PD Smith

Watching the Detectives

06 September 2012 | Detectives, Watching the Detectives, Writing & Poetry | Post a comment

I’ve just signed the contract for my next book! I’m very happy indeed that it will be published by Bloomsbury and that my editor will be Bill Swainson, who worked with me on City.

The working title of the book is Watching the Detectives: The Birth of a Modern Hero. (Yes, it’s one of my favourite songs too.) It will tell the story of the detective set against the backdrop of the city of crime. It’s an exciting story, full of deception, mystery and, of course, murder. And it’s one in which fact and fiction are closely woven together, as they were in my earlier book, Doomsday Men. Indeed, when you look at the history of detection and the city, it’s sometimes difficult to tell where fiction ends and hard facts begin. But that’s what makes this story so fascinating to me.

Like many people, I grew up reading about detectives and watching them on TV: Basil Rathbone’s Sherlock Holmes, the unforgettable Frank Marker in Public Eye, scruffy, cigar-puffing Columbo, the misanthropic Morse, and many more. These characters and other more recent ones have become part of me, part of how I visualise the modern city and its problems. In Watching the Detectives, I will explore what the figure of the detective tells us about ourselves and our modern urban culture.

Let the investigation begin…

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