Sunday, 9 April 2017

BEST OF CRIME with Mark Hill

Welcome to my latest 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 


for his Two O'Clock Boy blog tour

to share his BEST OF CRIME ... 

I can’t possibly choose a single author. It’s an impossibility. I tell you what, though, I’m rereading a lot of Mark Billingham at the moment. My god, his Thorne novels are good. 

Look, if you persist with these difficult questions, me and you are going to fall out. There are just too many wonderful crimey films. I don’t think any movie experience will top going to see that single week in 1990 when I went for the first time to see Miller’s Crossing, The Grifters and Goodfellas. But I’ll go for something a little bit different, which I watched again the other night. I’m a big fan of The Prestige, the tricksy-turnsy story of two magicians whose lifelong rivalry has murderous consequences. Part-thriller, part-sci-fi fable, it’s an elaborate shaggy-dog story. Even more impressive is Christopher Priest’s source novel. 

In my opinion, The Shield is as good as anything that’s been on television. It starred Michael Chiklis as Vic Mackey, a corrupt cop in LA. It was a show that just seemed to accelerate across its seven seasons, cranking up the drama ever higher. If you ask me – and I guess you are actually asking me - The Shield is something of an underrated gem. 

That’ll have to be George Harvey Bone, the protagonist in Patrick Hamilton’s wonderful novel Hangover Square. Bone is a damaged man, a would-be murderer and barfly, who frequents the pubs of Earl Court on the eve of the Second World War. Bone becomes obsessed with a manipulative would-be actress Netta and contemplates her murder. You pray for him to break out of the terrible spiral he finds himself in and find some kind of redemption. 

I’ve always had a soft spot for Charles Willeford’s down-at-heel detective Hoke Moseley.  Moseley appeared in four detective novels written before Willeford’s untimely death. You may remember the first book in that sequence, Miami Blues, was made into a terrific movie starring Alec Baldwin, with Fred Ward as Moseley. Encouraged to write more Moseley novels after the success of the first, Willeford tired of his creation almost instantly. His original follow-up, Grimhaven, featured Moseley murdering his two teenage daughters. It was rejected by his editor as being, guess what - too dark. I’d love to read it. Photocopies of the manuscript reportedly change hands for lots of money among a shadowy group of collectors. 

I’m not really a fan of exotic poisons and toxins or elaborate deathtraps, but then I’m a lazy so-and-so. It all seems rather a lot of work sourcing that odourless, colourless fungi from somewhere down the Amazon and then having to painstakingly mix it into someone’s sparkly eyeshadow. A vat of acid seems like hard work to me. Who has time for that? Even a frozen leg of lamb means having to find a parking space at Asda. Let’s keep it simple. Give me a cricket bat or a gun. A fire poker. A piece of piping. Some steep stairs. A golf club. A steak knife. A brick. Piano wire. A chisel, or a screwdriver. That’ll do. 

Poor old Paul Krendler in Hannibal springs to mind. Having the top of your skull opened and your own brains fed to you can’t be a lot of fun. 

I’m a big movie buff, and I also have a very short attention span. Which means that when I’m right slap-bang in the middle of writing a scene – someone’s lifting a gun, a guy’s begging for his life, it’s all getting very tense - I’ll suddenly have the urge to visit Dark Horizons or Ain’t It Cool News or Den Of Geek to find out who’s greenlit a shared universe series of movies where Bears Paddington and Barnaby race cars. I do this about two hundred times a day, at least.
I also try to check in with the Dry Stone Walling Association website on a regular basis. Wait, I don’t know why I said that. I’ve never been to that website in my life.

Get it finished. 

Oysters, suckling pig, foie gras, lobster, Beluga Cavier, Wagyu Beef, white truffles and Rich Tea biscuits.

Mark Hill is a London-based full-time writer of novels and scripts. Formerly he was a journalist and a producer at BBC Radio 2 across a range of major daytime shows and projects. He has won two Sony Gold Awards. 

Find Mark Hill on his website, FB page and on Twitter - @markhillwriter


Publisher's description
Thirty years ago, the Longacre Children's Home stood on a London street where once-grand Victorian homes lay derelict. There its children lived in terror of Gordon Tallis, the home's manager.
Then Connor Laird arrived: a frighteningly intense boy who quickly became Tallis' favourite criminal helper. Soon after, destruction befell the Longacre, and the facts of that night have lain buried . . . until today.

Now, a mysterious figure, the Two O'Clock Boy, is killing all who grew up there, one by one. DI Ray Drake will do whatever it take to stop the murders - but he will go even further to cover up the truth.

Two O'Clock Boy was published by Sphere on 6 April 2017.

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

Click here to read more BEST OF CRIME features.

Follow the Blog Tour

No comments:

Post a Comment