The secrets of Quais du Polar 2016

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Quais2016_875Once again, the French city of Lyon draped itself in the red sashes of crime fiction, and hosted the 12th annual Quais du Polar over the weekend 1-3 April. What really worked this year? Well there was a great mix of big name authors as well as debut writers to discover at various venues around the city.

And what didn’t? There were long queues at the book signings and we found some of the panel discussions a little contrived. For instance, the women authors on the Femmes Fatales panel were asked to talk about femmes fatales whether or not they had ever written that type of character.

Innovation this year? For Quais du Polar 2016 most of the panel discussions were recorded digitally and you can listen to podcasts on this link – they are mainly in French or English.

Crime Fiction Lover’s undercover reporter was more interested in getting scoops on upcoming releases or writing plans for some of our favourite authors. So draw a little closer and we’ll share some of these secrets:


It’s David Peace!

1 – David Peace returns to Tokyo
David Peace is often cited as a major influence on writers of noir fiction with his astonishing Red Riding quartet. He did a wonderful poetic reading from Red or Dead about the life of Bill Shankley, but promised that he would soon be returning to crime fiction in his final book in the Tokyo trilogy. We also discovered that he supports neither Liverpool nor Leeds United, as his last two books might have led us to believe, but Huddersfield.

2 – Vegas for Gran
After New Orleans and San Francisco, it will be Las Vegas that is a star chracter in Sara Gran’s third Claire DeWitt book. Her character remains unrepentantly smart, driven and taking what she wants when she wants it.

3 – South African secret
Deon Meyer admitted that Benny Griessel was initially planned as a small character in one chapter of his first book, but then kept coming back and taking over the story.

4 – New mystery from SJ Watson
SJ Watson is moving away from psychological thrillers into more of a mystery novel with his third book, set in a seaside town in the north, and provisionally entitled Tiny Pleasures.

5 – Miller’s inspiration
After the success of her hard-hitting debut Freedom’s Child, Jax Miller is set on a quest to write books like those of Brett Easton Ellis or Chuck Pahlaniuk, even though she has been told she can’t do it because she is a woman.

6 – More Poirot on the way!
Sophie Hannah‘s second Poirot novel Closed Casket will be coming out soon and she is proud of it because, for once, her labyrinthine mind was able to come up with a simple yet unguessable plot solution. She is also working on a new standalone novel, her second after A Game for All the Family.

Anthony Horowitz, and some lavish lighting.

Anthony Horowitz, and some lavish lighting.

7 – Horowitz update
Workaholic Anthony Horowitz says there are no plans for new Bond or Sherlock Holmes novels, but Alex Rider is to return to the page and the small screen. Another TV series, New Blood, will appear on British screens in two months. He is also working on a standalone crime novel called Magpie Murders.

8 – I shot the sherrif
Craig Johnson’s distinctive laugh filled the hall with joy, and he enthusiastically shared details about the Walt Longmire he is currently writing called The Western Star. It will be set on a train and will be a sly nod to Murder on the Orient Express. Twenty armed sherrifs on their annual junket on a steam train – what could possibly go wrong?


James Grady signing books.

9 – The condor flies again
James Grady wrote The Six Days of the Condor 42 years ago, and it was slimmed down to just three days for the Redford film adaptation. The author is now working on a new political thriller called The Marble Jungle. It is set against the backdrop of the current American elections. The author says he has never seen his country so divided.

10 – Erlendur redux?
Just as he told us in our interview with him last year, Arnaldur Indridason told the Quais audience that while it is true that in his book Strange Shores he left Erlendur alone in an isolated spot, ready to die of hypothermia, there is always a chance he may go back and revive him. He likes the option of going back and forth in time with a younger and older Erlendur.

11 – Defectors
John Lawton continues to be obsessed with the Cold War and his latest book takes place in Vienna in 1958, and is based on a real incident, when a former defector seems keen to return to the fold.

12 – Sudanese crime fiction?
Parker Bilal’s crime series about a private detective from Sudan now living in Cairo was going to stop in 2011 with the Arab Spring, but that he may have to prolong it as Egypt continues to be in a very revolutionary state.

13 – Varenne goes historical
Fans of Antonin Varenne‘s quirky crime fiction can also look forward to another translation of his work in 2016, this time a historical crime novel.

14 – Prepare for Le Corre
Hervé Le Corre will be a new name to most of our readers, but he has won numerous awards in France. His novel After the War, set in Bordeaux in the late 1940s, will be published in English by Maclehose Press in August 2016.

15 – L’accident?
Linwood Barclay ‘s book The Accident is being filmed in France and just before Quais du Polar the author had been on set for a few days in Bretagne.

WatsonConnolly30016 – Connolly continues…
Last but not least, John Connolly has no intention of slowing down with his Charlie Parker series or writing in general, and invited us all to move to Ireland should the UK vote to leave the EU.

For upcoming crime fiction events, click here.

Craig Johnson

Craig Johnson

Sara Gran and Deon Meyer

Sara Gran and Deon Meyer

Sophie Hannah

Sophie Hannah

Jax Miller with xxxxxx

Jax Miller with Michele Rowe

Jo Nesbo signing books

Jo Nesbo signing books

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