New Blood 2016 announced for Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival

Last week, Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in partnership with HW Fisher & Company, invited 50 authors and publishing professionals to its ‘New Blood’ reception in London. The event was designed to showcase new talent in the crime fiction genre in advance of the announcement of the New Blood panel for the July festival.

The event was hosted by leading crime writers Mark Billingham, author of the Tom Thorne series, and David Mark, creator of the hit DS McAvoy series of crime fiction books.

David Mark, who was one of Val McDermid’s New Blood picks at the 2012 crime festival, said: “The Festival is the most important in the literary calendar for the crime genre. I was incredibly excited, and proud, to be one of the New Blood authors chosen by Val. It was part of the whirlwind that led me to being signed in Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and America. I know how much it means when you’re starting out to not only get that recognition and platform, but the support of veteran crime authors, which is why I felt honoured, and delighted, to co-host this inaugural London New Blood celebration.”

For the 2016 festival, Val McDermid’s 2016 New Blood authors have been announced as Martin Holmen for Clinch, JS Law for Tenacity, Beth Lewis for The Wolf Road and Abir Mukherjee, author of A Rising Man.

Gemma Rowland, Literature Festivals Manager at Harrogate International Festivals – the arts charity that delivers the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival – said: “As well as celebrating the best crime writers around, the Festival is also about introducing new writers to crime fans.”

One of the top crime writing festivals in the world, Theaksons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival is a must attend weekend for all crime fiction fans.

Val McDermid’s New Blood panel takes place at 12pm on Saturday 23 July at the Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate during the 14th Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival.

This year the Programming Chair is Peter James, and Special Guests include Jeffery Deaver, Martina Cole, Neil Cross, Tess Gerritsen, Gerald Seymour and Linwood Barclay.

For the full programme, visit

Just finished reading: The Calling (a John Luther novel) by Neil Cross


What the blurb says: “Meet Detective Inspector John Luther. He’s brilliant; he’s intense. He’s obsessional. He’s dangerous.

John Luther has an extraordinary clearance rate. He commands outstanding loyalty. And yet he seethes with a hidden fury that at times he can barely control. Sometimes it sends him to the brink of madness, making him do things he shouldn’t; things way beyond the limits of the law.

This is the story of the case that tore Luther’s personal and professional relationships apart and propelled him over the precipice. Beyond fury, beyond vegeance. All the way to murder.”

I’m a big fan of the BBC series LUTHER (in which Idris Elba plays the title role) and couldn’t wait to read this book, the first novel in the John Luther series written by the show’s creator and writer Neil Cross.

Like the series, it’s a gritty and often shockingly brutal glimpse into the work of Detective Inspector John Luther. Rather than continue from the end of the second series, it takes the reader back to the time just before the first series begin and follows John as he works the case of the horrific murder of a man and his pregnant wife in their London home. As Luther and the killer become entangled in a deadly game of cat and mouse, Luther’s relationship with Zoe, his wife, begins to unravel. It’s a story that, just like its main character, is as intense as it is compelling.

If you’re a fan of the TV series, or a fan of gritty police procedurals, then this book is well worth a read.