Reviews & Press Cuttings

Police Review

Snow Man - Police review
Snow Man - Police review

A SNOW MAN ON WEST 42ND Crime writer Roger Busby, winner of the 1987 Police Review award for his book Snow Man, joined undercover NYPD narcotics cops for research on the sequel, Crackshot, published this month

On West 42nd Street, walking down into the sleaze of the combat zone, Gary says: 'You gotta blend into the scenery, try rolling your shoulders.' I do some shoulder rolling. 'Not bad,' Wayne says, tugging the peak of his baseball cap over his eyes, 'only walk hip, bounce on the balls of your feet' I manage a little bouncing. 'See Rog,' Gary says, 'In this job, you gotta have attitude, hang loose, ready for anything. Runyonesque street theatre ebbs and flows around us as we wait for a bandit who spends his lunch breaks robbing banks with a pump-action shotgun. I'm ready for anything. I`m on patrol with the Street Narcotics Unit undercover. 'Oh, and if it comes to shooting' Gary says casually, 'hit the deck and stay down 'till we get you out'. 'One last tip, avoid eye contact', Wayne adds his own laconic aside as we prepare for action.

Modern Crime Fiction

modern crime fiction
Modern Crime Fiction

Browsing an old book shop whilst waiting for a delayed train, I stumbled across Encyclopedia of Modern Crime Fiction by Mike Ashley. Much to my surprise and some what delight found the following entry:

Roger Busby (b. 1941) UK

As a crime reporter in Birmingham for many years and an information officer with the Devon and Cornwall Constabulary since 1973, RB was ideally placed to ensure authenticity in his crime novels. H.R.F.,KEATlNG rates them as 'among the best informed and most effective police procedurals of the British school.' Apart from a few standalone books his output falls distinctly into two groups.

While working in Birmingham he wrote the series featuring Detective Inspector Leric, which are set in and around the Midlands and depict an efficient if rather rough and ready D.I. who does not always engender loyalty from his colleagues despite, or sometimes because of, his sole minded determination; The story lines are fascinating such as 'A Reasonable Man' where a body is found in the case for a double bass. After a gap of some years, once settled in Devon, RB began a new series featuring D.I. Riley, this time set in the southwest. Riley is a more up to date version of Leric, and the cases more fast paced. 'Snow Man', a complicated story of three tenacious police detectives up against an international drug smuggling cartel, won the Police Review Award for the year's most authentic police procedural. 'Fading Blue' is a collection of stories in anecdotal form, mostly humorous. 'The Arrow Bridge Jumper' formed the basis for RB's last novel, 'High Jump' about a maverick policeman who twists the law.


D.l. Leric series: Robbery Blue (1969), The Frighteners (1970), Deadlock (1971), A Reasonable Man (1972), Pattern 0f Violence (1973).

D.I. Rowley series: The Hunter (1985), Snow Man (1987), Crackshot (1990).

Non series: Main Line Kill, with Gerald Holtham (1968), New Face in Hell (1976), Garvey's Code (1978), High Jump (1992).

Short Stories. Fading Blue (1984).

Full name: Roger Charles Busby.

Where to start: The Hunter.

Awards: CWA, Police Review award (1988).

Similar stuff: WJ. BURLAY, Bill KNOW, Jonathan ROSS, R.D. WINGFIELD.