Thursday, 7 December 2017

BEST OF CRIME with John Marrs

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 


to share his BEST OF CRIME ...

I’m a big fan of Peter Swanson, particularly his novel A Kind Worth Killing. I also utterly love Gillian Flynn’s stories and how she weaves crimes, sociopaths and psychopaths in and out of a story with such apparent ease. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Tom Rob Smith, author of The Farm and the Child 44 trilogy, a couple of times before for magazines I’ve freelanced at. I’m such a fan of his work and found him inspirational.

My all time favourite film is the Quentin Tarantino penned, Tony Scott directed, True Romance. I don’t know which film I’ve seen more times, that, Casino or Stand By Me. Other firm favourites include The Mosquito Coast, Terminator 2, Heathers, My Own Private Idaho and Donnie Darko.

Where to begin? The Americans set the bar for this for much of the last decade, but with dramas like Doctor Foster, Sherlock, Peaky Blinders and Line Of Duty, us Brits are fighting back. I’ll opt for some classics like Lost, Mad Men, The Sopranos, and more modern classics that will stand the test of time, including Game Of Thrones, The Bridge and The Walking Dead.

In his more recent books and adaptations, Hannibal Lecter became too much of a caricature, but in both Silence Of The Lambs and Hannibal Rising, Anthony Hopkins was mesmerising. Tony Soprano was also a charismatic killer and Patrick Bateman from American Psycho is one of the all time greatest unreliable narrators, along with Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne. 

Does Batman count? I’m not really a fan of superheroes but Christopher Nolan’s three Batman movies were just incredible to watch. And I know James Bond is technically a spy, but he has to rely on detective work to get his villains, surely? Miss Marple, Poirot and Sherlock aside, I’m going to choose John Rebus from Ian Rankin’s novels.

My weapon of choice to write about is a knife. A bullet is boring, strangulation is one-dimensional. But you can be so creative with a knife and a body. In real life, I’m actually a little scared of blades.

(Possible spoiler alert!)  A Kind Worth Killing.

Bumping off one of the main characters half the way through a book was so brave. And almost all of the deaths in American Psycho paved the way for acceptable gore. 

My most visited are social media pages like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For news, I’ll go to The Guardian and then Mail Online. Digital Spy will give me my television news fix while I’ll spend a fortune surfing Amazon instead of writing!

Read everything you write out loud afterwards. Reading in your head will sound nothing like it does when you say those words aloud.

My partner has to hide the chocolate when I’m working at home or I’ll just eat my way through every cube of it in the house. I’m like a child; I have no self-control when sweet things are in my grasp. Actually it’s anything with sugar in it. I once wiped through a tube of chocolate cake decorations I found in the cupboard just because they were there.   


John Marrs is a freelance journalist based in London, England, who has spent the last 20 years interviewing celebrities from the world of television, film and music for national newspapers and magazines. He has written for publications including The Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online; OK! Magazine; Total Film; Empire; Q; GT; The Independent; Star; Reveal; Company; Daily Star and News of the World’s Sunday Magazine. His debut novel, The Wronged Sons, was released in 2013 and in May 2015, he released his second book, Welcome To Wherever You Are. In May 2017 came his third book, The One. It was chosen as the book of the month for BBC Radio 2’s Book Club. The Wronged Sons was re-edited and re-released in July 2017 under a new title, When You Disappeared. And his fourth book, The Good Samaritan, was released in December 2017.

Find John Marrs on his Facebook page and on Twitter - @johnmarrs1


Publisher's description
She’s a friendly voice on the phone. But can you trust her?
The people who call End of the Line need hope. They need reassurance that life is worth living. But some are unlucky enough to get through to Laura. Laura doesn’t want them to hope. She wants them to die.
Laura hasn’t had it easy: she’s survived sickness and a difficult marriage only to find herself heading for forty, unsettled and angry. She doesn’t love talking to people worse off than she is. She craves it.
But now someone’s on to her—Ryan, whose world falls apart when his pregnant wife ends her life, hand in hand with a stranger. Who was this man, and why did they choose to die together?
The sinister truth is within Ryan’s grasp, but he has no idea of the desperate lengths Laura will go to…
Because the best thing about being a Good Samaritan is that you can get away with murder.

The Good Samaritan was published by Thomas & Mercer on 1 december 2017.

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

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