A Round-up of Events and BIG News



Those of you new to this blog will soon discover that I begin every post with an apology that I’m not blogging more and a promise to blog more often. I also plan to build a shed, clean the garage and do the ironing. None of that is getting done either. You see, working during the day, writing at night, having a family etc, that all eats into my time and invariably the blog gets a bit neglected. So here’s a bit of a catch up post WITH SOME BIG NEWS AT THE END.

Since I last posted I’ve done quite a few events.

In May I was a guest at Newcastle Noir which took place in the historic Lit and Phil building in Newcastle Upon Tyne. It was my first visit to the Toon and it won’t be my last. I had a great time at the festival, the panels were great, the crowds and the people were plentiful and warm, and thanks to Howard Linskey’s expert local knowledge I had a couple of great nights in local pubs.

Things I learned in Newcastle Noir.

1. It rains in Newcastle. Constantly. Lots of men and women wander about the town wearing very little clothes so that they don’t feel just as wet as they would do if  they were fully clothed.

2. Every year it stops raining in Newcastle for twenty-four hours, on the nineteenth of June, as a mark of respect for Kevin Keegan.

3. There is an annual hosepipe ban on the twentieth of June.

4. Despite the rain, I had a ball. The Newcastle people are wonderful.

newcastle noir


This is my legal eagles panel from Newcastle Noir, with Clare O’Donoghue, Peter Murphy and expert chair Ayo Onatade. So a huge thanks to Jacky, Mari Hannah, Nick Quantrill and all who invited me and put up with me for the weekend. The festival had a lovely atmosphere and I’ll certainly be back (packs scuba gear).


Next up was a trip to Crimefest. This was my first visit to Bristol which is another lovely, English town.

Things I learned at Crimefest.

1. 9:00am panels come around awfully quickly. The night before, you believe 9:00am is a world away, but unfortunately it’s not. It’s very soon. And very, very early. Head over to Peter Rozovsky’s web domain to see some photos of me at 9:00am and a full Crimefest shakedown in Peter’s inimitable style. I had a lovely dinner with Peter, Ali Karim and the rest of the boys.  To borrow from Keith Waterhouse – people who have seen me at 9:00am say that I am not at my best, however they sometimes generously add that I am not at my worst, either.

2. The good people of the Bristol Marriott hotel know how to charge for a beer. This is a cunningly opportunistic strategy for targeting the unwary, and permanently thirsty crime writer.

3. I was sitting at a table talking to my good friend Stuart Neville when Lee Child sat down next to us and started chatting. Total fanboy moment. Then Lee told me that he’s read and enjoyed The Defence. It was all I could do not to give the man a big wet kiss.

4. Bristol has great food. Had the best fish and chips ever with Stuart Neville and Luca Veste in the wee chippy across the road from the hotel.

Overall, Crimefest was great, and I loved meeting up with old friends and making new ones.

Here are are some photos of Library events and my recent Belfast Book Festival events.

ballymena library

Ballymena Library photo with the organisers – Jillian McFrederick

tandragee lib

Tandragee Library. A brilliant event expertly organised by Jo Atkinson

belfast book fest

Paul Thomas Anderson, Peggy Huges and me at Belfast Book Festival.

belfast book festival

Belfast Book Festival




Here it is….


The Defence has been shortlisted for a brace of awards at the inaugural DEAD GOOD READERS AWARDS on Friday 17th July at the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival. These awards are voted for by READERS so it’s down to you who wins. I’m so delighted to be in the running and if you wish to vote – click on the name of the categories below to go straight to voting.



Obviously, you can vote for whichever book you fancy, but know that a vote for The Defence will make you a stronger, hairier/less hairy, wiser, happier, healthier, marginally more attractive,  and an all round better human being than you were previously. Also, and if that weren’t enough, if you vote for The Defence in both categories you would be entitled to choose whatever you desire from the posh biscuit tin if you ever make it round to my house for tea.

If you want to know more about the awards, here’s a handly little piece from The Bookseller.

As a final wrap up, here’s a couple of recent interviews I did. First, with that man of letters and guile, Declan Burke. and here, a quickie with my pal, and excellent crime writer, Gerard Brennan,

And as a final, final update – here’s a new blurb for The Defence from New York Times Bestseller, and creator of the Dismas Hardy legal thrillers, John Lescroart –

“Puts the “thrill” back in “legal thriller”. Non-stop action, unexpected and totally cool plot twists, a sympathetic genius of a con-man/attorney, and a clock that never ever ever stops ticking — this isn’t narrative drive, it’s rocket-like narrative propulsion! Hop aboard and enjoy the ride!”

That’s all for now, I’m away to the shop to buy the nice biscuits so get VOTING!!!!

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