When I was working in the education world I always told new lecturers to watch people teaching in a completely different field from theirs. They could learn a lot from how people approached a completely different subject to their own and, perhaps, make use of their ideas.
However, when it comes to reading I have forgotten my own advice. Until yesterday.
I rarely read thrillers and don’t much like them as films or TV. However, I had read Stephen Leather‘s ‘The Basement’ a short while ago and was very taken with it. So, yesterday I started to read ‘Hard Landing: The First Spider Shepherd Thriller.’
I am really enjoying it. As well as that, it has given me lots of new ideas which I may or may not be able to use in my historical writing.
The pace is fast, very fast, though not relentless. There are enough quiet moments of reflection to allow the reader to catch their breath.
The characters are epic in that there are good guys and baddies. However, the antagonist and protagonist have attributes which ameliorate and round out their natures without detracting too much from their fundamental characteristics.
Most interesting for me is the way in which Leather ratchets up the peril, adding layer upon layer of jeopardy and threat and by, doing so, illustrating just why the fight is worth fighting and winning for hero and villain.