Betrayal is a part of life. We are all betrayed at some stage in our lives, in small ways and in big ways. I think that is the basis of every crime novel... —Belinda Bauer
One of the first betrayals in novelist Belinda Bauer’s life involved growing up under apartheid in South Africa, where the government systematically repressed one seg- ment of the population and lied about it to the other. Belinda Bauer vaulted onto the UK’s crime scene with her first novel, Blacklands, which won the British Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger for Best Novel in 2010. Since then, she has moved from strength to strength with her subsequent novels, including the remarkable Rubber- necker, one of my favorites. Oline Cogdill talks to Bauer in this issue.
What books really got to you last year? What characters lingered in your mind? What writers changed your outlook or widened your perceptions? We asked our critics these questions and the result is our annual “Fave Raves” feature. Do let us know if you think we hit the mark—we’d love to hear your fave raves, as well! Just write or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anyone sending us a fave rave is automatically entered in a drawing to win a free book.
Lawrence Block displays admirable self-insight (as well as a nice turn of phrase) when speaking of his writing career: "I’ve known for some time that Ego and Avarice are the two coursers who haul my chariot through the streets of Literature."
No one can deny his success. Still, what if both of these desires could be satisfied without actually doing any work? He examines that intriguing possibility in this issue.
Hard work is nothing new to E.O. Chirovici. After publishing 15 books in his native Romanian, Chirovici wrote the original man- uscript for his thriller The Book of Mirrors in English. This was no easy task: “You carefully pack up all your storytelling skills and move them into your new ‘home,’ the new language you’ve chosen. You have to put together a whole new toolbox, which is no easy task...” It may not have been easy, but the result created a publishing feeding frenzy. Craig Sisterson talks to Chirovici in this issue.
Jon L. Breen is Mystery Scene’s resident expert on courtroom dramas. (In fact, he won an Edgar Award for the first edition of his reference work Novel Verdicts: A Guide to Courtroom Fiction.) “Trials and Tribulations” is his overview of recent legal thrillers.
Ian Rankin is one of the world’s top crime novelists—but did you know he was originally fated for a career in accounting? Well the bean counters’ loss is our gain, as Andy Martin explores in his interview with the author.
April Smith is committed to realism in her fiction. How committed? Well, for her latest novel, Home Sweet Home, set in South Dakota, she rode with cowboys, branded a cow, and attended cattle auctions and barbecues at ranches. “I have to physically experience what the characters have, immerse myself in their world, and then draw on it,” says Smith. Learn more about Smith in Oline Cogdill’s profile.