After reading his posts as guest blogger at The Rap Sheet last month, I contacted him and asked what he was reading. His reply:
There's hot rain in England, and I've just packed the manuscript of my next book off to my agent, so I have a few days now with the lightning outside and a handful of books I've been eyeing up for a while.Learn more about Patrick Lennon at his website and The Fletcher File, the blog marking the publication of Steel Witches.
First, there's Up In Honey's Room by Elmore Leonard. The great feeling - as always with him - is of characters shooting around the book like pinballs, one of them a Detroit butcher who thinks he's Heinrich Himmler's twin. A real pleasure. I've always been conscious that three of my favourite writers - Elmore Leonard, Franz Kafka and Thomas Hardy - were all alive at the same moment in the mid 1920's. I don't know what that means, but I find it interesting.
Then there's Cripple Creek by James Sallis - the first of his books that I've read. I like this kind of heightened, small-town thing. And at the foot of the first page, someone's singing 'I heard the voice of a pork chop say, Come unto me and rest.' That's a very good sign.
I'm also going back to Modesty Blaise by Peter O'Donnell, which I laid aside a few years ago. It's one of a series of secret agent yarns that O'Donnell published in the 1960's - not as corny as I'd thought on first reading, and punctuated by flashes of hallucinogenic violence. A good antidote to the 'James Bond as literature' mood circulating at present.
And because it's summer and thunder’s rolling around, I’ve brought out my copy of The Cantos of Ezra Pound - to be read in the garden under a canvas awning.