One of the best annual events of the French crime fiction festival scene is coming up on the 4th-6th April: the Quais du Polar in Lyon. I attended this free event last year and was so impressed by the diversity and quality of authors and topics on offer that I’ve been living off the impressions from there ever since.
I have already booked my hotel for this year’s event, which promises to be even better, as it’s the 10th edition. There is so much going on, that I will only mention a few personal highlights.
1) The French writers attending, many of whom I have read and reviewed this past year: Bernard Minier, Caryl Ferey, Franck Thilliez, Antonin Varenne. There will, as always, be the opportunity to connect with authors whose work I hugely respect, such as Maud Tabachnik, Dominique Sylvain and Didier Daeninckx, but also the opportunity to uncover new talent, debut writers whose work I will then follow.
2) Many big or rising names of the English-speaking world: James Ellroy, R. J. Ellory, Peter James, George Pelecanos, Stuart Neville, Cathi Unsworth, Lauren Beukes; as well as a wider international group of writers: Victor del Arbol from Spain, Deon Meyer from South Africa, Camilla Lackberg and Asa Larsson from Sweden, Zygmunt Miloszewski from Poland, Donato Carrisi from Italy, Liad Shoham from Israel.
3) Some fascinating panel topics, for instance: ‘When the Family Implodes’ or ‘Crime and Drug Deals’ (with George Pelecanos, in case you were wondering), ‘Crime and War’, ‘Myths, Super-Heroes and Legends’ or ‘Crime Fiction in Translation’.
So much to do, such difficult choices! And Lyon will be a perfect host city, as always. I must also make sure to book a nice lunch at one of my favourite brasseries. Perhaps I will even participate in the Crime and Clues Treasure Hunt this year…