Saturday, July 19, 2014

First Tastes: a new character-focused series

In a new ongoing series for the under-reconstruction Crime Watch, I will be regularly taking a look at novels in which some terrific authors first introduced their series protagonist (often the author's debut novel). The 'first taste' of a hero.

The series will begin on Monday with a terrific detective from a terrific if underappreciated crime writer, Jack Kerley's Carson Ryder. The Ryder series is set in Alabama, and is wonderful.

Although crime fiction is full of twisting, exciting plots, and can have great settings or delve into social and other issues, for me, in the end, what makes it particularly great at times is the fantastic characters. There's something enticing about finding a great character, and following them as they evolve (or not, in some cases) over the course of a long-running series. In most cases the author would have had no idea whether or not the character might turn into a series, however hopeful they may have been, and certainly no foresight that it would be a very long-running series, in some of the more famous cases.

Great recurring characters can become household names, from Sherlock Holmes, Poirot and Miss Marple, through to to Philip Marlowe, to Rebus, Reacher, and Robicheaux. And so many other fantastic characters in the crime fiction canon. So I'm very excited to kickstart this new series, which will see myself and some guest bloggers looking back at the first appearances of some great crime fiction characters.

I'm keen to get lots of different voices involved in this ongoing project, not just my own, so if you would like to contribute and have the opportunity to revisit the beginnings of one of your own favourite crime characters, please do get in touch with me. Or if you have suggestions of crime heroes you'd like to see included as the series progresses. I'm very keen to highlight not just the well-known.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great series. I've never read anything by Jack Kerley, so I will be interested in learning about him.