This event, taking part on 22 February 2013, focused on the overlap between horror and crime fiction; alongside horror wunderkind Adam Nevill were crime novelists Steve Mosby and Stuart MacBride.
Steve opened up with two passages from his new novel The Dark Room; evocative prose combined a strong sense of menace with mordant humour in its account of a small boy’s encounter with a serial killer and the subsequent police interview. Adam followed that with the prologue to his latest novel, the superb Last Days. Finally, Stuart brought the readings to a close with the gripping opener of his novel Birthdays For The Dead, followed by some tantalising excerpts from his latest, Close To The Bone.
The readings were all excellent; I’ve been meaning to read Mosby’s work for some time, so this provided the much-needed impetus to do so. Likewise I hadn’t previously encountered MacBride’s work, but his reading was more than enough to convince me that I needed to put that right. I’ve already read and enjoyed Last Days, but it was good to revisit it, and to hear the already-creepy prologue brought to new and disturbing life by Adam’s reading.
Following that, there was a lively and entertaining Q&A on such themes as the attractions of horror, fiction – about serial killers in particular, the influence of true crime books and the appeal of characters without remorse or conscience.
As well as the panellists themselves, TTA Press’ Roy Gray was on hand to tempt the audience members with copies of and subscriptions to Black Static magazine, and there were a host of talented authors present – Paul Kane, Marie O’Regan, Priya Sharma and – of course – Ramsey Campbell. It made for a hugely entertaining evening, as ever – and subsequently, a very enjoyable Chinese meal.
But that, as they say, is another story…