Derby Book Festival: John Harvey, AA Dhand and Fran Dorricott

This Sunday, I’m interviewing John Harvey, A A Dhand and Fran Dorricott at the Derby Book Festival. They’re writers at different stages of their careers and we’ll be discussing their books within the context of the contemporary crime novel. One of the best things about moderating panels is the opportunity I get to question authors about what they’ve written and I’m looking forward to the event.

John Harvey is the author of over a hundred novels, including the Nottingham based series featuring detective Charlie Resnick and, more recently, his Frank Elder books, of which  Body and Soul is the final instalment. Katherine, Elder’s daughter, is recovering from a traumatic relationship with Anthony Winter, an artist whose paintings of her suggest a relationship characterised by coercion and abuse. When Winter is found dead, both Elder and Katherine come under suspicion, while an old crime comes back to haunt them both. I’ve long been a fan of Harvey’s novels and Body and Soul is, unsurprisingly, a compelling narrative and a poignant ending to the series.


City of Sinners by A A Dhand is a slice of noir (in its traditional sense) set in Bradford. DCI Harry Virdee is called to a body found in Waterstones to discover he’s on the hunt for a sadistic killer who has a personal gripe with the detective. Part of the novel is narrated by Saima Virdee, an A and E doctor who is has to care for her estranged father in law. The combination of these two plots – the brutal and gritty search for a killer and the personal backstory of Virdee and Saima’s marriage make this a wonderful read. Dhand perfectly captures the rawness of late night Bradford.


After the Eclipse is the debut novel by Fran Dorricott. Cassie’s sister Olive disappeared in a small Derbyshire town during the 1999 eclipse. Journalist Cassie has returned to look after her elderly grandmother but, as another eclipse is forecast, a girl goes missing. Cassie, convinced that the two disappearances are connected, begins to look at the residents of Bishop’s Green to see if there’s a predator who has been living in the community all along. Dorricott excels at showing the tensions which arise when a crime takes place in a small town.


Three excellent books which I can’t wait to talk to the authors about. Tickets for the event can be found here.

10 thoughts on “Derby Book Festival: John Harvey, AA Dhand and Fran Dorricott

  1. Margot Kinberg

    Sounds lovely, Sarah! Very happy for you, and I know you’ll do a fabulous job. I hope you’ll let us know how it went!


  2. Kathy P.

    Hello Sarah. I hope you have a good time with the interviews at the Derby book festival. I’m sure I’ve read some of the books in the Charlie Resnick series. I must take a closer look and see which ones I’ve got. I like the sound of After the Eclipse. Just what I like to get my teeth into.


  3. luckygibbo1 Gibson

    Aaaggh. John Harvey!!! One of my all time favourites, Sarah. Please say hello to him from a very appreciative Australia, Sarah. One of the gems. Cheers from Down Under, Dave.


  4. Kathy D.

    Hi Sarah,

    Hope you have a blast at these book festivals. Wish that I could attend them. But I’m
    following them online. I wish some could be streamed!

    I read your reviews avidly. But I am awash in books literally, and I can’t add more titles to the
    TBR list. I get too many ideas reading blogs and I can’t keep up.

    Have a wonderful time.


  5. Kathy D.

    I keep seeing your name everywhere. And I went to where a friend said many books are posted in pdf files or
    for ereaders. There were some of your books, too. Did a search by author’s name.
    Hope all is fun,


    1. Hi Kathy – Thanks for this. I didn’t want to click on the link but I’m not sure the site results in me getting paid for my work. It’s difficult to tell without me registering. Hope all is well x


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