Charlie Higson's Young James Bond series has me thinking: Which of your favorite characters would you like to glimpse in their younger days? This can take the form of a flashback or entire novels.

I notice Rick Riordan has a children's series based on the adventures of Perseus. Also authors like Lee Child and Robert Crais have occasionally flashed back to fill in their protags' backstories.

Filling in can also backfire. I was excited about the Star Wars prequels, for example, but they turned out to be largely unnecessary and poorly dramatized backstory.

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I would agree the story was better than the execution if Anakin/Vader weren't such a weak-willed character, basically Palpatine's blindly loyal yes-man. I didn't care what happened to him.
I am sure there could be a thriller or 3 based on Rebus's career in the army in Northern Ireland before he cracked up during SAS training and joined the police.
That is such a great idea! Actually, when you think of it, Rebus has a long career before we meet him; it would be interesting to read about his earlier years on the force, and how he gradually became the man he is when we meet him.

I'd also like to read about Peter Wimsey when young -- Jill Patton Walsh did a great job I felt on doing a couple of later books. It would be interesting to see him pre-War.
Miss Marple. In her older days she sure solved a lot of cases - what brought her to that point or did she always have these things cropping up?
While generally not a big fan of prequels, I nonetheless would love to read about Ken Bruen's Jack Taylor when he was still a member of The Guards.
Personally, I'd like to see a story starring Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer, before he was a private eye and back when he was still married and on the police force.
I never saw Red Dragon, which I understand is a prequel and a sequel to Silence of the Lambs, and I have no idea why I haven't because Silence of the Lambs is one of my all-time favorite movies. I am fascinated by the minds of the criminally insane - again, I have no idea why. Maybe it's because I don't know any of these types of people personally, and am morbidly curious.

At least, I don't THINK I know any...

I am very curious to see if Red Dragon gives sufficient insight into the reasons behind Lecter's cannibalism, and why he became the monster he portrayed in Silence of the Lambs. It received good reviews (not that those usually mean much to me - I disagree w/critics far more than I agree w/them), but yes, I think I might need to visit Blockbuster's this weekend. Or figure out that whole netflix thing.

Anyway, I am always fascinated to learn about sociopaths' childhoods. I remember seeing pictures of Jeffry Dahmer as a child - he looked as normal and sane as any other child. What the hell happened? Or was it always there, wired into him, and certain events throughout his life allowed his sociopathic personality to emerge?

So yes, any prequel that might shed light on Hannibal, or Dahmer, or Ted Bundy, etc - those prequels get my vote.
I think there WAS a prequel to the Lecter stories called HANNIBAL RISING which covers his childhood. I've never read it though. I once did spoof prequels of Agatha Christie (Ten Little Exam Cheats) and Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep-Over). I'd definitely like to see what made Philip Marlowe the man he was. A prequel of Robert Eversz' Nina Zero would be interesting. As Alan has said Jack Taylor when he was in the Garda would be fascinating.
You're right, Donna. Hannibal Rising is the prequel that is supposed to explain how Lecter became a not-so-nice doctor. Red Dragon is the first book that introduces the character, but I don't believe explains his motivation. I noticed Amazon sells both. I may just have to check them out and see what's what.
I would like to see prequels to Charlie Fox, Reacher and Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco!
I'd love to have read more stories about some of the Golden Age characters' backstories. Many of them like Poirot, Miss Marple and others sprang to life at middle-age or beyond. They would likely have many adventures that we hadn't heard of.

Another area I'd love to hear more about are some of those "missing cases," the cases and adventures taht get mentioned in series, but are never reported.
Check with Donna Moore - she might know where to find some of this (if in doubt, read her blog today)


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