Jeff Abbott: The Gift of Reading
Most influential Christmas present: a stack of ten Hardy Boys mystery novels, under the tree, when I was nine years old. I’d started reading mystery novels at my school library; my parents noticed. And so, on Christmas, TEN of them. I’d been a very good boy.
I paged through the books with their thrilling titles: The Bombay Boomerang. The Shattered Helmet. Danger on Vampire Trail. I actually curled up on the floor next to the tree and started reading.
It became a joke in my family that given that the Hardy Boys novels were invariably a hundred and eighty pages, you could time me to the second on how long it took me to read one. And over time they don’t always hold up well (I had to explain to my own son what a ‘chum’ was). But those books on Christmas lit the fire of suspense and mystery in my brain; they made me first think I would like to tell a story like this.
I hope kids who love to read find their own stacks under the tree this year.
Downfall, Jeff’s latest page-turning thriller is available now.