At the Guardian, James tagged his ten favorite works of fiction set in or around Brighton, including:
Brighton Rock by Graham GreeneRead about another entry on the list.
This book, written in 1937, is hands down not just the best book ever written about Brighton, but in my view one of the top five crime novels of all time. It has surely one of the most arresting opening sentences ever: “Hale knew, before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to kill him.” The detective is no longer the key character, it’s the villain himself – Pinky, a 17-year-old killer in charge of a bunch of middle-aged misfits, and a devout Catholic terrified of eternal damnation. There is no cosy puzzle to be solved, no happy ending. You put the book down with your emotions floored, your imagination soaring.
Brighton Rock is among Lucy Worsley's ten best fictional detectives, Alex Barclay's top ten psychological thrillers, and Linda Grant's five best books with novel approaches to kindness.