Big break: My first novel, Post Mortem , had a print run of just 6000 copies. But the reviews were so good they changed everything. My next book, Body of Evidence , hit the bestseller lists immediately and things escalated from there. Career highlight: When Cruel and Unusual won the Gold Dagger for the best crime novel of 1993. Agatha Christie’s grandson was the presenter; her daughter was a judge. Christie for me is absolute genius. I was weak at the knees. Lowlight: Not handling sudden fame very well. Getting drunk and crashing my car in Los Angeles. I felt so ashamed of myself. Favourite writers: Hemingway for his descriptions and dialogue. Technical writing; I keep up with all the latest developments in forensics. But if I read all the time, I don’t write. Other pursuits: Long, long walks outside of Boston or in New York around Central Park. Working out at the gym. Riding my motorbikes. Flying my helicopter. Guilty pleasures: Really good fried chicken and really good fried onion rings. Totally bad for you and I’m glad I don’t have access to them too often.