WHAT BOOK would novelist Anthony Horowitz take to a desert island?
…are you reading now?
I’ve become hooked on Japanese murder mysteries which are astonishing . . . intricately plotted and often bonkers.
Everything Soji Shamada writes tantalises me, but I’d start with The Tokyo Zodiac Murders which has a gruesome solution.
I’ve just started Yukito Ayatsuji’s Decagon House Murders, which is a clever homage to Agatha Christie with a group of murder-mystery enthusiasts being killed one by one on a small island. Three deaths so far and I haven’t guessed who did it.
Anthony Horowitz (pictured) would take William Schirer’s The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich to a desert island
…would you take to a desert island?
If there’s one book I can read time and time again, it’s William Schirer’s The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich.
From Hitler’s birth to his suicide, from the treaty of Versailles to the fall of Berlin, it’s a masterclass in human evil told by a journalist who witnessed many events personally.
It’s packed with detail and brilliantly narrated. Sadly, the book still has much to tell us about the world we live in, and how all too easily a nation can be led down the road to Auschwitz.
…first gave you the reading bug?
I started with Tintin, followed by the Adventure series by the Canadian traveller Willard Price. But the book that truly began my journey into literature was The Go-Between by L.P Hartley, which I read when I was 15, inspired by a brilliant English teacher . . . thank you Mr Helliwell!
This bittersweet love story, set in 1900 (and beautifully filmed by Joseph Losey), made me realise that books could do more than tell stories. The main character, a 13-year-old boy called Leo, is traumatised by his involvement in an illicit love affair.
It has one of the great opening lines: ‘The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.’
…left you cold?
Oh dear — this is the controversial one. Well, I absolutely love and admire Agatha Christie but the one book of hers that disappointed me was The Murder At The Vicarage. Why?
The solution is both unsurprising and yet rather unbelievable, and the village of St Mary Mead seems to be too full of people behaving badly or pretending to be something they aren’t. Even Christie agreed there were too many characters and sub-plots.
My dear friend, the author Kate Mosse, will probably never speak to me again, but I much prefer Poirot to Miss Marple any day, and if there’s one type of book that has to completely satisfy you at the end, it’s a whodunit. This one didn’t.
A LINE TO KILL by Anthony Horowitz will be published on August 19 (Century £20).