Friday, 12 May 2017

BEST OF CRIME with Anne Coates

Welcome to my latest BEST OF CRIME feature, looking at crime writers' top picks, from their favourite author and fictional detective to their best writing tip. 

Today I'm delighted to welcome 

Anne Coates

for her Death's Silent Judgement blog tour

to share her BEST OF CRIME ... 

Patricia Highsmith for, among other works, The Talented Mr Ripley because I love an amoral protagonist and her writing is brilliant. 

Always enjoy a good British crime film so depending on my mood, my favourite is The Long Good Friday with Bob Hoskins or 10 Rillington Place with Richard Attenborough playing the serial killer John Christie. Both actors give fascinating portrayals of evil. 

So many brilliant dramas to choose from! I am glad the third series of Broadchurch made up for the blip of its predecessor but for real OMG moments it has to be Line of Duty. I love the way characters you thought were going to be essential to the narrative are killed off in such dramatic ways and I don’t mind having to suspend disbelief at times when the acting is pitch perfect. However Happy Valley and the Unforgotten take the accolade for their superlative female leads. 

Without doubt Hannibal Lecter. His character in Silence of the Lambs is bad enough but just reading the sequel, which is a masterpiece in understatement, gave me horrific nightmares. I had to stop reading it at nighttime. I don’t think any other killer has terrified me more. 

Has to be my beloved Morse. When Colin Dexter died in March I reread The Remorseful Day. Sublime. 

I had to think about this and the following question. I like the idea of some mundane everyday item put to grisly use. However water is one which holds the most terror for me. Just the thought of being held under water… 


This is a bit of a cheat really – not a death scene but a transformation in The Witches by Roald Dahl. When the Grand High Witch administers a potion that turns the young boy narrator into a rat, there is no antidote and the rest of his life (presumably much shorter thank a human one) must be lived out as a rodent.

I use Google images a lot. In Death’s Silent Judgement I found pictures of the Bull Ring at Waterloo, which housed Cardboard City. I used to walk through there years ago but didn’t have the foresight to take my own photos then. I check out popular names for the year a character was born in on the Office for National Statistics and Google dates then follow links to newspaper articles if I’m searching for something specific. 

Get words on the page. It helps me to strive for a daily word count that is achievable then anything more is pure bonus. My first drafts are like a skeleton that’s been assembled in a dark room – an arm where a leg should be, toes coming out of the skull and so on. But at least I have something to work with. Don’t be intimidated by what other writers say or do. Follow your own path and also read, read, read and not just crime books. And try not to compare yourself with what other people are doing/achieving. (I constantly need to remind myself of that last point!) 


Not writing snacks rather snacking pauses. On a good day it’s fruit and nuts but there are lots of chocolate days…

Anne’s latest book, Death’s Silent Judgement (the second Hannah Weybridge thriller) is just published by Urbane Publications. She is also the author of two collections of short stories and seven non-fiction books and works as a book editor.
Her freelance journalism has taken her to gas rigs on the North Sea, from a financial fraud department to interviewing Glenda Jackson when an MP with lots of writing about health and parenting in between.

Find Anne Coates on her website, FB page and on Twitter - @Anne_Coates1


Publisher's description
Following the deadly events of Dancers in the Wind, freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is thrown into the heart of a horrific murder investigation when a friend, Liz Rayman, is found with her throat slashed at her dental practice.

With few clues to the apparently motiveless crime Hannah throws herself into discovering the reason for her friend's brutal murder, and is determined to unmask the killer. But before long Hannah's investigations place her in mortal danger, her hunt for the truth placing her in the path of a remorseless killer...

Death's Silent Judgement was published by Urbane Publications on 11 May 2017.

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

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