November 27, 2012

Lee Child - still reaching

In an alternative universe, I could have been Lee Child. We're almost exactly the same age and were brought up in Coventry. I suspect, however, that he's brighter than me. He got himself a job in TV production and when he was 'let go' he moved to America to write thrillers, which he's done to staggering success.

When you come across your first Jack Reacher book it's a hell of a ride. Reacher is logical to the nth degree and can think his way out of almost any situation. And when he can't, then he's 6'5" tall and has hands the size of plates - so he can batter his way out.

And that's it ... that's the plot of his last seventeen books. Reacher travels the country with a toothbrush and a credit card, buying clothes when he needs them, falling into dangerous situations every couple of months or so. He finds some bad guys and some good guys and makes everything OK. Crucially, these situations are usually somewhere out in the American sticks, where Child can create the world in which Reacher can move and have his being.

November 09, 2012

Live by Night - a retro delight

Dennis Lehane, author of the Kenzie and Gennaro detective series, has started to broaden his remit. First came Mystic River and Shutter Island, both made into commercially successful films, then came The Given Day, a historical novel set during the time of the Boston Police riots after the first World War. Live by Night continues the story of the Coughlin family begun in The Given Day, this time focusing on younger brother Joe Coughlin and his rise through the criminal ranks of the emerging Mafia.

Another interview

Some while ago I was interviewed for the blog site No Wasted Ink. Here's the interview. The questions were particularly interesting, I thought.