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Five Roundabouts to Heaven
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John Bingham was the pen-name and family name of Lord Clanmorris. Born in York in 1908, he was educated at Cheltenham College and in France and Germany. One of his first jobs was as a reporter on the Hull Daily Mail and also as a feature writer for the Sunday Dispatch. On the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Royal Engineers, moving in 1940 to work in the War Office. From 1950 until the late seventies he worked in the Ministry of Defence. My Name is Michael Sibley was his first novel, published in 1952. On the whole Bingham bypassed the usual crime-writing tricks of the trade to evoke surprise or mystery; instead he brought a new approach to crime fiction by emphasizing psychological realism. As Bingham himself explained: 'I am not so much interested in who committed, say, the murder, but in the psychological build-up, whether the murder will, in fact, be committed, and whether the criminal will be caught.' John Bingham wrote a total of seventeen crime novels and espionage thrillers over a thirty-year period. He was married to the playwright Madeleine Bingham and is the father of novelist Charlotte Bingham. He died in 1988. John le Carr is the internationally bestselling author of many crime thrillers, including Smiley's People, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.

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