Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

“Ya Wanna Do It Here Or Down The Station, Punk?” Peter James

Yep, it’s rubber-hose time, folks: a rapid-fire Q&A for those shifty-looking usual suspects ...

What crime novel would you most like to have written?
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene. Set in my home town of Brighton, it is the book that made me want to become a crime novelist.

What fictional character would you most like to have been?
Gary Soneji, from the early James Patterson novels. He’s the shrewdest, smartest villain ever created and it would be fun to be evil in a fictional world.

Who do you read for guilty pleasures?
I don’t know if you’d call it a guilty pleasure or rubbernecking! But I love dipping into Vernon Geberth’s massive tome, Practical Homicide, packed with no holds barred crime scene photographs.

Most satisfying writing moment?
When I figure out how everything is going to fit together.

If you could recommend one Irish crime novel, what would it be?
Brian Moore’s Lies Of Silence. It has one of the most brilliant human dilemmas I’ve ever read in a novel.

What Irish crime novel would make a great movie?
Brian McGilloway’s Hurt.

Worst / best thing about being a writer?
Worst thing: being stuck in a room, forcing yourself to write. Best thing: shutting out the outside world and writing in peace.

The pitch for your next book is …?
A girl disappears from an underground car park in Brighton. On the same night, the 30-year-old remains of a young woman are unearthed by builders. Has Brighton got its first serial killer in 80 years? Has Roy Grace finally met his match?

Who are you reading right now?
I’m reading Patricia Highsmith and finding her fantastic! I have seen Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr Ripley, but never read her novels. She is such a brilliant writer.

God appears and says you can only write OR read. Which would it be?
Write. I’ve been a compulsive writer since I could first hold a pen. But I think that would make him a very cruel God indeed to force that choice on someone!

The three best words to describe your own writing are …?
Character. Research. Plot.

Peter James’ YOU ARE DEAD is published by Macmillan.

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