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The Depths by John Creasey

The Depths by John Creasey

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Professor Corvell has stunned the scientific and political worlds with proposals relevant to man’s exploration of space. Dr. Palfrey and Z5 must protect him. But Corvall is also an expert on the control of water. He is then swept off of a ship by a huge spout of water that follows the appearance of a small submarine. It is well known that underground nuclear explosions can cause tidal waves if set off in the right place, but what is the cause of this latest string of events? Dr. Palfrey and Z5 have to investigate. Is someone controlling the oceans at least to a limited extent? And how?

The Author: Born in Surrey, England, into a poor family as seventh of nine children John Creasey was educated at a primary school in Fulham, London followed by The Sloane School. He did not follow his father as a coach maker, but pursued various low-level careers working as a clerk, or in factories, and sales. His ambition was to become a full time writer, however, and by 1935 he achieved this shortly after the publication of the first Department ‘Z’ novel, which in turn was three years after the appearance of his first crime novel ‘Seven Times Seven’.

From the outset, he was an astonishingly prolific and fast writer, and it was not unusual for him to have a score, or more, novels published in any one year. Because of this, he ended up using twenty eight pseudonyms, both male and female, once explaining that booksellers otherwise complained about him totally dominating the ‘C’ section in bookstores. They included:

Gordon Ashe, M E Cooke, Norman Deane, Robert Caine Frazer, Patrick Gill, Michael Halliday, Charles Hogarth, Brian Hope, Colin Hughes, Kyle Hunt, Abel Mann, Peter Manton, JJ Marric, Richard Martin, Rodney Mattheson, Anthony Morton and Jeremy York.

As well as crime, he wrote westerns, fantasy, historical fiction and standalone novels in many other genres. It is for crime, though, that he is best known, particularly the various detective ‘series’, including Gideon of Scotland Yard, The Baron, The Toff, and Inspector Roger West, although his other characters and series should not be dismissed as secondary, as the likes of Department ‘Z’ and Dr. Palfrey have considerable followings amongst readers, as do many of the ‘one off’ titles, such as the historical novel ‘Masters of Bow Street’ which is about the founding of the modern police force.

Indeed, with over five hundred books to his credit and worldwide sales approaching one hundred million, with translations into over twenty-five languages, Creasey grew up to be a true master storyteller and international sensation.

He travelled widely, promoting his books in places as far apart as Russia and Australia, and virtually commuted between the UK and USA, visiting in all some forty seven states.

As if this were not enough, in addition to travelling the world promoting his books he also stood for Parliament several times as a Liberal in the 1940’s and 50’s, and later as an Independent throughout the 1960’s. In 1966, he founded the ‘All Party Alliance’, which promoted the idea of government by a coalition of the best minds from across the political spectrum, as was also involved at various times with the National Savings movement; United Europe; various road safety campaigns, and famine relief.

In 1953, John Creasey founded the British Crime Writers’ Association, which to this day celebrates outstanding crime writing. He won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for his novel Gideon’s Fire and in 1969 the ultimate Grand Master Award was bestowed upon him.

There have been many TV and big screen adaptations of his work, including major series centred upon Gideon, The Baron, Roger West and others. His stories are as compelling today as ever, with one of the major factors in his success being the ability to portray characters as living – his undoubted talent being to understand and observe accurately human behaviour.

John Creasey died at Salisbury, Wilt
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