Manchester Libraries Crime Festival at Central Library

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Joseph Knox
Author Joseph Knox.

Manchester Libraries Crime Festival at Manchester Central Library, Manchester, 16–18 March 2022, from £2.50 - Book now

This three-day Crime Festival celebrates some of the best crime writers in Manchester and the north, with two nights of panel discussions hosted by author Rob Parker and a fun murder mystery night on Friday from After Dark Entertainment.

SJ Watson’s first novel, Before I Go To Sleep, became a phenomenal international success, and was made into a film, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong.

Rob Parker is the author of the Ben Bracken thrillers and the standalone post-Brexit country-noir Crook’s Hollow. He is also a co-host of the For Your Reconsideration film podcast, and a regular voice on the Blood Brothers crime book podcast. On Wednesday he introduces Joseph Knox, Cath Staincliffe and Karen Woods, who keen sleuths might remember from Chorlton Book Festival 2021. Brought up in an inner city area and leaving school without any formal qualifications, Karen has gone on to write over 20 books since attending an adult literacy course. Her latest novel is Tracks, a Manchester-based gangland saga.

Published in 2021, True Crime Story is the latest novel by Joseph Knox, described by Mark Sanderson in The Times as: “Scandalously entertaining…Knox is a fantastic writer. His ambitious fourth novel satirises and celebrates the true-crime genre with glee … by turns horrific and hilarious.” His debut novel, Sirens, was a Sunday Times bestseller, and his work has now been translated into 18 languages.

Cath Staincliffe is a founder member of Murder Squad, a virtual collective of northern crime writers, and she writes for Danny Brocklehurst’s Stone detective drama and created ITV’s hit police drama Blue Murder. Since publishing Looking For Trouble in 1994, Cath has published a further seven mysteries featuring private eye Sal Kilkenny, a single parent struggling to juggle work and home, onto Manchester’s mean streets. She was also commissioned to write the Scott & Bailey books and is now writing a series of standalone novels where ordinary families find themselves caught up in extraordinary events.

On Thursday 17 March, Rob Parker is back, this time chatting with Alex Caan (Cut To The Bone, First To Die and The Unbroken), Mandasue Heller – who has written 14 books since her first, The Front, was snapped up by Hodder & Stoughton – and Chris Simms, who published his ninth DI Spicer novel, Dark Angel, in January 2021. Joining them is SJ Watson. SJ Watson’s first novel, Before I Go To Sleep, became a phenomenal international success, and was made into a film, starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong. It has been translated into more than 40 languages, selling over six million copies worldwide, and won the Crime Writers’ Association Award for Best Debut Novel and the Galaxy National Book Award for Crime Thriller of the Year. His second novel, Second Life, a psychological thriller, was published to acclaim in 2015, and his latest, Final Cut, is out now.

Manchester Libraries Crime Festival
Manchester Libraries Crime Festival

The crime writer panel discussions take place at 6.30pm and tickets are £4 plus booking fee. An Invitation to Murder is at 7pm; tickets are £7 plus booking fee.

Manchester Libraries Crime Festival at Manchester Central Library, Manchester

16–18 March 2022
From £2.50

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