Mark Timlin

The bad boy of British crime writing, Timlin has recently been half tamed by publishers Gollancz (to whom he switched after a spat with Headline). Even now, Gollancz send him out accompanied by a PR minder. Notourious for hitting, insulting or merely swearing at those he doesnít like, Timlin is equally loved by others for his humour and fierce loyalty to his friends. He is the only British writer who can successfully cram his London-based novels with the worst aspects of American behaviour: gunfights, drug cartels, contract killings, hand-made bombs. Timlinís books feature Nick Sharman, a rough detective thrown out of the police for illegalities. He cuts corners and coke, takes heroin and risks. Yet he lives in Tulse Hill and from a failed relationship maintains warm contact with his teenage daughter, now at her own dangerous age. Indeed any woman involved with Sharman is at a dangerous age. In these books the goodies donít always live to tell the tale. The Nick Sharman series is one of the few that has improved with age. The first books were too long, too rambling, even - extraordinarily for Timlin - a touch monotonous. But as the novels shortened, so they tightened. This is action land. Titles include Ashes By Now.

Return to 100 Masters of Crime