1. Silence of the Lambs, Thomas Harris, because he can scare me – not an easy task.
2. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote, because of his style. He took a real life crime and novelized it, but yet retained the grit of a true crime drama, complete with quotes.
3. The Firm, John Grisham, because it was the first legal thriller that I ever read that didn’t bore me during the legal parts.
Neil White answers our questions on the inspiration behind his novels, his role as Senior Crown Prosecutor and the book he wishes he’d written
Killer Reads: How long have you been writing for?
Neil White: I have been writing since 1994, when I decided that I would try to write a book when I was on holiday. After twelve years of work and rejections, I signed a publishing contract in 2006, and my first book, Fallen Idols, was published by Avon in 2007.
KR: How much do you draw on real life in your work?
NW: I write crime fiction that is meant to be contemporary, and so it is impossible not to draw on real life, particularly as I still work part-time as a Senior Crown Prosecutor. Although I do not use real cases of my own as plots, I pick up small asides and opinions from the police that do make it into the books, and I have gained an understanding as to what motivates the police on an individual and personal level. The same can be said for the actions and motivations of criminals, particularly those who view crime as a career option rather than an occasional blip.