Thursday 3 January 2013

Thrilling history in Westminster ...

Andrew Williams, Mike Ripley, Robert Ryan
Friend of this blog, crime writer and editor of the Shotsmag journal 'Getting Away with Murder', author Mike Ripley, has informed me about an interesting session in London later this month of interesst anyone interested in historical crime and thriller fiction.

Right now I'm two chapters into the new novel Dominion, by C J Sanson. It's a thriller which takes place in a UK which made an armistice with Nazi Germany in 1940 and part of which - the Isle of Wight - is occupied by the Wehrmacht. It follows in the footsteps of such other 'alternative history' books at, of course, Len Deighton's SS-GB and Fatherland by Anthony Harris.

There is a big market for historical fiction covering all periods - Hilary Mantel recently won the Booker Prize for Bring up the bodies - and on the back of this renewed interest Mike and two other fellow authors are organising a talk in London to get their take on historical crime and thriller fiction.

Historically Criminal! sees Andrew Williams, Mike Ripley and Robert Ryan meet to talk about their take on historical crime and thriller fiction. All three are prolific established authors - below are the covers of their recent works:

Robert Ryan has been a lecturer and a journalist and has written more than fifteen books to date. In Dead Man’s Land, Dr Watson must identify a treacherous killer striking in the trenches of the First World War.

Andrew Williams directed and wrote television documentaries for twenty years before becoming an author. His first two books were short-listed for a number of awards. His latest novel, The Poison Tide centres around the life of a British spy in the First World War.

Mike Ripley is the award winning author of the Angel series of comedy thrillers and has been described as “England's funniest crime writer”. He was a scriptwriter on the BBC series Lovejoy and as a critic has reviewed over 1,000 crime novels in the last 22 years.

Mike Ripley will be chairing a hugely entertaining panel as they discuss why are so many really good thrillers are opting for historical settings these days with Andrew Williams and Robert Ryan explaining their decision to go "Historically Criminal".

Details of the event:
When: Monday 18th February 2013, 1800h*
Where: Victoria Library, Buckingham Palace Road

This event took place in front of a small but enthusiastic audience. Interesting discussion about the benefits that historical fiction provides to the author, but also the challenges they face, particularly with readers who are sticklers for historical accuracy.


  1. How are you getting on with Dominion? Would have to be good to chase SS GB which for me is the pinnacle of the genre...

    Loving the site which is a great companion to my re/reading of LD,

    PS Fatherland is *Robert* Harris!!

  2. Good point about Fatherland, made a mistake. Dominion is .... not grabbing me. Working through it slowly, the pace isn't really much. But, I'll finish it soon.