Simon Kernick: My six best books – Agatha Christie inspired me from an early age

December 1, 2017
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WALKING THE WOODS AND THE WATER by Nick Hunt Brealey, £9.99

A travel book by a guy who walked from Rotterdam to Istanbul, along the route taken in 1933 by the great explorer Patrick Leigh Fermor. He has an easy style of writing and it inspired me to walk more and to visit countries such as Romania and Bulgaria.

THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD by Agatha Christie HarperCollins, £7.99

I’m a big fan of Dame Agatha Christie and this is her best book. The plot twist is so revolutionary, brave and confident for its time that you almost can’t believe that someone would try it. I read her books from a young age and learned a lot.

THE CARTEL by Don Winslow Arrow, £8.99

Don Winslow has influenced my work. This is an immense tome about the Mexican drug cartels but the pages turn at an alarmingly fast pace. It’s very dark, exciting and informative. There is also a sense of justice being done which is possibly missing in real life.

THE PARTY by Elizabeth Day Fourth Estate, £12.99

A story of obsession told in three different time frames. It’s about a young man who inveigles his way into the circle of the popular kid at school. It’s dark, funny, incisive about class and a real page-turner.

STONER by John Williams Vintage, £8.99

An old book that became a bestseller a few years ago. I’d had enough of a grisly crime book I was reading and was drawn to this. It’s about a university professor and it just goes through his life. The way it’s told is brilliant and I was moved constantly.

A DANCE AT THE SLAUGHTERHOUSE by Lawrence Block Out of print

An author who was a big influence on my character, ex-cop Dennis Milne. It’s about a private eye called Matt Scudder who investigates a videotape that appears to show a man being murdered in the dark underside of New York. You really root for him.



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