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Desert Island Crime with Craig Russell

 

Welcome to Desert Island Crime, where each week we ask a bestselling author: If you were stranded on a desert island and had to choose 8 books to take with you.
What would you pick and why?

 

This week, we ask Craig Russell, author of the thrilling The Devil Aspect, to reveal his top picks.

 

Over to you Craig:

 

The 39 Steps, John Buchan

The definitive pursuit thriller, I read this again for the umpteenth time just a few months ago.  Tore through it in a day and a half.

 

Figures in a Landscape, Barry England

Superb thriller and adventure story—and another pursuit thriller—that was a finalist for the inaugural Booker Prize.  One of the books that convinced me to become a writer.

 

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier

Or just about anything by du Maurier. Beautiful prose style combined with the darkest tales.  Rebecca is the definitive gothic, psychological novel of doubt and uncertainty.  Much imitated, never surpassed.

 

1984, George Orwell

Helped shape my political consciousness.  And scared the whatsname out of me as a teenager.

 

Rosemary’s Baby, Ira Levin

Ultimate ‘nothing-is-what-it-seems-or-maybe-it-is’ psychological novel.  Infinitely better than the movie.  As you make your way through this classic, you’re never sure of the ground beneath your feet.

 

A Kiss Before Dying, Ira Levin

Perfect description of a psychopath.  Levin’s ability to mess with your mind is unsurpassed. No spoilers here, but halfway through this book you realize the author has been playing you all along.

 

Psycho, Robert Bloch

Robert Bloch, like Ira Levin, was a master craftsman.  Psycho is quite simply perfectly constructed gothic suspense.

 

Frankenstein, Mary Shelley

An ageless classic that is remarkably easy to read.  Has a special significance for me because Mary Shelley was inspired by one of my favourite spooky places in Prague.