Is it just me or do US writers carry a bit more heft than British writers? I know there’s dross produced in the States (Patterson springs to mind as a culprit) and I’m sure they produce authors as anodyne as our very own snore merchant, Robert Goddard, but there really are much more interesting crime novelists emanating from America at the moment. Maybe it’s the hugeness of the country or the fact they have more guns. Anyone have any ideas why this is so? Anyway, my top three crime/thriller authors are: 1) George Pelecanos – writes rich, savage books about Washington DC. Start with the Big Blowdown or the Sweet Forever. Great - if you like depth and brilliant dialogue. Not so good - for those who like endless twists. 2) Carl Hiaasen – incredibly funny satirist who writes brilliant revenge comedies about the despoliation of Florida. Great – if you like funny, smart writing. Not so good – if you’re the chief executive of an oil company. 3) James Lee Burke – lyrical, evocative writer who can also tell a great story. Bases his books in New Orleans and Montana. Doesn’t like oil companies either. Great – if you like your writing rich and chewy but need a great tale too. Not so good – If polysyllables make your teeth hurt.