The role of local libraries has been given a boost by Craigavon author Stuart Neville, whose most recent novel has been selected for this summer’s Richard and Judy Book Club.
Stuart, who left a job in a web design business in 2010 to become a writer, said that if it hadn’t been for his local library he would never have become a writer.
The 44-year-old’s mother worked for the library service, meaning he had access to a steady supply of books growing up, and his wife is a librarian locally.
The crime novelist also revealed that his ‘office’ is the study room of a local library - he prefers not to say which one - as he likes the discipline of going out to work.
Just a fortnight ago, Stuart went to London for an interview with Richard and Judy after his sixth and latest crime novel was among eight chosen for the book club, run in partnership with WH Smith.
Those We Left Behind was published in paperback to coincide with the launch of the book club choices, alongside those by John Grisham (Rogue Lawyer), Dawn French (According to Yes) and Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train).
He said, “It’s fantastic to be chosen. It’s something every writer tries to achieve if they can. It’s not just about getting more sales, it’s the long-term effect of hopefully reaching people who haven’t read your books before.”
Those We Left Behind, first published in hardback last year, sees DCI Serena Flanagan’s past come back to haunt her when a young man is released from prison after serving seven years for a murder she fears he might not have committed.
The Times described it as “quietly superb”, while the Sunday Mirror said it was “the best book yet from a hugely talented writer”.
Stuart, a father or two young children, has also finished his seventh novel, So Say the Fallen, which will be published in July.