Behind the Title of Harm’s Reach by Alex Barclay

Alex Barclay’s latest crime novel is called Harm’s Reach. She explains why…

At the dark heart of every crime novel is a secret – a buried thing that throws together people who otherwise may never have met: the initiator of the secret, the keeper of it, the victim of it, and those whose job it is to unearth it.

Most of us will play all these roles in life on some level, major or minor, but in choosing them, we can be forced to make a moral call. Will keeping this secret cause harm now or in the future? Would it compromise my principals to keep it? Could it damage me? Will I be forced to lie about it to other people? Am I capable of doing that? Do I want to?

Everyone is hiding something in Harm’s Reach. Special Agent Ren Bryce and her team have to discover who and what, while struggling with secrets of their own.

“My reasoning would be that the reach of good men is often hindered. In contrast, I fear that harm’s reach has no bounds, and – far worse – invisible fingers.” from Harm’s Reach by Alex Barclay.

The quote above is from a letter that opens Harm’s Reach and sets the scene for a story about the damage caused by secrets kept over the course of a century. The letter was sent by a man of vast wealth and power to his brother, a priest, and we won’t discover the true subject of it until the end.

As the story unfolds, we see how both action and inaction can contribute to the damage caused throughout this time, and how, maybe, if someone had spoken up somewhere along the way, so much pain could have been avoided. A secret is like a bullet; small, compact, and powerful. It can be stored safely in a box, never to be used. If released, it can fly off harmlessly, striking nothing, or it can cause grievous wounds.

It has always fascinated me the lengths to which people will go to keep their secrets hidden, and to hide the secrets of others, especially when the potential for damage is huge. And it’s tragic how, with enough money, silence can be bought, and people can evade the law.

In Harm’s Reach, one secret leads to another, in the same way as one victim leads to the next. However, if the right person is on the case, with the ability to see the dark thread of decades of lies and manipulation, a hiding place can be thrown wide open. And that’s the place we all want to explore…

Want to read the book? Buy here now http://bit.ly/1EXAxM0

Other Articles

Guest post by Stella Duffy, author of Money in the Morgue.

Stella Duffy on growing up in New Zealand, her feminist father, and why she’s pleased Money in the Morgue will be published on International Women’s Day…        Stella Duffy photographed by Gino Sprio   I grew up in Tokoroa, a small town in New Zealand. We moved… Read More

Rachel Sargeant on her gripping psychological thriller The Perfect Neighbours

Rising star Rachel Sargeant talks about her new novel, The Perfect Neighbours, a dark and twisty psychological thriller with an ending you won’t see coming… When Helen moves abroad with her loving husband Gary, she can’t wait to meet her fellow expat teachers from the local International School. But… Read More

Kimberley Chambers on her explosive new thriller, Life of Crime

More commonly known as The Queen of Gangland Crime Fiction, #1 Sunday Times bestseller Kimberley Chambers has written a brand new standalone novel, Life of Crime.  Meet Jason Rampling – he will do anything to give him and his family a better start in life and slowly but… Read More