Monday, 23 May 2016

PUSH-UPS: Nick Quantrill

So, what you pushing right now?

My new Hull-set crime novel, “The Dead Can’t Talk”. It’s the first in a new trilogy (series?) featuring Anna Stone and Luke Carver.

What’s the hook?

How far will Anna Stone, a disillusioned police officer on the brink of leaving her job, go to uncover the truth about her sister’s disappearance? Approached by Luke Carver, an ex-Army drifter she’s previously sent to prison, he claims to have new information, leaving her to decide if she can really trust a man who has his own reasons for helping.

And why’s that floating your boat?

Because it’s the start of something new. I’ve written three novels featuring small time PI, Joe Geraghty, and it felt like his race was run, certainly for the time being. I wanted to take the opportunity to create some new characters and explore new possibilities. I love reading a long-running character, but as a writer, that Pelecanos trick of hit them hard and fast with trilogies and quartets before exiting the stage makes a lot of sense.

When did you turn to crime?

It’s always been crime. From a young age and the crime writing cliché of The Famous Five and Sherlock Holmes, crime has always dominated my reading. When I eventually realised that even people from a downtrodden city like Hull are allowed to write, it was the only game in town for me.

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?

Only one? I’ll go contemporary (reluctantly). I try to read widely from the crime genre – partly just for fun, partly to keep up with what friends are doing. I lean to the more contemporary stuff because I’m interested in exploring and understanding what’s going on in society now. It often baffles me, but crime writing is the perfect medium to explore such issues.

And, what’s blown you away lately?
Nick Quantrill.

It’s always a struggle to keep with all the new stuff coming out. There’s just so much to love…”Fever City” by Tim Baker was a fresh take on the JFK assassination. “The Big Fear” by Andrew Case was an impulse buy I loved. Dipping into various Ted Lewis reissues is a treat. Ian Ayris is back with “April Skies”. I could take a year off to read and only scratch the surface.

See any books as movies waiting to happen?

Like with reading, there’s far too many to choose from and I’d be genuinely delighted to see something like “April Skies” given the TV treatments. Away from crime, my Hull pal, Brian Lavery’s book, “The Headscarf Revolutionaries” has been optioned by the BBC. With Mark Herman writing the script, it surely can’t fail.

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?

Would writers like Ian Ayris or Ray Banks get a chance with a big publisher? Maybe not. Are they worth reading? Absolutely. I also enjoy a Lee Child novel as much as the next person, so I guess the conclusion is just read what you want to read. Anything else is just bullshit. I have a Kindle and I would say I split my reading pretty evenly between digital and paper. I don’t even think about it these days.

Shout us a website worth visiting.

It’s such a tough question as there are so many great websites covering the crime world. I really wouldn’t want to single one out, but so many offer a great service to readers and writers. Bottom line is we’re all readers and want to hear what others are enjoying. I head to the blogs I trust before the mainstream media.

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …


I lead a quiet life, battling my way through the school gate with my daughter, and plotting murder. Sometimes these two things are connected. I have a GCSE Grade G in Nautical Studies, so don’t get in a boat with me.

:: Find out more about Nick, at: http://nickquantrill.co.uk   Buy The Dead Can't Talk at Amazon UK