Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Five Years of Forgotten Books, Day 3
Sophie Hannah writes bestselling psychological thrillers. Her first, Little Face, was recently published in America by Penguin. Her second, Hurting Distance, is published by Soho Press in hardcover. Penguin US will publish her third, The Point of Rescue, next year. Sophie is also a poet and short story writer. Her website is http://www.sophiehannah.com.
(Bios from 2008)
I'm going to be greedy and choose not one book but an entire series of books: Jill McGown's Lloyd and Hill mystery series, that contains such gems as The Murders of Mrs Austin and Mrs Beale, A Shred of Evidence and Plots and Errors. McGown is a crime writer of unparalleled brilliance, and it totally baffles me that she is not better known and more widely read. Anyone who likes Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse books or Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford novels would love McGown's work. Her series characters, Lloyd and Hill, are police officers who work together. They are also a couple. They are brilliantly drawn, flawed but likeable and entirely plausible. I really looked forward to meeting them again in each book, but, even so, they are not the best thing about McGown's books. Her supreme talent was (for, sadly, she died recently) for creating supremely intricate, brilliant plots that would, frankly, make the work of the best Swiss watch-makers look slapdash. Her plotting has an almost mathematical neatness about it and the way the loose ends are surprisingly yet perfectly tied up at the end of each novel is a wonder to behold. McGown is the rightful heir to Agatha Christie's throne, and ought to be more widely recognised as such.