First of all, this weekend's film viewing. First was a French film called Harry, un ami qui vous veut du bien. The English title - although sticking reasonably close to the French - was the rather rubbish - Harry, He's Here To Help. Don't let the title put you off. It's a lovely little witty psychological thriller. A French family, on the way to the holiday home which they are doing up, meet up with an old school-friend of the husband, Michel. Michel has only the vaguest memories of Harry, but Harry seems to be rather more...obsessed... with Michel. Hitchcockian suspense, black comedy, and nicely low-key. Our next film was The Disappearance of Alice Creed - a claustrophobic British thriller with a cast of three and which mostly takes place in one room - a room where two men take a young woman and hold her hostage, in order to extract a large ransom from her rich father. A good (but not great) thriller - gritty and twisty but lacking in something. I didn't care enough about any of the characters. Well worth a watch, though.
The Aye Write programme is up. From a quick look through, the crime related events are (I've put a * by the ones I'm planning on attending, if anyone fancies meeting up):
Friday March 4th
Jasper Fforde - 18.00 - 19.00
Saturday March 5th
Alexander McCall Smith - 10.30-11.30
Denise Mina, Karen Campbell, Caro Ramsay - 14.00-15.00 *
Alex Gray, Louise Welsh, Alice Thompson - 15.30-16.30 *
Mark Billingham and Jo Nesbo - 19.00-20.00
Sunday March 6th
Val McDermid - 17.00-18.00 *
Monday March 7th
Allan Guthrie, Denise Mina, Louise Welsh - 19.30-20.30 *
Tuesday March 8th
Kevin MacNeil - 18.00-19.00 (not sure if it's crime fiction but one description calls it a 'dark, maniacal thriller'. It looks excellent. *
Doug Johnstone - 19.30-20.30 *
Friday March 11th
Christopher Brookmyre - 21.00-23.00
Saturday March 12th
Iain M Banks and Ken MacLeod 14.00-15.00 (although this one is more SF)
Neil Forsyth - 15.30-16.30 (more his comedy than crime fiction)
I think that's it, but if I've missed anything, please let me know.
And another event, on 4th February Louise Welsh at the GFT talking about Robert Louis Stevenson and the Theatre of The Brain.
And now, a few reviews. First of all, a very thoughtful and interesting review of Stuart MacBride's SHATTER THE BONES, The Star Online reviews Ian Rankin's THE COMPLAINTS, and the lovely Dorte enjoys John Buchan's THE THIRTY-NINE STEPS.
Ian Rankin, amongst others, talks about turning fifty.
And, finally, David Thomas in The Mail on The Pitbull of The Baskervilles.