Brothers in arms
Who is Andrew Grant, you might wonder? Here’s a clue – he’s the younger brother of James Grant. And who’s James Grant? Well, he’s better known by his adopted name, Lee Child. And Child – as if you didn’t know – is the creator of Jack Reacher, the rock-hard righter of wrongs about whom he has written 24 novels that have sold millions around the world. His 25th, The Sentinel, being written in conjunction with his brother, is due out later this year, and perhaps that co-authorship is because Lee Child has announced that he’s passing his hero on to his brother because he feels someone younger should write the Reacher novels.
‘‘I love my readers and know they want many, many more Reacher stories in the future. So I have decided to pass the baton to someone who can.’’ Said Ian Rankin, author of the Rebus novels: ‘‘Not much surprises me these days, but this news did.’’
Child described his brother as the best tough-guy writer he had read in years. Last year Andrew Grant published the first in a new series featuring army veteran and intelligence agent Paul McGrath, which just happens to be the name of one of the best-known former players of Premier League side Aston Villa, of which the Grant brothers – both born near Birmingham in England – are enthusiastic supporters.
Viskic keeps Caleb
When Lee Child visited Australia last year, award-winning crime writer Emma Viskic did an ‘‘in-conversation’’ with him. She thinks it’s fascinating that he’s offloading Reacher onto his brother. ‘‘I can believe it because of his mind and his approach to writing,’’ she told Bookmarks. He is extremely focused and seems to have a one foot in front of the other approach, like an explorer, and doesn’t emerge until he’s got the book finished.’’ Viskic has written only three novels about her hero, Caleb Zelic, with a fourth in the works, but says she couldn’t do what Child has done. ‘‘I can’t imagine he’d be handing over the reins unless he’s really thought it through.’’