Monday, 6 March 2017

BEST OF CRIME with Neil White

Welcome to my BEST OF CRIME feature, looking at crime writers' top picks, from their favourite author and fictional detective to their best writing tip. 

Today I'm delighted to welcome 


to share his BEST OF CRIME... 

I don’t tend to follow any particular author and instead go for whatever looks interesting. I’ve always enjoyed Gregg Hurwitz’s books and Carl Hiaasen. In fact, the latter reminds me that I am a fan of darkly comic crime, like Christopher Brookmyre and Bateman. There aren’t many things more delicious in a book than belly laughs along with the sick and twisted.

I loved Marathon Man with Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier, a film that always makes people wince and jab at their teeth. I love American crime dramas from the early seventies. There is something completely gritty and bleak about them, with no special effects but great acting.

Inspector Morse, just because it was a must-watch back in its heyday. Cracker too, with Robbie Coltrane, because it made profiling burst on to the scene. Of recent years, The Missing was up there with the best, and I enjoyed The Night Of. I enjoy most things with John Turturro.

I’m going to pick a really obvious one in Hannibal Lecter, because he is a horrific human being but it’s hard not to root for him in some weird way.

Human hands. Physical weapons can have a great impact, but much less than the work done by human hands as the killer stares into the victim’s eyes? There is something more personal about it, for the victim as well as the killer.
I’m guessing that is the case, of course. I’ve no actual real-life experience of it. Honestly. 

I don’t really follow any particular blogger as a matter of routine but will dip in and out when I spot something interesting.
I used to love the FBI website, and in particular the scientific pages, where a writer could browse the latest forensic developments, although the site does seem to have scaled that back a bit now.
I could get lost in The Kennedy Assassination which has been a longstanding site dedicated to the JFK assassination, aimed at debunking the various conspiracy theories. The site was around in the early days of the internet, which wasn’t too long after the ridiculous Oliver Stone film, JFK. The site demolishes it.

Start it, write it, finish it. As simple as that. If you spend time searching for online help in how to write, what you are actually doing is putting off the job of writing for fear of discovering you can’t do it. If you write it first, you can look for resources to improve it once you’ve finished it. If you’ve read books, you know how they work. Follow your instincts until what you put on the page sounds like something you’d pay money for.
And don’t try to be clever with the prose. Be lean. I once read a short story by someone for a competition I was judging, where the writer spent half a page describing the rain on the window. I thought, yeah, I get it, it’s raining. Contrast that with the opening line of Get Carter by Ted Lewis, which is “The rain rained”, in relation to a character staring out of a gloomy train window. Says so much more with so much less. 

About Neil White

Neil White was born and brought up around West Yorkshire. He left school at sixteen but returned to education in his twenties, when he studied for a law degree. He started writing in 1994, and is now a criminal lawyer by day, crime fiction writer by night. He lives in the north of England with his wife and three children.

Find Neil White on his website and follow him on Twitter - @neilwhite1965

About From the Shadows

Publisher's description
He hides in the shadows, watching, waiting, until the time is right . . .

Mary Kendricks, a smart, pretty, twenty-four-year-old teacher, has been brutally murdered and Robert Carter is accused of killing her.

When defence lawyer, Dan Grant inherits Carter's case only weeks before the trial starts, everyone expects him just to babysit it, but Dan's not that kind of lawyer. He'll follow the evidence - wherever it takes him.

But as Dan and his investigator Jayne Brett look into the case, they discover that there is more to it than meets the eye. In order to do their jobs they need to push the limits of the system, even if it means putting themselves in danger.

Together they will get to the truth - whatever the cost . . .

From the Shadows is published by Zaffre in e-book on 9 March 2017 and in paperback on 10 August 2017. 

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

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