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One Minute With: Lee Child, thriller writer

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Where are you now and what can you see?

In my hotel room in London. I can see a blurred picture of a taxi in front of the House of Commons. I like mid-range anonymous rooms – I'm probably the only author who asks to be downgraded!

What are you currently reading?

A thriller by Desmond Bagley, 'The Spoilers'. I wanted to check out what they were doing [in 1965]… It's remarkably little different.

Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him

Joseph Kanon. He sets his books in periods of recent history – they're inherently fascinating, plus he adjusts his style to reflect the period in subtle, satisfying ways.

Describe the room where you usually write

On the seventh floor of an apartment building in Manhattan. If I look up I can see the Metropolitan Life clock tower, the Chrysler Building and Empire State Building – all at one time the tallest building in the world.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Little John from the Robin Hood legends: slightly thick, a faithful sidekick, more given to action than thinking.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Richard Dawkins: lonely, brave and, above all, rational.

Lee Child's 'A Wanted Man' is published by Bantam.