Friday 21 July | 3.30pm
The Old Swan Hotel | Harrogate

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Being liked is so over-rated. “Give Paul a comb-over, and we could be talking Donald Trump,” says Richard and Judy of Sabine Durrant’s ‘slimy lead’ protagonist in Lie with Me. Stav Sherez says, ‘cruelty, horror and atrocity obsess me’. His latest, The Intrusions, was dubbed by Ian Rankin as ‘A Silence of the Lambs for the internet age.’ Mick Herron’s anti-hero, Jackson Lamb, has been compared to Reginald Hill’s Andy Dalziel, as ‘crime fiction’s Falstaff, a glorious Rabelaisian monster.’ Shari Lapena’s, strapline for her thriller, The Couple Next Door, asks, ‘What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?’ Chair Julia Crouch, keeps the lid on proceedings; Her Husband’s Lover left readers constantly wrong-footed in deciding which of her characters deserved sympathy. When it comes to murderously good crime writing, it’s the monsters we love to hate.

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Royal Literary Fund