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Crime writer Lee Child tells of family roots in Northern Ireland and link to singer Van Morrison


One of the world's leading thriller writers has revealed how the house in which his father was born may have been the same east Belfast house where Van Morrison would later live.

Lee Child is among the biggest names in crime literature and he is on his way to Londonderry to take part in the Killer Books Crime Festival this Halloween.

Famous for his Jack Reacher books, what is less well known is that Child – real name Jim Grant – has strong family roots in Northern Ireland.

"My father is from Belfast and his sister, my aunt, married a man from Derry and I still have cousins there I think, so I am really looking forward to visiting the city again," he said.

"I haven't been there since I was a teenager, although I have been back to Belfast a few times and I really like it. It is a fine European city now.

"My father was born in Cyprus Avenue and there is a family legend that the house where he was born was sold to the Morrison family, which was made famous by Van Morrison. I don't know how true it is but I like to think it is and it is pretty cool."

The writer said he might even send Reacher on an adventure here in a future book.

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"I don't have a plan when I sit down to write so I don't see any reason why Jack Reacher could not turn up in Northern Ireland," he said.

During the Halloween celebrations, Child will take part in a Q&A session along with Derry author Brian McGilloway at the Killer Book Crime Festival.

"I am ready for whatever comes my way in the way of questions. I am very familiar with the level of interest the Irish can take in someone so I know I may get asked about absolutely anything," he said.

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