from his home in Surrey and moves to the heart of the Cosa Nostra in Sicily

The Crime Warp’s always been about crime fiction and thrillers – I’ve avoided “true crime” as I’ve found it is often comes across as just an excuse for lots of “ugh” and it disturbs me in a way that fiction doesn’t. However, today I’m going to break my own rule to highlight a book called Sicilian Shadows by Francesco Scanella. Scanella was born in Walton on Thames, Surrey, but at seven moved from farms and Father Thames to Mussomeli a small hillside town in Sicily, whose way of life Scanella describes as almost medieval. 

Look out for these: Introducing Piqwiq, a new imprint plus two great thrillers, both written with that quintessentially wry British humour


Look out for these! A great trio for the holiday season and not all in Scandinavia

I’ve seen and read lots of books over the past couple of months and it’s been pretty hard to choose a holiday trio, but after much sifting and thinking, I’ve settled on three books to look out for. Not all are by established authors, but there’s plenty of quality reading here to keep you occupied whether you’re on the beach, by the pool or just sunning yourself in a deckchair in your back garden.

White Crocodile by K T Medina. This is my top holiday recommendation – a novel by a first time author who’s written a genuinely compelling book drawing on her first-hand experience of the Territorial Army and advising on mine clearance. Tess Hardy is working for a mine clearance charity in Cambodia. Local myths abound, but the White Crocodile is the most pervasive. Whilst her colleagues dismiss this as peasant superstition, Tess realises there is a link between the White Crocodile and the disappearances and deaths of local women. The narrative moves between Cambodia and England, with the…

Book Review: The Cold Cold Sea by Linda Huber- Never has the bluest sea seemed more ominous.


The Cold Cold Sea is a chilling book about every mother’s worse nightmare …and more!
It’s a psychological thriller skilfully told through two parallel stories of mother’s who’ve lost their child to the sea.The stories interlink giving the reader the chance to explore different aspects of the characters and their motives as the stories unfold and, in a very cunning move, Huber opens with a wonderful twist.

It begins with a young girl drowning whilst on a family holiday by the sea and takes us through the frantic searches, guilt, police investigation to rule out foul play, family doubt and grief.Huber writes these scenes so well that I caution even the most self-controlled of you to be prepared for all those emotions to hit you like a steam train. Then she introduces us to the parallel story: a young husband, bound to stay with his dying grandmother in the states, leaves his severely depressed and grieving wife alone in the UK, reassured by her tales of living with friends and seeming…

Book Review:Dead Men’s Bones by James Oswald : It’s time to shake off the shackles of traditional Police Procedurals and try Oswald’s supernatural meets Scottish policing.

I guarantee you’ll love this book and I’ll explain why.
A few years ago in conversation with Stuart MacBride I mentioned that I wasn’t sure about the wave of crime novels in other dimensions, or mixed with stuff - I preferred my serial killersto be ‘normal’
To which Stuart replied (andI paraphrase)

Oh so you’re alright with blood and gore and torture but add in a lobotomy or a bump in the night and you switch off?”
Put like that I realised I was being narrow minded and made up my mind to try ‘new’ things .I've now read all of James Oswald’s supernatural crime books and he’s won me over with intriguing story-lines, brilliant characters and the seamless way he merges the procedural stuff with the supernatural.
In Dead Men’s Bones Oswald’s very normal (with a reluctant link to the supernatural) DI Tony McLean is faced with the body of a naked man covered from head to toe in newly applied tattoos (OUCH!).But, when a prominent MSP suffocates his twin daughters, shoots his wife and then him…

Guest Blog: Kevin Sampson on getting The Killing Pool from novel to TV

In this second guest blog, author Kevin Sampson talks about the unique features of his novel The Killing Pool and how the characters and setting were important features that helped retain the integrity of his creation, even when translated onto the small screen.

Guest Blog: Author Tom Wright talks about his two novels and how the characters and story in his first book leads into his newly published novel Blackbird

In our first Guest Blog, author Tom Wright, talks about writing his first novel What Dies in Summer and how the creative process for that book led on to his newly released novel Blackbird.

Quiz/ Trivia: Theakstons/Harrogate amusing QUOTES quiz Answers now added at bottom of the page

This is my final Theakstons/ Harrogate post and it’s a bit of fun really.

Topical Debate: Some thoughts on the creative process

Some thoughts on the creative process:

A good book, in whatever genre, is a totality, in that it hangs together, it makes sense, all components fit. By all components I mean style, the characters, the plot, the setting, the word count, etc. we usually focus on individual elements, working hard on these, however, the work has to hold together, like a complete outfit in fashion, or a painting, if you like art.

I now think that the best way to achieve that cohesion is to imagine the whole book before you type even one word. Not in detail of course, we change things all the time, but an impression, a taste, an image; the mood, the feel of the book. If we spent more time thinking about the book before we even started with the outline or the chapter plan, would it all flow more easily? Would we naturally produce the best style for the task, draw the characters in the appropriate way, describe the setting so that it becomes an integral part of the story without overwhelming the whole picture?I…

Film & TV: This is the Official Trailer for the US version of Broadchurch| GRACEPOINT | FOX BROADCASTING

For those Broadchurch Fans who are impatiently awaiting the new Broadchurch which will be released early 2015,  here is the trailer for the US version of BROADCHURCH - It's called GRACEPOINT and from the trailer seems to adhere to the original  storyline.  It's already been shown in the states and you can now view this 10 part series on Youtube.  I'm certainly going to view it with a critical eye to see how the American version measures up to our lovely British one

Listening to crime - The Child, a full cast audio dramatisation of a chilling story that made me shiver as soon as I heard about it.

I travel a lot in the car for my job and although there’s often something good on the radio, it’s never enough for long journeys. I like to listen to audiobooks, but my preference is for dramatisations, rather than books read by famous people. In the past I bought quite a few CDs, but the place I always defaulted to was Audiogo, who had a huge catalogue of downloadable radio drama. The prices were good and they were flexible about downloading to different devices and burning CDs. You can imagine that I was pretty unhappy when they went into liquidation.

Stav Sherez - The Black Monastery

For some reason, I thought that Stav Sherez wrote spy thrillers which are not my cup of tea.  However, as part of the "Which author are you snuggling up with tonight?" single-question interview which Roman, Liz and I put to writers at Harrogate Crimefest in July, I discovered that I was completely off the mark!

Not only is Stav a gentleman and a lover of poetry, he also writes exactly the kind of crime fiction which I love - darkly atmospheric with strong overtones of religious and/or superstitious creepiness!

I promptly went to the WH Smith bookshop to buy one of his books.  As I couldn't choose between the blurbs of those in stock, I had to buy all three:-

The Black Monastery
A Dark Redemption
Eleven Days

I started reading The Black Monastery on the train home and it proved such a page-turner that I was half way through it by the end of my journey.  Set on a Greek Island, it is a tale of murder, love and mystery with a generous helping of sinister mythology thrown in for…

Death Dealer by Kate Clark Flora

Miramichi, New Brunswick
January 2003

On-and-off drug dealer and addict David Tanasichuk has reported his wife Maria missing and initially, police accepted his story that she moved out temporarily so that the couple might use the personal space to consider their future together.

Despite David's problems with drugs, the Tanisichuks were known to be a devoted couple who shared a passion for hunting in the vastly wooded area nearby.  However, following the tragic murder of her son BJ, Maria had fallen into a depression which caused her to become increasingly reluctant to leave her home.  Her husband told police that her clingy possessiveness had been driving a wedge between them and that a relationship counsellor had advised them to spend a little time apart.  Now, he was concerned that she seemed to have disappeared altogether.

As the police investigated Maria's possible whereabouts, it soon became apparent that David Tanisichuk's story did not add up, especially as he see…

Book review – The Sun is God by Adrian McKinty: Back to 1906 for murder amongst the Cocovores

I’m a big fan of Adrian McKinty’s and used to his novels set in Northern Ireland, so it was a bit of a surprise to find this book set in the colonial days of 1906. There’s no Sean Duffy here. Instead, our protagonist is Will Prior, a former military policeman hiding away on an isolated South Pacific Island to escape from the guilt of his bloody past in South Africa. Prior has gone to seed, but the local German representative Hauptman Kesssler needs help, because someone on a neighbouring island has died in suspicious circumstances. The neighbouring island is even more isolated than the one where Prior lives and is in habited by a reclusive cult of Cocovores – people who believe that a diet of coconuts accompanied by sun worship will lead to eternal life.