Editorial: The Joy of Discovery

What would happen if I were to tell you that I’m an adventurous risk-taker? Well, to begin with, everyone who has ever met me would fall over laughing—and I’d be lying. Oh, I’ve had adventures—even been adventurous to the point of “Wow, was that a bad idea!”—but I am, on the whole, a creature of comfortable habit. And when it comes to the books I read, I’m rather selective. Okay, extremely picky. I read those authors whose work I like and don’t (or don’t often) read others. What happens to a reader like me when he or she runs out of books? As long as myfavourite authors keep publishing new books,  I have new books to read. And because another quirk of mine is that I like to own any book I’ve enjoyed reading, I have a rather large library (I really need a bigger house just for my books); in a crisis, I can always reread a beloved book. Occasionally, however, I find that I’ve caught up with everyone’s recent releases and have to wait for Ian Rankin or Philip Kerr to publish his next work. At such times, even stick-in-the-muds have to take chances. It was by taking a chance (though I really hadn’t much choice) that I found Rankin. I was in an airport bookstore facing a bookless flight when a kindred spirit spotted the gloomy face of a man without a book and asked me to name three of my favourite authors. I got as far as Reginald Hill and Minette Walters before she stopped me and hunted for and then handed me Rankin’s first “Rebus” book, Knots & Crosses. Blessings on her head...I’ve read every Rankin since. I recently ran out of books again (I have a reserve, but it was running low). After I discovered Rankin, I learned that he and fellow Scot Val McDermid (another new discovery) were two of a number of authors within a sub-genre that’s come to be known as Tartan Noir, crime fiction by Scots set in Scotland—a genre I hadn’t really explored. So I explored, and as one often does when one is brave enough to explore beyond the known, I discovered a new world (and now recommend Stuart MacBride and Peter May). Who would you recommend to your fellow Good Times readers? Anyone we should be reading? Let us know!

 Murray Lewis, Editor-in-Chief



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