Wednesday, 4 July 2012

PUSH-UPS: Adrian Magson

So, what you pushing right now?

‘Death on the Pont Noir’, the 3rd in my Insp. Lucas Rocco series set in France in the 1960s, and about to start pushing ‘Retribution’ – the 4th in the Harry Tate spy series (out in August).

What’s the hook?

(In ‘Pont Noir’) could a bunch of English gangsters have been involved in an assassination attempt on President Charles de Gaulle? Well, why not – lots of other people were, with over 30 attempts in all. (How’s that for being unpopular?) Lucas Rocco thinks there’s a connection, but his bosses don’t believe him. And when the English gang get him suspended with photographic evidence of him allegedly taking a bribe, he knows he’s got very little time before something nasty happens. He also knows just where the assassination attempt will take place. The only thing is, can he get there and stop it without being shot by his own force, the president’s bodyguards or the English gang… ?

And why’s that floating your boat?

The idea just appealed to me in a quirky kind of way. I like to use a historical backdrop for my books if I can, and this one popped up, so I jumped on it. Maybe it’s why they didn’t want us in the Common Market. Lack of trust.

When did you turn to crime?

When I was a kid, I devoured crime novels and thrillers.  And it always seemed such a cool way to make a living, to me, making up stuff for people to read. It took me a while to get my first crime novel published, but now I know I was right all along. And thanks, mum and dad for encouraging me to read.

Hardboiled or Noir, classic or contemporary?

Contemporary, but with touches of noir. I like flashes of darkness rather than total gloom.

And, what’s blown you away lately?

‘Spiral’, (French TV series), and ‘The Killing’ (original Danish version). Completely hooked, albeit late in the day. I enjoy ‘Burn Notice’ on a different level because it’s fun. And I’ll sit and watch any of the ‘Bourne’ films at the drop of a hat.

See any books as movies waiting to happen?

I recently reviewed Nick Santora’s ‘Fifteen Digits’ and can imagine that hitting the screen. It’s a glorified heist story, with disparate gang members working in a law firm with access to vast money market information. I’d describe it as ‘Reservoir Dogs’ meets ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’.  And Jason Webster’s ‘A Death in Valencia’ would make a good TV series. The sticky heat and corruption just leap off the page.

Mainstream or indie - paper or digital?

Both – but I think the mainstream are in danger of losing ground. People want to read stuff whenever and wherever they are, and they care less and less about who produces it and whether they just signed up XYZ celeb. If recent pronouncements on the speed with which digital publishing is taking hold are correct (take websites like this, for example), then for a large segment of the reading public, paper books seem less of a good deal and not so convenient in our flash-read society.

Shout us a website worth visiting …

David Foster’s – a great fun site for all things spy and crime in books, tv and film. Some of it seems incredibly cheesy now (films and books from way back when), but it’s nice to revisit characters and stuff I’d forgotten about – and to know it wasn’t just me who liked it!

Finally, tell us any old shit about yourself …

I once designed a knock-down/pop-up cats-eye post which was used on motorways for a while. It was a once-in-a-lifetime idea, never to be repeated. The design rights allowed me to buy my first decent car – a Mini.

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