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In the summer of 2002, crime writer and freelance journalist Simon Beckett visited the Body Farm in Knoxville, Tennessee to write a magazine article about highly realistic crime scene training for US police officers


The unique outdoor research facility was then the only place in the world to use human cadavers to investigate the process of decomposition. Crime scenes were simulated using real human bodies to give the police officers first-hand experience of working with the dead


The training was grisly but effective, and Simon returned to the UK both impressed by what he’d seen, and with the feeling that there was potential for more than just a feature article

Over the next year, he developed the character of David Hunter, a British forensic anthropologist with a tragic past. The Chemistry of Death, the first novel in what would become a series, has been translated into 29 languages and became an international No. 1 bestseller

The first four David Hunter books have now sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. The Restless Dead, the fifth novel in the series, will be published as a Bantam Press hardback on the 6th April 2017

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Exciting new website news and updates coming January 2019

December 2018


I’m thrilled to have tied for first place for the European Crime Fiction Star Award, (AKA ‘The Ripper’ award), together with Scandinavian writer Arne Dalh. Created by Mord am Hellweg,  the largest crime festival in Europe, the award is held every two years and is presented for ‘outstanding services to crime literature within Europe’www.mordamhellweg.de

The winner is taken from a shortlist of international authors, and decided by a public vote. This is the first time the award has ever been tied (apparently there were three recounts to make sure), and I’m doubly honoured to be the first-ever British recipient.

The awards ceremony will be held in in Unna, Germany, in February 2019, so I’ll be reporting back on how it went. Congratulations to Arne, and many thanks to everyone who voted for me!

To buy tickets click here.

Welcome to the first blog

Welcome to my first-ever blog. This is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but somehow never quite got around to. 2018 has been a busy year, but I’m happy to report that the sixth David Hunter thriller, The Scent of Death is now finished. It’s an exciting time, and I’m looking forward to sharing news as it comes along.

One development I can share straight away is that my Facebook page will be much more active from now on.

You can visit it here so please keep checking for news, updates and competitions.

January 2018

25th January - The new David Hunter thriller, The Restless Dead published in paperback by Bantam.

November 2017

21st October - Göttingen Crime Reading East-Frisia Crime Festival 20th - Leer 19th - Aurich

October 2017

17th - 20th October - Austrian tour: 17th, Vienna Kriminacht Festival; 18th. Linz Literursalon, 19th Salzburg Krimifest, 20th Tyrol Crime Festival, Innsbruck. 15th October - Off the Shelf Festival, Sheffield. In conversation with thriller writer Mick Herron, moderated by Harriet Earle. Millennium Gallery, 4pm 12th October - Frinton-on-Sea Literary Festival. In conversation with historical thriller writer Antonia Hodgson. Frinton Tennis Club, 7pm. 5th October - Totenfang/The Restless Dead reaches no. 2 on the Germany’s Speigel Paperback Bestseller Charts.

September 2017

22nd September - Totenfang, the German translation of The Restless Dead, is published by Rowohlt Taschenbuch

June 2017

June 24th: Big Book Festival, Warsaw, Poland, 16.00 - Festival website

May 2017

May 24th. The Restless Dead published in Poland as Niespokojni Zmarli, by Czarna Owca. 

May 2017

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May 23rd: A Crime Writing Quartet: Simon Beckett talks Crime writing with Luca Veste, Dave Jackson and Mark Roberts, Waterstones Liverpool, 18.30. More info/tickets