I considered and rejected several authors for this one (Lee Child, my favourite thriller writer; Kelley Armstrong, only recently discovered, but I’ve been devouring her supernatural books ever since; Anthony Trollope, fabulously gossipy style makes him oh so readable), before finally settling on Philip Pullman. He’s a very versatile writer who appeals to adults as well as children.
His Northern Lights trilogy is aimed at young adults, but it has enough substance for adult reading. The story line pulls you in and holds on to you long after you have finished reading. His Sally Lockhart series is written in the style of a 19th century classic, and is so well done it’s hard to believe it was written in modern times, and “I Was a Rat” is an absurd idea, but it works. Like a pantomime, the humour is on two levels so that adults will still enjoy reading the book to their children. It may be aimed at very young children, but it made me laugh out loud, and there aren’t many writers who can achieve that. If you haven’t discovered Pullman yet, then you really are in for a treat.