Literary Locations – Durham

Literary locations – Durham

Think of Durham and what do you see? A lovely flowing river, a city steeped in history (mining and railways) and tradition, a top university, cobbled streets and a grand cathedral overlooking the maze of streets below…

Two books we’ve recently read here at the booktrail paint a rather different yet unique view of the city we love and know so well. Welcome to Durham as you have never seen it before…


Bitter Fruits by Alice Clark Platts

In Bitter Fruits, the River Wear is a crime scene and the corridors of Durham University are awash with secrets, lies, cover ups and obsession.

From the moment the novel opens at the discovery of a body, Prebends Bridge flanked by bushy trees and a neat riverside walk, becomes a crime scene. The River Wear has only just been a scene of celebration for the students involved in the famous Durham Regatta weekend. However now, the safety of the students is now a concern as it the reputation of the university itself.


Set in the old mining landscape of County Durham, where loyalties from the past come back to haunt the present.

Young girls are being abducted and murdered but Detective Constable Ian Bradshaw struggles to find any leads. Journalist Tom Carney is recently returned to his native city and starts investigating. Then another body is found – only this one is decades old. Are the secrets of this mining community buried back in time?

An interesting part of the country to visit both for real and in a book, but you’ll be pleased to know that the reality of Durham is much nicer – the riverbank is a nice place to sit on a summer’s day, the castle and cathedral impressive places to visit, and the cobbled streets around the university, perfect for a wander…

Take both books, a picnic, and make a day of it!

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