The authors and books that have inspired me
I loved adventure and mystery
novels when I was a child and a teenager and this love of crime fiction,
thrillers and mystery novels has continued throughout my adulthood. In
my teens I enjoyed the novels of Leslie Charteris featuring Simon
Templar, The Saint, and those written
by John Creasey featuring The Baron and Gideon to name only two of his
characters. Creasey was a very prolific writer and also the author of
Westerns which I went through a phase of reading,
including those penned by Zane Grey, an author who locked together
character and land so that they were indivisible something that perhaps
also took root with me, locking my characters, DI Andy Horton; Art
Marvik and Inspector Ryga in with the sea and the
sea with my characters.
Blood upon the Snow by Hilda Lawrence is another very atmospheric crime novel which I have re-read many times. Published in 1946 it's a sinister story with an atmosphere that contains extraordinary power and suspense and keeps you guessing to the end. You can actually feel and taste the cold and you shiver in the snow as you read how private detective Mark East is summoned to a lonely house in the hills in Bear River, USA to protect a frightened lonely old man. Here he meets the occupants of the house and a series of accidents culminate in a fatal one. Sadly Hilda Lawrence only wrote four novels and I will continue to browse the second hand book shops for the other three I do not yet have.
There are many more great crime writers from the Golden Age of Crime I could name who have inspired me, and still do, but I cannot close without mentioning one of my favourites, the hugely prolific, Georges Simenon particularly his Maigret novels, which are also being reprinted. You just can't keep a good crime writer down!
With Simenon I love the atmospheric writing, the quick dialogue and the fact that you often follow the story through Maigret’s eyes. Simenon can conjure up the mood and the atmosphere in one simple short sentence and plunge you right into Maigret’s world. I also like to count the number of alcoholic drinks Maigret consumes in a day, it makes me feel far less guilty at taking that glass or two of wine in the evening!
These classic crime novels never date and continue to provide enjoyment to me and many others.