A Quickie with Tony Parsons

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

They are good!  Both Die Last – the paperback that comes out on 22nd February – and Girl on Fire – the hardback that is published on 8th March – are thrillers with heart. Fast-paced, page-turning reads but with real flesh-and-blood characters who can make you laugh and move you to tears and make you drop your popcorn. Die Last is the fourth Max Wolfe book and Girl on Fire is the fifth. If you haven’t met him yet, DC Max Wolfe is the young murder detective who works for Homicide and Serious Crime at West Central – 27 Savile Row, London. Max is a young single father who lives with his daughter Scout and their dog Stan on a loft that looks down on Smithfield meat market.

Die Last begins with the discovery of a refrigerated lorry in London’s Chinatown that contains the bodies of twelve young women in the back. In the cab, Max finds thirteen passports – so Die Last is about the search for the thirteenth woman – and for justice for the twelve who died as Max seeks to unlock the mystery of why they were coming to this country. And it is not what you might think.

Girl on Fire is the story of the aftermath of a terrorist attack in London that touches Max Wolfe’s life in ways that he cannot imagine. It is the story of what happens to both the innocent and the guilty and those who get caught in the crossfire. The Max Wolfe books are for anyone who loves a good story well told. The reason you should read them is that , if you don’t, you will be missing a good thing.

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

Falling Off My Perch. I always thought that is the title I would like for the story of my life.

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

I did a book event in Chicago one time and a very nice lady asked me, “Have you ever met the Queen?” I said no, and she asked me “Have you ever met Prince Charles?” She worked her way through about a dozen members of the royal family before she sat down. I am not sure if you could describe her as a fan of Tony Parsons – but she was certainly a big fan of the royal family.

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

Ian Fleming. I have always fancied writing a James Bond book. I even have a good title – Always Say Die. That sounds like a James Bond book, doesn’t it? And I even know when I would set it – after the end of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (the one where his wife dies at the end) and just before You Only Live Twice (the one set in Japan when 007 is coming back from a nervous breakdown). Shirley Bassey would sing the theme song when they made it into a movie, or possibly Adele if we can’t get Shirley Bassey.

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

I can play “Wonderwall” on acoustic guitar better than Liam Gallagher, although not quite as good as Noel Gallagher.

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

The Midnight Line by Lee Child. Jack Reacher is such a great and distinctive hero and even after writing so many Jack Reacher books, I can tell that Lee Child is still enjoying himself. When a writer loves and enjoys what he or she is writing, that comes across to the reader.

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. Just a brilliantly told story that touches so many familiar emotions. The fear of losing your child, the fear that you are no longer attractive to your partner, the fear getting caught in some horrible crime to get you out of financial trouble. A wonderful combination of domestic life and a living hell.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. I love all her books but this is the best. A wonderful portrait of three women and the men in their lives. Also, what I loved about the book – which didn’t come across in the HBO TV series – is that it felt really authentically Australian to me. Liane Moriarty is great storyteller – maybe the best around.

Who is Tony Parsons?  Tony Parsons left school at sixteen and his first job in journalism was at the New Musical Express. His first journalism after leaving the NME was when he was embedded with the Vice Squad at 27 Savile Row, West End Central. The roots of the DC Max Wolfe series started here.

Since then he has become an award-winning journalist and bestselling novelist whose books have been translated into more than forty languages. The Murder Bag, the first novel in the DC Max Wolfe series, went to number one on first publication in the UK. All of the DC Max Wolfe novels have been Sunday Times top five bestsellers.

Tony lives in London with his wife, his daughter and their dog, Stan.

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