Danuta Reah, who also writes under the name Carla Banks, and Danuta Kot, is one of Sheffield's best known authors. Sheffield features very strongly in her stories.
She opted out of formal education at the age of 16 and worked in a variety of jobs from barmaid to laboratory assistant, in a variety of locations, including a brief spell in Kingston, Jamaica. "I didn't plan my working life that way, but it was probably the best apprenticeship a writer could have." Only later did she go to university as a mature student.
Danuta says she always wanted to write. Telling stories was an important part of her childhood. "Every child needs a skill in the playground - it's a survival thing. Mine was telling ghost stories. I got thrown out of the needlework class when I was nine because the needlework teacher couldn't cope with the ghoulish tales I used to entertain the class with."
"I didn't find my voice until I started writing crime. My first novel was based on a rather creepy encounter I had on an empty station platform one evening - it's a story I often tell when I do author events, but beware: it needs bright lights and a crowd."
‘Will suck you in from the first page’ Stephen Booth, author of Fall Down Dead
This is Broadchurch meets The Missing – hard-hitting, pacey and with modern social issues at its heart.
In a small northern town, girls are disappearing. You won’t see it in the papers and the police aren’t taking any notice, but the clues are there if you know where to look.
Beyond the new city centre developments, the old Sheffield canal is overgrown, run-down and deserted. Signs of regeneration creep along its towpaths, including a small, innovative gallery housed in one of the warehouses.
But between the renovations it's a dark and lonely place - the perfect site for an exhibition reworking Brueghel's The Triumph of Death.
For Eliza Eliot, the curator, the chance to show well-known artist Daniel Flynn's work at the gallery is a coup. But when a young woman's body is found in the canal, Flynn's nightmare images begin to spill out into the real world. Still affected by the murder of her friend's daughter four years earlier, Eliza is drawn deep into the violence that seems to surround the gallery.
Is this the work of a psychopath or is there a link between present horrors and the tragedy of four years ago?
The path through the park runs from the centre of the city into the wilds of the countryside. At weekends the area is a playground for children and walkers, but during the week it is silent and deserted.
When six-year-old Lucy gets lost there one day, her disappearance sparks a chain of events leading to the murder of a young woman. DI Steve McCarthy is led into a web of lies and evasions, where nothing is quite as it seems and everyone seems to be hiding something. He has to find some answers - fast.
The footsteps echoing behind you, the hand reaching out to touch your shoulder, the breath on your neck, the soft whisper in your ear, the nameless terror out there in the dark...
Every woman knows what it's like to fear the man on the empty road, but what if there really is a man out there, and he's a vicious killer, and he's stalking you...
"A dark, psychological thriller about deeply hidden secrets and the aftermaths of death..." - Maxim Jakubowski, Lovereading
"a richly plotted, multi-layered drama with raw emotions and boundless grief at its heart." - Crimesquad
A young research worker is driving to Sheffield across the Snake Pass. As a game, she pretends that the black BMW she keeps seeing is following her. And then, on the loneliest stretch of the road, without explanation, her car breaks down. She is never seen again.
In Hull, a woman is found dead in a hotel room. Her face has been destroyed. Is there a connection between this death and the missing researcher, or the prostitute found dead in the Humber Estuary who may have been brought into the country illegally?
Roz, the forensic linguist who unwittingly holds the clue to Gemma's disappearance is oblivious to the danger that is drawing closer and closer.
Carla Banks skilfully evokes the mixture of bewilderment and fear of expats living in a desert kingdom where "justice" is swift and apparently arbitrary and where even highly educated women often subscribe to a code that seems medieval to westerners. ... A complex and satisfying thriller, set against a backdrop of exotic nightmare.
- Joanna Hines, The Guardian
A gripping psychological thriller, taking the reader from 21st century Britain to the darkest days of war-torn Eastern Europe.
A passion for history had already cost Helen Kovacs her marriage. Now she's paid with her life.
Helen had told no one of her research into the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe. Even her closest friend and colleague, Faith Lange, had no idea - until she began retracing the dead woman's steps.