Authors conﬁrmed for our Readers' Conference in Winchester in June 2013.
Fergus McNeill (Eye Contact) has been confirmed as the fourth author joining us for our Readers' Conference.
Fergus will join Ben Aaronovitch (Rivers of London), Sadie Jones (The Outcast, Small Wars) and Jennie Rooney (Inside the Whale and Red Joan).
Guy Pringle on Ben Aaronovitch
Once upon a time, when I discovered a new author I would devour everything they’d written . . . Alistair MacLean, Ian Fleming, Ian McEwan, John Irving and others too numerous to mention.
Fast forward, then to my current employment where I have the pick of the chocolate box but insufficient time to indulge myself. And yet here’s the exception that breaks the rule and I blame Lydia. For Lydia it was who came to reading group when we were bereft of ideas and said, ‘Well, we could try Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch which I really enjoyed.’ And on such a pivot are decisions made. I for one shared Lydia’s enthusiasm, so much so that I actually bought a copy of Moon over Soho – same characters, same London setting, more magic and rollicksomeness.
PC Peter Grant and friends occupy a contemporary setting albeit with elements of magic, yep magic, but Mr Aaronovitch’s martini dry writing means the wry smile that plays across your lips can’t resist bursting into embarrassing laugh out louds, quite possibly at inopportune moments.
Whispers Underground quickly followed, wherein Grant and co take the story to some kind of conclusion – although I wouldn’t be surprised if it conveniently resumed.
That’s three books by the same author in less than 6 months and if there had been more I would have devoured them as well. How often do you come across something genuinely different these days? Take my word for it, Ben Aaronovitch is going to be a contender and you heard it here first.
Sadie Jones is the author of the novels The Outcast, winner of the Costa First Novel Award in the United Kingdom and a finalist for the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction; and Small Wars, a tale of love, war, and honor, which was published to critical praise on both sides of the Atlantic. The Uninvited Guests is her third novel. Sadie Jones lives in London.
Jennie Rooney was born in Liverpool in 1980. She read History at the University of Cambridge and taught English in France before moving to London to work as a lawyer. Her first novel, Inside the Whale, was a Richard and Judy debut choice, Tesco Book Club selection and shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award.
Fergus McNeill has been creating computer games since the early eighties, writing his first interactive fiction titles while still at school. Over the years he has designed, directed and illustrated games for all sorts of systems, including the BBC Micro, the Apple iPad.
Now running an app development studio, Fergus lives in Hampshire with his wife and teenage son. Eye Contact is his first novel, a cracking story, set in and around the Winchester/Salisbury area with a cliff hanger ending which has garnered a clutch of high profile plaudits:
"A chilling game of cat and mouse that should keep you awake long after bedtime. DI Harland is a welcome addition to the growing ranks of British detectives." (Peter Robinson )
"Let's welcome Fergus McNeill to the ranks of British Crime fiction innovators; he has found a darker shade of noir" (Quintin Jardine )
"Creepy, compelling and completely convincing" (Erin Kelly, author of The Poison Tree )
'A gripping first novel' (Irish Independent )
"[A] confident debut from Fergus McNeill, mixing thriller with police procedural . . . to create a tense, compelling and truly unputdownable read . . . Eye Contact is a novel that will have the reader losing track of time. It also ends on an atypical note, adding to its originality." (www.itsacrimeuk.wordpress.com )
"A great read and a chillingly clever insight into the mind and motives of a killer. Harland is a welcome new addition to the force of fictional coppers and McNeill a refreshing new voice in crime fiction; on the evidence of Eye Contact, we'll be hearing a lot more from them both." (Brian McGilloway )