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What I’m Reading: Annie Hauxwell

Annie Hauxwell is the author of the Catherine Berlin series, including the new novel A Morbid Habit.

When an old friend of Catherine Berlin offers her a job in Russia, she quickly agrees. The details are vague: a mysterious businessman with money to spend, a UK company offering a high fee for Berlin to investigate. Easy enough.

But Catherine arrives in Moscow to find that her problems are only just beginning. She is soon forced to confront some uncomfortable truths about both her past and her present. A body is found at the airport: a man clutching a sign with her name on it. When Catherine’s businessman goes missing, she realises that she cannot trust anyone or anything if she is to survive.

We all know that when crime authors aren’t writing, they’re probably reading! We asked Laura to tell us about what she’s currently reading and what she loves about it.

Over to Laura:

“I recently re-read The Long Good-Bye by Raymond Chandler, a classic of American hardboiled noir. I picked it up again to remind myself what can be achieved in this genre. It was just as fresh and compelling as the first time I read it, and as sharp in its observations of human motivation now as when it was a best-seller in 1953.

Few authors have had as much influence on crime fiction as Chandler, a fall-down drunk who wrote this book during his wife’s terminal illness. The style is crisp, the characters grow on you like mould, and the plot never gets in the way of the personalities and relationships which drive the story.

Human weakness is Chandler’s preoccupation, hypocrisy and greed his targets. The tone is melancholy and resigned – doom is a forgone conclusion – but the cynicism of his investigator, Philip Marlowe, doesn’t infect his compassion for the lost creatures of sordid, seedy nineteen-fifties Los Angeles.

I love this book for the certainty of the voice, the subtlety of the intrigue, and its evocation of a world that is remote in time and place, but oh so familiar.

Authors, read it and weep. Readers, read it and rejoice.”

A huge thank you to Annie Hauxwell for her time! Annie’s new Catherine Berlin novel, A Morbid Habit, is out now in paperback.

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