• Spain's news in English
'Detectives make natural story-tellers' says crime writer
"I See You" a follow up to "I Let You Go" is out soon, Photo: Clare Mackintosh

'Detectives make natural story-tellers' says crime writer

The Local · 14 Jul 2016, 11:05

Published: 14 Jul 2016 11:05 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Detectives make natural story-tellers, police officer turned massively successful British début novelist Clare Mackintosh said at a major crime-writing festival in Spain on Wednesday, yet few crime writers have police experience.

“That surprises me,” Mackintosh said during Semana Negra (“Noir Week”), an annual gathering of crime writers mixed in with a fun fair which draws a million visitors every year in the northern Spanish seaside town of Gijón.

“As a police officer, you gather stories from witnesses, victims and offenders and you try to piece together the truth of what’s happened, and so I do that now with my books,” she added.

“It’s a huge advantage to have been in the police. It means I can be very lazy in my police research, and it means that I have experienced a huge range of types of people and experiences that I wouldn’t otherwise have had access to.”

A former riot commander and Criminal Investigation Department officer with the Thames Valley Police in Britain, Mackintosh’s first novel “I Let You Go” was on the SundayTimes top ten bestseller list for 12 weeks after its release last year and to date has sold more than 500,000 copies and been translated into 30 languages.

In addition to police experience, a personal tragedy inspired and moved Mackintosh to write “I Let You Go”. Firstly, a hit and run accident in which a child was killed deeply moved her as a young officer.

“I kept thinking, how can someone kill a child and then drive away? How can a mother lose a child and continue to survive?”

The answer to the second question came when Mackintosh lost her own child, years later, when he was still a baby.

“I realised you have to survive trauma because there’s no alternative,” she said.  “You’re grief-stricken, but you continue to breathe, you continue to put one foot in front of the other, and you continue to get up every day.”

“It made me realise that grief changes you; it defines you and changes the way you behave in life, it changes the decisions you have and the relationships you have.”

Story continues below…

Mackintosh’s second novel, “I see you”, will hit the shelves on July 28th. Like her first novel, it is based on a real-life incident, that of a woman who sees her own photograph in the classified section of a London newspaper whilst commuting, and her quest to find out how and why it came to be there.

It is already being touted as a one of the best holiday reads of the summer.

By Martin Roberts in Gijón

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Recipe: How to make fabada - traditional Asturian bean stew
Photo: Flavio Lorenzo Sánchez/Flickr

The hearty Asturian dish is a perfect lunch on a cold day... and don't forget the crusty bread and cider!

Brit 'paedo' held on Costa del Sol after Most Wanted appeal

One of Britain's most wanted fugitives was arrested on the Costa Del Sol following a tip-off from an expat just hours after his face appeared on a public appeal.

Spain's parliament approves deficit reduction measures
Photo: Images Money/Flickr

Spanish lawmakers approved on Thursday measures to reduce the public deficit and keep it under the target agreed with the European Union.

'Cubism and War' show opens at Barcelona Picasso Museum
Pablo Picasso Harlequin and Woman with a Necklace. Photo: MP

Barcelona's Picasso Museum unveiled an exhibition on "Cubism and War" on Thursday depicting how one of the most influential artistic styles of the 20th century survived the First World War.

Why this bionic limb pioneer doesn't believe in disability
Hugh Herr has been award Spain's top science prize. Photo: FPA

The Local speaks to Hugh Herr on winning Spain's top science prize and how being an amputee doesn't make him disabled.

Dine in the buff at Spain's first nudist restaurant
A buffet of organic food will be served on "human tables". Photo: Innato / Facebook

Spain's first naked dining experience is to arrive on the island of Tenerife following the success of a similar venture in London.

Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Photo: AFP

Spain's Constitutional Court on Thursday cancelled a bullfighting ban in Catalonia in what is likely to exacerbate tensions between Madrid and the separatist region, and between animal activists and fans of the tradition.

Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Eta members made a ceasefire declaration in January, 2011. Photo: Gara / AFP

Five years after armed separatist group Eta declared a permanent ceasefire, Basque journalist Alberto Letona is still wondering when the dialogue will begin.

Hunt for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Call Crimestoppers if you recognize these faces.

These fugitives from British justice are thought to be hiding out in Spain. Do you recognize anyone?

Eta 'not dead' but Spain focus moves onto jihadism
Archive photo of a pro-mural in the Basque Country. Photo: AFP

Five years after Eta quit violence, the Basque separatist group has yet to dissolve but it poses little threat and authorities have shifted their focus to fight jihadists, says Spain's chief anti-terrorism prosecutor.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
Bison found decapitated on Valencia nature reserve
Forgotten Voices: What Brits in Spain think about Brexit
One dead and 14 injured in blast at Spanish resort
Game of Thrones want extras 'with muscles' to film in Spain
Thousands march in Madrid to push for bullfighting ban
jobs available