It’s very difficult to know which of Kathy Reichs’ books you have read, because they are almost all called Something Bones. Or Bones Something, or Something and Bones, or Bones and Something. You get the picture; lots of bones. In her day-job, Reichs is a forensic anthropologist, and that’s what she writes about in her novels too. Yet even though I’ve read most of them at least once, I still keep picking them up. What is it that fascinates me? Partly, it’s the enduring appeal of murder, partly it’s the endless fascination of human anatomy. Reichs’ plots thunder on like – well, like an express-train, though in quite a different idiom from Ian Rankin’s. Reich’s leaves plotlines hanging in the air, whereas Rankin dispenses quite early with red herrings, as if to say he’s not that kind of writer. But they both work.
And why is it that crime writing is so compelling? Is it our endless fascination with human anatomy? Or is it that the crime novel allows us to explore our own darker side without risk?
What do you think? Tell me who is your favourite crime writer and why.