The Line Up: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives
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The great recurring characters in the mystery series we love become like old friends. Our favourite cops and sleuths earn our respect and we follow their antics with baited breath from one instalment to the next. But where do some of the most fascinating detectives in the mystery and thriller world really come from? What was the real-life location that inspired Michael Connelly to make Harry Bosch a former Vietnam tunnel rat? Why is Jack Reacher such a giant of a guy, and why did Lee Child make him a drifter? How did a brief encounter in Botswana inspire Alexander McCall Smith to create the kind but no-nonsense Precious Ramotswe? In The Lineup, some of today's top mystery writers reveal the genesis of their unforgettable characters. For mystery fans everywhere, this is a unique and highly entertaining volume to read and relish again and again. Find out about your favourite characters, and maybe discover some new ones too.
neighborhood close to the tracks. Our house was a two-story white colonial that my father, a contractor, had designed and built. I stopped the car in front of 321 Highland, but I didn’t get out. I just sat behind the wheel and looked up at the house for a while. Things had changed about the place, but many things were still the same. My eyes were drawn to the upper window that belonged to the bedroom I had shared with one of my brothers. It was in that room that I would lie on the top bunk at
nod to “black private dick” John Shaft). I checked the TV schedules to see if there were any programs about books and would watch them, deciding that I really needed to read this guy Solzhenitsyn (I ended up struggling through volume two of The Gulag Archipelago). Later on I would fail to finish Dante’s Inferno but be thrilled by Ian McEwan’s first book of short stories. My best subject in high school was English. I always enjoyed writing essays (which were in effect short stories). One was
Harry Callahan and Harry Caul, two detectives from films that were important to me in my evolution as a storyteller. My hope is that Harry Bosch shares a kinship with those two Harrys, as well as with the characters created by the hugely influential writers listed as inspirations earlier. With a name, a history, and a mission, Harry Bosch seemed to lack only a code. Every detective, private or public, in the annals of crime fiction has a personal code by which he or she makes a stand. Raymond
there, explicit, and no doubt about what happens. It’s ugly, fast, and very intense. As all violence is. Last November, I was at a book launch. A guy walked up and broke my jaw with a hurly. Now, that is one very bad book review. Will Jack do similar? Already has. Many times. And that led me to the accusations of being pro-vigilante, a fascist, a supporter of all kinds of violent organizations. You live in Galway, as I do, every single day, our latest horror, some thug walks free after
writing, which I did out in my garage in Altadena between 6:00 and 8:00 a.m., five days a week. My other two day jobs included full-time work as the word-processing supervisor at a large Los Angeles law firm, and then piecemeal typing every night at other law firms among the towers that made up the LA skyline. My days began at 5:30 and often ended at 11:30. By now, Lisa and I had two children, and I rarely got to see them except on weekends. And even with all the hours I was working, and the