Granite Noir Headliners
Friday 24 February
1.30pm – 2.30pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
Crime-stoppers Turned Crime Writers: Denzil Meyrick and Kate London
Chaired by Stuart MacBride £9.50
Authenticity matters, so do ex-cops have the edge when it comes to crime writing? Come along and find out, as Stuart MacBride talks with Denzil Meyrick and Kate London. Meyrick, author of the popular DCI Daley series, served with Strathclyde Police in Glasgow. His latest DCI Daley novel, The Rat Stone Serenade, is set in snowbound Kintyre, where ghosts and ancient curses rise out of the past, causing mayhem and murder. Kate London was an actress, theatre writer, and teacher before joining London’s Metropolitan Police. After qualifying as a detective constable she went on attachment with France’s police nationale, and finished her career as part of a Major Investigation Team on the Met’s Homicide Command. The Sunday Times said her debut, Post Mortem, “vividly recreates the everyday experience of uniformed police [offering] rare insights into how the police operate.” The follow up, Death Message, comes out in April. Stuart MacBride works closely with forensic professionals and local police forces when researching his popular Logan McRae novels.
7.00pm – 8.00pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
In Conversation with Stuart MacBride £9.50
Who better to kick off our opening night than local legend Stuart MacBride, whose novels have sold more than 2.5 million copies — and counting! He’ll be talking to Gordon J Brown, one of the founders of Bloody Scotland, about his bestselling Sergeant Logan McRae novels, which have earned Aberdeen pride of place on the Noir map of Scotland. The latest, In the Cold Dark Ground was his sixth number 1 The Sunday Times bestseller in as many years. MacBride has said: “They always say, ‘write what you know’ so I did – using Aberdeen as the backdrop for a series of horrific crimes, murders, serial killers, and much eating of chips and drinking of beer. Of these, the only ones I have any direct experience of are beer and chips, but some nice local police officers helped me fill in the rest.”
9.00pm – 10.00pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
In Conversation with Chris Brookmyre £9.50
Winner of the McIlvanney Prize at this year’s Bloody Scotland, Chris Brookmyre is one of our finest, and funniest writers. He’ll have you crying with laughter one minute, quivering with anxiety the next and marvelling at the inventiveness of his... vocabulary... throughout. Join us for the paperback launch of the award-winning Black Widow, a feminist psychological thriller set in Inverness. It’s a hair-raising ride through the back alleys of cyberspace, where reputations are built — and destroyed — with the stroke of a key. This story is so surprising that even the twists have twists. Chris may also give us a sneak preview of his new novel, out this summer.
Sunday 26th February
3pm – 5pm, 1906 Restaurant at HMT
Poisoned High Tea, with Dr Kathryn Harkup £18, £25 with Prosecco
What could be more inviting on a chilly Sunday afternoon than a plate piled high with warm scones, pastries and dainty sandwiches, washed down with strong coffee or aromatic tea? But beware! Dr Kathryn Harkup, author of A is for Arsenic, is here to remind us that in the hands of literary Grande Dame Agatha Christie, everything on the menu could — and did — become a lethal weapon. While you dine, Dr Harkup will talk about some of Christie’s favourite poisons, describing how the Queen of Crime deployed them, and where she found her inspiration. It all adds up to one unforgettable meal!
9pm – midnight, The Belmont Filmhouse
Noir at the Bar, (with Gunnar Staalesen) hosted by Russel D Mclean FREE ENTRY
Host Russel D McLean (founder of Glasgow’s Noir at the Bar) hosts this informal gathering of festival and local talent for a night of readings and hijinks in the bar of the Belmont Filmhouse, and we’ll be kicking things off with an appearance by Gunnar Staalesen. The format originated in Philadelphia and has sprung up around the world to become an international phenomenon. Anything can happen: you’re likely to hear new work, readings from published novels, maybe even a song or two. Get up close and personal with some of your favourite writers in a relaxed setting.
IN CONVERSATION – Interrogations
Friday 24 February 3.30pm – 4.30pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
Atmospheric Pressure: Doug Johnstone and Sarah Ward £7.50
Discover why choosing the right location for a novel is as important as identifying the killer. Doug Johnstone’s new novel Crash Land is set in Orkney, while Sarah Ward’s A Deadly Thaw takes place in the Peak District. Both evoke a vivid sense of place as integral to the story as its characters and plot. Johnstone says: “Orkney is tremendously atmospheric, and all the old archaeological sites. . . give a real feeling that the past is absolutely intertwined with the present in everyday life. There’s an innate sense of claustrophobia, that exists on islands that’s hopefully tailor-made for tense and suspenseful writing.” The Financial Times said A Deadly Thaw “bristles with the same persuasive psychological detail and atmosphere that distinguishes Nordic noir.”
Saturday 25 February 11am - 12 noon, The Lemon Tree Studio
Pantsers Versus Planners with Chris Brookmyre, Kati Heikkapelto,
Doug Johnstone and Kate London £7.50
When writing a novel, is it better to plan meticulously or fly by the seat of your pants, seeing where the story takes you? Should you start with charts and character profiles, or a couple of scribbled-on post-it notes? Do you have to know ‘whodunit’ before launching into your opening paragraph? Join authors Chris Brookmyre, Kati Heikkapelto, Doug Johnstone and Kate London for a frank discussion about working methods that’s sure to offer aspiring authors.
Saturday 25 February 1pm - 2pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
Blurred Lines: with Denise Mina and Nicola White £7.50
Why are so many of us suspicious of true crime books, when we gobble up crime fiction? Who decided that fiction contains a moral centre that is missing from reportage, or that enjoying true crime books is as unseemly as rubbernecking at the scene of an accident? Why do certain real life tragedies capture the public — and so many writers’ — imagination? And don’t most crime novels have roots in real events? These are some of the issues these award-winning authors will tackle in a provocative, idea-filled session. Denise Mina’s new novel, The Long Drop, is based on serial killer Peter Manuel and set in 1950s Glasgow. Nicola White’s In the Rosary Garden, winner of the 2013 Dundee International Book Prize, was inspired by the Kerry Babies tribunal of the 1980s.
Saturday 25 February 3pm - 4pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
Does Evil Exist? With Denise Mina, Richard Holloway and Dr Zohar Hadromi-Allouche £7.50
Transgression lies at the heart of every crime novel. Some acts are so horrific that we label their perpetrators born devils. Are there malevolent forces in the universe capable of overriding free will and morality? Or does the idea that someone is evil enable us to step away and ignore the real roots of anti-social behaviour? Denise Mina, Richard Holloway, and Dr Zohar Hadromi-Allouche discuss historical concepts of evil and our perceptions of wrong-doers. Whether you’re a reader, or a writer wrestling with these dilemmas on the page, this is a conversation you won’t want to miss. Denise Mina is the author of more than 12 acclaimed novels and a member of the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame. Richard Holloway, FRSE, is a writer and broadcaster, whose most recent book is A Little History of Religion. He is a former Bishop of Edinburgh and was Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church from 1992 to 2000. Dr Zohar Hadromi-Allouche is a lecturer in Islam at Aberdeen University’s department of Divinity and Religious Studies. Her research interests include the relations between religious and folk literature.
Saturday 25 February 5pm - 6pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
The Customs of the Country: Gordon J Brown and Quentin Bates £7.50
Gordon J Brown, a co-founder and director of Bloody Scotland, splits his time between the UK, the U.S.A. and Spain. The hero of his US-based series, Craig McIntyre, is ex-military turned bodyguard — and a man who attracts violence like a magnet. Quentin Bates, a co-founder of the Iceland Noir festival, spent more than a decade living in Iceland, where his Gunnhildur Gísladóttir series is set. As well as his journalism and novels, Bates also translates Scandi Noir for English-speaking readers. Join them for a discussion delving into the different sensibilities and expectations of American versus Scandi crime fiction and a look at how these physical and emotional terrains have shaped their own work.
Nordic Noir International Noir from our Nordic neighbours
Saturday 25 February 7pm – 8pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
Hot Scandi Crime: Thomas Enger and Thomas Rydahl £9.50
Former sports journalist Thomas Enger plunges us into Oslo’s dark underbelly and the fast-moving world of 24-hour news with his popular Henning Juul novels, which are published in 26 countries. His most recent in English, Cursed, involves a missing woman, a dead man and a wealthy family guarding terrible secrets. Juul is also coming to terms with his son’s death. Enger has been called “one of the most unusual and intense writers in the field. ”Denmark’s Thomas Rydahl is a writer and translator. He’ll be talking about his debut, The Hermit, which won the Danish Debutant Award — the first time it has ever gone to a thriller. He’s also won the Glass Key Award for the best Nordic crime novel, and the Harald Mogensen Prize for the best Danish crime novel. Set on a deserted beach on the Spanish island of Fuerteventura, it features a distinctive — and highly unlikely — detective.
Saturday 25 February 9pm – 10pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
Meet Sweden’s Queen of Crime with Kristina Ohlsson £9.50
Superstar Kristina Ohlsson is beloved in Sweden for both her crime fiction and her children’s books. Her novels The Chosen and Hostage, feature investigative analysts Fredrik Bergman and Alex Recht. Ohlsson did her research at the coalface: she’s worked for Säkerhetspolisen, the Swedish Security Service; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Swedish National Defence College; and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), where she was a Counter-Terrorism Officer. Her novels have been shortlisted for Best Crime Novel of the Year by the Swedish Academy of Crime Writers.
Sunday 26 February 1.30pm – 2.30pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
Challenging Conventions, With Antti Tuomainen and Russel D McLean £7.50
Once you’ve mastered the rules, all the fun is in breaking them! Meet two accomplished authors unafraid to tweak conventional formats to their own nefarious ends. In Ed’s Dead, McLean delivers a fast-paced domestic psychological thriller with a satiric twist, proving once and for all that the female of the species is deadlier than the male. In 2013, the Finnish press dubbed Tuomainen The King of Helsinki Noir. He was one of the first to challenge the Scandinavian crime genre formula, and his work has been praised not only for the heart-stopping twists in his tales, but also for his use of language. The Mine is a gripping, beautifully written tale of corruption and revenge, set in northern Finland. He’s a past winner of the Clue Award for Best Finnish Crime Novel of 2011.
Sunday 26 February 3.30pm – 4.30pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
Crime with a Social Conscience: Kati Hiekkapelto and Eva Dolan £7.50
Sharp social criticism and dark home truths are a hallmark of modern crime fiction, and these talented authors are so adept at weaving controversial social issues through their thrilling mysteries that you never spot the join. In The Exiled, Hiekkapelto sends Anna Fekete back to her Balkan birthplace, but the investigator’s holiday turns into a murder investigation. Hiekkapelto won Best Finnish Crime Novel of the year for The Defenceless in 2014. Eva Dolan’s DS Ferreira and DI Zigic, members of Peterborough’s Hate Crimes Unit, investigate crimes against people who can’t always speak for themselves. Tell No Tales was shortlisted for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year and After You Die, was long-listed for CWA’s Gold Dagger. Eva’s new book, Watch Her Disappear, is set in the transgender community.
Sunday 26 February 6pm – 8.30pm, The Belmont Filmhouse
Nordic Noir, Cold Hearts film screening £10
One of the fathers of Nordic Noir, Gunnar Staalesen introduced the world to PI Varg Veum in 1977. Forty years later, his complex, engaging anti-hero is still going strong, despite a stint in rehab and a string harrowing cases that might have broken a lesser man. Jo Nesbo calls Staalesen “The Norwegian Chandler” and Bergen honoured him by erecting a life-sized statue of Veum in the city centre. We are delighted to welcome Staalesen to Granite Noir to introduce a rare UK screening of Cold Hearts. While investigating a case of missing sisters in Bergen’s prostitution network, Varg Veum faces an impossible choice: let the criminals go free or expose his pregnant wife to mortal danger. (2012. Director: Trond Espen Seim. Writers: Geir Meum Olsen, Gunnar Staalesen) After the film there will be a conversation and audience Q&A with Staalesen.
Crimewatch Granite Noir screenings at the Belmont Filmhouse
Monday 27 February 8.30pm, The Belmont Filmhouse Easy Money £10/£8 concession
A Swedish thriller based on the 2006 novel by Jens Lapidus, Easy Money (Snabba Cash) sees Joel Kinnaman star as Johan Westlund, a poor man who leads a double life among Stockholm’s elite. After meeting a wealthy girl, he has to go to increasingly criminal lengths to fund his lavish lifestyle, shortly finding himself far from his depth. Easy Money was well received by critics and audiences alike and had a UK release in 2013. (2010. Director: Daniel Espinosa)
Tuesday 28 February 6pm, The Belmont Filmhouse Jar City £10/£8 concession
A classic Scandinavian, world-weary detective played to perfection by Ingvar Eggert Sigurdsson (Of Horses And Men) searches for answers in a murder case in this film based on the novel Myrin by author Arnauld Indridason. Jar City, like much Scandi drama, is grim, bleak and black, so it feels appropriate that much of the murder case revolves around genetics – clearly there’s something in Scandinavian DNA. (2006. Director: Baltasar Kormákur)
Tickets booked through Belmont Filmhouse box office or www.belmontfilmhouse.com
North-East Noir Crime Writing from Aberdeen City & Shire
Sunday 26 February 11.30am – 12.30pm, The Lemon Tree Studio
In Conversation with Claire MacLeary and Clio Gray £7.50
Cross Purpose heralds the arrival of a distinctive new voice, debut novelist Claire MacLeary. When Maggie Laird’s disgraced husband, an ex cop, dies unexpectedly, her life is turned upside down. To pay off debts she takes on his struggling detective agency, enlisting the help of her neighbour, ‘Big Wilma’. The discovery of a mutilated body draws them into the unknown world of Aberdeen’s sink estates, clandestine child-minding and dodgy dealers. Gritty and funny, Cross Purpose is also a paean to friendship, demonstrating how women of a “certain age” can defy the odds. Acclaimed author Clio Gray’s exciting new Scottish Mystery Trilogy begins with Deadly Prospects. It’s set in Sutherland, in 1869, when a big corporation rolls into town determined to reopen its mine and reinvigorate the harsh conditions in this remote Highland enclave. When a body is found next to some strange inscriptions, things take a sinister turn. Grey’s previous historical thrillers were bestsellers. The Anatomist’s Dream, was nominated for the Man Booker prize in 2015, and long-listed for the Bailey’s Prize in 2016.
Little Criminals Granite Noir Family Events
Saturday 25 February 2pm – 3pm, Children’s Library What Happens Next? With Vivian French FREE - BOOKING REQUIRED
Fancy writing a mystery but not sure where to start? Acclaimed author Vivian
French leads budding writers on a hair-raising trip into Aberdeen’s past. Using an historical ‘Wanted’ poster from the city’s archives, you’ll create a participatory story that solves a 100-year-old-mystery. No pencil or paper needed, just bring your imagination!
Sunday 26 February 2pm – 3pm, Children’s Library Drawing Baddies with Shoo Rayner FREE - BOOKING REQUIRED
Sharpen your pencils for a fun session with bestselling author and YouTube
sensation Shoo Rayner, who promises: “If you can make a mark on a piece of paper, you can draw.” With his trademark wit and style, Rayner will demonstrate how to master basic drawing shapes so you can create creepy criminals. You’ll learn how to polish your pictures of nefarious nasties, super sleuths and naughty no-good-nicks to make them truly spine-tingling. Paper and pencils will be supplied.
Sunday 26 February 12.30pm – 1.30pm, Central Library
Taking Inspiration from the Past with Elly Griffiths and S G MacLean £7.50
Two masters of the form reveal their top tips for writing historical fiction, including how and where to do your research, when to stop swotting and start writing, how to keep facts from derailing your plot the art of listening to your characters, and how to know when to deviate from the facts to keep the story moving. 2016 CWA Dagger in the Library winner Elly Griffiths is renowned for her Ruth Galloway mysteries. In 2015, she launched the Stephens and Mephisto series, set in 1950s Brighton. They draw from archival documents and live research, including interviews with her grandfather, a former music hall comedian. The Chalk Pit, her ninth Galloway novel, comes out this week, and Elly is this year’s Programming Chair of the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival. S G MacLean is the author of the acclaimed Alexander Seaton historical crime novels, set in Banff, Northern Ireland and Aberdeen. She found inspiration in the archives while doing a PhD in 17th century history at the University of Aberdeen. Curious about the lives behind the statistics, she created the thwarted clergyman turned schoolmaster, forced to clear his name after being framed for murder. Her new series, set in Oliver Cromwell’s Commonwealth, includes The Seeker, which won the CWA Historical Dagger Award, and The Black Friar.
Sunday 26 February 2pm – 3pm, The Town House
Who killed David Dun? With William Hepburn of the University of Aberdeen £7.50
Burgess, shipmaster and all-round rogue, David Dun had plenty of enemies in Medieval Aberdeen and appeared in court on a monthly basis. When he is found murdered you, as the town clerk with access to the town’s legal records, must attempt to work out which of Dun’s many enemies was behind the killing. Using real extracts from historic Aberdeen Burgh records, this live narrative game will allow the audience to vote on decisions and try to solve the crime!