Monday, 9 October 2017

BEST OF CRIME with Sarah Ward

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 her BEST OF CRIME ...

Is John Le Carre crime? Possibly not but spy fiction has often been discussed alongside other crime genres and Le Carre is just one of the best writers around. It was difficult for me to read his biography by Adam Sissman because I didn’t want the mystique taken away from his novels. I’ve reread the George Smiley books so often over the years and the pleasure hasn’t dimmed.

I’m not a huge movie watcher but I love The Day of the Jackal. Michael Lonsdale is one my favourite actors and I love the absurdity of Edward Fox disguising his gun as a crutch.

I’m so tempted to say Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy but I’ll mention Death of A Pilgrim which I’ve just watched. The series is based on books by one of my favourite Nordic writers, Leif G W Persson and dramatizes the investigation into the shooting of Swedish PM Olof Palme. The four episodes are compelling.

I find Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley completely chilling. Lack of remorse is frightening to behold and Highsmith documents this so well. 

I’m rather fond of CJ Samson’s Matthew Shardlake, the stopping Lincoln’s Inn lawyer. He’s both clever and frustrated and makes for a wonderful character.

The joint of lamb in Roald Dahl’s short story Lamb to the Slaughter still makes me laugh. It’s such a perfect solution.

The dentist’s chair in Agatha Christie’s One Two Buckle My Shoe. I can’t be the only one who thinks of death while at the dentist.

I find naming characters so difficult as I like to make sure first names are age appropriate. In I can search the most popular names in a particular year which helps.

Finish what you start. You learn so much from finishing a piece of writing, even if it’s just that endings are really hard! 


I drink endless cups of tea but I try to get away from the computer to eat otherwise I’d never leave my desk. But I am fond of digestive biscuits… 


Sarah Ward is the author of two DC Childs novels, In Bitter Chill and A Deadly Thaw set in the Derbyshire Peak District where she lives. Her third book in the series, A Patient Fury, is out in September. On her blog, Crimepieces, she reviews the best of current crime fiction published around the world, and she has also reviewed for Euro Crime and CrimeSquad. She is a judge for the Petrona Award for Scandinavian translated crime novels.

Find Sarah Ward on her website, on her Facebook page and on Twitter - @sarahrward1


Publisher's description
When Detective Constable Connie Childs is dragged from her bed to the fire-wrecked property on Cross Farm Lane she knows as she steps from the car that this house contains death.
Three bodies discovered - a family obliterated - their deaths all seem to point to one conclusion: One mother, one murderer.
But D.C. Childs, determined as ever to discover the truth behind the tragedy, realises it is the fourth body - the one they cannot find - that holds the key to the mystery at Cross Farm Lane.

What Connie Childs fails to spot is that her determination to unmask the real murderer might cost her more than her health - this time she could lose the thing she cares about most: her career.

A Patient Fury was published by Faber on 5 September 2017.

Look out for more BEST OF CRIME features coming soon.

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