Tag Archives: All the Colours of the Town

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.