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Murder, crime and intrigue at Crime Writers Festival


New Delhi : Noted personalities from the world of literature to law, brainstormed on the genre of crime fiction in India and abroad on the second day of the ‘Crime Writers Festival’, which is in its second edition here.

Award-winning French author Veronique Ovalde described the difficulties of getting recognition as a women writer in France.

“Yes, in France the problem is that if a writer is a woman, it is asked whether or not she is beautiful,” Ovalde said while participating in the second day of the second edition of the Crime Writer’s Festival here today.

The 43-year-old author who has written several novels including, in English like “Kick the Animal Out” and “And My See-Through Heart in conversation with Lady Kishwar Desai, author and columnist.

“If you are a woman writer you must talk about feminine writing, I don’t know why it is like that but it is very surprising. In India you look at France as a modern-day country but actually it is like a Latin American country, very patriarchal,” she said.

When the Ovalde was asked about her inspiration behind story writing, she said, “I come from a modest background, I think story writing helps me escape from reality.”

Earlier in her opening address, Desai said that India should have a crime writer’s association like in England and France.

“We should soon have our own crime writer’s association. France, and UK have such associations,” Desai said pointing out that writers need to explore the variety of genres inside crime writing.

Another participant Vivek Agrawal, a journalist who had three decades of covering crime, said crime stories sells like hot cakes in India.

“If anybody says you cannot get rich by selling crime then they are wrong,” said Agrawal who has authored “Mumbhai” and “Mumbai Returns” in Hindi on the Mumbai mafia.

He said that as a young journalist in Mumbai he used to visit brothels to get the “inside information” on underworld dons.

“There are two types of crime reporting, one is getting the information from the underworld sources and the other is getting it from the cops, I chose the former,” he added.

Supreme Court advocate Karuna Nundy in conversation with Niharika Karanjawala, is a litigation associate with a law firm, talked about the trial by media in two cases –the Aarushi murder and the Sheena Bora murder case.

“The great thing about our country is our judicial system and it is such that an accusation doesn’t mean a conviction, however, it is not true in the media,” Nundy said.

Liad Shoham, who is an Israeli attorney and a crime fiction author, was also among the panel which discussed “copycat killings” where killers deploy the same techniques to kill his or her prey inspired by TV shows or movies.

Investigation Discovery, an investigation, crime and-suspense television network created a unique engagement with visitors at the festival through interesting games and contests. Visitors donned their detective hats and solved crime-based puzzles and crosswords.

“You can have a experience of being a real life detective and get to solve crime based games at the event,” Rajiv Bakshi, vice-president-marketing, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific said.

“The festival is a one of its kind and has become more popular now. We have used it as a platform to launch 10 new series on the ID channel,” Bakshi said.

Among the new series premiers include “Murder Comes To Town” that tells the tales of crimes within close-knit communities that tear them apart. “Devil In The Details” travels from remote backwoods of Alaska to islands of Kauai on a hunt for the cold-blooded truth behind crimes.

“On The Case With Paula Zahn” takes viewers on an exciting, visually compelling journey inside the most fascinating crimes and mystery investigations.

“Deadly Women” explores the world of the ‘female killer’– shaped by the forces of obsession, greed and revenge.

Sessions with Ravi Subramanian, Shailabh Rawat, Piergiorgio Pulixi, Clara Penalver Jerry Pinto, Alessandra Bertini Malgarini, RV Raman and filmmaker Sudhir Mishra were among the other events of the day.

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