My relaxation comes from reading crime fiction. I know the character’s in fine detail of a number of fictional policemen, such as,
- H. R. F. Keating’s, much put upon, Inspector Ghote of the Bombay Police Department. A wonderful fictional creation, who struggles to meet the unreasonable demands of his superior. Think I’ve only a couple of the 26 stories to read.
- Donna Leon’s sophisticated Commissario Bendetti of the Venice Police, with powerful connections that he puts to good use to his superior’s annoyance. Again, there are 26 volumes, of which I’ve only read less than a third. I need breaks from Leon’s books, as, for me, there’s a touch too much dense detail of Venice streets.
- Chief Inspector Wexford, the irascible, tenacious, magnificent creation of Ruth Rendell, who is chief inspector of the fictional Kingsmarkham in Sussex. Rendell’s writing is taut, with imaginative plots. Truly the Queen of the genre.
- I’ve tried many other crime writers, such as Ngaio Marsh, whose stories are set in the 1930’s to 1970’s, though I’m yet to warm to her central character. I’m about to start my first Patricia Highsmith crime novel – yes, yes, I know I should’ve been reading her before.
I’m having a burst of reading a wider choice this summer than is my normal crime fiction reading habit. To date I’ve read Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner, one of life’s must reads, and now I’ve her Brief Lives by my bedside. This was followed by something completely different – Kim by Rudyard Kipling. One of the all time great adventure books. Feeling enriched from having read both books.
There have been other many books, of course, many on local history, and such as the truly scrumptious, for the steam train buff, Great Railway Photographs by Eric Treacy [Rather than it being a library book, I bought a copy at a heritage railway book stall]
In addition to the Anita Brookner and Patricia Highsmith, I’ve a Stella Rimington spy fiction novel about exploits of her main character Liz Carlyle.
When a book ‘grabs me’, then it’s all consuming, when not, such as the Len Deighton I’m currently ploughing through it’s not as much fun. Ah well, I’ve got some ‘page turners’ by my bed.