Greg Buchanan – Debut crime author discusses when to break the limits of genre

Greg Buchanan’s debut ‘Sixteen Horses’ has been lauded as one of the best books of the year, and there’s already a major TV series of it in the works. However, the stunning hook of the plot only came to him as a device to explore the characters.

Here’s the blurb – ‘Near the dying English seaside town of Ilmarsh, local police detective Alec Nichols discovers sixteen horses’ heads on a farm, each buried with a single eye facing the low winter sun. After forensic veterinarian Cooper Allen travels to the scene, the investigators soon uncover evidence of a chain of crimes in the community – disappearances, arson, and mutilations – all culminating in the reveal of something deadly lurking in the ground itself. In the dark days that follow, the town slips into panic and paranoia. Everything is not as it seems. Anyone could be a suspect. And as Cooper finds herself unable to leave town, Alec is stalked by an unseen threat. The two investigators race to uncover the truth behind these frightening and insidious mysteries – no matter the cost.Sixteen Horses is a story of enduring guilt, trauma and punishment, set in a small seaside community the rest of the world has left behind…’

We discuss genre – how much you learn the rules, when you break them, why it’s good to stick to the conventions at the start. Also you can hear what writing in video games and comics has taught him about novels, and why a good shower sometimes does the trick.

You can get a copy of the book here –

And support the show at

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