Book Club with Anna Caig…

If, like me, your taste in fiction runs to the murderous, the annual ‘New Blood’ picks by Val McDermid as part of the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in Harrogate are a highlight of the year.

New Blood is where McDermid unveils her top four debut novelists, and if you’re looking for something new to read it is a great way to find writers who are pushing the boundaries of crime fiction. The authors will take part in a hotly anticipated event at the festival where the genre will be debated and celebrated. Val McDermid said: “Choosing the four debut novels for the New Blood panel at the festival and presenting them to the 700-strong audience is the best job in crime fiction. I get to immerse myself in new voices and fresh ideas. My quartet this year have each produced a provocative and entertaining excursion into their very distinctive worlds. I guarantee each of these books is a riveting read.” The books chosen this year are Will Dean’s Dark Pines about a deaf journalist investigating the case of an eyeless corpse in rural Sweden, Dervla McTiernan’s The Ruin set in the dark heart of Ireland, CJ Tudor’s suspense-filled The Chalk Man, and Stuart Turton bringing time loops, body swaps and a psychopathic footman to the murder mystery with The Seven Deaths Of Evelyn Hardcastle.

Tickets for the festival, which runs from 19-22 July and boasts thriller superstar Lee Child as its programming chair, go on sale this week.

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Val McDermid