Get weekly recommendations and eBook deals in our newsletterSign up

Get weekly recommendations and eBook deals in our newsletter Sign up

First Look: Written in Blood

Written in Blood, a thrilling new show about crime novels inspired by real events, is heading our way this September.

CBS Reality’s ten-part series brings fact and fiction together as bestselling thriller writer Simon Toyne, author of The Boy Who Saw, meets other top UK crime writers to discuss how their works of fiction have been inspired by real life crimes. Each episode delves into a different criminal case using reconstruction, real life footage, interviews with senior police officers who worked on the cases, along with family members, key witnesses, and other experts.

As Simon meets each author and learns how they adapted real-life events into bestselling books, we see how the horror of true crime can be far more violent and mysterious than fiction.

In the first episode, Toyne meets Mark Billingham, award-winning author of the Tom Thorne crime novels, to discuss and investigate the honour killing of Banaz Mahmod. The case had such a profound impact on Mark that it proved to be the starting point of the Sunday Times bestseller Love Like Blood, set in a world in which families will do anything to protect their honour.

Following Mark Billingham, Written in Blood will feature Alex Marwood with The Wicked Girls, Peter James with Dead Like You, Angela Clarke with Watch Me, Luke Delaney with Redemption of the Dead, Elly Griffiths with The Chalk Pit, RC Bridgestock with When The Killing Starts, Marnie Riches with Born Bad, Simon Kernick with The Bone Field and Howard Linskey with The Search.

“Everyone I’ve ever met is obsessed with real life crimes and the people who commit them, and crime writers are no different,” explained Simon Toyne. “In this series I get to talk to some of the brightest lights in crime about the darkest criminals in history; and I absolutely loved every second of it.”

Sam Rowden, Director of Programming at CBS Reality and Executive Producer on Written in Blood, added, “Our audience consumes crime across all media, so we were keen to bring the world of crime books on screen and investigate how literature is so often inspired by the true crimes the CBS Reality audience loves to watch. A glimpse into the world of crime authors has brought a great new addition to the traditional true crime re-telling format, with Simon Toyne guiding us perfectly through this journey.”

“Seeing true crimes through the eyes of authors has proved to be as fascinating as we’d hoped,” commented Rick Murray, Creative Director at Endemol Shine North, which has produced the show for CBS Reality. “As someone who knows the world of crime fiction inside out we are delighted to be working with Simon Toyne who has helped bring the series a fresh and unique insight into some of the most disturbing crimes of modern times.”

A podcast with additional, in-depth conversation about each case will be available via Acast and iTunes.

Don’t miss the first episode of Written in Blood on CBS Reality at 10pm on Sunday 3 September!


    Love the programme, but the back ground music playing is too loud as you can’t hear the people speaking

    Enjoyed your programme re Ian Brady. I worked on the Moors Murders from day one when I accompanied Supt. ‘Bob Talbot to Hyde Police Station the fateful morning when David Smith ‘phoned to report the murder of Edward Evans. We didn’t get a day off for the next three moths as the saga unfolded. I met Hindley several times prior to her arrest, as she visited Hyde P.S each day to enquire about Brady. A cold and calculating woman in my humble opinion. It’s the small things which I remember most, like Edward Evan’s parents, a small insignificant couple who looked very old. Mrs Evans resembled Martha Longhurst from Corrie.

    Could go on forever on this subject as it will never completely go away. Thanks again for your interesting programme.

    Sandra Wilkinson – ex Policewoman 112 – Cheshire Constabulary.

Join the discussion

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.