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Cultural Life: Val McDermid, Crime writer




Sweet Tooth, by Ian McEwan – I enjoyed the time-machine trip back to the early 1970s. Rubbernecker, by Belinda Bauer, isn't out till January, but it's definitely one of the best crime novels I've read in a while. The central character is a young man with Asperger's which gives a distinctive tilt to the narrative. Also The Daylight Gate by Jeanette Winterson – the tension never lets up.


Moneyball. We're baseball fans in our house but I don't think that matters ; this is a movie about the economics and practicalities of team-building, where Brad Pitt gets to be the guy with integrity and guts. We went to The Hunger Games expecting to be disappointed – but we weren't.


I recently saw Manchester Lines by Jackie Kay, a site-specific production in a Manchester office block. Set in a left-luggage office, it was an interweaving of lives and destinies.

Visual Arts

Chris Close's exhibition of author photographs at the Edinburgh International Book Festival was joyous and made me look again at the faces of writers I know. (Myself included...)


Bad Sugar, Only Connect, Hunderby, A Touch of Cloth, University Challenge, The Great British Bake-Off, Accused.

'The Vanishing Point' by Val McDermid is out now