This session took place in Rothesay Library after the Opening Session and had been a sell out for weeks. Not surprising as this was Denise Mina’s only appearance at Bute Noir and nobody wanted to miss out on listening to her talk on the business of writing about real life crime and criminals.
Luca Veste had stepped in to replace Denzil Meyrick as interviewer for Craig and Denise and if he was nervous about his last minute interview, it didn’t show at all. Under Luca’s guiding hand, Denise and Craig kept the audience rapt with their tales of the real life macabre.
In his latest book, Craig Robertson deals with ‘murderabillia’, the disturbingly fascinating hobby where people buy and sell souvenirs of real life crime. Craig explained that he had actually become involved in this as part of his Murderabillia research and admitted that he now owns a letter written by Moors Murderer Ian Brady and a piece of mantelpiece from the demolished mansion where Sharon Tate was murdered by followers of Charles Manson. In Craig’s Murderabillia, DI Narey finds herself caught up in the dangerous world of the dark web as she researches an old murder and a new one.
Denise spoke about her book ‘The Long Drop’ which is both fiction and fact, based on the murder of the Watt family by Peter Manuel, in the 1950s. Denise takes the factual statements from the court case (which are so odd to read that when she was researching the case transcripts she thought that there were pages missing) and has built a story around the Glasgow legend that one night Mr Watt went on an all night bender with Peter Manual – to get at the truth behind his family’s murder … or something even more sinister?
Despite the seriousness of the subject matter, the session was hugely entertaining, giving us as many laughs as it did guilty shivers …
Both Denise and Craig were shortlisted for the 2017 McIlvanney Prize at Bloody Scotland and on Friday 8 September, it was announced that Denise had won!