WHAT BOOK would author Ava Glass take to a desert island?

WHAT BOOK would author Ava Glass take to a desert island?

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… are you reading now?

The Body In The Library by Agatha Christie. I’d never been a particular fan of Christie, and I realise this is sacrilege. But I was always looking for something more modern, more fast-paced, more cutting edge.

Then, about a year ago, I was searching for an audiobook to listen to while I painted a room in our house, and my husband recommended Christie’s The Moving Finger, read by Richard E. Grant.

And reader, I fell in love. Her incredible ear for voices, combined with her twisted crimes, simply blew me away.

She skewers the upper class, the middle class and the working class with equal delight. And her murders are truly dark.

In The Body In The Library, a young woman’s body is found in the library of a wealthy couple’s country house.

UK-based author Ava Glass reveals which book she would take to a desert island and the book that first gave her the reading bug

She’s been strangled with the waistband of her own dress. The couple claim never to have seen her before. And so the detectives from the local force begin to trace the woman’s last days, hunting for a killer.

Somehow Christie brings humour to this, and I think it’s this balance of light and dark that I love. In her hands, a grim story of murder is soothing to read and I look forward to returning to it every day.

… would you take to a desert island?

The Likeness by Tana French. I’ve read it at least five times and I know I’ll read it many more.

This Dublin-set novel tells the story of an Irish detective assigned to investigate the murder of a woman who could be her doppelganger. She goes undercover as the victim, trying to identify who killed her. It’s mad, twisty and beautiful, and I could live happily in its pages for years.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

… first gave you the reading bug?

This is hard to say as I’ve been a voracious reader since I learned the alphabet. When I was 11, I won an award for reading and writing reports on the most books in my school year group. I read 151.

How could I choose just one? But the book that made me want to be a writer was The Secret History by Donna Tartt. It starts with the murder of a major character and then jumps back in time and gradually reveals a story about beautiful, clever killers in a gorgeous wintry setting. It absolutely knocked me flat. I still think about it all the time.

… left you cold?

I’ve already confessed my past difficulties with Christie and I was wrong about her books so I’m probably wrong about this, too. But I couldn’t get through Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel.

I sometimes use it as a sleeping aid. One page and I’m out like a light. It cured my chronic insomnia.

Honestly though, I suspect I’m simply not mature enough for it yet. Ask me again in 20 years and it will probably be my favourite book of all time.

The Traitor by Ava Glass is out now (Penguin £8.99, 416pp).

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