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More than a few people were checking their drinks when SJ Watson had finished….

May 21, 2013 | by Faber Social

Tags: Events, RJ Ellory, Sophie Hannah, Stav Sherez, The Social, Tom Benn

So to the second Faber Crime Social – breaking all the rules by being on the first Tuesday of the month rather than the (bank holiday) Monday – which opened with Stav Sherez’s first public reading from his fantastically spooky, Eleven Days. The second of his Carrigan & Miller series, it publishes today and follows the acclaimed A Dark Redemption, just longlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year . Fingers crossed for Stav.

Stav Sherez

Next up, was the winner of that prize from 2010, R.J. Ellory, who delivered the barnstorming opening chapter of his as-yet-untitled novel, due next summer. Coming on like the bastard love child of Stephen King’s 1922 and one of Annie Proulx’s Bad Season stories, it promises to be another typically brilliant slow-burn thriller.

After a short reading from her latest bestseller, The Carrier, Sophie Hannah also delved into the novel she’s currently working on, The Telling Error. Told largely through the columns of a superbly over-opinionated newspaper columnist (are there any other kind?), fixated on a controversy in the world of crime writing, this is guaranteed to be a blackly funny highlight of next year.

Also appearing, was Tom Benn, a young noir writer whose Manchester set Henry Bane novels are stunningly good. Reading, sounding, and looking a little like a young David Peace, Benn is a serious talent to watch (and a voice clearly missing from Granta’s recent Best of British List). The other discovery of the evening was Russ Litten, whose second novel, Swear Down, has just published. Reading one of the novel’s great monologues – as a young gang member recounts being taken to a betting shop by a seventy year old white guy – it was a perfect taster of an ingenious novel (and Russ won everyone over when he prefaced his reading by taking a photograph of the audience – proof to his wife that he was missing her birthday not because of a torrid affair but rather for a, almost, excusable reason).

To end the night, SJ Watson – Faber Academy alumni and author of the massive international bestseller Before I Go to Sleep – read a brilliantly funny and unsettling new story. For those of you who weren’t there, i can’t tell you anything about the story itself (it was, he promised, strictly a one-off – never to be published or read again), but suffice to say more than a few people were checking there drinks when he finished…

The Faber Social presents Crime will return in 2014.