VIDEO: a montage homage to the great Saul Bass
The biggest direct influence on the crime series as a whole, though, is Saul Bass’s work with Alfred Hitchcock in the 1960s. That was an era when thrillers could be suspenseful and action-packed, sure, but they were smart too. So, while rehashing Bass’s aesthetic wouldn’t be productive (it’s too emblematic of a specific period), his conceptual approach seems perfectly suited to this set of brainy international novels. It’s a way of thinking about the genre that somehow got buried with the ’60s, but it feels just as fresh now as it did then, and so I’ve tried to approach all the books in the series the way Bass might if he were working today.