• The Dark Horizon

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  • Shadows of Justice

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  • 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.

The Roller Coaster

This writing life is a delight, but as with everything in the world it seems there must be a drawback or two.

For me, the worst is the roller coaster.

Ok, it's a bit of a cliche, but writing is a creative job, which thus involves the artistic temperament. And that means ups and downs.

Some days go well. The words flow, you might get a good review, or be invited to do a talk at a festival, or some teaching.

On other days, the fates are having none of you.

They stubbornly resists all your best attempts at alluring small talk, keep anything uplifting well out of your way, the most interesting emails are for strange medical products to enhance your sexual vitality (I seem to get an oddly large number of those, do they know something?!), and the day passes without anything worthy of note actually happening.

That's the roller coaster, and the climbs and falls can sometimes be giddying.

A visual interlude here, before I depress us all. One of my favourite ways of lifting the mood is a walk in this wonderful world, and I'm very lucky to have the River Exe near to my door, with views like this -

Bridge sunset.jpg

Over the years, I've found a few ways of dealing with the roller coaster, aside from delighting in spectacles like above. Telling yourself that good days follow the bad ones does often help, and happily it's true.

A bit of exercise, falling back on chats with your kind and loyal friends, enoying something of real quality, whether it's writing, music, anything like that, they're all useful.

But on the whole, I've come to a strange conclusion -

I prefer the way of life that involves the roller coaster to its alternative. Because otherwise you're flatlining, and that doesn't sound like living to me.

No events to report
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...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 openin...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' F...Read more

10 September 2013 - Novel Writing Course

Simon has been asked to teach a weekend course in how to write a novel at a beautiful retreat in Dorset at the end of November.

It's for the newly established Spac...Read more

30 April 2013 - Quickfire teaching

If you're interested in learning how to write a novel, and get it published, Simon is holding an afternoon workshop of quickfire tips with all you need to know.

It...Read more

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