Crime Central at Central Library

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Louise Swanson
Louise Swanson

Crime Central at Manchester Central Library, Manchester 23 November 2023 Tickets from £2.00 — Book now

Crime Central this month welcomes the authors Louise Swanson, Simon Michael and José Carlos Somoza to Central Library, in association with Instituto Cervantes. Hosted by Rob Parker, Manchester Libraries’ monthly event Crime Central showcases emerging and regional talent alongside blockbuster bestselling authors from further afield, offering audience members a glimpse inside their minds – don’t have nightmares!

Louise Swanson (aka Beech) released her debut novel, How to be Brave, in 2015. It got to No 4 in the Amazon UK chart, and was a Guardian Readers’ Pick, and she has published a book a year since, not just crime – The Mountain in my Shoe (2016) was inspired by her time with children in care, Maria in the Moon (2017) was compared to the early works of Maggie O’Farrell and was followed by The Lion Tamer Who Lost (2018), then Call Me Star Girl (2019) was a psychological thriller. In 2020, she wrote I Am Dust, a Crime Monthly magazine pick, and a memoir, Daffodils/Eighteen Seconds. This Is How We Are Human came out in 2021 and Nothing Else came out in 2022. This year, she has published another memoir, Eighteen Seconds, and End of Story (Hodder), a dystopian look at a future world where books are banned.

Simon Michael is the author of the 1960s London-set Charles Holborn series of legal thrillers, including The Brief, An Honest Man, The Lighterman, Corrupted, The Waxwork Corpse, Force of Evil, The Final Shot and, most recently, Nothing But The Truth. He studied Law at Kings College, London University, before being called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 1978. His literary career started in the 1980s with books published in the UK and the US, but until the late 1990s he worked almost exclusively in the field of criminal law, “prosecuting and defending enough murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy to provide him with a lifetime of true crime plots”, then specialised in clinical negligence. He retired early to concentrate on writing.

Spanish author José Carlos Somoza published his first book in 1994 and with over 20 titles to his name, there are too many to mention. Born in Havana in 1959, he now lives in Madrid, and in 2000 the former psychiatrist was shortlisted for the Nadal Prize, one of the most important literary prizes in Spain.

Rob Parker is the author of ten novels including the Thirty Miles Trilogy and the Ben Bracken thrillers, Crook’s Hollow and the Audible bestseller Far From The Tree, and co-host of the For Your Reconsideration film podcast. So far, Rob has welcomed to Crime Central the likes of Lesley Kara, Sunday Times Top Ten author, Russ Thomas, Sunday Times bestselling author of the DS Adam Tyler series, and Costa Book Award-winning Stuart Turton.

The monthly events also give you the chance to turn sleuth and ask your own questions to the panel of experts; expect insider info, anecdotes and laughs, audience interaction, giveaways and book signings – signed books will be available to purchase after the event.

For more information about libraries in Manchester, check out our guide here.

End of Story by Louise Swanson
End of Story by Louise Swanson

Crime Central at Manchester Central Library, Manchester 23 November 2023 Tickets from £2.00 Book now

Where to go near Crime Central at Central Library

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St Peter’s Square

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Manchester Art Gallery. Photo by Andrew Brooks
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Manchester Art Gallery

The Charles Barry-designed, Grade I-listed Manchester Art Gallery is one of the city’s leading galleries and is back open for visitors once more.

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The Alan

This high-end city-centre restaurant has an excellent afternoon tea option that more than matches up to the superb main menu.

Salut Wines
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Salut Wines

Salut wines pride themselves in offering “wider horizons beyond the safe choices.” With 42 wines by the glass and a regularly changing selection of bottles in their Enomatic wine preservation machines (or  “wine jukebox,” as they’re colloquially known), this is one of be best bars in Manchester for exploring new vintages.

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Latest branch of Friska, the independent healthy fast food chain.

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Summery bakes, seasonal salads and fresh light meals at Manchester Art Gallery’s in-house café, courtesy of highly-regarded Head Chef Matthew Taylor.

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Manchester Town Hall

Re-opening in 2024, Manchester Town Hall is a monument to Victorian Manchester’s ambition, and one of the city’s most-loved landmarks.

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Albert Square

A public square in the heart of Manchester which plays hosts to festivals and major events. Home to the Albert Memorial and statues of Bishop James Fraser, John Bright, Oliver Heywood and William Ewart Gladstone.

Contemporary Six, art gallery in Manchester
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Contemporary Six

Contemporary Six is an independent commercial art gallery in Manchester city centre, set up by Alex Reuben in 2010.

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