Globe-Trotting Thrillers: Holly Watt and D.B. John

Sunday 24 February 6pm – 7pm
Lemon Tree Studio £9.50

Award-winning investigative journalist Holly Watt helped break the parliamentary expenses scandal. With To the Lions she takes us on a breakneck journey from a London nightclub to the glitz of St Tropez, and the deserts of Libya—and into the darkest corners of the human mind, following star reporter Casey Benedict as she investigates an apparent suicide that isn’t all it seems.

In D.B. John’s Star of the North — already being called the year’s timeliest thriller—the US and North Korea are again on the brink of war. When an American woman disappears from a South Korean island, the CIA recruit her twin sister to uncover the truth, sending her deep into the world’s most deadly state. D.B. John has lived in South Korea, and is one of the few Western tourists to have visited North Korea. His expertise makes this a terrifyingly authentic glimpse into one of the world’s most clandestine military regimes.

Chaired by Kezia Dugdale.

Meet Tomorrow’s Stars Today: Claire Askew, Ruth Mancini and Harriet Tyce

Sunday 24 February 2.30pm – 3.30pm
Central Library £9.50

Introducing three exciting new voices in crime fiction. All the Hidden Truths, by Claire Askew, begins with the facts: Ryan Summers walked into Three Rivers College and killed thirteen women, then himself. But why did he do it, and how do his actions affect those closest to the events?

This is a moving exploration of forgiveness, grief, and our collective reaction to tragedy. Ruth Mancini’s In the Blood is the story of a troubled woman accused of murdering her son, and the lawyer assigned to her case, who’s struggling to juggle the demands of work with caring for her disabled five-year-old. A criminal defence lawyer herself, and the mother of a disabled son, Ruth drew on personal experience to pen this chilling study of class and motherhood.

Blood Orange, by Harriet Tyce, is a dark psychological exploration of desire, jealousy and betrayal that’s already being compared to Anatomy of a Scandal and Apple Tree Yard. Originally from Edinburgh, Harriet practised as a criminal barrister before turning to writing full time.

Chaired by Fiona Stalker.

Gothic Game Changers: ES Thomson and Alex Reeve

Sunday 24 February 12pm – 1pm
Lemon Tree Studio £9.50

Think you know Victorian Britain? If the words “multicultural,” “racially diverse,” and “gender fluidity” don’t spring to mind, it’s time to rethink your history.

ES Thomson’s Jem Flockhart series features a woman in disguise in a man’s world. The Blood, finds the apothecary investigating a death on a hospital ship where prejudice, ambition and murder seethe the beneath a veneer of medical respectability. Chris Brookmyre said: “Jem Flockhart’s London is vivid, pungent and perilous.” Thomson has a PhD in the social history of medicine, and tries to fit as much medical history into her books as possible.

The House on Half Moon Street launches Alex Reeve’s series featuring Leo Stanhope—chess player, coroner’s assistant, transgender sleuth. When the love of his life is murdered and he’s accused of killing her, Leo must find out the truth—even if it means risking everything. Red magazine said, “Each page carries the whiff of sulphur and gaslight.”

Chaired by Alex Clark.

Murder in the Mountains: Alex Dahl, Jørn Lier Horst, Barbara Nickless and Kevin J Anderson

Saturday 23 February 5.30pm – 6.30pm
Lemon Tree Studio £9.50

Granite Noir has teamed up with Crested Butte’s crime fiction festival Murder in the Mountains for a special event connecting Aberdeen with Colorado. Authors on sides of the Atlantic join forces to debate the influence and importance of place in crime fiction and crime fiction festivals.

In Aberdeen we focus on ‘the North’ and joining the panel is bestselling Norwegian author Jorn Lier Horst. A former senior investigating officer and recent winner of the Glass Key Award for Best Nordic Crime Novel, Jorn will discuss The Katharina Code the latest in his detective William Wisting Series. And half American, half Norwegian Alex Dahl whose latest book The Boy at the Door asks what happens when your perfect life is threatened by the arrival of a friendless eight year old boy?

Authors in the US provide insights into the influence of classic North American landscapes in their work. A powerhouse of mystery writing, Kevin J Anderson is the author of 56 international best sellers that cross both traditional and indie publishing. While in Barbara Nickless latest novel, Dead Stop a woman is murdered on the train tracks in a Denver beset by a series of moonsoon like thunderstorms that threaten to flood the city.

Chaired by Lesley Anne Rose in Aberdeen and Brooke McMillian in Crested Butte.

Vocal Chords: Stella Duffy and Graeme Macrae Burnet

Saturday 23 February 3.30pm – 4.30pm
Lemon Tree Studio £9.50

Meet two literary stars taking authorial voice to the next level. In Money in the Morgue, Stella Duffy, writer and theatre maker, picks up the threads of an abandoned Mgaio Marsh Inspector Alleyn mystery, and we defy you to spot the joins. It’s the tale of a remote New Zealand hospital isolated by storms. Inside are a raged group of soldiers, patients, employees and a killer. Can the appearance of an English detective working in a counterespionage be just a lucky coincidence, or is something more sinister afoot?

Shortlisted for the 2016 man Booker Prize for His Bloody Project, Graeme Macrae Burnet returned to France for The Accident on the A35, purporting to be one of two “discovered” manuscripts by a certain Raymond brunet. Funnily enough the other manuscripts was The Disappearance of Adele Bedeau, aka, Burnet’s debut, written in the tradition of French noir.

Chaired by James Naughtie

Finding Your Characters—and Their Milieu: Vaseem Khan, Douglas Skelton, and Yrsa Sigurdardóttir

Saturday 23 February 1.30pm – 2.30pm
Lemon Tree Studio £9.50

This session takes us from the streets of Mumbai to the suburbs of Reykjavik and the bright lights of New York City, as we find out how—and where—authors make their characters come to life.

Vaseem Khan’s fourth Baby Ganesh Agency Investigation, Murder at the Grand Raj Palace, finds Inspector Ashwin Chopra (Rtd) and his elephant sidekick investigating the apparent suicide of an American billionaire at Mumbai’s swankiest hotel. In The Janus Run, Douglas Skelton writes about New York for the first time. His gritty thriller features a deadly secret organisation and a false accusation of murder. Yrsa Sigurdardóttir’s The Reckoning finds detective Huldar and child psychologist Freyja chasing a mysterious and chilling prediction in a race against time to prevent six murders

Chaired by James Naughtie.

Northern Noir: Claire Macleary and Lucy Foley

Saturday 23 February 11.30am – 12.30pm
Lemon Tree Studio £9.50

What is it about the north that makes it the ideal setting for murder? Two authors describe how setting becomes part of storytelling.

Since launching her debut at our first Granite Noir and earning praise as a “brilliant new talent” by Dame Sue Black, Claire MacLeary’s been longlisted for the 2017 McIlvanney prize and the 2018 Hearst Big Book Awards. Her third entry in the Aberdeen based Maggie and Wilma series, Runaway, finds the two friends investigating the disappearance of an Aberdeen housewife.

Lucy Foley, previously known for her historical novels, will talk about The Hunting Party and what she was inspired to set it in the wild remoteness of the Scottish Highlands. In the tradition of Agatha Christie, it finds a group of friends spending Hogmanay together in a rented hunting lodge, trapped there by a thick blizzard. Then a murderer strikes!

Chaired by Craig Sisterson

Granite Noir: Mucho Mistrust: Lisa Ballantyne, Renee Knight and Tara Isabella Burton

Friday 22 February 4pm – 5pm
Lemon Tree Studio £9.50

Everyone has secrets, even those seem honourable and upright. These three writers look at the terrifying consequences of misplaced trust.

Lisa Ballantyne’s debut, The Guilty One, was an international bestseller and a Richard & Judy book club pick. Her newest, Little Liar, find a teacher accused of abuse by his pupil. There are always two sides to every story, but once an accusation is made, how does it affect the lives of those involved?

Renee Knight’s Disclaimer was a runaway bestseller, which she’s currently adapting for Fox Searchclight. Now, in The Secretary, she’s crafted a nerve-wracking story about what happens when a meek, overlooked figure privy to the darkest secrets is pushed to her limit, becoming the most dangerous person in the room.

Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton, is one of 2018’s most talked about success stories. It’s the story of Louise, who has nothing and Lavina, who has everything. This tale of obsession and misplaced trust is being called a Talented Mr Ripley for the digital age.

Chaired by Edi Stark

Granite Noir: Staying Alive – Surviving a Series: Yrsa Sigurdardottir and Mark Billingham

Friday 22 February 2pm – 3pm
Lemon Tree Studio £9.50

What are the pleasures and pitfalls of writing a successful series with recurring characters? How do you keep it fresh? Or know when to move on? Two superstars reveal all about their practice.

Iceland’s Queen of Noir, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, gave us the award-winning, bestselling Thora Gudmundsdottir series, as well as stand-alone novels and children’s books. She’s since launch the Hulder and Freyja Children’s House series, the latest of which is The Reckoning.

Mark Billingham‘s just published his 15th Tom Thorne novel, The Killing Habit. He’s set his DI a tricky new challenge: using his knowledge of the psychological signs of a killer-cruelty, lack of empathy, the killing of animals – can he stop a series of homicides before they happen?

Chaired by Fiona Stalker

Brushes with the Law: Tony Kent and Abi Silver

Friday 22 February 12pm – 1pm
Lemon Tree Studio £9.50

Crime fiction investigating timely questions about contemporary society, from the pends of true legal insiders.

Tony Kent studied law in Scotland and is one of the UK’s leading barristers. he also spent a year as a heavyweight amateur boxer. his debut, Killer Intent, chosen for The Zoe Ball Book Club, introduced reporter Sarah Truman and Belfast-born criminal barrister Michael Devlin, a man with a secret past. it was brought for television by Liberty Films with Duncan Jones on board to direct and executive produce the series.

The follow up, Marked for Death, finds Truman and Devlin fighting present day demons alongside murderous ghosts from the pasts.

Lawyer Abi Silver’s twisty, suspenseful courtroom dramas feature legal duo Judith Burton and Constance Lamb and grapple with the possibilities of modern technology, specifically artificial intelligence (A1). In The Aladdin Trial they investigate the death of an elderly artist while defending the Syrian refugee who’s already been convicted by the media.

Chaired by Edi Stark