Posts in thrillers
Period and prejudice

One of the great pleasures of being a history buff is mining seams – themes, periods, countries – you love. One of the great handicaps of being a history buff is refusing to mine new ones. I’ve loved Bernard Cornwell’s novels for thirty years, but can’t get into his Arthurian or American civil war fiction – a rejection I can only ascribe to some kind of period prejudice; after all, he’s deploying the same ingredients as in the Sharpe and Uhtred novels, and is certainly applying the same enviable skill…

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Spook-y beginnings

When I was eight we went on a family holiday to Italy, and as a treat beforehand my parents let me and my brother choose a few books in the old Blackwells paperback bookshop on Broad Street in Oxford. I can’t remember what I got, but I do remember that among my parents’ booty was a clutch of Gavin Lyall thrillers…     

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