Occasionally, I'm asked which authors I like to read when I'm not fretting over a blank laptop screen hoping for inspiration to strike.
Well, I can state here and now that I'm a sucker for American crime.
My current read is House of the Rising Sun by my favourite crime author, James Lee Burke.
His Dave Robicheaux novels are not just great crime literature but great literature, period.
Though, having said all that, it turns out that Robicheaux is not the main protagonist in this, JLB's latest offering. In fact, it's not strictly a crime novel. It does feature, however, one of Burke's other great characters - Hackberry Holland, hero of Wayfaring Stranger, Feast Day of Fools, Rain Gods and Lay Down My Sword and Shield.
'From its opening scene in revolutionary Mexico to the Battle of the Marne in 1918, and on to the bordellos and saloons of San Antonio during the reign of the Hole in the Wall Gang, House of the Rising Sun is an epic tale of love, loss, betrayal, vengeance and retribution that follows Texas Ranger Hackberry Holland on his journey to reunite with his estranged son, Ismael, a captain in the United States Army.'
If you haven't read any of Burke's novels, I urge you to start immediately. You will not be disappointed.
I've also taken the liberty of listing some of my other favourite crime writers. I'll 'fess up and state that there's only one British author (John Lawton) on the list and all but two of the rest are American. I know, call me unpatriotic, mea culpa and all that, but we like what we like, right? It's all subjective in the end...that's why I get the occasional duff review on Amazon...!