John Le Carré, Robert Daws, Stieg Larsson, Sam Benady and Mary Chiappe – numerous crimewriters have been drawn in recent years to set their books in Gibraltar. What is it about the Rock that makes it such a fascinating setting for a thriller? My first experience of Gibraltar came with a chance visit fifteen years ago. But it wasn’t until a few years later, when I returned having just completed a law degree, that I saw the potential for a crime series featuring a Gibraltarian lawyer as protagonist. Spike Sanguinetti, resident of Chicardo’s Passage, denizen of the Gibraltar Law Courts, was born. Since then, I’ve been back to the Rock again and again, moving silently (and sometimes not so silently) through the streets with a notebook and camera, trying to understand its secrets and intricacies. Gibraltar’s compact size yet vast cultural and political history offers up an abundance of plot possibilities, and Spike is about to embark on his fifth outing (A Thousand Cuts, published by Bloomsbury in January 2017). Setting is the vital component of each book in the series – and as the first three have recently been optioned by a television company, it seems that the Rock’s potential for the small screen is being recognised too.