Jeffery Deaver is a best-selling US thriller writer whose new novel, XO, (Hachette) is out now.

The book I love the most is ... The Lord Of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. A complicated, layered and multi-plotted story of heroism and evil. Mystery writers could learn a lot from Tolkien!

The book I'm reading right now is ... I read a number at a time. I guess the first, though, is The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I'm loving the trilogy.

The book I'd like to read next is ... A forensic study of ballistics and firearms used in crimes. For reasons I can't disclose (having to do with novel plots, not eliminating pesky in-laws).


My favourite bookshop is ... Otto Penzler's Mysterious Bookshop in New York City.

The book that changed me is ... Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John Le Carre's masterpiece. It showed me that fine writing and subtle suspense could trump gore and flamboyance.

The book I wish I'd never read is ... OMG, there are a few of these! But I'm going to go with The Aeneid by Virgil. I slogged through the whole thing one summer, knowing I should read it. It was ponderous, derivative and self-serving. And not enough sex or combat or chariot chases! It taught me that one should never read out of duty, however, so I suppose that's a valuable lesson. It doesn't compare to Huckleberry Finn or Dickens, when one considers national literary treasures.