Your name: Gareth Watkins
Your blog’s name: Killing Time Crime
Blog’s URL: www.killingtimecrime.com
Which types of books do you review? All types of crime fiction and thrillers, from hardboiled to cosy: contemporary, classic, historical, translated…
What do you like about crime fiction? The best crime fiction deals with big issues, issues of morality and justice, without sacrificing story. It holds up a mirror to society and makes us think about our place in it.
For anyone starting out, can you recommend 5 essential crime books to read?
- The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie – Christie’s best novel, and one of the best crime novels. Even if you know the famous twist, it’s still astonishing.
- The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler – Another one regularly near or at the top of ‘greatest crime novels’ lists. Contemporary crime fiction would be vastly different if not for Chandler.
- Black and Blue by Ian Rankin – I consider Rankin to be one of the greatest living writers (in any genre), and this is the novel that first convinced me of that.
- A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell – No list of crime recommendations is complete without Ruth Rendell, and this is probably her best and most surprising novel.
- Case Histories by Kate Atkinson – funny and heartbreaking, Atkinson proves that the boundary between good crime and ‘literary’ fiction is narrower than many people would have you believe.
Do you have 1 or 2 personal favourites? Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles was the book that first turned me to crime at an impressionable age and will always have a special place.
New crime fiction author you are most excited by? I was really impressed by William Shaw’s first two Sixties-set novels A Song from Dead Lips and A House of Knives. I don’t know if he’s still considered new, but James Oswald’s Inspector McClean novels go from strength-to-strength.
Greatest fictional criminal? It has to be Hannibal Lecter – no fictional character has scared me so much or so well.
Greatest fictional detective? A predictable answer because it’s the only one: Sherlock Holmes.
Are you on social media? Yes, you can find me on Twitter @thekillingtime
How can authors and publishers encourage you to review their books? Mainly by write and publishing original, exciting, intelligent crime fiction. Avon have also been doing some sterling work in creating a buzz about new books with some imaginative publicity.
How do you like people to contact you? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.