Adrian McKinty is the author of seven crime novels. His latest, The Cold Cold Ground (Seventh Street Books, November 6, 2012), is set in Belfast at the height of the Troubles, and follows a detective caught in the crossfire as he investigates a serial killer targeting gay men. McKinty was born and raised in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, and after studying philosophy at Oxford University, emigrated to New York City where he worked in bars, bookstores, building sites and the Columbia University Medical School Library. He now lives in Seattle.
On your nightstand now:
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem and The Hydrogen Sonata by Iain M. Banks.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Your top five authors:
Jane Austen, Kingsley Amis, Evelyn Waugh, P.G. Wodehouse and J.G. Ballard.
Book you've faked reading:
People fake reading books?! Why not just read it?
Book you're an evangelist for:
A Time of Gifts by the great Patrick Leigh Fermor. I've gifted that book about 20 times.
Book you've bought for the cover:
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy, with an amazing cover by Chip Kidd (and, yeah, the book's pretty awesome, too).
Book that changed your life:
When I read Catch 22 in high school I just couldn't believe it. "You're allowed to do this in fiction?" I kept asking myself.
Favorite line from a book:
"I have seen wicked men and fools--very many of both--and they both get paid in the end, but the fools first...." From Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy: that book amazed horrified, excited and terrified me. I'd love to have that experience again. Also, Crash by J.G. Ballard for the same reasons.
Books you would take to a desert island:
Ulysses by James Joyce, Moby Dick by Herman Melville, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, the complete Jane Austen, the Jeeves novels of P.G. Wodehouse....
Worst book you've ever finished:
Death on the Installment Plan by Louis-Ferdinand Céline.
If a comet were going to hit the Earth and you could send one book into space as a representative memorial to human culture what would that be?
The Complete Poems of Philip Larkin.
Author photo: Leah Garrett