Tuesday 8 June 2010

Neil White and Dead Silent

The United States appears to be full of attorneys who dash off bulky legal thrillers at will. In the UK, by contrast, there are relatively few lawyers – solicitors or barristers – who combine full-time professional life with writing crime fiction. There have been some great exceptions to the rule, of course – Cyril Hare, Michael Gilbert and more recently Frances Fyfield spring to mind. But some lawyers who appeared destined to make a mark a decade or more ago, the likes of Dexter Dias and the duo who wrote as Rankin Davis (not Ian Rankin and Lindsey Davis, I hasten to add!) seem to have moved away from the genre.

But one newish name to note is that of Neil White. Neil is a Yorkshireman by birth, who now works with the Crown Prosecution Service in Lancashire. I met him again at Crimefest recently, although my happiest memory of being in his company has to be that memorable night when I won the CWA Dagger for best short story a couple of years back.

Neil started his writing career with a little known book, Salem, which I’m happy to have a copy of, but he then moved into the big time with a contract for a series of paperback original thrillers, featuring his regular characters Jack Garrett and DCI Laura McGarrity.

The latest, Dead Silent, is just out. It is published by Harper Collins and the premise is this: ‘Twenty years ago Claude Gilbert buried his wife alive and then killed himself – or so everyone believes. But as Gilbert disappeared on the night of the murder, the mystery has remained unsolved. Until now….”


seana graham said...

That's odd that there are so few lawyers writing mysteries in England. I think a whole generation here was inspired by John Grisham's spectacular success with it, so maybe that's part of it.

Anonymous said...

Martin - Thanks for sharing some information on Neil White and on his latest. I happen to be quite fond of mysteries that link past and present like that, and I'll have to be on the lookout for this one.