Superbly Eerie

Louise Millar grew up in Scotland, and worked as a journalist on music titles Kerrang! and NME and later women’s magazines including Marie Claire before turning to fiction, writing a series of brilliantly creepy and disturbing psychological thrillers.LouiseMillar

Her books are Accidents Happen and the Playdate, and her latest is the The Hidden Girl,  described by the Guardian as ‘superbly eerie.’

She’s now working on a fourth psychological thriller and we hope it’s as disturbing and eerie as the three so far.

We’re looking forward to quizzing her at Iceland Noir about how she achieves such levels of creepiness in her fiction.

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William Ryan

Irish writer William Ryan is no stranger to Iceland. As a young man he cycled around Iceland. He took part in the first Iceland Noir, where he delivered some well- received seminars on writing fiction, and will be doing this again this year.

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He attended Trinity College, Dublin and the University of St Andrews, and became a lawyer, eventually leaving the law to write full-time. These days he lives and works in London.

His first book, The Holy Thief, was shortlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, The CWA John Creasy New Blood Dagger and a Barry Award. His second novel, The Bloody Meadow, was shortlisted for the Ireland AM Irish Crime Novel of the Year.

His latest book in the series of books that features Captain  Alexei Dmitriyevich Korolev and set in the Stalin-era Soviet Union is The Twelfth Department.

Find out more about his books at http://www.william-ryan.com/

Susan Moody

Susan Moody, author of a string of crime novels, including the Penny Wanawake and Cassandra Swann series, will be taking part in Iceland Noir. She has been a prolific author, also writing under a couple of pseudonyms, including as Susan Madison, writing both crime and romantic fiction, and she cranks up the tension in her psychological thrillers.

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She is a member of the Detection Club, a former chairman of the CWA and served as president of the International Crimewriters’ Association. She spent two years as creative writing tutor at Bedford Prison, in an honorary fellow of the University of Tasmania, has taught a crime fiction course at the University of Copenhagen, and has run numerous creative writing courses in England, France, the US and Australia, and is also a regular visitor to Iceland.

Bo from Ro

Romania isn’t a country you immediately associate with crime fiction, but it has a growing stable of crime writers and a gradually expanding readership.

One of Romania’s small band of crime writers, Bogdan Hrib, who styles himself as Bo from Ro, will be taking part in Iceland Noir and we’ll be asking him about how a genre that wasn’t allowed in any kind of realistic form during the long years of Ceausescu regime is faring today.

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Bo from Ro trained as an engineer and has spent much of his working life as a journalist and photographer, as well as being a translator (he translates Ian Rankin, among others…) in addition to writing his own books and being involved in the Tritonic publishing house.

As well as Bogdan, only a few Romanian crime writers are available in English; George Arion and Oana Stoica-Mujea, but they offer a fascinating glimpse into a very different society still dealing with the legacy of  a troubled past.

The Reykjavík Blood Trail

At last year’s Iceland Noir we were lucky enough to have a crime walk through the mean streets of downtown Reykjavík organised by Úlfhildur Dagsdóttir of the Reykjavík City Library, starting at the Hverfisgata police station and winding its way downtown to finish up near the library. That walk was dedicated to Erlendur Sveinsson, Arnaldur Indriðason’s magnificently taciturn detective.
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This year Úlfhildur has agreed to do another crime walk, but instead of repeating last year’s event, she has started from scratch and put together a whole new programme. This time it starts at the Nordic House and rather than concentrating on Erlendur, this year’s Blóðslóð (blood trail) takes in locations linked to many Icelandic crime stories by a variety of authors, including many who will be there at Iceland Noir, as it makes its way downtown to finish by the docks.

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Arnaldur is among those represented, with a passage from his untranslated novel Dauðarósir (Silent Kill), along with Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Viktor Arnar Ingólfsson, Lilja Sigurðardóttir, Sólveig Pálsdóttir, Árni Thórarinsson, Ragnar Jónasson, Ævar Örn Jósepsson, Michael Ridpath and Quentin Bates, and some of the authors will be reading their own words at the different locations.

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Also among the authors represented in the crime walk is Ólafur við Faxafen, the nom de plume of Ólafur Friðriksson who wrote one of the first Icelandic crime stories, Allt í Lagi í Reykjavík (All’s Well in Reykjavík), published in the 1930s, with a passage from the book specially translated for the crime walk.

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The crime walk takes place on Friday afternoon, starting at 4PM, all welcome, but take care to wrap up. Reykjavík in November can be balmy and warm, or it could be wet and windy, or it could be snowing. You take your chances at these latitudes, but just think of it as atmosphere if it isn’t quite as warm as it could be.

The pics are of last year’s Erlendur-themed crime walk, with Úlfhildur and her two henchpersons reading passages from Arnaldur’s books.

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Earlybirds, for the moment

There’s only a limited number of seats at Iceland Noir, which is because the size of the venue at the Nordic House limits how many people can take part. So far more than half of the available seats have been snapped up. Last year we had to turn a few disappointed people away, while (frustratingly) a few who had registered didn’t show up, but that’s another story…18030_l

Tickets for Iceland Noir are available at http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/iceland-noir-tickets-10220179833 and are currently £30, but that will go up at the end of August. On the other hand, if you’re in Iceland you can wander down to the City Library (Borgarbókasafnið) which also has some bargain tickets available. Otherwise, there’s couple weeks left for earlybird tickets through the Eventbrite page.

Other news is that the Icepick Award judges are reading through the five shortlisted novels and there’s no winner in sight yet, as we’re not unanimously enamoured of any single book… so watch this space…

Árni Thórarinsson

Árni Thórarinsson is one of Iceland’s more prolific crime writers, as well as having been a journalist with a career that includes working as a music and movie critic for Iceland’s largest newspaper, Morgunblaðið.

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His first novel featuring Einar the journalist appeared in 1998 and the series continues to this day. Árni’s books in translation have sold well in Germany, France and elsewhere, and the English version of his Season of the Witch was published by Amazon Crossing, translated by Anna Yates, who will also be at Iceland Noir.