Discussing dark crime

This week Jennifer Byrne, host of Australia’s monthly TV book club, hosted a half-hour discussion about the state of modern crime fiction. Joining her were Jo Nesbo, Malla Nunn, Leigh Redhead and Michael Robotham and they touched on a wide range of topics including what makes a good detective character, the ‘Scandi’ trend, the crossover between TV and novel writing and how much darkness is too dark.

I didn’t agree with everything said but the discussion is a good one as it prompted some possible future blog posts to start bubbling away in my brain and I would recommend it to fans of the genre.

For Aussies the show is available for 2 weeks via iVIew but I believe people the world over can watch from the First Tuesday Book Club’s website (the official name of the show is Jennifer Byrne Presents Dark Places). As far as I can tell the episode should be available from there forever (or until the ABC pulls the website down).

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13 Responses to Discussing dark crime

  1. Sarah says:

    Sounds interesting. Will try and catch it thanks Bernadette.

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  2. Marg says:

    Maybe you can post about Jo Nesbo’s idea of a love story! lol

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  3. Bernadette – Thanks! This sounds interesting. V-e-r-y interesting mix of panel members, too!

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  4. Terry says:

    I hope someone challenged Nesbo about his DREADFUL novel ‘Headhunters’!

    Unbelievable that this (the worst book I’ve read in years) could have come from the same author as the excellent Harry Hole series.

    I’ve read all of Jo Nesbo’s previous books and I was enjoying this one immensely until about half way through. It’s as if at that point Nesbo handed the writing over to someone else, with a brief along the lines of “Give me a hundred or so pages of action, all sorts, don’t worry about plausibility or character development.” I won’t be explicit but my credulity and respect for the author plunged at the very moment he lowered himself into a certain hiding place. And that increased in the following pages.

    I skimmed the last quarter to see if it ever recovered. It didn’t – it got worse. Infantile drivel.

    Such a disappointment after his earlier work. I suppose he made a lot of money from the film (maybe he wrote it with a Hollywood, cliche-riddled movie in mind?) but as a serious novelist he should be ashamed of himself!


    Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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    • Alas no one did challenge him Terry. I’d like to think I would have if I’d been there as I agree with you on Headhunters but perhaps I wouldn’t have either. I heard a bunch of interviews with Nesbo while he toured Australia recently (he popped up on every tv and radio show that even vaguely mentions books) and he seemed pretty pleased with the novel whenever it came up. Definitely not one for me though 🙂

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  5. Maxine says:

    Well I liked Headhunters! It was a blast but one should not take it too seriously. Also, the author donated all the money he got for it to charity, which is at least one thing in its favour.
    Thanks for the tip about the show, Bernadette, I’ll see if I can see it from here (UK). As mentioned on Friend Feed, I thought Harry’s love in Phantom was moving & well done, as well as suitably integrated into the plot. But he’s pretty hopeless at all that sort of stuff, I have to say.

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    • I am going to read Phantom soon Maxine – out of order and everything – as it is on the Dagger shortlist I feel the urge – so will see if the love side of this book is better than what he described on the show which was truly disturbing.

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  6. I thought it was a very interesting discussion. I agree, I don’t agree with everything but it was one of the better Jennifer Byrne Presents for a long time

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  7. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    I watched it and thought it was an interesting panel , made me consider waterbeds in an entirely new light 🙂

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  8. angelasavage says:

    While I also enjoyed the panel discussion, I’d have liked to have seen more attention paid to Australian crime fiction, seeing as how 3 out of 4 panelists were Australian writers – and terrific ones at that – especially when genre fiction in general gets so little air time on The First Tuesday Book Club.

    I’m inclined to agree with Terry about Headhunters, based on what I saw of the film. And if what Maxine says about Nesbo donating the proceeds to charity is true, then I hope it was for building latrines in communities that need them 😉

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