Margate Bookie examines murderers and crimes committed under cover of darkness

Author Vicky Newham will talk about her debut novel

Crime fans will get an insight into the minds of murderers at the Margate Bookie later this month.

Psychology teacher turned writer Vicky Newham, from Whitstable, will lead a panel of crime and thriller novelists as they consider the links between darkness and death. As well as discussing the motivations of murderers and why so many killings happen at night, Rachel Amphlett, Anna Mazzola, Matthew Frank and Vicky will share extracts from their books.

Years spent studying what makes people tick has given Vicky a unique insight into human behaviour which helps her to develop complex characters for her novels.

She said: “Whether it’s Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes or the creations of Val McDermid, murderers often commit their vile deeds at night. In real life, it’s similar.

“Criminals can be motivated by the desire to use the ‘cover of darkness’ to escape capture.”

While such practicalities are important, Vicky says that’s not the whole story.

She added: “Psychology tells us that there are other reasons why violence emerges at night – the way our brains work for one. For example, our alertness peaks in the early evening and as light decreases and we start to feel sleepy, the parts of the brain which control our attention don’t operate so well. Essentially our impulses are less well-regulated at night.”

“For those who are frustrated and alienated from society, those contemplating murder or those with violence in their behavioural repertoire, this reduced impulse control, mixed with heightened emotions and rumination, and the protection that darkness gives, can create a perfect storm.”

Vicky Newham’s debut novel, Turn a Blind Eye, is a tense crime thriller about the events that unfold after a headmistress is found strangled in an East London school.

Join Vicky, Rachel, Anna and Matthew for Murder in the Dark at Sands Hotel in Margate at 7:30pm on Saturday, September 29. Tickets are £6 from

Report Gemma Pettman