On Tuesday evening I spent a delightful hour at Hampton* Library, at a glamorous event organised by CrimeSquad, a website that, not coincidentally, turns out to be run from a location very near by. The event was an interview and discussion with authors Meg Gardiner and Peter Robinson: the fire and ice of the crime-fiction world? Both authors, with deceptive ease, spoke about their crime-writing careers, including the subgenre of which they would consider themselves to be part. Meg opted for thriller (in the USA, suspense, she said) and Peter police procedural (though he said he is not fond of the term).
The authors read a page of choice from their current books. Meg was the bravest, choosing the heady first chapter of The Dirty Secrets Club — to the applause of many of us listeners (for whom twice times 21 is but a distant memory) at an appropriately breathless, exciting pace (no wonder Stephen King was spellbound); whereas Peter provided more of a slow burn in selecting a subliminally loaded exchange between Annie and Banks in All The Colours of Darkness, and reading it very slowly and meaningfully. I was in full sympathy with Peter when he said that his aversion to giving away anything about plot extended to his refusal even to read the blurb of books. It was a lovely contrast, showing in a snapshot the full breadth of "crime fiction". Meg and Peter were both wonderful to listen to, and kudos from me to Adrian Clark of CrimeSquad, interviewer and host for the evening, who asked pertinent questions that elicited some lovely anecdotes, as well as generously including the audience. A welcome, as well as extremely unusual, hiatus.
Here is Meg's post of the event, at her blog Lying for a Living (watch out for the terrorist nuns if you visit).
*Not to be confused with Hampton Wick or Hampton Court.