CSI: Southampton

First off, what a wonderful title for a book event.  The minute I saw it I thought, I’ve got to go to that!   It’s a marathon journey from the Far North of England all the way to the south coast, but luckily we have family in the area, and after all the effort I’m delighted to say the event didn’t disappoint.

The day featured a number of talks by crime authors, but also by some of the experts who have daily experience of the very things we’re writing about.  The morning’s panel featured two crime writers – the event’s main organiser Pauline Rowson and Natasha Cooper – plus two experts from Hampshire Constabulary.  One was high up in the CSI/forensics department; the other ran the fingerprint bureau.  It was fascinating to hear their somewhat different ‘take’ on the subject, in terms of what really happens procedurally, but also how attitudes to forensics have changed thanks to popular tv shows, and even the sheer unglamorous reality of clearing up after an unpleasant crime.

Throw in an entertaining talk by well-known crime author Peter Lovesey, and a chance to have a thumbprint ‘taken’ and turned into a unique keyring, and you have all the ingredients of a successful and very enjoyable day.

Sadly I had to dash off before the last session (featuring authors Susan Wilkins and Jessie Keane) due to the long journey back north.  But I hear Pauline Rowson is organising a similar event in Portsmouth next March, with the possibility of others around the country after that, so I’ll hope to get to at least one of those.


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