Recommended Reads

111, 2022

FROM A READER TO WRITERS – “Reader, I married him…”

1 November 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

Reader, I married him.  (Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre) Surely the most explicit reference an author has made to the idea that there is a stage in a book's life beyond publishing. Reading. She references the skills that must accompany the writing so that her original intentions might be truly successful. Thanks Charlotte, I salute you. Readers will read anything and everything. But as readers of fiction, we remove ourselves, for a time, into a world other than our own. We bring our own imagination, opinions, personality, and critical faculties to the stories we choose. Otherwise, why would we [...]

2107, 2022

Diamond Crime Author, Phil Rowland, on James Lee Burke’s Latest Novel

21 July 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

This is the latest book by the wonderful James Lee Burke. I discovered him about fifteen years ago when I read the first of his Dave Robicheaux series The Neon Rain. The latest, the twenty third in the series, is A Private Cathedral. I was stunned by the depth, colour and shape of his prose. I wanted to breath the same Louisiana air as Dave, his buddy Clete Purcel and the people and places that inhabit their world. I have read them all. He thinks this stand alone novel, Every Cloak Rolled in Blood, is his best book… and I [...]

2007, 2022

Diamond Crime Author, Jeff Dowson, on the Appeal of Simenon and Maigret

20 July 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

SIMENON, MAIGRET AND ‘ROMANS POLICIERS’ Okay, let’s get this over up front… Georges Simenon was not one of nature’s noblemen. He pursued fame and money relentlessly, he was a sex addict, a sometime drunk, and a serial adulterer. He expected all members of his household to realise that he and his needs came first, and to dance attendance as required. He spent much of the time away from his desk, in a world of bars and cheap hotels, hanging around with drifters, self-styled anarchists and bohemians, chancers and minor criminals. The rest of the time he devoted to sex and [...]

1207, 2022

Recommended Read – A Dark Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine

12 July 2022|Recommended Reads|1 Comment

Diamond Crime author, Thorne Moore, recommends this book because: "this was the first book that showed me crime fiction could be less about the untangling of clues and puzzles and more about the untangling of people’s confused emotions, desires and impulses. Faith, as an adult, recounts her time as a girl in the war, sent to stay with aunts Vera and Eden in rural East Anglia. It’s a carefully regulated life of snobbery, ritual teas and repressed emotions, where so much human frailty is never countenanced but always present and where family relationships, seemingly the most natural in the world, are [...]

2403, 2022

Phil Rowlands recommends From The Land Of Green Ghosts

24 March 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

I first met Pascal in 1995 and was amazed and humbled by him and his positive and hopeful outlook after a damaged life. This is a wonderful book and is a true story of the spiritual and physical journey of a young man that begins in a small hill town in Burma then crosses borders, cultures and countries and finally returns to where it all began. His book was published in 2002. Although it is his personal journey, the story has all the elements of a thriller. […]

2103, 2022

Diamond Crime Author recommends Five Little Pigs

21 March 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

My preferred choice of crime fiction involves an intricate psychological exploration of why a crime came to happen and what its ramifications were. So I wouldn’t normally turn to Agatha Christie, the queen of Crime As A Crossword Puzzle. Her books are a satisfying easy read, but they’re not a serious reflection of reality. They usually finish with everyone gathering to hear all the gaps filled, the answers produced from a hat, and then everyone has a nice cup of tea. I know M. Poirot insists on the importance of La Psychologie, but I find that most of Christie’s characters [...]

203, 2022

Recommended Reads – The Great Len Deighton: subversive, witty, brilliant

2 March 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

These days, people tend to associate Len Deighton’s spy novels with Michael Caine’s movies. They still watch them on obscure TV stations. They’re still good. And in 2022, ITV’s having yet another go at the first one - The Ipcress File. But however good it turns out to be, I doubt it will be anything like as good as the original books. The Ipcress File was first published in 1962. It jolted the James Bond fixated reading public into the realisation that spies didn’t have to be posh, officer class, cold, cruel and sadistic sex machines. It was Deighton’s first [...]

1802, 2022

George Saunders on the Art of Writing

18 February 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

This quotation is from George Saunders, in his book on the art of writing: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain. "The writer and the reader stand at either end of a pond. The writer drops a pebble and the ripples reach the reader. The writer stands there, imagining the way the reader is receiving this ripple, by way of deciding which pebble to drop in next. Meanwhile the reader receives those ripples and, somehow, they speak to her. In other words they’re in connection… These two people, in these postures, across that pond, are doing some essential work. [...]

1502, 2022

Recommended Reads: China Court by Rumer Godden

15 February 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

Diamond Crime author, Phil Rowlands recommends China Court. Rumer Godden died in 1998 and wrote 60 books, adult, children’s and poetry. Nine of her stories were turned into movies and Black Narcissus, probably the best known, was made in 1947, starring Deborah Kerr and Jean Simmons. She wrote China Court in 1961. I love this book. It came along for me at a time when I was looking for stories to turn into screenplays. I had read an article about her death and started to delve into her life and work. […]

1502, 2022

Recommended Reads: Beyond the Thirty Nine Steps by Ursula Buchan

15 February 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

Diamond Crime author, Stephen Timmins, recommends Ursula Buchan’s wonderful biography of her grandfather, John Buchan, titled Beyond the Thirty Nine Steps. “Well worth reading if you are, like me, a fan of the great man – or even if you’re not. Full of fascinating information, beautifully written and deeply moving at the end. I'm a huge fan of Buchan’s Richard Hannay stories, which is what led me to create, in my Fortieth Step thrillers, a 21st-century update of Buchan’s characters.

1502, 2022

Recommended Reads: The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler

15 February 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

Described by Diamond Crime author, Jeff Dowson as 'the best book wot I read', “The Mask of Demetrios”    is by by Eric Ambler. "I can remember at 11 years old, watching a screening of “The Cruel Sea” on BBC Television. I saw a name on the opening credits – Screenplay by Eric Ambler and asked my dad who he was. He pointed to the bottom corner of a bookcase. “There’s a book there called The Mask Of Demetrios. Probably the best you’ll ever read”. It was the book which made me want to be a writer. To this day, I [...]

1502, 2022

Recommended Reads: The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

15 February 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

Diamond Crime author, Jacqueline Harrett has been re-reading The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.  I recently started rereading The Moonstoneand found myself as enthralled as I had been when I first read it many years ago. Although first published in 1868 it still keeps the reader engaged throughout. The Moonstone, essentially about the theft and retrieval of a rare and valuable diamond, was first serialised in the magazine, All the Year Round,before being published as a book. Hailed by Sayers as “probably the finest detective story ever written” many of the elements in  The Moonstone can still be found in modern detective novels. The moonstone itself is a diamond  and intrigue added to the story with three Hindu priests determined to restore the stone to its  proper place in the statue of the Hindu god of the moon. The diamond is cursed, adding an extra  frisson of mystery to the story.   […]

1502, 2022

Recommended Reads: Out by Natsuo Kirino

15 February 2022|Recommended Reads|0 Comments

Diamond Book author, Jennifer Lee Thomson, wants to recommend Natsuo Kirino's book, Out. Natsuo Kirino is a Japanese author of dark tales featuring ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Her most famous novel, Out was published in 1997 but it wasn't until 2004 that it got its first English translation by Stephen Snyder so I could enjoy this gripping read. I was immediately pulled into the bleak monochrome world of the female factory workers who make up the main cast. Four very different characters, they all share the common thread of a miserable existence. Some men in Japan weren't so keen [...]

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