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In Bulgaria they hang dead people on trees, not to mention walls, doors and, in particular, on the gate to their former home. Not literally, you understand, although my  daughter is inclined to believe otherwise. These necrologs are sheets of paper depicting the deceased and mostly set out in a standard format. The word is derived from the Greek ‘necro’ meaning dead or death. Uniquely, the first of these paeans to the dead to be...

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So…where do you get your ideas from? Stock author question. My stock answer is that I get them in the bath and that’s true a lot of the time. With my new book, however, it all started in a hammock. Or rather, that’s where it came together. Books, you see, come together a bit like patchwork – or at least, mine do. A fragment of conversation here, a person spied in passing there. And no, I am not going to put you in one of my books. Not...

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The disaster that has engulfed the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan is catastrophic enough but there are added, long term dangers that are not captured by the television cameras recording the devastation. For the past three years I have been researching and writing my latest book, a thriller that focuses on the international crime of human trafficking. The statistics are stark; the facts horrific. Well over 20 million people...

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Book festivals come in all shapes, sizes and flavours but my favourite has to be the Chiswick Book Festival and it’s not just because it takes place right on my own doorstep. Now in its second year, the cosy, relaxed feel of the festival belies its astonishing ambition and scope. This year’s participants include Sir Terry Pratchett, Sir Andrew Motion, Michael Wood, Robert McCrum, Charlie Higson, Allison Pearson…I...

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