Sanctus, the first book of his Sanctus trilogy, has been published in over 50 countries and translated into 28 languages. In the UK it was the biggest selling debut thriller of 2011. The Key, book two of the trilogy, sold twice as many copies as Sanctus in the same period. The Tower, the third volume of the trilogy, is now out in the US.
Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Toyne's reply:
Like most writers I have several books on the go at any one time: some are research for the new book; some are books that have been staring at me with pleading, puppy eyes for months from a teetering ‘to-be-read’ pile; some are books I’ve read before and am now re-reading before starting the new novel because I think there might be things in them I can steal.Visit Simon Toyne's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.
From the ‘research’ category I’m half way through a fascinating book on philosophy called The Great Philosophers by Bryan Magee, which is a sort of primer for western philosophy. The Tower is the last book of a trilogy that is mostly concerned with religious mystery and ideas whereas the new book will have a more philosophical flavour and a sort of action anti-hero at the heart of it who is seeking his identity through the prism of his actions and their meanings. That may sound a little highbrow for an action-thriller but I promise you he also gets to punch people and girls will find him deeply sexy for his poetic and troubled ways.
From the ‘puppy dog eyes/please read me’ category I’ve nearly finished The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, which is a wonderful and tautly written time-travelling serial killer thriller that reminds me a lot of early Stephen King.
And from the ‘things to steal’ pile I’m re-reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Man on Fire by AJ Quinnell and also The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, because it has now become a ritual with me to re-read it before I start every new book, just to remind me where the bar is.
My Book, The Movie: Sanctus.
Writers Read: Simon Toyne.
The Page 69 Test: Sanctus.
The Page 69 Test: The Tower.