Crime novelist to be star of annual literary festival

Graham Hurley
Graham Hurley
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HIS atmospheric novels are set around some of Portsmouth’s most famous landmarks.

Now author Graham Hurley will be discussing his hugely successful DI Faraday crime novels at Havant Literary Festival.

Hurley is the star of the event which kicks off on Friday evening with a ‘Bookshelf Barney’ between The News’ editor Mark Waldron, Havant MP David Willetts, writer Naomi Foyle and author Miriam Halahmy, where they will pitch the book they believe is the best ever written.

There will be poetry, performance and talks throughout Saturday with all events based at The Spring Arts and Heritage Centre, in East Street.

‘Pompey is really god’s gift to the working crime novelist,’ said Hurley.

‘It is a really distinct city.

‘What I love about it is it’s insular. It’s built on an island and it’s very inward looking. I’ve never lived anywhere quite like it.

‘It’s very densely populated and there are consequences to people living cheek by jowl.

‘If you keep your ear to the ground the city is constantly generating stories. It has a kind of tribal element which I find fascinating.’

At 10am on Saturday Paul Gonella will run a family workshop on making animated films.

Michael Stewart will take a master class in writing believable characters at 10.30am while Miriam Halahmy, the author of the children’s novel Hidden, will be discussing her Hayling Island-based fiction at 2pm.

At 2.30pm John Scadding will bring Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield to life with wonderful renditions. Portsmouth’s Poet Laureate Joe McQuilken will perform at 5pm.

Graham Hurley will be in conversation at 7.30pm and will explain the death of DCI Faraday whose funeral at Portchester Crematorium opens his latest novel.

The festival will end on a high, at 7.30pm, with an evening of poetry and music from The Spring Poets, including, Andrew Bailey, Denise Bennett, Robyn Bolam, Stephen Boyce and John Haynes.

Festival organiser June Halford said: ‘We really are tremendously excited now.

‘The whole festival will be brilliant but we’re really looking forward to Graham Hurley and John Scadding.’

There are still tickets available and some events are free but must be booked.

Buy tickets at havantlitfest.org.uk, phone the box office on (023) 92472700 or call into The Spring.

Graham Hurley’s DI Faraday series set in and around Portsmouth

by ELISE BREWERTON

The News

elise.brewerton@thenews.co.uk