Brighton resident William Shaw writes the critically acclaimed Alex Cupidi detective series set in Dungeness, but his latest novel, The Conspirators, now out in paperback (Riverrun, £9.99) and written under the pen name GW Shaw, is an addictive contemporary thriller set in the Austrian Alps

The book I loved as a child

Stig of the Dump by Clive King is brilliant. I love a story where, within a few pages, you have to give in to its world. Sure, there’s a Stone Age man living behind my house. Why not?

The book that inspired me as a teenager

The narrator’s voice in Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five was exciting to me as a teenager. It showed that books didn’t have to be like the ones I was studying. You could experiment.

The book I’ve never finished

I bet you get a lot of Joyce in this section. I wouldn’t say I’ve never finished Ulysses – rather, I’m still working on it. Love it, but modernist fiction is the best argument for the existence of a rollicking story.

The book that moved me most

More than 20 years ago I joined a small writers group in Brighton. One of the members was CJ Sansom, who blew us away with the draft of what would be his debut novel, Dissolution. I’ve read everything of his in draft since, but his health isn’t great these days. When he told me he thought that his latest book, Tombland, might be his last, I suggested he came up with an ending that completed an emotional arc for the series. I have no idea if he listened, but if you’ve followed the whole Shardlake series, the way he lands this book is gorgeous.

The book I’m reading now

Elly Griffiths’ The Last Remains. The way she has led her characters on an elegant dance through the Ruth Galloway series is superb and this is a perfect way to finish.