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“At that point I only wanted to read books that shook me.” – Katerina Diamond talks to Indie Thinking

March 23, 2016

The Teacher is the Sunday Times Top Ten bestselling debut novel by Katerina Diamond. Here, Katerina tells Indie Thinking about reading during her childhood and the books she grew up with.

Katerina DiamondI started reading when I was very young: before I got to school. When I eventually did start school I was already sneaking a look at passages from whatever books my mother was reading at the time.

The first home I remember as a child was in Baker Street, and for that reason I always felt an affection for Sherlock Holmes. At six years old I didn’t realise that there was more than one Baker Street in the world and the one I lived in was in a completely different town almost 200 miles away… Geography was not my strong point.

When I was nine years old I saw an episode of the Jeremy Brett Sherlock series which had me completely enthralled. After finding and reading The Adventure of the Copper Beeches I went on to read as much Sherlock Holmes as I could.  There began my love affair with Detective stories and I became even more of a prolific reader. I read as much Nancy Drew and Famous Five as I could – in fact, any Enid Blyton. I love a good mystery. Then started my obsession with Agatha Christie. I loved all of the stories but I was particularly drawn to Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings: I liked the banter between them. My nan used to take me to charity shops where we would buy old copies of the Agatha Christie books. To this day I can pick up any one of her books and read it from beginning to end in one sitting; her style is so effortless.

When I was around twelve I remember reading a book that my mother had. It was ‘A kiss before dying’ by Ira Levin. It totally blew me away. After that point I only wanted to read books that shook me. At thirteen I migrated into Graphic novels – mostly Batman. Although set in a fictional world I found the character of Batman had so many hidden depths that I had never considered before. The relentless crisis of conscience really drew me in as it was something I felt I identified with. I was not the same care free child that my friends were.

Then I read the book Rebecca, a psychological thriller like no other and still one of my favourite books. It evoked such atmosphere, such utter dread. The relationship between each and every character left me breathless and to this day I am totally and utterly in love with Maximillian de Winter. A few years later I read The Count of Monte Cristo and it was probably around that time that it occurred to me that I loved revenge and I loved righteousness in a character. Over time all of my favourite characters have had that one thing in common. Whether they were ‘good’ or ‘bad’; whether they followed the rules or danced to the beat of their own drum; they believed they were right.



The Teacher by Katerina Diamond
Paperback | 9780008168155 | RRP £7.99

The TeacherYou think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil? You’re wrong…

The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall. Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end. As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again. But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community. And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?

Smart. Gripping. Gruesome. This is a psychological crime thriller in a class of its own.


If you’re a bookseller in the UK or Ireland and you’d like a reading copy of The Teacher, please send your request, along with your name and bookshop address, to Olivia at independentthinking@harpercollins.co.uk.


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