Stern Critics

27 December 2010

After a decade working for an editor whose scale of praise for work done was topped by the phrase ‘well, that was all right, I suppose,’ indicating a magnificent piece of work that he would have been proud to have written himself, I thought I was pretty much immune to criticism.

Not so.

Frozen Out/Assets has been with reviewers now for a few weeks and while the print reviews won’t show up for a while yet and may well be tougher, the online reviews so far have been good. Belay that... Better than good, they’ve been absolutely wonderful.

But the toughest critics are giving their verdicts over the last few days. My Mum, a veteran crime fiction reader who lives in a house stuffed with everything from Maigret to Mankell, has given her thumbs up. That was a relief. She wasn’t over-enamoured of the rude bits, but accepts that younger readers (i.e., those not yet collecting a pension) expect a bit of rough.

Elder daughter is still reading, younger daughter’s verdict was favourable.

‘But, Dad. How can you write about a woman like that? I mean, you’re a bloke...?’

Now come more stern critics. My band of experts in Iceland are ploughing through Frozen Out – in English. Of course there are mistakes, there’s always something that slips through, you just have to hope it’s not something too obvious. But hopefully they’re not wiping away tears of laughter or groaning over something particularly cack-handed that made its way onto the page. I’m sure they’ll let me know...

Frozen Assets, published by Soho Crime, 18th January.

Frozen Out, published by Constable & Robinson, 27th January.

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