Category Archives: Tartan Noir

My year in books: David Whish-Wilson

ZeroThe next guest in the ‘my year in books’ series is Perth-based crime writer David Whish-Wilson.

David’s Zero At the Bone (the sequel to his 2010 book, Line of Sight) was one of my favourite crime reads of 2013. I reviewed the book on this site a couple of months ago.

Also hot off the presses and getting rave reviews is David’s book about his home town, Perthpart of the New South Books city series. You can find the book here.

Dave’s got some interesting choices. The first of the Laidlaw series is on my radar to try soon.

Welcome David.

My top 5 books of this Year, in no particular order are:

The Dying Beach, Angela Savage

I’ve spent most of the year working on a non-fiction book, and my reading has been pretty much limited to municipal histories and the like. One thing I notice about this year’s favourite novels, unlike in previous years, is that 4 of the 5 are Australian, and three of the four are West Australian, which I think is terrific. One of the greatest joys this year was reading Angela Savage’s latest crime novel, The Dying Beach. From the first pages I was there with Jayne Keeney and her idiosyncratic but always fully-realised side-kick, Rajiv.… Read more

Tartan Noir panel on ABC TV Big Ideas

A quick heads up that the session on Tartan Noir I chaired at the 2013 Melbourne Writers Festival is now available for viewing at ABC TV Big Ideas.

The session features two great Scottish crime writers, Doug Johnstone and Liam Mcilvanney.

We covered a lot of territory in our allotted hour, including what, if anything, ‘Tartan noir’ means, the history of Scottish crime writing, and the upcoming 2014 referendum on independence and its implications for the arts in Scotland.

The program will be shown at the following times (in Australia):

Today (Tuesday 17th September) on ABC1 at 11am.

Saturday 21st September on ABCNEWS24 at 12 midnight.

A shortened version on Saturday 21st September on ABCNEWS24 at 2.30pm. This will be repeated on Monday 23rd September at 5.30am on ABCNEWS24.

The program will also be available on iview (ABC Online) after the program has aired here (although unfortunately this link is geo-blocked and can only be seen in Australia).

Or you can just catch the full web version here.

If you want more information, here is my review of Doug’s latest book, Gone Again, and Liam’s latest work, Where the Dead Men Go.

In conversation with Scottish crime writer Stuart MacBride

close-to-the-bone

Hot on the heels of last weekend’s Tartan noir panel at the Melbourne Writers Festival, comes news another Scottish crime writer will be visiting our city.

Best selling author Stuart MacBride will be in Melbourne next week.

MacBride is the author of several books featuring DS Logan McRae, as well as a number of stand-alone novels. His latest McRae novel, Close to the Bone has been released.

I’ll be in conversation with MacBride at Reader’s Feast Bookstore next Tuesday, September 3 at 6.30pm. Readers Feast is located at 162 Collins Street, Melbourne.

It’ll be MacBride’s only Melbourne appearance. Tickets are $6 and bookings are essential. E-mail readers@readersfeast.com.au

Hope to see you there.

A double shot of Tartan noir at the 2013 Melbourne Writers Festival

Where the Dead Men Go coverLast Saturday I had the pleasure of interviewing two great Scottish crime writers, Doug Johnstone and Liam Mcilvanney, for a session on Tartan noir at the 2013 Melbourne Writers Festival.

We covered a lot of territory in our allotted hour, including what, if anything, ‘Tartan noir’ means, the history of Scottish crime writing, and the upcoming 2014 referendum on independence and its implications for the arts in Scotland.

ABC Big Ideas TV and Slow TV filmed the event. Apart from the fact I got to hear the immortal words, “sound check in ten mister Nette”, it means I’ll be able to put up a link to the show when it goes live instead repeating the contents of the session on this site.

That said I did want to do quick reviews of both their books, Mcilvanney’s Where the Dead Men Go, and Johnstone’s Gone Again.

First up, Where Dead Men Go.

This is the second in a series featuring the character of Gerry Conway, a cynical newspaper journalist pounding the mean streets of Glasgow. In the first book, All the Colours of the Town, Conway is looking for a major story and finds it when he stumbles across evidence that a major Scottish political leader has had past connections to Irish loyalist paramilitaries.… Read more

Tartan noir at the Melbourne Writers Festival

Where the Dead Men Go coverOn Saturday, August 24, I’ll be hosting a panel on Scottish crime writing, titled Tartan Noir, as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival.

James Ellroy coined the phrase Tartan Noir to describe his Scottish counterpart Ian Rankin.

For the panel I’ll be interviewing two great Scottish crime writers, Liam MciIvanney and Doug Johnston.

MciIvanney is the author of two books, All the Colours of the Town, published in 2009, and Where the Dead Men Go, which is due for release later this month (and which is being published locally in Australia through Allen and Unwin).

Johnston has authored five books, the most recent of which is Gone Again.

Both are terrific writers and I’ll be talking to them about this particularly Scottish form of literature, its origins, the duality of its anti-heroes and how it reflects modern life in Scotland.

Due to popular demand, the event has been moved to a larger venue, but tickets are going fast, so if you’re interested in attending, get in quick.

It will kick off at 4pm at Cinema 1, ACMI, and is supported by GREAT Britain Arts 13, presented by the British Council.

Ticketing information is available here on the Festival website.

Hope to see you there.