Chris Ewan, author of The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam has always been a fan of crime fiction - especially American crime fiction. He says, "I do enjoy reading contemporary fiction, and I can get a lot of satisfaction from reading well-crafted writing, but most of all I like a good story. I like to feel like a book is going somewhere - that it has an absolute pull on my attention. I've read a lot of crime authors saying that they write in the genre because it gives them an opportunity to comment on pressing modern concerns, or the dark side of contemporary society, for example, but my prime motivation in writing crime fiction is that it allows me, hopefully, to tell a really good yarn."
Before Amsterdam, he also wrote one literary novel and two mainstream novels but during all that time the books he enjoyed reading most of all were crime novels. Then he made a connection, "It finally occurred to me that that had to mean something. As a young male writer I could dream of writing the next Generation X as much as I liked, but ultimately I realised I should be writing the kind of books I most enjoyed reading."