One of my Darlington Arts Festival events, taking place during National Crime Reading Month in May, will be a talk looking at the role of conflict as an inspiration for crime writers.
Conflict fascinates crime writers, regardless of where it happens, and one of the novels that gave me the idea for the talk, and to which I shall refer, was my book Thou Shalt Kill (The Book Folks).
In the novel, a dead body nailed to a shed troubles hardened detective Jack Harris. Despite being told that feuds in allotments can easily come to blows (as a former allotment holder, I have seen it happen when members of t’committee pushed their luck too far with their petty rules!), the veteran crime solver suspects something more sinister is afoot.
The fervent leader of an unorthodox Christian group is evasive and cagey when faced with questions, so the inquiry begins to centre on its members. As police investigate their past, connections between the group and local people begin to emerge. It seems that it’s not by chance that the devout turned up on DCI Harris’s patch.
But what links them to the murder, and is there a danger that the focus on them will let the real killer off the hook? When a second killing occurs, with all the same hallmarks, detectives must act fast.
Allotments and churches may seem odd bedfellows for a crime novel but they are linked by conflict. It’s everywhere and crime writers reflect it in their work.
Talk details: And The Meek Shall Inherit the Storyline
Event details: Best-selling crime novelist John Dean will give a talk looking at how conflict in the modern age drives crime fiction. John, whose books regularly feature in the best-selling charts on Amazon, is the creator of the DCI John Blizzard and DCI Jack Harris series. The writer, who has had 17 novels published, is with The Book Folks of London.
Date and time: Sunday May 19, 2019 2-3pm
Venue: Venue: Dr.inks (opposite Hash), 3 Coniscliffe Road, DL3 7EE.
Price: £3 not suitable for anyone under sixteen – free for anyone who attends John’s Sunday morning crime fiction workshop. Pay on the door.
You can buy Thou Shalt Kill at
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