CrimeFest 2016 – The Photos.

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David Mark, the man behind DS Aector McAvoy, does the zombie.

Paul Finch, one writer who truly has it in for his lead DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg

 Lucy Cameron, who’s debut novel Night is Watching is out later this year.

Two of *the* most amazing authors out there, check out Sarah Pinborough’s 13 Minutes & The Death House, and look out for Kevin Wignall’s A Death In Sweden & The Traitor’s Story

 Pretty in purple, Leigh Russell, one of the hardest working women in crime fiction.  I don’t think she ever stops…

Aspiring author Andrew Hill who talked to LifeOfCri.me about CrimeFest back in 2014, and pulling faces in the corner, Chris Simms, the man behind DI Jon Spicer


Quentin Bates, writer of the fantastic Detective Gunnhildur of the Reykjavik police force, and translator of Ragnar Jonasson’s Dark Iceland series.

The Icelandic Queen of crime Yrsa Sigurdardottir (you have no idea how many attempts it took to spell that right!)

Howard Linskey

James Hilton sees the release of his debut Gunn Brothers novel, Search and Destroy, this month.

Julia Crouch

The fount of all knowledge when it comes to Brit Noir and Nordic Noir, the formidable Barry Forshaw

Mark Billingham.

Everyone’s favourite cheeky chap and the man behind the excellent Tom Thorne novels, as well as his current stand alone Die Of Shame

William Sutton, creator of Victorian Policeman Campbell Lawless

Craig Robertson

Steve Mosby, this man knows how to mess with your head, prepare for a book hangover. Black Flowers and The Nightmare Place, are my particular favourites.

Winner of the 2015 Theakston’s Old peculier Crime Novel of the Year, DI Marnie Rome’s creator, Sarah Hilary

Zoe Sharp, the woman behind Charlie Fox, looking far too gleeful at the opportunity to strangle my fiance.

A grinch-esqe Tom Wood, not sure what Victor the Assassin would make of that!

Mr Crime Fiction Festival himself, Ali Karim, Assistant Editor at Shots e-zine. Simply all shades of awesome.  If you get the chance to sit and chat with him, do,

Ragnar Jonasson, his Dark Iceland series is gripping, and claustrophobic.  Perfect for being snuggled up on the sofa with coffee/wine/gin, on a wet and grey Sunday afternoon.


Martin Edwards

Chris Ewan, The man behind The Good Thief’s Guides, along with a series of standalone novels, including his latest release Long Time Lost

imageWho would have thought he’d spent all weekend drinking?! – The Final Minute (did you see what I did there?) Sunday morning shot of race against time thriller writer Simon Kernick

12 Words with Quentin Bates

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screenshot_2016-02-20-02-20-13-1.pngQuentin Bates was born in England and through a series of coincidences found himself working in Iceland for his gap year.  One year turned into ten, plus a wife and children.  After a move back to the UK he began work as a nautical journalist and editor of a commercial fishing magazine.  His Gunnhildur Gisladottir series was born through the author’s own inside knowledge of Iceland and its society, along with the world of exploring crime.

Thin Ice is the fifth installment in the Officer Gunnhildur series and is available now.

As part of the Thin Ice blog tour, today Quentin takes the LifeOfCri.me 12 word challenge.

 

Rules 
 
Answers should be complete sentences, and completed in no more than 12 words (unless otherwise stated)
 
Contractions count. It’s = 2 words.
 

LOC: You’ve just released Thin Ice, the fifth in your series featuring Officer Gunnhildur, what can you tell us about it?

QB: Two villains, two kidnapped women, a bag of cash and no petrol.

LOC: Gunnar has an interesting home life, is this typical of an Icelandic lifestyle, and to the more European lifestyle, or as unplanned for you as it was for Gunnar & Gisli?

QB: It just evolved, but she copes with everything I chuck at her.

LOC: What’s the most challenging part of switching between writing your own novels and translating those of others?

QB: No problem. It’s the same toolbox but a different set of tools.

LOC: How would you describe your writing process?

QB: There’s plenty of swearing and watching the kettle boil.

LOC: What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt in your writing career?

QB: I never imagined a gang of crimewriters could be so much fun.

( LOC: Ooh… crimewriters, not crime writers?  That’s skating on “Thin Ice” with the word count….   😉  )

LOC: What’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?

QB: Jonathan Dark or the Evidence of Ghosts by AK Benedict

LOC: Why?

QB: Tough choice, but this book is bonkers, magnificently imaginative and just enthralling

LOC: Describe your perfect day

QB: Distant mountains, sounds and smells of the sea, fish for dinner.

and finally just for laughs……

LOC: Thanks to author Leigh Russell you have just woken up to find yourself on stage in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent, with a stick of celery, a top hat and a panda. What do you do?

QB: Bribe panda with celery to wear hat for winning Fred Astaire impression.

 

 

Thin Ice Blog Tour – Exclusive Extract

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imageSnowed in with a couple of psychopaths for the winter…

When two small time crooks rob Reykjavík’s premier drug dealer hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show.  Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season.

Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eirikur and Helgi, find themselves at a dead end, investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day’s shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.

Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages….

As part of the Thin Ice blog tour, here’s an exclusive extract to whet your appetite for more.

 

‘I will not get over it!’ Erna yelled at the top of her voice. ‘What’s going on? Why are we here? I don’t even believe that’s a real gun and I’ve a good mind to just walk out the door this minute.’ 

‘Go on,’ Össur hissed, ‘try it. See what happens.’ 

Erna stood up and stalked towards him, her hands on her hips, glaring down at him from the extra height two inches of heels gave her while Össur sat still, looking up at her from under heavy lids. 

‘I don’t believe you. I think you’re a petty, thieving conman, and I don’t believe for a second that you’d dare carry a gun if it was real. I’ve half a mind to give you a slap and go to that phone in the lobby and call the police.’ 

The report was deafening, and as the smoke cleared there was a rattling of metal from one of the cupboards. Össur had fired without taking his eyes from Erna’s face and he watched her expression dissolve from fury into disbelief as her hands went to her mouth. 

‘God . . .’ she whispered. 

They looked to see a hole punched neatly in the cupboard door while Erna gradually sank to the floor on her knees. 

‘I think the lady . . .’ Össur said with a sneer. ‘The lady has had a shock. So maybe she’d feel better if she went to lie down for a while?’ 

By Ambassadorial request

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I don’t know about you but when the Ambassador for Iceland invites you to the embassy itself to celebrate the launch of the latest book from an author you love, and regularly chat to at festivals, it’s not the sort of thing you turn down.

Thin Ice by Quentin Bates is the fifth and latest installment in his series featuring Officer Gunnhildur of the Reykjavik Police force, and I was very grateful for the invite to the event.  I had a  great opportunity to meet with bloggers I’d not met before, and experience something completely new to me, as it was the first London book launch I had attended.

Not only were we treated to some fantastic Thin Ice Cupcakes, but we were also lucky enough to hear an extract of Thin Ice read out, by Mel Hudson, who has been the narrator of all of Quentin’s Gunnhildur audio books since Frozen Out (released as Frozen Assets in the US) and has an amazing knack for getting all those tongue twisting Icelandic names right!

For me some of the high points of the evening including the opportunity to meet the Ambassador for Iceland

and of course spending some time with the much in demand (well it was *his* book launch) Quentin Bates, who is a fantastic writer and a fabulous guy.

Thin Ice by Quentin Bates

Snowed in with a couple of psychopaths for the winter…

When two small-time crooks rob Reykjavik’s premier drugs dealer, hoping for a quick escape to the sun, their plans start to unravel after their getaway driver fails to show. Tensions mount between the pair and the two women they have grabbed as hostages when they find themselves holed upcountry in an isolated hotel that has been mothballed for the season.
Back in the capital, Gunnhildur, Eiríkur and Helgi find themselves at a dead end investigating what appear to be the unrelated disappearance of a mother, her daughter and their car during a day’s shopping, and the death of a thief in a house fire.
Gunna and her team are faced with a set of riddles but as more people are quizzed it begins to emerge that all these unrelated incidents are in fact linked. And at the same time, two increasingly desperate lowlifes have no choice but to make some big decisions on how to get rid of their accidental hostages…

A Book A Day, Sunday Wrap Up #3

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M is For

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Missing You by Harlan Coben, master of fast paced novels where the hidden pasts of ordinary people come back to haunt them with a killer twist at the end. Guaranteed thrillers.

N is For

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Natural Causes by James Oswald.  First of the so far four strong Inspector McLean series, fabulous reads that keep getting better and better.  Carefully pictured here with what James calls a Heilan Coo cushion, because when he’s not writing he breeds these handsome cows.

O is For

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On What Grounds by Cleo Coyle, if you like a good coffee and your crime a little cosier, head over to this coffee shop mystery series.

P is For

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Payback by Kimberley Chambers.  Welcome to the East End of London, where even your family doesn’t always have your back…

Q is For

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Quentin Bates.  Author of the Icelandic based novels featuring Officer Gunnhilder.  Frozen Out is the first in this series atmospheric, dark and intricately plotted masterpieces.

R is For

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Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridason.  Another Icelandic based series, the 10th of Indridasons books to be translated into English sees us going back to the roots of my favourite damaged detective, Erlendur.

S is For

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Sorrow Bound by David Mark. The third dark outing for DS Aector McAvoy.