Hull yes! It’s the Hull Noir festival reading list

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Between 17 and 19 of November, the city of Kingston upon Hull will be the surrogate home of Iceland Noir, as it travels from its home city of Reykjavik and stops on the Humber. Just like the original festival, Hull Noir 2017 will be celebrating crime fiction from far and wide, including both local and international authors. Highlighting Hull’s crime fiction heritage from Get Carter author, Ted Lewis, through to the current crop of writers working in the city, the festival will forge new connections and examine the themes of contemporary crime fiction.

An exciting programme is being crafted by the organising committee, which includes writer Nick Quantrill, who is based in Hull. Here, Nick joins us to recommend a reading list to delight in if you’re heading to Hull in November. Hell, these books are so good you might as well read them even if you’re not!

The Zealot’s Bones by David Mark
David Mark’s DS McAvoy series has long been a favourite of mine with his razor-sharp eye for a city undergoing a transformation from being voted the UK’s leading Crap Town to the current UK City of Culture. The Zealot’s Bones is a departure, though. Heading back to 1849 and a city under the grip of a cholera outbreak, former-soldier Meshach Stone provides protection to a Canadian academic searching for Simon the Zealot’s bones. But it soon turns personal for Stone in a city full of discarded bodies. As you’d expect from the author, it’s dark and grim, but full of humanity. Read the CFL review here.
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Getting Carter: Ted Lewis and the Birth of Brit Noir by Nick Triplow 
If it was a revelation to discover Ted Lewis, the author of Get Carter was raised in my local area, imagine my glee when I discovered the story is not really set in Newcastle, but actually around the Humber. Ted Lewis is possibly the most important crime writer you’ve never heard of. Out of print until recently, Nick Triplow’s masterful biography details an incredible story of rags to riches and back to rags again, with Lewis dying prematurely aged only 42 in 1982.
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Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir
We knew when we started planning the festival that we wanted a book to feature that we could take out to reading groups in Hull and the East Riding. Something a bit different. When we heard Karen Sullivan at Orenda Books was publishing the first of Lilja’s Reykjavik Noir trilogy, it was the news we’d been waiting for. Instead of fighting over fishing rights, our two cities could bond over crime fiction. Detailing drug smuggling, the banking crash as well as taking an incisive look at Icelandic society, it’s a thrilling and fast-paced novel.
Buy now on Amazon

Damaged by Martina Cole
Every crime festival needs its share of big name headliners and we’re lucky to have not just Mark Billingham and John Connolly, but also Martina Cole. Her latest title, Damaged, is classic Cole and sees the return of DI Kate Burrows from retirement. With a serial killer on the loose, it becomes clear the killer is closer than Kate thinks. Martina is credited with being the most shoplifted author in the country and the most heavily borrowed in the prison library system. It’s going to be exciting to hear what one of the country’s most loved crime writers has to say at the festival.
Buy now on Amazon

The Fatal Tree by Jake Arnott
I’m a long-term admirer of Jake’s work going all the way back to his debut novel, The Long Firm. Jake has always written about London’s criminal underworld masterfully, but his latest, The Fatal Tree, takes us back to 1726 and is based on the story of Edgworth Bess and Jack Sheppard, a prototype Bonnie and Clyde. As they scheme their way around the capital, all roads lead to the gallows and the fatal tree. It’s a thrill to have Jake with us in Hull, not least because his work shares certain characteristics with the style Ted Lewis pioneered.
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Watch Her Disappear, Eva DolanWatch Her Disappear by Eva Dolan
If a crime festival has to have today’s big name headliners, it’s only right it also has the stars of tomorrow. Is there another writer looking the world in the eye with as much precision, understanding and empathy as Eva Dolan? I don’t think there is. In Watch Her Disappear, DI Zigic and DS Ferreira find themselves in the local LGBTQ community, battling a particularly nasty hate crime when Corrine Sawyer is found murdered. It’s an intelligent and thrilling novel from a writer hitting the top of her game. Read the CFL review here.
Buy now on Amazon

To book tickets for Hull Noir, please visit the festival website.

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