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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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Five star review of Out Of Bounds by Val McDermid

July 21, 2017

A chilling mystery told with compassion and wit, and a central character I feel I know like a best friend.

Cold case detective, Karen Pirie, the central character in Out Of Bounds, is a beautifully flawed, compassionate, ballsy, obsessive, lonely character. Even when times are tough for her, she can be generous to those in trouble, including her less-than-bright side-kick, and a group of Syrian refugees. In fact I love how subtly McDermid weaves into the narrative the contentious issue of what happens to refugees as they are being processed for asylum.

Pirie finds herself trying to solve not one, but three cases: the rape and murder of Tina McDonald twenty-odd years ago, a current suicide which she believes is murder, and a bombing of a light aircraft twenty-two years ago for which the IRA was blamed. And McDermid weaves theses plots together brilliantly.

I remember watching a YouTube interview of Val McDermid by Peter James in which she was asked, ‘What is the question you least like being asked?’ Her reply was, ‘How do I come up with my ideas.’ With over thirty published books to her name, there is no doubt that the wonderful McDermid has no shortage of ideas for great stories and continues to captivate our hearts and imaginations.

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Review of Chris Ewan’s Long Time Lost

July 12, 2017

Reminiscent of Jack Reacher, a savvy, enthralling thriller…
The premise of Long Time Lost is a clever one: Nick Miller helps people disappear, setting them up with a new life and identity, because witness protection just doesn’t cut it when it comes to criminals like Connor Lane, who can find almost anyone. Kate Sutherland is the focus of Miller’s efforts throughout the story, and his relationship with her makes the thriller more than an intriguing crime-spy thriller, which it most certainly is. It makes it personal, as we watch them deal with their worlds implode and the dance of trust and doubt they both experience. Renner has to be one of my favourite henchmen of all time. Old school. Loyal. Saddled with a Mancunian psychopath, a killer with no scruples, a new type of assassin. I heartily recommend this book!

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Join me at Bloody Scotland festival September 2017

July 9, 2017

Bloody Scotland celebrates Scottish and international crime fiction in September in Stirling, and I will be there, talking about creating locations in thrillers with fellow panelists John Gordon Sinclair and Tony Black.
Date: Saturday 9 September
Time: 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Buy tickets here.
For more information click here.
Sinclair’s tense thriller Walk in Silence is set in the brutal underworld of Albania. Black’s latest novel, written with Matt Neal, Bay of Martyrs, takes place in Australia where a young woman’s body is washed up on a beach at the Bay of Martyrs.

Look out for the amazing Val McDermid, Stuart MacBride, Chris Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Mark Billingham and many more!

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Review of Spare Me The Truth: C.J. Carver is a master of the high-octane thriller

Secrets, betrayal and a killer who will have you looking over your shoulder.

Spare Me The Truth opens with a bang: with fast action and a tantalizing mystery – who is Cedric and why must Stella Reavy re-enter Dan’s life, an act which is clearly going to wreak havoc with his life – and this is exactly how I like my thrillers to start. The worlds of three intriguing characters are about to collide: Reavy’s daughter Dr Grace, Dan Forrester who lives a quiet life which somehow he knows doesn’t feel right, and PC Lucy Davies, who is investigating the disappearance of Bella Frances. Each of these characters either keeps a dark secret or is about to find out something shocking about a loved-one. In fact secrets, and whether people should be told the truth, is a theme that runs throughout the whole breathtakingly exciting book. Three plots are expertly interwoven into a nail-biting climax. C.J Carver is a master of the high-octane thriller not just because she writes action and characters so well, but because of her humanity.
Published by Zaffre Publishing.

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L.A. Larkin is now firmly on my must-read list: C.J Carver

July 7, 2017

I happen to be a big fan of thriller author C.J. Carver, who, like me, is a bit of an adventurer. So imagine how happy I was to see this five star review of DEVOUR by C.J. Carver on GoodReads

I love opening a brand-new book by an author and reading those first few lines. I especially love it when those first few lines tell me I’m in safe hands, and that the book is going to ring all my bells with believable characters, great action scenes and a watertight plot line that leads to a cracking ending.
I loved the protagonist Olivia Wolfe, and although she’s super-capable, almost a superwoman, Larkin uses a deft touch to show her character’s vulnerabilities. Out of all the book characters I’ve read, Olivia Wolfe is at the top of my list to invite to dinner and L.A. Larkin is now firmly on my must-read list.

June 30, 2017

Thank you C.J. Perhaps we could hold a dinner party one day and invite all our favourite characters!?

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