Yesterday I immersed myself in a James Hadley Chase thriller. Just for the joy of reliving the hours I had spent poring over his oeuvres in my youth. I was hooked immediately. Today, at night, I hope to finish it. What will happen? What will happen next? This is what is going on in my mind. On searching the net I find that James Hadley Chase was actually René Lodge Brabazon Raymond and his father was a colonel in the colonial Indian Army.
Another fact that made my jaws dawdle near the floor was that he never lived in the U.S. where most of his stories are based. He wrote from maps, slang dictionaries, and guidebooks. WTF! Contrary to what I had thought all along, he was British not a Yankee. He was also a friend of Graham Greene, who had praised his writing. (So, his writing isn't absolute trash as some people think! In school only the bad boys read his novels. The good boys stuck to Enid Blyton.) During the war he worked in the Royal Air Force rising to be a squadron leader and co-edited the RAF Journal. He wrote 90 thrillers, most of which have been made into films. His novels were popular in France, Europe, and Asia, but not in the U.S., where the stories are based.