Wednesday, 29 November 2017

BEST OF CRIME with Lara Dearman

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 


to share her BEST OF CRIME ...

Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine. A Dark Adapted Eye is one of my favourite novels. Rendell explores the darkest facets of human nature in disturbingly familiar settings. She creates tension and menace seemingly effortlessly, pushing her characters to their emotional limits (and beyond) but with very little actual violence or gore. Her prose is spare and elegant, her plotting ingenious. 

The Secret In Their Eyes. This film has it all – a tortured writer haunted by the past, an unsolved murder, obsession, sexual tension – it’s dark and twisted and the ending left me speechless. 

Happy Valley. Sarah Lancashire is phenomenal as Catherine Cawood – such strength and vulnerability. The Yorkshire setting is just the right mix of grim and gritty housing estates and starkly beautiful countryside. As for the plot, I thought the second series was even better than the first – so eagerly awaiting the next installment! 

Jean-Baptiste Grenouille in Patrick Suskind’s deeply disturbing but utterly compelling Perfume. I love the way the story is told through this strange young man’s eyes, how his search for the most exquisite scents drives him to murder. This is one of the few books I have read several times and it is Grenouille which draws me back each time. 

I’m going to go for a duo here – Saga Noren and Martin Rohde in The Bridge. I love the relationship between these two – Saga’s unpredictable nature and brilliant detective skills plus Martin’s quiet dependability make for the perfect team. 

I have a very old, very heavy Le Creuset frying pan. Every time I take it out of the cupboard I joke to my husband that were I ever to murder someone, the frying pan would be my weapon of choice. He doesn’t seem to find it very funny but it makes me laugh. 

In Ozark, a dark thriller set in the Ozark Lake region in Missouri, a young woman rigs a light at the end of a dock, connecting the cable to the dock ladder and electrifying the surrounding water. A wonderfully tense scene ensues, as her intended victims approach the dock. I may have closed my eyes during the actual electrocution – it was very grisly. 

I quite often find myself on investigating exactly which injuries can be fatal and how. has also proved helpful in this regard. As my books are based in the Channel Islands, I spend a lot of time on the local government websites checking points of law or policy. 

Read. Anything and everything but particularly the sort of thing you want to write. If you like a book, think about why it worked for you and how you can emulate that in your own work. Even if you don’t like a book, reading time has not been wasted. It can almost be more helpful to think about how you would do things differently. 

Coffee, toast and marmite. Also, cookies, cakes, chocolate, crisps, cold pizza, cheese, crackers – I could go on… 


Lara Dearman grew up on Guernsey before moving to the UK to study. She pursued a career in the city before taking time out to be with her young family and studied for an MA in Creative Writing at St Mary's University. She graduated with a distinction in 2016. Lara now lives in New York with her husband and three children and is intending to write full time. Lara will be in London for a month over the summer and plans to spend plenty of time this side of the Atlantic each year.

Find Lara Dearman on her Facebook page and on Twitter - @laradearman


Publisher's description
Jennifer Dorey thinks she is safe. Following a traumatic incident in London, Jennifer has returned to her childhood home in Guernsey, taking a job as a reporter at the local newspaper. After the discovery of a drowned woman on a beach, she uncovers a pattern of similar deaths that have taken place over the past fifty years.

Together with DCI Michael Gilbert, an officer on the verge of retirement, they follow a dark trail of island myths and folklore to 'Fritz', the illegitimate son of a Nazi soldier. His work, painstakingly executed, has so far gone undetected. But with his identity about to be uncovered, the killer now has Jennifer in his sights. And home is the last place she should be.

The Devil's Claw is being published by Trapeze on 30 November 2017.

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

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