In the spirit of Halloween I asked the team to answer the following question:
What book would you never read alone in an empty house?
Don’t forget to look below for your chance to win two of our most terrifying reads…
Laura: I have started Misery by Stephen King many times. I have only ever finished it once, in broad daylight, in a park full of people. My reason for this was simple. Passers-by could come to my aid should Annie Wilkes decide to jump out from behind a tree and smash a typewriter over my legs before dragging me off into the wilderness. When reading Misery you cannot help but picture the film. But I urge you to read the book. It is the kind of read that has you on the edge of your seat from start to finish as obsessive fan Annie flits between the personas of, carer, tormentor and would-be murderer to author Paul Sheldon. The build-up of suspense between Annie and Paul is staggering and when you reach the end I guarantee that your heart will be in your mouth.
Helen: Anything by Neil White! I love Neil’s books, I really do, but he sure does know how to set up a gruesome murder scene. He’s a master of suspense, and as his killers stalk their victims, you know that someone’s about to meet a seriously sticky end.
I’m currently working on his new book, Beyond Evil, and it’s opening scene stayed with me long into the dark October nights. Imagine, if you will, the victim tied to a bed. Behind him, a wall daubed in his own blood. And his body, with blood, guts, bones and sinew on show to the world, after having had a full autopsy carried out on it. Whilst he was still alive…
Chilling? Gruesome? Oh yes. But I couldn’t wait to find out who was behind it all. Brilliant stuff.
Hannah: When I’m not checking every single cupboard and wardrobe in the house for skulking murderers, double-checking under my bed for the odd rapist, closing the curtains tight so that the lone eye of a madman can’t peep through, and convincing myself that I can hear breathing coming from underneath my bed, I am reading crime and thriller fiction. I can’t help it, I’m obsessed, and nothing will dissuade me from plunging into the latest in the genre.
We were lucky enough to get up close and personal with Neil White, the author of the chilling Cold Kill. If there are any questions we haven’t thought of then get in touch and let us know what you want to know about Neil!
1. If you were stranded on a desert island, which book would you take with you?
Although To Kill A Mockingbird first came to mind, because it is the only book I have wanted to start reading again as soon as I’d finished it, I would choose Shoeless Joe by WP Kinsella. It’s a whimsical tale of unfulfilled dreams set in Iowa, although the film adaptation is probably better known, Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner.
2. Where does your inspiration come from?
If you mean my inspiration to write, it comes from other great books. When I read a really good book, I just think that I would love to write a book as good as that. If you mean for my plots, it just comes from real life. It’s a real tragedy that there are so many people willing to do horrific things to other human beings, but I am intrigued by their motivations, their thought processes, and how they can live with their guilt.
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.