Quintin Jardine

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Quintin Jardine

Quintin Jardine was born once upon a time in the West  – of Scotland rather than America – but still he grew to manhood as a massive Sergio Leone fan. On the way there he was educated, against his will, in Glasgow, where he ditched a token attempt to study law for more interesting careers in journalism, government propaganda and political spin-doctoring.

After a close call with the Brighton bomb in 1984, Quintin moved into the even riskier world of media relations consultancy, before realising that all along he had been training to become a crime writer. Now, 40 novels later, he never looks back. His three series feature respectively top Scottish cop Bob Skinner, unwilling detective Oz Blackstone, and Oz’s feisty ex Primavera.

He began work on an escape tunnel out of Motherwell in 1968; he surfaced briefly in Hamilton, but, realising very quickly that he had been heading in the wrong direction, resumed digging and three years later arrived in Gullane, East Lothian, where he has lived ever since. In recent years he has put down a second set of roots – a physically nonsensical metaphor, but you know what he means – in L’Escala, the only north-facing town on the Catalan Costa Brava.


Interviewed 17 March 2018

Ten words to sum up your working life to date ...

1. Unplanned
2. Risky
3. Exhilarating
4. Creative
5. Lucrative
6. Mysterious
7. Fulfilling
8. Fortuitous
9. Privileged
10. Hard

Nine things you can see from where you're sitting ...

1. My iMac.
2. Family portrait
3. ‘Spinifex Plain’: A very expensive Rolf Harris giclee that would be worth a hell of a lot more than it is in other circumstances.
4. My favourite tree, a Japanese maple that I planted 20 years ago.
5. A large photo of my amazing granddaughter Mia, crouching up on her surfboard on the crest of a wave in the best Kelly Slater style: she’s seven.
6. Another large photograph of my darlin’ boy Rex, my three-year-old grandson, his face lit up by the sparkler he’s holding at a firework display at his other granddad’s house in Japan.
7. A wall clock that was presented to my father on his retirement in 1967.
8. A fantastic original caricature of the late Sir Nicholas Fairbairn, by the eminent Emilio Coia.
9. The end of the 30th Bob Skinner novel.

Eight minutes to prepare a meal. What's it going to be ?

Onion, tomato, yellow pepper, courgette, chicken and chorizo, a little cumin, no salt, wok-fried in olive oil, soya, and Worcester sauce, with medium egg noodles chucked in at the last minute. Followed by soft scoop vanilla ice cream with Askey’s toffee sauce. Washed down with a young but ballsy Empordan red called Mar de Lluna.

Seven people you'd like to go for a drink with ...

Ian Rankin, Mike Jecks, Paul Johnston, Michael Connelly, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham and Douglas Skelton. (It could happen).

Six things you can't live without ...

1. Her name’s Eileen.
2. My computer
3. A decent broadband connection
4. Friendship
5. Corona with a wedge of lime or lemon
6. Music

Five favourite words ...

Allan, Eileen, Mia, Rex, Susie . . . in alphabetical order.

Four places you'd run away to ...

Madrid, Toronto, Singapore, Darnius.

Three books you've bought recently ...

1. The Russia House – John Le Carre. I’m a late returnee, having read or re-read all the Smiley novels, and carried on from there
2. Two Kinds of Truth – Michael Connelly. I pre-order all the Harry Bosch novels, in hardback.
3. Ferdinand the Bull – Munro Leaf. Three copies – for Rexie, Benjamin and Rudi, my great-nephews, all of them being at the right age.

Two things that make you rant ...

1. Witch-hunts
2. Gender politics

One thing you'd tell your teenage self ...

Don’t! Drink! Alcohol!