A few words about Robert B. Parker. Now sadly, the late Robert B. Parker, a Grand Master of American crime writing, and deservedly so. Parker has been writing crime novels for forty years, and produced an eye watering number in that time. I make it sixty four, but that does include a few westerns and one or two on other subjects. I counted that I have over sixty in my collection, not including, I must confess Training With Weights. But more importantly as far as I’m concerned, is that Parker was one of the main reasons I started writing crime novels myself. Of course there are some out there who won’t be thanking him for that. His easy way of writing made me think it would be easy to write myself, but in fact it was, and is, a lot harder to do than I thought. Over the years he pared down his style, chopping out any fat, but after his death I dug out my original copy of God Save The Child, his second novel, published in 1974, and the difference from the Parker of the twenty-first century is incredible.
As promised here’s a review I prepared earlier.
I’ve been reading and collecting Robert Crais’s novels since the only way to get them was on import from the USA. Met him too a few times. Young, handsome, thick black hair, tanned, living in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife and a great car, Not exactly broke either from what I can gather. Why don’t I hate the man? It must be beacaue I love his books so much. And that goes double for his latest: The First Rule published by Orion next week (Hardback £12.99).
I once said to my nearest and dearest, if I ever decide to write a Blog – shoot me.
Luckily there’s no gun available, so here I am.
The reason I’m doing it is simple. Last year I fell foul of reader’s block, and took a long holiday from my regular(ish) column in The Independent On Sunday. I’d been reviewing crime for fifteen years, and I was bored stiff. But around last Christmas I started reading crime novels again, and I went to Katy Guest at the IOS and she asked me to submit some reviews, which I did, and had my first one published a couple of weeks ago, and maybe I’ll get a column again. Who knows?