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Lyall, Gavin (Tudor) 1932-2003

LYALL, Gavin (Tudor) 1932-2003


OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born May 9, 1932, in Birmingham, England; died of cancer January 18 (some sources cite January 20), 2003, in London, England. Journalist, television director, editor, and novelist. Lyall established a solid reputation as a reliable author of adventure and suspense novels in the 1960s. His early novels had an aviation background drawn from the author's experience as a pilot in the Royal Air Force during the 1950s. The first of these, The Wrong Side of the Sky, was successful enough to enable the journalist and one-time television producer to become a full-time fiction writer. Another early novel, Midnight plus One, earned him the Silver Dagger Award of the Crime Writers' Association. Lyall was popular with readers and reviewers as well, and was praised for the precision design of his plots and for his descriptions of the exotic locations in which his fliers found themselves. In 1980 Lyall introduced a new character, secret agent Major Harry Maxim, who reported directly to the British prime minister. Maxim was featured in several novels, including The Secret Servant, The Crocus List, and Uncle Target. The ongoing nature of the series allowed Lyall to develop his characters gradually over time, and the political connection enabled him to flesh out his plots with elements of espionage and behind-the-scenes glimpses of government forces at work. The Secret Servant was later adapted as a screenplay. In the 1990s Lyall began to produce espionage novels set prior to World War II, including Flight from Honour. He also edited an anthology of memoirs by Royal Air Force fliers of World War II.


OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:


periodicals


Los Angeles Times, January 23, 2003, p. B15.

New York Times, January 22, 2003, obituary by Paul Lewis, p. A21.

Times (London, England), January 21, 2003.

Washington Post, January 23, 2003, p. B7.

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