• The Balance of Guilt

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  • The TV Detective

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  • The Judgement Book

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  • Evil Valley

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  • The Death Pictures

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Getting tweets!

The official website of Crime Writer and BBC Crime Correspondent Simon Hall

Simon Hall is the BBC’s Crime Correspondent for the South West of England and the author of The TV Detective novels, in which a television reporter and a detective work together to solve a series of extraordinary crimes.

His books have been warmly praised as a fresh, distinctive and highly entertaining approach to crime writing. Simon’s new novel, The Dark Horizon, has just been released and received with great pleasure by readers -

“A superb plot... lulls you into a false sense of security & then hits you with a plot twist, a shock or an unexpected moment of humour. It’s a marvellous sleight of hand, a sort of literary Harry Houdini at work. Simon breathes life into every single character, no matter how fleeting an appearance they make. Of all his novels this one is perhaps the most human.”

Its predecessor, Shadows of Justice, is a story of the fearful lengths that victims of crime are forced to when the law fails them. It too has been much enjoyed by readers -

“Hall’s characterisations are so good it’s hard to believe you are reading a work of fiction... another superb crime novel.”
“More than just well written, it brings alive the people and places, hard to put down don’t do any cooking whilst you are reading it!”
“Thank you Simon for yet another spectacular, gripping, brilliant book. A story line that keeps you intrigued and guessing right to the end.”

Its forerunner, The Balance of Guilt, is the story of a shocking terrorist attack in a sacred place, the murky world of spies and the secret service, and an intricate conspiracy. It’s the first of the novels to be based outside of Plymouth, and has been lauded by the critics.

Welsh Books Council - "I was totally hooked by the end of the first chapter and from then on I hardly dared draw breath. Hall is a compelling writer. He should be applauded for writing a book which, though irreverent at times, leaves the reader with a need to question and reflect, a book whose title - The Balance of Guilt - says it all. A masterful novel."

Simon's previous novel, The Judgement Book, was named by Eurocrime as one of the top reads of last year. Some reviews

Books Monthly - "Suicides and blackmail, races against time to solve the clues make this the best yet by Simon, and kept me guessing right to the end. I didn't identify the blackmailer, which I think is something of a triumph for the author. Absolutely riveting, a great read."
Random Jottings - "A brilliant crime/detection novel. The whole thing crackles with tension and pace and I thought it was excellent." Eurocrime - "A really enjoyable read... taught, well plotted and creates such a pace it became a personal race against time to finish it in one sitting."

There are more details of all Simon's novels on the Books page.

A prequel has been released, about how Dan, the TV reporter, and Adam, the Chief Inspector, met. The TV Detective is based on Simon's first attempt at writing a novel, A Popular Murder, and has been rewritten and published due to public demand in finding out how the pair began working together. It's the story of the bizarre murder of a notorious businessman and has been applauded by readers as a highly enjoyable way of filling in the gaps in the characters' story.

"This is a terrific book. This is an exciting book. This is a witty and amusing book. This is a very very very good book." Random Jottings

Simon is currently working on two new books in the tvdetective series, which have been commissioned by Thames River Press. The first, a story of a murderous battle between generations, is due for release next year. The second, a tale of the final attempt to solve a notorious 25 year old mystery, is scheduled for release in 2015.

The popularity of Simon's work is growing quickly. He's been invited to give talks at a series of prestigious events, including the British Crime Writers' Association Annual Conference, the Agatha Christie, Daphne du Maurier, Appledore, Poole and Reading Crime festivals. He also holds workshops on the art of novel writing, something Simon admits often teaches him more than the audience. He's proud to have been invited to the Swanwick Writers' Summer School as the specialist crime writing tutor, the Winchester Writers' Festival, the Geneva Writers' Group, and to lecture about his work on international cruise ships.

Simon's writing combines modern, complex and cunning mysteries with a behind the scenes taste of the life of a TV News reporter. There are jealous newsroom rows and precious egos to navigate, chaotic live broadcasts to present, and angry and emotional interviewees to placate.

The books also provide a fascinating insight into how the power of television can be used to help catch criminals, something which is much more common than many people realise.

Despite being far from a child of the internet age, those who know about the brave new world have persuaded Simon to begin writing a blog, something he has now confessed to actually enjoying. The latest is featured below, with previous entries on the blog page. There, you can also sign up for a feed of the latest blog. It'll keep you up to date with Simon's writing, events, and occasional whimsical musings on any topic which happens to be entertaining him. He's even begun Tweeting.

You can follow him @thetvdetective.

At the request of a dramatics company, Simon has adapted a tvdetective mystery for the stage. As part of his commitment to raise money for good causes, he's made the play available for free on the condition that any money raised goes to a local charity. If other dramatics groups are interested in putting on the play, they can get in touch with Simon via the contact page.

Simon has also begun teaching creative writing and storytelling in schools, something he finds hugely satisfying. 'I love working with youngsters because of the sheer challenge of it. You just never know what they're going to ask, or how they'll react to some of the games I like to put in the sessions,' Simon reflects. 'But I very much believe the world of words should be fun, and it's such a wonderful feeling to fill young people with the joy of books and stories and to help them to love reading.'

The TV Detective site will take you on a tour of Simon's work, tell you about his latest events and give you an opportunity to get in touch.

Simon Hall welcomes you to his website.

Skipping Rope Paradigm Shift

One of the breathtaking moments of life can come with a paradigm shift. 

We use it in writing all the time - the bad guy through and through, who turns out to be a hero (think poor old Snape in Harry Potter), or vice versa (The Usual Suspects), or anything similar. 

I had a milder, but still lovely paradigm shift this week courtesy of an unusual inspiration - 

roPE blog.JPG

No, it's not some torture implement I keep handy, before you ask. 

I was doing a bit of throwing out and discovered a skipping rope. Given my attempts to skip at the gym resemble a lame elephant who's had a couple of pints too many, I was going to discard it as well, when...

Inspiration came. 

All week, I've been struggling with a problem about teaching this summer. I'm covering characterisation, and the opposing pulls of risk and reward.

I was thinking about using a set of scales for a metaphor, but that didn't quite appeal to my desire to get the group more involved (and my sense of melodrama, perhaps more accurately.)

The rope, however, oh the rope, set off the fireworks in my mind. And in a few seconds the solution was there, and it was all very lovely, and kept me grinning for a couple of days.

(Yes, I know small things make me happy, but that's me.)

I won't reveal exactly what I'm going to do with the rope yet, as I like surprises (yes, yes, and more melodrama.) But it may just involve a tug of war with volunteers.

The curious case of the skipping rope, as Holmes might call it, was a lovely double paradigm shift. Something I was going to chuck out suddenly became a valued friend. 

And a session of teaching which could have been bland has sparked on into life. 

Paradigm shifts - moments to dance with. 

No events to report
15 October 2014 - Wildness!

Simon's thoughts on wildness in writing, as a guest on a fascinating website which is well worth a look around - www.wildwords.org...Read more

14 October 2014 - Wildness in writing

Simon's thoughts on wildness in writing, as a guest on an excellent website which is well worth some exploring... www.wildwords.or...Read more

14 July 2014 - Appledore Book Festival

Simon is delighted to have been asked to return to the Appledore Book Festival in North Devon at the end of September and start of October.

He'll be giving a talk about the tvdetective...Read more

1 June 2014 - Exeter Library Teaching Day

Simon is delighted to have been asked to take a day's course in how to write a book - Novel Writing from Planning to Preparation - as part of the celebrations of the opening of the new Exeter Libra...Read more

19 January 2014 - Summer Teaching

Simon is delighted to have been asked to return to three Writers' Summer Schools in 2014 to teach the art of writing a novel.

He'll be at the Winchester Writers' Festival in June, the Writ...Read more

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