Writing thriller novels with Beethoven

August 05, 2013
Jeffery Deaver
Crime author Jeffery Deaver speaking at Waterstones.
Garry Knight via Wikimedia Commons

Jeffrey Deaver is a best-selling author whose latest book, The Kill Room, was released on June 4. The Kill Room is a espionage thriller featuring forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme, who is sent to investigate the assassination of a U.S. citizen living abroad. The novel is the tenth in Deaver's series of Lincoln Rhyme books, which began with 1997's The Bone Collector (which was also adapted into a film starring Denzel Washington).

Deaver's books often deal in crime and police procedures, and he delves deeply into the psychologies of his characters — be they heroes or villains. The structures of his novels, however, are influenced by classical music.

Here's what Deaver told BBC Radio 2 host Simon Mayo in a recent interview:

"When it comes to music and books, the one thing that has greatly influenced me is symphonic music in that I try to structure my novels as, say, a Romantic, Beethoven-type symphony: We open with some kind of prelude or prologue that sets the theme. We have alternating movements — vivace, andante, and then adagio . . . [T]here's the big crescendo, but then we need a coda, we need a little reconciliation at the end, and I keep that in the back of my mind with every book I write — so thank you, Ludwig."

Learn more about Ludwig van Beethoven at Classical MPR's Beethoven page.