Crimezine discovers R.J. Ellory A genre defying crime legend

Posted: December 10, 2011 in Crime Fiction Books, Crime Writers
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Crimezine RJ Ellory

RJ Ellory

When R.J. Ellory’s first novel Candlemoth is mentioned, many are surprised by the power and strength of what is commonly perceived as a debut novel.

In fact, Ellory had written more than twenty books at this point, rejected on literally hundreds of occasions. Why? He is a genre defying Englishman writing about America. Perhaps it is understandable that he faced such odds. It takes a very special author to overcome such circumstances. Unsurprising then that Ellory cites Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle as a major influence. The famous Scot travelled to and wrote about America on a number of occasions.

There can be no question that R.J. is a crime writer, but he is a crime writer like no other. The breadth and scope of his work is beyond the jurisdiction of what might commonly be called big budget crime fiction. His work has been called Human Drama. He has also been described as an exponent of, The slow motion thriller, a complimentary term, designed to describe the Ellroian niche between popular and literary fiction. As big daddy existentialist Søren Kierkegaard, said: once you label me, you negate me. Ironic, as Ellory’s work exhibits an advanced understanding of philosophy and humanity in general.

Ellory has been compared to Mario Puzo, James Ellroy, and Stephen King. All descriptions are accurate, but they fail to define Ellory’s unique style. In a similar way to genre busting author Don De Lillo, Ellory refuses to repeat himself, Instead he offers the reader voluptuous narrative and a tireless dedication to story. It is a dedication that makes him a very special writer.

There have been plaudits aplenty for Ellory’s nine published works. He is a million selling fave-rave of critics and cult fiction Crimeziners everywhere. So is the great man heading for the Crime writing major leagues I hear you ask ? Truth is he is already there. Not every one realizes it though, especially in America.

Hollyweird loves a nice formula, so it has been slow to catch the Ellory wave, but once it discovers his big money ideas, we will be hearing a lot of R.J. Ellory. Guaranteed.

So where to start Crimeziners? Candlemoth is Ellory’s first published work. It has been compared to The Green Mile and The Shawshank Redemption. A rocking debut indeed. Crimezine also loves the genre-busting epic, A Simple Act of Violence. Ellory’s break through success, A Quiet Belief In Angels is also strongly recommended. While his latest, Bad Signs, is reminiscent of Jim Thompson at his hottest.

Crimezine also recommends R.J’s blog which shows a fearless and passionate edge, rarely seen amongst published authors. Last by no means least, there is The Whiskey Poets, R.J.’s hard rocking beat combo named after Taff booze hound and sometime poet DylanThomas. Ah, the poetry of Whiskey, it is the poetry Crimezine loves the most!

Books by R.J. Ellory



A Quiet Vendetta

City of Lies

A Quiet Belief in Angels

A Simple Act of Violence

The Anniversary Man

Saints of New York

Bad Signs

  1. Andy Horton says:

    When I went up to the loft to hunt out the Christmas decorations, I found a book by R J Ellory “A Simple Act of Violence” which i have been meaning to read. I do not read much fiction books although I did in my early twenties. I have finished a Jillian Hoffman book in this century, so I might be able to read the book to the end.

    • tonybulmer says:

      That is cool Andy! Reading is something that takes effort.In this modern age, with myriad distractions it can be hard to find time. But once you get the reading bug it opens up your life and rewards you with insights and gifts of knowledge that would have otherwise been lost to you. Rj is not just a good author he is a cool person too. I urge you to follow the Crimezine links so you can enjoy your reading experience even more. Simple Act of Violence is a great book, let me know how you do, and keep reading Crimezine, your input is greatly appreciated

      All the best Tony Bulmer Editor Crimezine

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