Ripon hosts biggest celebration of crime writing in the world as part of northern tour

Michael Connelly.
Michael Connelly.

The biggest celebration of crime writing in the world is to tour libraries across the north, including Ripon, this June with its annual Big Read.

Mari Hannah, author, Programming Chairman and Reader in Residence at the 2019 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, will hit the road to host the North’s biggest book club. She’ll be discussing thriller The Black Echo by Michael Connelly.

Mari Hannah.

Mari Hannah.

The Big Read, supported by The Arts Council, is at Ripon Library on June 5 and aims to encourage crime fiction fans and entice reluctant readers to read and discuss the same book.

Mari said: “American thriller writer Michael Connelly’s The Black Echo (1992) is an assured debut that blew me away when I read it.

“Connelly remains my all-time favourite. He never fails to deliver and I can’t wait to share the story on the Big Read 2019.”

Mari is the award-winning author of the Kate Daniels series, the Ryan & O’Neil thrillers and the Stone & Oliver series of police procedurals.

Thanks to publisher Orion, 1,500 free copies of the book are available and can be collected at any participating library plus the Harrogate International Festival Office from April onwards.

Author Michael Connelly said: “The authors who have previously had this distinction are my favourites and the fact that people will be reading a book I wrote 30 years ago while never knowing if it would be published or that I would become an author is incredibly fulfilling.”

After The Black Echo, Connelly went on to sell 74 million books worldwide, with film adaptations including Lincoln Lawyer starring Matthew McConaughey.

The Big Read will take place in libraries across Yorkshire and the North East from June 3 to 14 and is free.

Beth Walker, Marketing & Events Assistant at Harrogate International Festivals, said: “We would like to invite as many people as possible into these libraries for the 11th Big Read.”