Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Desmond Cory

I’ve written previously on this blog about Desmond Cory, an extremely interesting crime novelist of the recent past. He wrote, among other things, that most unusual novel Bennett and Deadfall, which was filmed with Michael Caine, and a great John Barry score.

Cory is one of those writers in whom interest is reviving, I’m glad to say. (Another of roughly similar vintage is Andrew Garve, and I’ll talk more about him in the future.) Those excellent print on demand publishers Ostara have reissued Undertow, which is one of their series of “Top Notch Thrillers”, and this is yet another illustration of the way p.o.d., as well as digital publishing is making good books widely available again after too long a gap.

Cory’s real name was Shaun MacCarthy, and through writing about him, I’ve come into contact with his son Richard, who is doing sterling work in preserving his father’s literary legacy. He tells me, by the way, that Cory wasn’t a fan of the film made of Deadfall, but I hope he did at least like the music!

Richard kindly drew to my attention  to On the Gulf, now available for download on Amazon Kindle. This is a thriller set in the imaginary – but entirely credible – Middle Eastern state of Fariq. As is often the case with Cory’s work, the focus is not just on action, but also on psychological insight into the characters. Definitely worth a look.

I’m pleased to see that Cory’s early work is also becoming available for download. An example – which I have not read as yet, but intend to – is his second book, Begin, Murderer! in which private eye Lindsey Grey investigates a series of murders. There’s something a bit different about Cory, a quirkiness as well as an interest in people under pressure – often in exotic places – which marked him out from the crowd and makes his work well worth discovering, or rediscovering.


John Bishop said...

I'm also pleased about the picked up interest in Desmond Cory. The blog site Existential Ennui voted his Undertow one of the best thrillers of 2011, and since then I've seen Cory's books crop up a number of times. Interesting blog - thanks

lyn said...

Thanks for this, Martin. I've just downloaded a sample chapter of Begin, Murderer. It sounds excellent.