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Fascinating Forensics powered Lin Anderson's talk

By Margaret Chrystall


Cromarty Crime And Thrillers Weekend: Lin Anderson

(Spotlight: Neil Lancaster)

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THERE’S no doubt a sassy quote as a cover line can be a bonus for a crime writer – as proved by the Sunday morning Cromarty Crime And Thrillers Weekend session with Lin Anderson and a taster from new writer Neil Lancaster.

Spotlight writer Neil – now living in the Black Isle – rounded off a perfectly-pitched introduction to his own police and military background plus quirkier elements of his life with a tantalisingly short reading from his new thriller Going Dark – then a perfect quote about the book’s hero Tom Novak from one of Neil’s favourite writers, Tony Parsons.

‘Tom Novak makes Jason Bourne look like a vegan Pilates teacher’ was the killer punchline to Neil’s Spotlight moment, earning a big laugh from the audience.

But when Carrbridge writer Lin Anderson was introduced with the current stickered quote on her Rhona MacLeod novels, the Daily Record’s ‘The best Scottish crime series since Rebus’, the grinning writer covered her face in mock cringe. Of course having Rebus’s creator Ian Rankin looking back at you from the audience might be a little blush-making, though few who have read the series would disagree with Record writer Shari Low’s comment.

But little could be more effective in ‘selling’ Lin’s books than her own talk entitled Fascinating Forensics.

In it, the writer delved into her own story, the course that created forensic scientist Rhona – and shared how random facts and little chance stories came together to inspire her books, from debut Driftnet to latest Time For The Dead out in August. She also talked about 12th book, Follow The Dead, which has a stunning opening scene on Lin’s home turf in the Cairngorms.

“For me, a very strong visual image of the opening – if it stays with me long enough – means I know there’s a book in it,” Lin said.

Explaining the three elements that had come together to give the core of Driftnet, Lin allowed us to see how “it’s as if a story knocks for you”. MC

Lin’s latest Rhona MacLeod thriller Time For The Dead will be out on August 8.

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