A Quickie With

A Quickie with William Shaw

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

Sympathy For The Devil, the fourth in the Breen & Tozer opens with the death of the Rolling Stone Brian Jones and ends with another death that is connected in a fiendishly clever way that you’ll only understand when you get to the penultimate chapter.

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

Duff Notes. (Because, like 90% of crime writers it seems, I also play in a band.)

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

Not once, but twice, now I’ve been complimented on my book The Constant Soldier. I have to remind people that while it’s a great novel, it’s by William Ryan, not me. Don’t tell William Ryan this. It will only swell his head.

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

In the late 90s I started to write a screenplay with the late comedian Linda Smith, with a part specially written for John Cooper Clarke (Evil landlord). All her ideas were much better than mine. I’d love to finish what we started.

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

I first met the brilliant Tammy Cohen when she was just a teenager. Was very good friends with her big sister.

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

Mick Herron Slow Horses. If you’ve read it before the Brexit vote, read it again. Some of the world it creates is suddenly uncannily plausible.

Tana French The Trespasser. Small plots, but big brawling characters. Wittiest writer in crime right now. Deeply jealous.

Simon Booker Kill Me Twice. I should be annoyed that someone also sets books on Dungeness, like my books The Birdwatcher and Salt Lane, but it’s impossible to be with this because it’s such a great thriller. He sets a lovely tone and the twists keep coming.

Who is William Shaw?  William Shaw’s the author of the highly acclaimed Breen and Tozer series, which includes A Song From Dead Lips, A House of Knives and A Book of Scars, set in London in 1968-69. The Sun called The Birdwatcher, a crime novel set in Kent, a contender for crime book of 2016. A new Breen and Tozer, Sympathy for the Devil, will be published in May 2017. Peter May says: “William Shaw is, quite simply, an outstanding storyteller.”

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