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John Flanagan grew up in Sydney, Australia hoping to be a writer. It wasn't until he wrote a highly uncomplimentary poem about a senior executive at the agency he worked, however, that his talent was revealed. It turned out one of the company directors agreed with John's assessment of the executive, and happily agreed to train John in copywriting.After writing advertising copy for the next two decades, John teamed with an old friend to develop a television sitcom, Hey Dad!, which went on to air for eight years. John began writing Ranger's Apprentice for his son, Michael, ten years ago, and is still hard at work on the series. He currently lives in the suburb of Manly, Australia, with his wife. In addition to their son, they have two grown daughters and four grandsons.
Storm Peak should have a familiar feel to readers of police procedural fiction: the sexy female sheriff, the laconic detective scarred by the death of his partner, the bullied child grown into a cold-blooded killer ... all of the old ingredients are here. Unfortunately, however, there's not much else. Storm Peak is largely crime fiction by numbers. In this debut adult novel by children's author John A Flanagan, the plot focusses on a series of brutal and baffling killings in a small US ski town. It also provides a simmering romance between the androgynously named police officers investigating the case, Lee Torrens and Jesse Parker -who were, of course, childhood sweethearts. This is naturally complicated by the reappearance of Jesse's ex-wife, Abby, a sultry, blonde news reporter. There's nothing wrong with writing a genre piece: The books in Flanagan's bestselling 'Ranger's Apprentice' series were genre pieces, and they were absolutely riveting. However, where they tended to race along, this book plods, leaden-footed, and I never managed to fully shake the sense that Flanagan was consulting a manual entitled: 'How to write a successful crime novel'. Fans of Michael Connelly might like to give this series a go. But they shouldn't expect too many surprises. (See interview page 60.) Leonie Jordan is a high school English teacher and former bookseller