I’ve spent a lot of time in Rome over the years, including an extended period to research my novel about the great artist Caravaggio, A Name in Blood. Even a writer’s got to eat, so here are the unmissable eateries of the eternal city.
1. Sora Margherita. Piazza delle Cinque Scole. Looks like a scene from Fellini’s Roma, with rough decor, unrestrained atmosphere, and a focus on good food rather than “fine dining.” Order anything, it’s great. And don’t leave food on your plate. The waitress will make you finish it. [...]
My historical thriller A Name in Blood, which is about the great Italian artist Caravaggio, will be out in a small-format UK paperback in two weeks. Pre-order it for a special discount at amazon.co.uk, from Waterstone’s, or from Foyle’s.
Rees illuminates with sensitivity the hitherto dark portrait of one of the world’s most influential artists. –Daily Mail
A superb tale of intrigue and wrong doing in Renaissance Italy–It’s a Crime! blog
Matt Rees inhabits Caravaggio’s mind…bringing to life his conflicted world–The Bookbag
Read the first chapter.
If you have a lot of time to waste, you never judge a book by its cover. But don’t try telling me you don’t judge it by its first paragraph. We all have favorites, some of which have become clichéd –– as happens to anything, whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, or if you grew up in a family that was unhappy in its own way. See what I mean? [...]
I’m at the diagram stage of plotting my next novel. Perhaps I should add a thought from Italo Calvino: “I’m a regular guy, I like well-defined outlines, I’m old-fashioned, bourgeois. My stories are full of facts, they have a beginning and an end.”
1. Enigma. Robert Harris.
A thrilling dramatization of the British battle to break German codes during World War II. It’s tough to say whether this is better than Harris’s Archangel — in fact, I think it’s probably not — but this is set entirely in a historical period, whereas Archangel takes place in the present (with a couple of characters who might be said to be living in the past). So I’m including Enigma here. [...]
I talk about the real events in Gaza that are the basis for my second Palestinian crime novel A GRAVE IN GAZA (UK title: THE SALADIN MURDERS.) Over a decade reporting on Gaza, I accumulated stories that few other reporters noticed. In this novel, Palestinian sleuth Omar Yussef faces the corruption of senior Palestinian security officials, the kidnapping of colleagues, and the smuggling of missiles under the Egyptian border into Gaza. Each of the characters is based on a real Palestinian I’ve known. I also read from the opening chapter.
I use yoga and meditation to prepare myself for the mental and physical challenge of writing. I introduce this podcast by talking about the importance of yoga and how it helps to open a writer’s creativity, and to prevent fatigue from sitting for long periods. I describe several stretching techniques you can do throughout your writing day. Then I talk you through a 20 minute yoga practice sequence for you to follow along with the exercises. The postures should leave you feeling energized and creative — ready to write!
I love to see my books published in other languages, but this is a special occasion. A NAME IN BLOOD, my novel about the great artist Caravaggio, is out this month in Italian. Given that the great man used to feature on an Italian banknote, I’m delighted that his countrymen will be reading La profezia di Caravaggio. Read an extract from the Italian edition. (The same publisher, Newton Compton, last year brought out my Mozart novel in a lovely Italian edition too, as La profezia segreta di Mozart.) [...]
My award-winning first novel was THE COLLABORATOR OF BETHLEHEM (UK title: THE BETHLEHEM MURDERS). Set against the backdrop of the Palestinian intifada, it tells the story of schoolteacher Omar Yussef, who is forced to take on the violence of his hometown to save a former pupil. In this podcast, I lay out how I came to write the book and read from the first chapter.