Skip to content

Noireland – The Best Crime Festival In Town

Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

It’s fair to say that the first Noireland International Crime Fiction Festival went off with a bang. With a packed programme and a well thought out schedule that made sure no one missed out on a precious moment, there was plenty of food for thought for the aspiring author as well as book lover.

Set against the backdrop of the Europa Hotel, with its mirrored walls and winding staircases, it was the perfect setting for this atmospheric festival, slap bang in the centre of Belfast.

On the Friday, I participated in workshops with authors, Gerard Brennan and Claire McGowan and both workshops, were informative and interactive as we engaged in some light writing exercises as well as given the opportunity to question published authors.

The event kicked off on Friday night with a ‘Line Of Duty’ panel and Strabane author, Brian McGilloway quizzed the shows creator Jed Mercurio, actor, Adrian Dunbar and the show’s producer Stephen Wright about the success of the Northern Ireland show.

Over the weekend, there were talks catered for everyone who has an interest in crime and varied from the research and ideas of genre, as well as some added humour to lighten the dark subject.

Between each talk there was ample time and opportunity to browse the compact bookshop as well as chat to the authors and get books signed.

I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of Noireland. It was wonderful to see such an exciting range of talent from across the water and to meet the people who have written for books and screen. With panels of authors featuring some of my favourite authors such as Ali Land, Liz Nugent and Sophie Hannah, as well as a packed out rooms for the events featuring the people behind ‘Line of Duty’ and Aidan Gillen.

It was also exhilarating to be amongst such talent and to be able to listen about their own writing experiences as well as meet other like-minded people, who like myself are also tentatively starting their own writing journey’s.

One particular moment that stood out for me, was when Brian McGilloway asked me if I was a writer. I was hesitant with my response as I am trying to be and I’m actively working on something at the minute, so I told him that I was trying to and his reply stayed with me all weekend.

“You are a writer, even if you’re not published”

As an aspiring author, I found the festival to be an absolute fountain of information, packed with support and advice. I parted ways with Crime Noireland on a high, loaded with books, inspiration and a lot lighter purse.

A monumental thank you and well done to David Torrans, his staff from No Alibis Bookshop (the best bookshop in Northern Ireland) as well as all the volunteers who were all so friendly and approachable. They did such an amazing job of organising a fabulous event and gave book lovers and writers an unique opportunity to network and engage.

With a promise of another festival next year, I’m already counting down to 2018. Hopefully by then, I will have finished all the books that I bought at this year’s event!

Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

Noireland International Crime Festival, Belfast

If you’re a fan of the crime genre, whether you enjoy reading the books or aspire to be an author, then Belfast’s debut crime festival is a must attendance.

Noireland (great name by the way) will be running from 27-29th October and taking place in the Europa Hotel.

Organised by the people behind the amazing bookshop ‘No Alibis’ which is situated in Botanic in Belfast, this festival celebrates the island’s love of crime fiction.

The 3-day event will be showcasing the amazing talent emerging from Ireland currently as well as some of the popular authors from all over the world, such as Sophie Hannah, Arne Dahl and Benjamin Black, to name just a few.

Noireland International Crime was organised to provide a platform for the wealth of crime writing talent emerging from Ireland, showcasing it alongside some of the biggest international names in crime and thriller writing.

With a jam-packed programme of great authors plus a selection of entertaining events, this debut festival is an exciting introduction to Northern Ireland’s love of all things crime and suspense.

As a very new and independent organisation they rely on partnerships, sponsors, donations, ticket sales and volunteers to support their work.

If you are interested in partnering with Noireland or sponsoring them you can contact them at

For more information and updates about the events plus tickets, go to

Liz Nugent Writers Tips

Liz NugentI’m wary of offering advice because every writer has a different approach and a different set of rules, but the one thing I would suggest is quite simply –to read. Read as much as you can in as many genres as you can. Read fact, fiction, history, biography, the classics, children’s etc. Eventually, you’ll find the one that appeals to you most.

Liz Nugent In Conversation With No Alibis Bookshop, Belfast

Liz NugentAward winning and bestselling Irish author Liz Nugent is coming No Alibis Bookshop Belfast to read and talk about her new book ‘Lying In Wait’ a suspenseful tale about deceit.

Liz previously came to Belfast in 2014 as part of the Belfast Book Festival to talk about her debut novel, ‘Unravelling Oliver’ which went onto win Crime Fiction of the Year at the Bord Gais Book Awards.

Liz will be appearing at the Belfast Bookshop on Friday 2nd September at 6pm. See you there!

Lying In Wait By Liz Nugent

Lying In Wait‘Lying In Wait’ is the latest book by Irish author, Liz Nugent.

Lydia Fitzsimons lives in the perfect house with her adoring husband and beloved son. There is just one thing Lydia yearns for to make her perfect life complete, though the last thing she expects is that pursuing it will lead to murder. However, needs must – because nothing can stop this mother from getting what she wants.

‘Lying In Wait’ is the second book from Liz Nugent after her first book, the award winning crime thriller, ‘Unravelling Oliver’ and her second is just as intense and atmospheric.

The story is set in Dublin in 1980’s when Lydia Fitzsimmons is desperate for another child, but unable to have another one, she hires the help of Annie Doyle, a troubled, young prostitute who ends up dead. With blood on her and her husband’s Andrews hands, the pair hide Annie’s death from the world and carry on with their lives as best they can. Meanwhile, their only son Lawrence suspects something but nothing is ever done about it. Annie’s family report the girl missing but she is never found and her sister Karen is certain that someday her sister will turn up explaining her absence.

Seen through the narrative of the three main characters of the story, Lydia, Lawrence and Karen, the story is written from the perspective of the murderer, the murderers son and the victim’s sister and tells how one person wants the problem to go away whilst another person is desperate to find answers.

The voices are distinct, particularly Lydia, who to the outside world leads a privileged and pampered life, but once we delve deeper into her past with family secrets deeply hidden, we see a troubled character who shows little or no remorse for her actions and the consequences. She controls and manipulates her son, leading him to believe that she is a poor, weak woman but she is incredibly vindictive with her motives. Lawrence feels sorry for his mother, but he sees through her actions and knows that she isn’t as innocent as she makes herself out to be. Meanwhile, on the other side of Dublin, we meet Karen, Annie’s sister, a sophisticated young woman, plucked from obscurity to become a model, she believes her sister wouldn’t just disappear and is determined to find out what really happened.

‘Lying In Wait’ is a cleverly observed and written psychological thriller that pulls the reader in, with a dark and intricate storyline. Set against the poverty stricken background of 1980’s Dublin, this tense and eerie setting is the perfect location for this twisty and chilling tale with an ending that leaves the reader astounded.

You can buy Lying In Wait from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.