Friday, 3 May 2013

Diamonds Are Forever

Fans of Lee Child's novels will be pleased to hear that he is to be awarded the Diamond Dagger by the Crime Writers' Association for life-time achievement in crime fiction. Previous recipients include P.D.James, Colin Dexter, Ruth Rendell, and Elmore Leonard.

Lee Child turned to fiction writing at the age of 40 after he lost his job at Granada Television following a restructuring in 1995. His first Jack Reacher novel was Killing Floor. His novels are best-sellers in both the US and UK, and he has sold 60 million copies worldwide.

Child writes in the “hard-boiled” tradition rather than in the style of genteel "whodunits" that have spawned many popular cozy mystery series. His protagonist Jack Reacher is larger-than-life, constantly battling with his fists in a series of tightly woven stories featuring Child's laconic prose. One could argue that Child's recent novels have become formulaic with Jack Reacher fighting for the underdog with a stubbornness that belies common sense, taking on all comers and triumphing in spite of the odds stacked against him, and getting the girl before moving on to his next exploit. Sometimes there is more of caricature than character in Jack Reacher. Nevertheless the Reacher novels remain immensely entertaining, and Lee Child's mastery of prose is impressive.

For the full text of the article, please see The award is to be presented to Child this summer.

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