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The rise of crime fiction – A journey to Scotland

12 November 2021
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The Hof

Crime fiction as a way to explore the human condition is on a surge. And Scottish crime writing in particular is a bestseller in the UK and the world. Who is behind it? What are their influences? And why do studies of murder and madness from tiny villages in remote Scottish Highlands resonate with readers in China or Australia? Join us on a journey into crime literature - with James Crawford, writer, broadcaster and publisher, and Francis Bickmore, Publishing Director at Canongate.

‘This, it seems, is at the core of what makes crime writing so popular – a desire to work beneath the surface, to uncover the lies we tell and the secrets we keep; to explore the extremes of personality or circumstance that drive people to commit crimes, or even to kill. (…) And is there something in the air, or the water, or the landscape that makes Scotland’s crime writers so adept at this? Much of their success is, I’m sure, down to their being so skilled at unpeeling these layers of personality, to expose the raw nerves of identity, and truth.’ – James Crawford