Chris Rushby: Noirwich




The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival takes place from September 14-17, so what better time to celebrate the best of crime writing, says Jarrold book buyer Chris Rushby. 

The Noirwich Crime Writing Festival - that's not a typo by the way, as many have believed over the years: Noirwich is the (we think) very clever name for an annual literary festival in Norwich, one Jarrold is proud to support, celebrating the best of crime writing. This year’s festival, its fourth outing, runs from 14th to 17th September and you can find details of the star-studded line-up, as well as buy tickets by clicking here

We’ll be selling books at events throughout the festival, including at what might just be the highlight of the weekend, an evening with the great Val McDermid, which launches the festival, here at Jarrold at 6.30pm on Thursday 14th September.

You can find out more about our evening with Val McDermid here 

In the meantime, in honour of Noirwich, here are my top picks of three very different crime novels no fan of this genre should miss: 


The Black Dahlia

James Ellroy



Ever since reading Raymond Chandler as a child I’ve had a taste for hard-boiled American crime fiction and, in a crowded field, I’d say Ellroy is a literary genius who’s going to be read in a hundred year’s time when most of his generation of writers will have been forgotten. You might remember the film adaptation of L.A. Confidential, the third novel in what came to be known as The L.A. Quartet. The Black Dahlia is the first of that quartet and as good a place as any to start reading Ellroy. I’d be the first to admit this is an acquired taste, but if you enjoy the gripping noir violence and mesmerising prose style of this book, the whole treasure trove of Ellroy’s brilliant work awaits…  



Pierre Lemaitre



If the term ‘out-noir’ is permissible, Lemaitre out-noirs the Americans in this gripping, brutal thriller, with more twists than you’d believe possible. It’s hard to begin to explain the plot of this dark, beguiling novel without giving away too much, so I’d simply say, if you can stomach the violence and tension, give this book a go. If you do you’ll probably fall for the genius of both the writer and – of course, given this novel was written in French – his talented translator, Frank Wynne; not to mention the strange, diminutive figure of the investigating detective, Commandant Camille Verhœven.


The Crossing Places

Elly Griffiths




After two particularly black, brutal books from other lands, I want to finish with something slightly more wholesome – and British. Elly Griffiths writes a hugely popular series of Norfolk-set crime novels featuring forensic archaeologist Dr Ruth Galloway. In case you haven’t discovered these books yet: Ruth lives in an isolated cottage on the coast near Titchwell and works at the (fictional!) University of North Norfolk in Kings Lynn. She finds herself helping the local police in a variety of intriguing cases, most set in familiar locations around the region. As the years pass we see Ruth, her family and associates growing older, their relationships developing. Elly’s presently working on the tenth novel in the series, so if you haven’t read her yet you have some catching up to do with this fine and satisfying sequence of novels.  

Part of the buy one, get one half price offer on books

Love books? Why not join the Jarrold Book Club? 

We aim to meet once a month and have a friendly and informal chat about our chosen book. Wine and soft drinks available to purchase on the night.  All meetings are held in Café Metro on the lower ground floor at 6pm.

Forthcoming meetings
3 September | My Cousin Rachel - Daphne Du Maurier
4 October | The Power - Naomi Alderman

If you would like to come please call 01603 660661 and ask for the Book Department, or ask staff for details. Tell your friends... all are welcome!

On Facebook? Join the Jarrold Book Group here



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