John Harvey Biography


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

John Barton Harvey was born December 21, 1938, in London and spent much of his childhood in Nottingham. He attended Goldsmith’s College at the University of London, where he earned a teaching certificate in 1963. He married and fathered twins Tom and Leanne, before he was divorced in the mid-1970’s. Between 1963 and 1974, Harvey taught English and drama at a succession of secondary schools in London, Derbyshire, Andover, Hampshire, and Hertfordshire. From 1970 to 1974 he also studied at Hatfield Polytechnic, earning a bachelor’s degree in English.

From the early 1970’s onward, Harvey contributed short stories to various periodicals and in 1975 wrote his first novels—Avenging Angel and Angel Alone—a pair of violent motorcycle epics under the pseudonym Thom Ryder. This work apparently unlocked the floodgates of his creativity, and over the next decade Harvey poured out a veritable torrent of novels, mostly under a variety of pseudonyms, including dozens of Westerns in numerous series, such as the Hawk, Peacemaker, and Gringos series. Under his own name, Harvey also produced a hard-boiled private eye series featuring Scott Mitchell (beginning with Amphetamines and Pearls, 1976), wrote novelizations of films and television shows, and turned out books for juveniles (such as What About It, Sharon? 1979), television scripts, and occasional poetry chapbooks (Provence, 1978).

For more than twenty...

(The entire section is 432 words.)