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Stav Sherez, ‘Eleven Days’ (2013)

There’s a terrific piece on Stav Sherez’s website entitled ‘Why I Write Crime Fiction’, which a Facebook friend pointed me towards. When you’ve got a spare 15 minutes, take a look – it’s an extraordinary piece, and a singular one, perhaps because it seems to straddle that fine line between truth and fiction. After reading … Continue reading

On the gap between books

A strange occurrence from a fortnight ago. I finished reading Denise Mina’s Gods and Beasts early Saturday evening, then fired up the laptop and started throwing words at the screen (which eventually became the review you can find here). At about 11, Mrs WAYRF and I went to bed; on the way up, I grabbed Stav Sherez’s Eleven Days from … Continue reading

An Evening with Peter Robinson

I’m always interested to hear writers – and in particular crime writers – talk about their work, so when I learned Peter Robinson was going to help us test out the new Studio Theatre at the Library of Birmingham (scheduled to open in less than a fortnight – eek!), I snapped up a ticket. I’ve … Continue reading

‘Reading myself into a stupor’ – On the diaries of Richard Burton

Last month I unexpectedly caught the BBC Four drama ‘Burton and Taylor’, about Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’s ill-fated 1983 run in the play Private Lives. I don’t know how accurate it was, but as a piece of fiction I really enjoyed it. Burton has been a presence in my life for as long as I … Continue reading

Denise Mina, ‘Gods and Beasts’ (2012)

I was pleased to learn that the title of Denise Mina’s book comes from the Greek philosopher Aristotle:  ‘He who is unable to live in society… must be either a Beast or a God.‘ This spoke to the Classicist in me, and took me right back to my final year ‘Religion in the Ancient World’ lectures … Continue reading

On the book unfinished

Whilst I’ve read a lot of books in my life, there are plenty more that I began in high spirits but eventually gave up on. What intrigues me is that my inability to finish is not always the fault of the book; sometimes, it has much more to do with me, as the reader. In … Continue reading

John Sandford, ‘Bad Blood’ (2010)

Back from my holiday in the south of France – tanned in places, burned in others, but otherwise well-rested from 10 days spent paddling in the Med. I also managed to get plenty of reading in – I’m currently halfway through Denise Mina’s Gods and Beasts, but want to concentrate in this post on my other … Continue reading