Alexandra Sokoloff

Alex describes herself as a recovering screenwriter, the daughter of scientist and educator parents, which drove her into musical theatre at an early age, after which she acted, sang, danced and played classical piano through the turbulent tween years. She started directing plays at sixteen and spent a year in Istanbul as an exchange student before college.

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Her debut ghost story The Harrowing was nominated for both a Bram Stoker award (horror) and an Anthony award (mystery), for Best First Novel. Her second novel of dark suspense, The Price, explores troubling questions of what people will do for love, or personal survival, in the eerie setting of a labyrinthine Boston hospital.

Her third supernatural thriller, The Unseen, centres on a team of psychology researchers who decide to replicate a long-buried poltergeist investigation, and is based on the real-life ESP experiments and poltergeist studies conducted in the Rhine parapsychology department at Duke University.

In her fourth thriller, Book of Shadows, a Boston homicide detective must join forces with a beautiful, mysterious witch from Salem in a race to solve a Satanic killing.

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She has also written paranormal thrillers The Shifters and Keeper of the Shadows (from The Keepers trilogy, with bestselling authors Heather Graham and Harley Jane Kozak), edgy supernatural YA thriller, The Space Between, and the suspense thrillers Huntress Moon and Blood Moon.

Alex lives in Los Angeles and in Scotland, with Scottish noir author Craig Robertson, who is also taking part in Iceland Noir. Alex is taking part in the Making it Spooky – the Supernatural in Crime Fiction panel and Craig is both taking part in one panel and moderating another.

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Murder is Everywhere

If you haven’t seen the Murder is Everywhere blog, then I’d urge you to point your computer, iPad, phone or whatever device at it right away.

Murder is Everywhere was started by Brazilian novelist Leighton Gage a few years ago, drawing in a bunch of crime writers from around the world to contribute to a shared blog that has grown and grown as each has his or her own take on various parts of the world.

Sometimes it’s deadly serious, sometimes it’s hilarious. It occasionally meanders off on fascinating historical detours. Frequently it’s thought-provoking. It’s always worth reading.

The Murder is Everywhere lineup has changed a few times. Leighton, sadly, is no longer with us.

These days the stalwarts of MIE are Annamaria Alfieri, Cara Black, Lisa Brackmann, Caro Ramsay, Michael Sears and Stan Trollip who write together as Michael Stanley, Jeff Siger, Zoë Sharp and Iceland Noir’s very own Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. The MIE crowd are also generous with their space, providing guest slots to new and interesting writers who their own slant on things to the blog.

At Iceland Noir this year we are fortunate that we’ll have enough of the MIE crowd present for a Murder is Everywhere panel. We have Annamaria, Michael, Stan, Jeff, Zoë and Yrsa taking part in Iceland Noir and it seemed just too good an opportunity to pass up. So for the final panel of Iceland Noir this year, we’re just handing everything over the the Murder is Everywhere contingent.

We’ve encouraged them to behave as badly as they like and we’re sure they won’t disappoint.

Dinner, etc

Plans for Iceland Noir are coming together. The schedule of panels is almost ready and once all the panellists and moderators have confirmed, then we’ll put it on the website for all to see.

The CrimeWalk on Friday afternoon and the trip to Snæfellsnes on Sunday with Yrsa behind the microphone look good, and we’ve decided on a dinner venue for the Saturday evening after Iceland Noir comes to a close. It’s at Iðnó, one of Reykjavík’s older and more atmospheric restaurants. It’s in the centre of town, right next to the lake and the city hall, and handy for hotels and bars for those who like to stay up until the early hours.

The host will be Katrín Jakobsdóttir, MP, former minister and well-known crime fiction aficianado. Ævar Örn Jósepsson will be running the quiz element of the evening (for which there has to be a prize of some kind?) and we’ll be taking the opportunity to present the IcePick award best foreign crime novel of the year translated into Icelandic.Screen shot 2014-09-11 at 19.53.33

(Photo shamelessly filched from Katrín Jakobsdóttir’s Facebook page)

Dinner starts at 8 on the Saturday evening on the 2nd floor at Iðnó. It’s 7700 krónur (roughly £40, not including booze), payment at the venue, but we need to an idea of numbers beforehand, so if you’d like to eat, drink and have a great time, please let drop us a line in advance, either on icelandnoir@gmail.com or graskeggur@gmail.com. You won’t regret it, it’ll be a night to remember.

A Day in the Wild West

This is going to be one of the highlights of Iceland Noir this year. On Sunday 23rd of November, after all the fun and games are over at the Nordic House, we’re offering the opportunity of a trip to the Wild West.

It’s a day by coach around the Snæfellsnes peninsula, the area of western Iceland where Yrsa Sigurðardóttir’s book My Soul To Take is set, and Yrsa has agreed to be the tour guide.

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It’s a roughly eight-hour trip, leaving Reykjavík at 9 in the morning to give us maximum daylight and returning around 5 in the evening, depending on weather, snow, rain, and all the other unpredictable factors that affect the Icelandic climate and landscape in winter. It’s a great opportunity to get a look at the Iceland that’s outside the Reykjavík area, not least with a tour guide who has a unique take of her own on pretty much everything.

There’ll be a few stops around Snæfellsnes here and there, a chance to take a look at the ice cap that was Jules Verne’s gateway to the centre of the earth, and we’ll find a place to stop for a bite to eat somewhere along the way.

The trip costs £50. If you’d like to sign up for it, please contact our friendly travel agent partner, Jórunn at All-Iceland.

She can be reached on 01904 406534 (in the UK) or email her on jorunn@all-iceland.co.uk