14 March 2012 0 Comments

Podcast: Crappy Jobs

Before I became a writer, I worked a number of crappy jobs. I hauled cement on my back, gleefully destroyed hospitals, ate meat pies, and watched homoerotic wrestling while draining a deep-fat fryer. And got paid badly for all of them. But without them, I wouldn’t be the writer I am. Download the Podcast: (Download […]

6 October 2011 2 Comments

Lost Alienation

During my teens, my family lived at the very farthest southern reach of London. At the bottom of the hill, the road made its final exit from London and travelled on, not quite wide enough for two cars, to the North Downs of Kent. Sometimes I would ride my bike along the lane and up […]

29 June 2011 0 Comments

Using real locations in historical fiction

London classical music guru Mark Berry has a guest post from me on his excellent Boulezian blog. I write about how my task as a historical novelist was aided by the period locations still surviving in Vienna, when I wrote my new book MOZART’S LAST ARIA. I also write more about some of those places […]

23 June 2010 7 Comments

Soggy sheep at breakfast

I was under the impression that the English weren’t allowed into Wales any more, now that Tony Blair persuaded us we ought to have at least half a government of our own and let Westminster pay for it. I assume Colin Cotterill managed to make it through the border undercover on his Australian passport. Which […]

5 April 2010 0 Comments

Times thriller roundup: Omar Yussef ‘most beguiling of current sleuths’

In this weekend’s Sunday Times reviewer John Dugdale describes my Palestinian sleuth Omar Yussef as “one of the most beguiling of current sleuths.” You can read the roundup in full at Times Online, but here’s the bit about my newest novel THE FOURTH ASSASSIN: Set in a pulsating, multicultural city, Matt Rees’s The Fourth Assassin […]

22 February 2010 0 Comments

Book of A Lifetime: The King Must Die

The Independent has a regular feature in which it asks authors to write about a book which changed their lives somehow. Last week the London newspaper asked me to write the piece. Here it is: In early 1999, King Hussein fell sick on his return from cancer treatment in the US. I was Middle East […]

3 September 2009 0 Comments

Oldest Bible? Tell it to the Samaritans

UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph reports the discovery of a portion of a Bible from 350 AD in the library of the monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai. The Codex Sinaiticus is written in Greek on animal skin and the newspaper calls it “a fragment of the world’s oldest bible.” Well, I hate to […]

9 August 2009 0 Comments

Omar Yussef "the best crime fiction can achieve"

The first rock concert I ever attended was a performance by Canada’s greatest rockers Rush. I’ve loved Canadians ever since. In the London (Ontario) Free Press recently, Joan Barfoot gave me another reason to adore them. She gives a terrific review to the second of my Palestinian crime novels A GRAVE IN GAZA (UK title […]

1 October 2006 0 Comments

The Last Man in London

During my teens, my family lived in a house in Addington, at the very farthest reach of London. At the bottom of the hill, the road made its final exit from London and travelled south, not quite wide enough for two cars, onto the North Downs of Kent. Sometimes I would ride my bike along […]