The Debrief has now been going for three months, and I thought it was time to stretch its scope a little. So today I proudly present the first in a series of guest posts by thriller-writers on their favourite thrillers. Kicking us off is Scottish writer Sean Black, whose debut Lockdown, published in hardback last year, introduced ex-military bodyguard Ryan Lock. The Daily Telegraph picked it as one of their thrillers of the year, while The Daily Mail wrote that Lock confronts ‘one of the finest female villains since Ian Fleming’s Rosa Klebb with a style that would bring a smile to the face of his spiritual father – Lee Child’s Jack Reacher’. High praise, indeed! Sean and I will be appearing together on the panel ‘James Bond, Eat Your Heart Out’ at the Harrogate Crime Writers’ Festival on Sunday, July 25 (details here).
And now, without further ado, here’s Sean on one of his favourite thrillers.
Sentence for sentence, paragraph for paragraph, chapter for chapter, Gregg Hurwitz is one of, if not the, greatest thriller writer working today. The first book of Gregg’s that I read was The Kill Clause, the first in a quadrilogy featuring US Marshal Tim Rackley. A profound meditation on violence and vigilantism, these four books somehow manage to transcend the blurb hype emblazoned across the covers of so many titles.
Gregg manages to combine prose which forcefully rebuts those who claim that thrillers can never compete with the wordsmanship of literary fiction, and a masterful control of narrative with an often coruscating examination of both classic and contemporary themes. There are no chinks in this writer’s armour. He is, to my mind at least, the complete package.
Since the Rackley series, Gregg has moved on to write a number of self-contained Hitchcockian thrillers. The latest, which is entitled Or She Dies in the UK (They’re Watching in the US) is a great place to start reading the man that esteemed US critic David Montgomery dubbed ‘the best thriller writer you’ve never heard of’. If you’ve read this far, then you no longer have that excuse.
Sean Black is the author of the Ryan Lock series of thrillers. The first book in the series, Lockdown, is published in paperback by Bantam on the 24th of June. The sequel, Deadlock, will be released in hardback by Bantam/Transworld on the 22nd of July. See http://www.seanblackbooks.com/ for more.