Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Talented Mr Ripley

I've known Mike Ripley for many years now, apart from his very droll and award-winning Fitzroy Maclean Angel series, many people don’t realise that he is also a respected critic of crime fiction, writing for the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times and the Birmingham Post among others. He currently writes the "Getting Away With Murder" gossip column at shotsmag.co.uk.

Now we here he has another project as series editor for Top Notch Thrillers with the release of his first four books -

The Terrible Door by George Sims [ISBN 978-1-906288-28-0]
Night Of Glass by Philip Purser [978-1-906288-29-7]
A Clear Road To Archangel by Geoffrey Rose [978-1-906288-30-3]
Snake Water by Alan Williams [978-1-906288-31-0].

When asked about the first batch he selected - “The first four Top Notch Thrillers show the diversity of styles and the sheer bloody inventiveness which is a long standing tradition of great British thriller writing.”

The 'Top Notch' authors

George Sims (1923-1999) was a well-known antiquarian book dealer; a background he used to good effect in several of his thrillers, notably his first, The Terrible Door (1964), and in The Last Best Friend (1967) which Harry Keating chose as one of the “100 Best Crime and Mystery Books”. Sims had the wonderful ability to create a sudden air of menace and a Dickensian flair for describing the seedier parts of London. He was a member of the famous Detection Club.

Philip Purser (b.1925) was the long-standing television critic for the Sunday Telegraph and is an acknowledged expert on TV and films. His thrillers are reminiscent of the early work of Alfred Hitchcock, where un-heroic people are forced to do heroic things. Night of Glass (1968) is not only a cracking thriller but contains many wry observations on the British class system. Philip Purser is married to crime writer and novelist Ann Purser.

Geoffrey Rose (b.1932) was a professional actor for over 40 years before retiring to the south coast of England in 2000. In the early 1970s he wrote three thrillers in his own very distinctive style, which was once compared to that of the early novels of Graham Greene. A Clear Road To Archangel (1973) is a fantastical, almost surreal, chase/manhunt thriller set during the Russian Revolution.

Alan Williams (b.1935) became a best-selling spy novelist with The Beria Papers (1973) and Gentleman Traitor (1975) but his earlier novels were full-blooded adventure thrillers set in exotic locations. Snake Water (1965) is a violent treasure hunt set in South America and introduced the engaging but totally untrustworthy rogue Sammy Ryderbeit who was to reappear in The Tale of the Lazy Dog (1970).

Mike Ripley told me - “I am delighted and honoured to be able to be able to help put these books and these authors in front of a new audience. Each title has a distinctive flavour and atmosphere and together they show the wide range of quality writing in the thriller genre.”

Top Notch Thrillers and all OSTARA titles will be available to order from all booksellers and through internet retailers. Full details can be found on www.ostarapublishing.co.uk and they make excellent festive presents as they are ‘Top Notch’

No comments:

Post a Comment