The 10 Best Crime Dramas This Week (Monday 15th – Sunday 21st January)

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Just when you thought it was safe to switch off your TV set and go out and engage in social interaction with other humans, well… it isn’t. Aside from all the amazing stuff that’s on at the moment – Spiral, Craith, Kiri et al – two new Swedish series start up this week. I think I’m right in saying that both Before We Die and Rebecka Martinsson: Arctic Murders (pictured above) are broadcast both in linear fashion (on Channel 4 and More4 respectively) but also available to view in their entirety on All4. Enjoy! Continue reading

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The Killing Times Dispatches: Twin Peaks UK Festival

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Twin Peaks: The Return has been one of the television events of the year, no question. Its dizzying, surreal, visceral, infuriating, terrifying, stunning brilliance not only confirmed that David Lynch is still one of the most creative and notable auteurs of both the 20th and 21st centuries but also… there’s still nothing out there like Twin Peaks. During the weekend, the eighth annual Twin Peaks UK Festival took place at the resplendent, Modernist Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre in north London, complete with cabaret, film screenings and Q&As with cast members old and new. It was quite the weekend. Continue reading

Harrogate Dispatches #4: Julia Crouch and Endearing Monsters

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I know I’m doing this all out of whack, but yesterday I managed to sneak into a panel with a seriously fantastic panel – not only was the brilliant Julia Crouch (she could be my favourite moderator) holding things down (and telling us about her strange fascination with ‘squeezing spot porn’) but there was also Mick Herron (creator of the much-loved Jackson Lamb series of spy novels), Sabine Durrant (whose Lie With Me has been wowing readers for a year now), Stave Sherez (who, similarly, is wowing people with his latest, The Intrusions) and Canadian writer Shari la Pena. They were discussing the subject of endearing monsters, and it was a cracker. Continue reading

Harrogate Dispatches #3: New Blood Panel With Val McDermid

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I say it every year, but the New Blood panel, hosted by Val McDermid, is one of the highlights of the festival. Why? Well, as a fan of crime fiction it’s always interesting to hear panellists talk about their work – and not least debut writers – who present a raw, often unvarnished and unrehearsed version of their journey to publication. This year’s panel was another cracker. Continue reading

Harrogate Dispatches #1: Lee Child

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And so it begins. After an opening ceremony/party where Lee Child was awarded the Oustanding Contribution To Crime Fiction award (and Chris Brookmyre win the Crime Novel Of The Year award for Black Widow), the 15th Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival snapped into gear. Elly Griffiths is this year’s chair, and she and the festival team have done an outstanding job at putting together a really great line-up. I’ll be doing my best to bring you as much of the action as I can (although I’m kind of working today a bit). First up, some bloke called Lee Child. Continue reading

Val McDermid announces New Blood panel for this years Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing festival

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Regular readers will know that I like to get out and about and go to a few crime literature festivals across the year, and then report back here on some of the panels and some of the words spoken within them. Arguably the biggest is the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate, held at the Old Swan hotel. One of my highlights every year at the festival is the New Blood panel, where crime writing legend, Val McDermid, hosts a panel comprising four authors who have published debut novels during the past year (or are about to publish). Val herself picks the panellists – which is a ringing endorsement in itself – and this year, the panel has been announced ahead of time.  Continue reading