Book review – A Capital Crime by Laura Wilson

A Capital Crime by Laura WilsonReviewed by Alan Hamilton.

I’m not a devotee of detective fiction. The kind where the author has a police or amateur sleuth who solves crimes oh so cleverly. Especially if the crime is committed in some idyllic or country house situation as though the whole thing were a deeply disturbing reversal of the natural order. But, at a satisfying 440 pages, A Capital Crime isn’t one of your run of the mill Midsomer Murders or Morse concoctions. This one mirrors, almost exactly, the Evans/Christie cases in 1950s Britain and the police content is relevant, carefully researched and entertaining.

It’s a challenge to take a real and notorious crime and give it new life as riveting fiction; one that Laura Wilson takes on and meets with great skill. Real crime, unlike the made-up kind I’ve referred to, is messy, generally unglamorous with unpleasant characters and, often, inept and unimaginative police work. Continue reading

How to be a successful copyeditor

Clifton Suspension Bridge cr JDarleyAuthor and copy editor Alan Hamilton introduces us to the art of bridging the gap between what is meant and what is written.

For all but an infinitesimally small number of authors, writing fiction doesn’t put enough on the table. The day job remains the ‘chief nourisher’ of the creative genius but with a demanding and absorbing job there’s a risk of being exhausted when you find time to write – conversely, if it’s boring or demeaning, ennui may snuff the fire out before the flames are really alight.

There is a way to earn a decent income while remaining in close touch with the language you write in, improving your writing skills and sharpening your desire to write – if only to reassure yourself you can do it better than the many others who are at it.

I have written two full-length novels, but I make a living as a copy editor. If you’re any good at it – and you can learn – there’s a lot of work out there and never more so since so many authors now aspire to self-publish. Continue reading