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‘Ice-pick-sharp, packed with intrigue, action and spine-chilling suspense. Devour will keep you gripped from the very first page’ Kathryn Fox

Larkin's Latest

Welcome to my blog, Larkin’s Latest. News on thriller authors and great books to read, the writing process and festivals, incredible people I interview and exciting story locations, courses I run, and things that make me laugh!

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Getting iced with the best of London’s literary reviewers

November 2, 2016

Ice Bar was the Polar-themed chilly venue for a lunch with the best of London’s crime fiction reviewers, and what a great time we had! Ali Karim (SHOTS) has posted a lovely round up of our adventures in ‘the fridge’ here. Ali is an absolute joy to be with.

Thanks so much to the wonderful Barry Forshaw, Jon Coates, Isabelle Broom, Eithne Farry, Jake Kerridge, Deidre O’Brien, Eithne Farry, Kate Whiting, as well as Tara Loader from Constable, Midas PR’s Hannah, Leanne and Sophie, and the best literary agent any author could wish for, Phil Patterson, and many others who were crazy enough to don purple cloaks and drink vodkas at a bar made of ice, in glasses made of ice, at -5° C.

With all the animal ice sculptures around, I couldn’t resist howling like a wolf as we posed for a photo inside the icy crate labelled, ‘Warning! Do Not Feed.’




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SheKilda, or did she?

October 25, 2016

If  you can get to Melbourne on 19 November 2016 and you are mad about crime fiction, then SheKilda is a must! Organised by Sisters In Crime Australia, this one day extravaganza on everything criminal and thrilling, will give you the chance to chat to some of Australia’s best female crime fiction authors as well as enjoy panel discussions on a wide range of topics. Why not make a weekend of it? Join us in Melbourne at St Kilda Town Hall between 9:00-17:00, and then later at the bar! The last time I attended a SheKilda event everybody had a ball. Hope you can come!

Here is the SheKilda program of events.

Click here for tickets and hotel information.

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What is ‘Antarctic Noir’?

October 14, 2016

In  comparison with other icy locations for crime fiction , such as Scandinavia or the Arctic, comparatively few have been set in Antarctica. Matthew Reilly’s Ice Station (1998) and James Rollins’ Subterranean (2009) spring to mind. I am one of the very few crime fiction authors who has set two thrillers there: firstly, Thirst, and now my new book, Devour, published by Constable/Little,Brown. I can only put this down to the degree of difficulty in getting to Antarctica, and, perhaps, because it is such a truly alien place, hard to bring to life on the page in a credible way unless you have actually experienced it? A fellow Sister In Crime author, Ann Turner, has set her latest mystery in Antarctica, Out Of The Ice, and we recently were on a panel with Hazel Edwards discussing this very topic. In fact, on 7 October this year, Hazel Edwards, who has set some of her two hundred books in Antarctica, officially launched ‘Antarctic Noir’. Here’s a link to her article.

Antarctica is the perfect location for a thriller because it offers isolation, jeopardy, and no readily available police force or backup when a killer is on the loose. It also enables me to put characters under pressure, because Antarctica is fraught with hazard, and even before I introduce sabotage and murder to the mix!

So what is ‘Antarctic Noir’? In my opinion it’s crime fiction set in Antarctica, in which the threat originates from there or the mystery will lead them there. The central character is usually somebody who has enough skill to survive the extreme environment. They will face a threat from a human or non-human killer. It’s interesting to point out that in Ice Station and Subterranean the heroes were male with military/law enforcement backgrounds. I am fascinated by what ordinary people can do in extreme circumstances – people who are clever, skilled but vulnerable. So in Thirst, the hero is a glaciologist (he’s also pretty good at swinging an ice-axe!) and in Devour, an investigative journalist, Olivia Wolfe, who is well-trained in self-defence but out of her comfort zone in Antarctica.

I should point out that there has never been a murder in Antarctica, and long may it stay that way. But it doesn’t mean we can’t imagine murder and mayhem in fiction!

The stories in both Thirst and Devour have been inspired by real events in Antarctica, in particular scientific expeditions. Click this link to a video where I explain, ‘Why Antarctica?’ Enjoy!

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Afternoon at the pub with 5 crime fiction authors?

October 9, 2016

Fancy a relaxing afternoon chatting to 5 crime fiction authors over a beer one Sunday in October? Join me and authors Nigel Bartlett, Candice Fox, Bruce McCabe and A.B. Patterson on Sunday 23 October at 3pm, at the Australian Youth Hotel, Sydney. Bookings through Eventbrite here.

Here are brief bios on the author’s joining me:

Nigel Bartlett is a freelance writer and editor who has worked for many of the bestknown
publications in Australia. In 2012 he completed a research masters in creative writing at the
University of Technology, Sydney. King of the Road is his debut novel.

Candice Fox is the middle child of a large, eccentric family from Sydney’s western
suburbs. Candice’s books Hades, Eden and Fall are
published with Random House Australia. Hades and Eden both won Ned Kelly

Bruce McCabe is the author of Skinjob, a cutting-edge thriller following the lives of
an FBI agent and a policewoman as they work frantically to solve a high-pressure
case. Bruce lived in Kenya, Fiji and Japan before returning to Sydney, where he is
now based.

A. B. Patterson is an Australian writer who knows first-hand about corruption,
power, crime and sex. He was a Detective Sergeant in the WA Police, working in
paedophilia and vice, and later was a Chief Investigator with the NSW Independent
Commission Against Corruption. Harry’s World, hard-boiled and
noir, is his multiple award-winning debut novel.

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