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HRF Keating Biography More Information About

Henry Raymond Fitzwilliam Keating was educated at Merchant Taylor’s School and Trinity College, Dublin. He has been chief reviewer of crime, espionage and suspense fiction for The Times of London from 1967. He has also been prominent in the affairs of the Crime Writers7 Association, of which he was chairman from 1970-1971.

His first book was Death and the Visiting Firemen (UK 1959) and most of his other books have been crime novels. Since 1964 the crime novels have generally featured Inspector Ghote (pronounced Go-tay) of the Bombay CID, who was created by Keating in response to sharp commercial pressure when no American publisher would take his previous books because they were ‘too English’. Ghote, though physically different, is in many ways the author expressing his inner fears of always being put upon and his hopes of eventual (though unlikely) triumph, or, at least, this is how HRF Keating himself puts it.

The one Ghote book that qualifies as spy fiction is Inspector Ghote Caught in Meshes (UK 1967), in which the astute Bombay detective moves temporarily into the realm of espionage when he is seconded to a supposedly undercover Indian Government organisation concerned with national security. What appears on the surface to be a straightforward murder investigation proves to have security implications. The book is primarily concerned with the question of loyalty, a theme which the author saw as most acutely presented by the spy and.counter-spy situation; Ghote is deliberately cut off from almost all his customary network of loyalties.
Keating’s view of the spy story (which as that of an experienced and discerning critic is important) is that it is ‘becoming less technical and more of an ordinary novel, with a strong and welcome story element’. His comments on his recreations are not only subtly humorous, but almost Ghote-like in their esoteric nature. In 1970 he listed his recreation as ‘not quite going to India’, while in 1976 he declared it to be ‘popping round to the post’.

Originally Written ByDonald McCormick HRF Keating Books for Sale

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