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Showing posts by: A.D. Garrett click to see A.D. Garrett's profile
Thu
Jul 30 2015 11:00am

A Brit’s 400-mile Road Trip Hunting American Crime

Road trip – had to be a winner, right? As a kid growing up in the narrow streets of northern England, I knew America as surely as I knew the grey concrete of my own back yard. For years, I had a recurring dream; I was driving along a winding coast road – steep rocky hills to the right, clear skies above – and dropping away to the left, grassy slopes and a sea so blue it would break your heart. It was California – no question in my mind. The hardboiled language and differences in culture portrayed in film adaptations of Raymond Chandler’s and Dashiell Hammett’s novels fascinated me: guns and cars and whisky-drinking women, the paradox of claustrophobic cities, and vast empty landscapes. They influenced my first attempts at writing, and because Humphrey Bogart played both Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, he spoke the words in my head.

At that time, British crime fiction was written by a wealthy, privately-educated elite and aimed at an aspiring middle class. Murder was a polite affair, conducted off-stage and with the minimum of blood, to present a pleasing puzzle to readers. Poor, working-class folk featured only as servants, “actresses” of questionable virtue, and dodgy characters set to enliven a scene. In my teens I read some, enjoyed a few, but felt alienated by most of what I read. I was drawn to the mysteries and thrillers on my father’s bedside table – Hammett, Ross Macdonald and the hard, uncompromising world of Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct novels. The thrill of all that unencumbered dialogue! For me dialogue is like music – it has a rhythm and tone, a pace and lyricism which is unique to each place. Writers like Dennis Lehane and Elmore Leonard have superseded those early influences, fulfilling my appetite for the kind of dialogue, which, as John Fowles put it, “perform(s) other functions.” Thomas Harris appeals to my gothic sense of the dramatic, while Jeffery Deaver’s Lincoln Rhyme series satisfies my inner geek (I am science-trained, and my novels feature a forensic scientist). Whichever way you look at it, American fiction remains key to my own work, so when my agent suggested setting a novel in the United States, I was eager to grasp the chance. I readily swapped Marlowe’s 1938 Plymouth for a Jeep Grand Cherokee, already dreaming of dusty roads and rodeos.

[A pilgrimage is in order!]

Tue
Jul 21 2015 12:15pm
Excerpt

Believe No One: New Excerpt

A.D. Garrett

Believe No One by A. D. Garrett is the second thriller to feature DCI Kate Simms who finds herself on sabbatical in St. Louis where trouble seems to follow her (available July 21, 2015).

Detective Chief Inspector Kate Simms is in the United States on sabbatical with St. Louis PD. She is working with a 'method swap' team, reviewing cold cases, sharing expertise. Simms came to the US to escape fallout from her previous investigation working with forensic expert Professor Nick Fennimore. However Fennimore also happens to be in the States on a book tour and is engineering his trip to get down to St Louis - the last thing Simms wants . . .

But a call for help from a sheriff's deputy in Oklahoma distracts the professor: a mother dead, her child gone. Fennimore's quick mind rapidly gets to work, and gradually draws the conclusion this might not an isolated case. How many other young mothers have been killed, their murders unsolved, their children unaccounted for - and what of Simms' cold case in St Louis for instance?

[Start reading Believe No One now!]

Mon
Jul 14 2014 11:30am
Excerpt

Everyone Lies: A New Excerpt

A.D. Garrett

Everyone Lies by A. D. Garrett is a procedural mystery featuring a down-on-her-luck DCI Kate Simms as she turns to Professor Nick Fennimore, a forensics expert, for help in her newest case (available July 15, 2014).

DCI Kate Simms is on the fast track to nowhere. Five years ago she helped a colleague when she shouldn't have. She's been clawing her way back from a demotion ever since. Professor Nick Fennimore is a failed genetics student, successful gambler, betting agent, crime scene officer, chemistry graduate, toxicology specialist and one-time scientific advisor to the National Crime Faculty. He is the best there is, but ever since his wife and daughter disappeared he's been hiding away in Scotland, working as a forensics lecturer.

In Manchester, drug addicts are turning up dead and Simms' superior is only too pleased to hand the problem to her. Then a celebrity dies and the media gets interested. Another overdose victim shows up, but this time the woman has been systematically beaten and all identifying features removed. The evidence doesn't add up; Simms' superiors seem to be obstructing her investigation; and the one person she can't afford to associate with is the one man who can help: Fennimore.

Chapter 1

‘A trivial example of observation and inference.’

A. C. DOYLE, THE BOSCOMBE VALLEY MYSTERY

Monday morning, 9 a.m., in A12 lecture theatre, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. Small and slightly cramped, certainly not the best lecture theatre on the St Andrews Street campus, but Professor Nick Fennimore liked it, and always asked for it. The walls were clad in ochre-stained pine, and the seating, gently raked, ran six to a row either side of the aisle. There were several curious burn marks on the floor near the demo bench – relics of his famous ‘Petrol Makes a Good Fire Extinguisher’ demo.

[Continue reading Everyone Lies by A. D. Garrett...]